Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
If you have an NFL offseason calendar in front of you, and I don't know why you would, but if you do, then you may have noticed that today is the first big day of the offseason and that's because the franchise tag window has officially opened.
From today through March 7, teams are allowed to use the franchise tag, so obviously we'll be taking a look today at a list of the players who might get hit with the tag. It's a long list, so we should probably get started now. Let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: One big offseason move that each team should make
For today's episode of the podcast, CBSSports.com's Tyler Sullivan sat down with Billy Trice and the two of them went over the offseason needs for each team along with one big offseason move that each team should make. And when we say big moves, we're talking home run moves.
Here's a look at a few of the moves they suggested:
- New York Giants: Trade for DeAndre Hopkins. "Their biggest need, if we're not talking about re-signing Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, if we're just talking about adding to the roster, it's the wide receiver spot," Sullivan said. Sully thinks the Giants are going to need to add multiple receivers and that if they want to make a big splash, they should look to trade for Hopkins.
- Houston Texans: Draft Bryce Young. The Texans have the No. 2 overall pick and the guys believe they should do whatever they can to get their hands on Young. The Texans could trade up to get the top pick from the Bears or they could sit at two and hope that Young drops in their lap, but that would definitely be risky, because then another team could trade up to the top spot and steal Young from them.
If you want to hear the guys talk about other team needs, then be sure to click here so you can listen. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Franchise tag window opens: Lamar Jackson headlines list of players who could get tagged
You know the NFL offseason has officially started when the franchise tag window opens, which means that, as of today, the NFL offseason has officially started. For the next two weeks, each team is allowed to designate one franchise player, and once that happens, the two sides will have until July to work out a long-term deal. If no deal is reached, then the player will get a one-year deal in 2023 at the franchise tag number, which is different for each position. (This year the number ranges from $5.39 million for kickers to $34.2 million for quarterbacks.)
Last season, a total of eight teams used the franchise tag, which means 25% of teams took advantage of it. This year, teams will have until March 7 to decide if they want to tag someone.
Our Jeff Kerr came up with a franchise tag candidate for each NFL team, and we're going to go over five of them here. You can see his list below along with what their salary will be for 2023 if they play on the tag.
- Ravens: QB Lamar Jackson ($34.2 million). "This is a no-brainer for Baltimore. Jackson is the team's franchise quarterback and the Ravens will lose him for nothing if they just let him walk."
- Bills: S Jordan Poyer ($14.46 million). "The Bills actually have two choices here: Poyer and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. Poyer is the older player, but also a leader this defense can't afford to lose. Giving the tag to a safety is much more forgiving, as Poyer would make $14.5 million in 2023 compared to Edmunds at $20.9 million."
- Chiefs: OT Orlando Brown ($20.04 million). "The Chiefs are expected to tag Brown again -- and they absolutely should. Brown wants to remain in Kansas City and would easily be the top free agent tackle on the market if the Chiefs didn't tag him. Brown allowed just four sacks and 39 pressures during the regular season and he didnt' allow a sack after Week 15."
- Raiders: RB Josh Jacobs ($10.09 million). "In his first year with Josh McDaniels, Jacobs was the NFL rushing champion and arguably the most productive back in the NFL, rushing for 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also led the league in yards from scrimmage with 2,053. Jacobs is worth the $10.1 million for 2023 -- and the tag gives the Raiders time to see if they can sign him to a long-term deal."
- Giants: RB Saquon Barkley($10.09 million). "The Giants would be taking a risk tagging Barkley, but this could be the best one-year solution. Barkley set a career high in rushing yards (1,312) in a Pro Bowl season, even though he was playing behind an offensive line that wasn't great."
To see the rest of Kerr's list and the franchise tag number for each position, be sure to click here.
3. Best potential landings spots for free agent quarterbacks
This offseason could be one of the crazier ones in NFL history and that's mostly because we could see several quarterbacks change teams. We already know that Derek Carr will be playing for a new team in 2023 and there are several quarterbacks who could be headed down that same road.
This year's free agent class of quarterbacks isn't going to blow anyone away, but there are still some big names in it, so Cody Benjamin decided to take a look at those names and take a stab at where they might end up. Cody included every QB who's going to be a free agent, even if there's a chance the QB might end up getting hit with the franchise tag.
1. Lamar Jackson
Logical fits: Ravens, Falcons, Jets, Raiders
2. Derek Carr
Logical fits: Jets, Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers
3. Daniel Jones
Best fits: Giants, Titans, Colts, Falcons
4. Geno Smith
Best fits: Seahawks, Buccaneers, Raiders
5. Jimmy Garoppolo
Best fits: Buccaneers, Raiders, Jets, Patriots, Dolphins
If you want to check out Cody's entire story on free agent quarterbacks, then be sure to click here.
4. Derek Carr's brother reveals new details about why Raiders moved on from their longtime QB
Since being released by the Raiders on Feb. 14, Derek Carr hasn't had much to say about how things ended with his former team, but his brother (David Carr) did reveal a few details during a recent episode of "NFL Total Access."
There's been a lot of speculation that things weren't working out between Derek and Josh McDaniels, which led to the break up, and that seems to be exactly the case.
- Derek and Josh McDaniels weren't on the same page with how the offense should be run. According to David, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, things fell apart in Las Vegas because McDaniels wouldn't let Derek change plays at the line of scrimmage. "[Derek] was excited at the beginning [with] Josh McDaniels, but there was just a difference of opinion as far as how to run offensive football and how to play offensive football. When you're a veteran quarterback, you've got veteran guys, they want some control at the line of scrimmage, they want to be able to utilize their superpower. ... [Derek] wants to get to the line, decipher what the defense is doing, get in an appropriate play and that skill wasn't utilized in Las Vegas under Josh McDaniels."
- David says Derek harbors no ill-will toward the Raiders or McDaniels. "Derek and Josh, they had a good conversation [on Feb. 14], they parted