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Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

The NFL owners must really like each other because two months after their March meeting, they're going to be holding another meeting and that meeting, which is the annual spring league meeting, will be kicking off today in Atlanta. And no, I do not get a small bonus every time I use the word "meeting," in this newsletter, although I might try to work that into my next contract. 

We've got a loaded newsletter today that includes the top defensive rookie of the year candidates, plus we're going to predict the Packers' final record. 

As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. Let's get to the rundown. 

1. Today's show: Monday mailbag

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During the NFL offseason, we like to spice things up each week on the Pick Six Podcast by adding a listener mailbag every Monday. 

Our mailbag episodes are pretty simple: We read listener questions during the show and then answer as many of those questions as possible. Questions can be about literally anything. I mean, today's mailbag even includes a soccer question, so if we'll answer that, trust me when I say we'll answer almost anything.

Anyway, if you want to submit a question, all you have to do is go to Apple Podcasts (click here) and leave a five-star review that includes your question. 

Here's one question that Ryan Wilson, Will Brinson and I answered in today's mailbag.

Q:  Why doesn't the NFL have marching bands? A lot of people watch college football over the NFL because of the atmosphere, and the band plays a big role in that. I always get pumped up watching the Florida State band playing the chop and the whole crowd joining in. 

A: This might come as shocking news to some people, but there are actually two teams in the NFL that DO HAVE marching bands, and the twist is that they actually play less than 40 miles from each other. The two teams are the Ravens and Commanders

Washington's band was actually shut down during the pandemic, but will be coming back this year

I have no idea why more teams don't have bands, but I do have two theories and the first one involves money. If you start a marching band, you're probably going to have to pay that marching band for their time, and if that band has 50 to 100 people, that could get expensive. NFL owners hate expensive. 

The other issue here is the length of halftime. In the NFL, halftime only lasts for about 12 minutes, which isn't really enough time for a band to do anything. By the time the players are cleared off the field and in the locker room, the band would likely only have seven or eight minutes to play. 

In college, halftime generally lasts for 20 minutes, which gives the band nearly 10 more minutes of action. Halftime at the Super Bowl lasts more than 20 minutes, which is why the NFL is able to squeeze in a huge halftime show every year. 

Although having a marching band would be cool, I will never complain about NFL teams not having one as long as they keep giving us monkeys riding dogs as a halftime show. (Please click here to see a monkey riding a dog at an NFL game.)

Anyway, to listen to the rest of the mailbag (and to the quirks), be sure to click here. You can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.

2. Deshaun Watson's lawyer expects to hear something from NFL in June; QB's case to be featured on HBO

After more than a year of looking into the sexual misconduct allegations against Deshaun Watson, it appears the NFL could be inching toward the the conclusion of its investigation. 

Watson's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, revealed over the weekend that he expects to hear something from the NFL in the next few weeks: 

  • NFL hoping to have 'everything' done this summer. "We should know what their position is initially sometime in June, and then everybody will figure out if there's going to be a hearing about it or can people work things out, or whatever," Hardin told on Friday night. "The only thing that's certain is that they want to try to get everything done this summer -- and earlier than later in the summer. Past that, we don't really have any firm dates or possibilities." This doesn't necessarily mean that everything will be wrapped up by then, but it's starting to seem like there's at least a chance that Watson's punishment could be announced in late June or early July. 
  • Settlement talks not happening. One thing that definitely seems to be off the table at this point is any type of settlement.  Harding told that "no settlement talks are in the offing." For Watson, the upside to settling each of the 22 cases is that it would allow him to avoid going to court and he'd also be able to put this all behind him. If he doesn't settle, he'll be staring a 22 civil court dates at some point in 2023. Of course, the downside of settling for Watson is that the public might interpret that as a sign of guilt. 
  • Watson's accusers to appear on HBO this week. Several of the women involved in the Watson case will be making an appearance on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" this week. According to HBO, the women will "detail the alleged abuse they suffered and share their reactions to Watson's record-breaking $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns." HBO also notes that this will be the "first-ever national TV interview" for the women involved. 
  • Watson's lawyer doesn't sound thrilled with HBO. "I don't know what it's going to be like, but I'm not optimistic," Hardin said. "I believe they'll air the accusations of the women without attempting to look behind it to see what kind of merit do they have."

The lawyer representing the 22 women, Tony Buzbee, released a statement today regarding the HBO show, and he claims the walls are now "closing in" on Watson. This will definitely be a situation worth monitoring over the next 24 hours with "Real Sports" set to air at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday (May 24). 

3. Ranking the top-10 defensive rookie of the year candidates


After going through the offensive rookie of the year candidates Friday, we're back again, but this time, we'll be taking a look at the top ROY candidates on the defensive side of the ball. Our NFL Draft guru, Chris Trapasso assessed the situation that each rookie has been thrown into and then came up with a list of the 10 players most likely to win defensive rookie of the year in 2022. 

One thing you'll notice about Trapasso's list is that he's not overly high on the situation Travon Walker has been given in Jacksonville. Although Walker was the top pick, he definitely wasn't the top player on this list. As a matter of fact, he barely made the cut.

The one thing worth noting about this award is that in 14 of the past 15 years, it's been won by a player who was selected in the first round, so if you're going to bet on who wins, you probably want to make sure to bet on a first-rounder. (Since 2007, the only non-first round pick to win the award was Darius Leonard in 2018. The Colts linebacker was the 36th overall pick that year.)

Anyway, here's Trapasso's ranking of the players most likely to win the award this year: 

1. Giants EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux
2. Lions EDGE Aidan Hutchinson
3. Chiefs EDGE George Karlaftis
4. Bills CB Kaiir Elam
5. Ravens S Kyle Hamilton
6. Texans CB Derek Stingley Jr
7. Jets CB Sauce Gardner
8. Broncos EDGE Nik Bonitto
9. Jaguars LB Devin Lloyd
10. Jaguars EDGE Travon Walker

If you want to check out Trapasso's explanation for his rankings, be sure to click here

4. Looking at players who could be breakout stars in 2022

Every year in the NFL we see multiple breakout stars, but the thing with breakout stars is that it's almost impossible to predict who those players are going to be before the start of the season. Well, I thought it was impossible. It turns out that if you're CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, it's not. 

JLC took a peak into his crystal ball to figure which players could potentially become breakout stars this season. Here are four he came up with: 

  • Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins QB): "Tua gets a fresh start under Mike McDaniel. The pass-catchers will get a ton of YAC. The offensive line is much improved. They will run the ball. Tua won't have to be super flashy to be very effective. I like the fit."
  • Rashod Bateman (Ravens WR): "He is in position to be the lead dog of this receiving group by a large margin. Trading Hollywood Brown will prove to be addition by subtraction in part because of Bateman's superior frame, hands, strength and catch radius."
  • Irv Smith Jr. (Vikings TE): "I was super high on this young man making the leap a year ago, and he was well on his way until a season-ending injury wiped it all out before it began. He was starting to form a bond with Kirk Cousins. ... I believe new coach Kevin O'Connell will help him tap into his potential."
  • Gabriel Davis (Bills WR): "Who didn't like what this kid put on film in the playoffs? How about putting up over 200 yards and four touchdowns against the Chiefs? That will go a long way to building up more currency and volume in targets from Josh Allen."

If you want to see JLC's full list of players who could potentially have a breakout season in 2022, be sure to click here.

5. Predicting the Packers' final record for 2022


The 2022 NFL season will be kicking off in 108 days, which means we have exactly 108 days to get through all of our predictions for the upcoming season. We're going to start things off here by making predictions about how each team is going to do this year. 

Last week, we ran through the NFC East, and this week, we're going to start things off with the Packers. Will the loss of Davante Adams hurt Green Bay? 

The guy who writes the Wednesday newsletter -- AKA Cody Benjamin -- went through the Packers' entire schedule and picked out all the games they're going to win and all the games they're going to lose. Since Cody is never wrong about anything, we can probably all just go ahead and assume that this prediction will be 100% right. 

Here's a look at his predictions for three key games: 

  • Week 1: Packers at Vikings. "Minnesota's dangerous pass rush, featuring a rejuvenated Danielle Hunter and ex-Packer Za'Darius Smith, keeps Aaron Rodgers frustrated early. A-Rod wins a late back-and-forth, though, relying on quick releases against a young Vikings corner group." Prediction: Packers 24-21 over Vikings. 
  • Week 3: Packers at Buccaneers. "Aaron Rodgers is 0-2 against the Tom Brady-led Bucs, including the playoffs, and the streak extends in sunny Florida, where Tampa Bay moves the ball methodically and Todd Bowles' creative fronts prove too much for Rodgers and a so-so receiving corps." Prediction: Buccaneers 29-22 over Packers. 
  • Week 10: Cowboys at Packers. "Dallas is rested up after its bye, and CeeDee Lamb threatens to upend the Packers' chance at another win streak with a slew of big plays. But Jaire Alexander picks off Dak Prescott to thwart a late scoring drive, and a last-second field goal seals it." Prediction: Packers 27-24 over Cowboys.

Final record prediction: 12-5. 

On one hand, if the Packers finish 12-5, it would actually be a step back considering that Matt LaFleur has won 13 games in each of his three seasons as Green Bay's coach. However, due to the loss Adams and the fact that the Packers offense might have to take its lumps to start the season, I'm guessing most fans in Green Bay won't be complaining if the Packers finished just one game worse than they did last season. 

If you want to see Cody's prediction for each game, be sure to click here to check out his entire story

6. Rapid-fire roundup: Two big free agent signings highlight the weekend

It was a wild weekend in the NFL, and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you. 

  • NFL owners might be looking to force out Dan Snyder. The Commanders owner has been involved in multiple controversies over the past few months, and it appears the NFL's other 31 owners might be ready to get rid of him. One owner anonymously told USA Today that the other owners are "counting votes," which is a nice way of saying the owners are looking to see if they have the 24 needed votes it would take to force Snyder to sell the team. 
  • Colts sign Nick Foles. The two sides were close to making a deal Friday, and after taking the weekend to hammer things out, it looks like the deal is now down. According to, Foles has agreed to a two-year contract with the Colts, which means he'll now he heading to Indy, where he'll serve as Matt Ryan's backup. The deal will reunite the Super Bowl winning quarterback with the offensive coordinator (Frank Reich) from his Super Bowl winning season in Philadelphia. 
  • Browns sign Jadeveon Clowney to one-year deal. Clowney is headed back to Cleveland for another season after landing a one-year deal over the weekend. Clowney, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, signed a contract that's worth up to $11 million
  • Michael Vick not coming out of retirement. There was a report Friday suggesting that Michael Vick was planning to come out of retirement to play in the Fan Controlled Football League with Terrell Owens and Johnny Manziel. However, it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Vick took to Twitter on Sunday to shoot down the rumor. 
  • Kyler Murray to skip this week's offseason training activities (OTAs). There's been a lot of drama between Murray and the Cardinals this offseason, and this decision is only going to add to the drama. According to, Murray won't be attending OTAs this week. Although the OTAs are voluntary, the Cardinals would almost certainly prefer to have their starting QB on hand. Murray has wanted a new contract since February, and so far, the Cardinals haven't given it to him. 
  • Deebo Samuel also skipping OTAs. Murray isn't the only NFC West star sitting out OTAs this week, so is Samuel. According to, the 49ers receiver won't be in attendance for any of San Francisco's voluntary workouts this week. This isn't a huge surprise considering he requested a trade less than a month ago and also wants a new contract. 
  • Marquise Goodwin to sign with Seahawks. The Seahawks added another receiver over the weekend by signing Goodwin, according to The Athletic. The 31-year-old did had a huge season in 2017 when he totaled 962 receiving yards while with the 49ers, but since then, he's hasn't even topped 400 yards in a season. He also took some time off to try and qualify for the postponed Tokyo Olympics in 2021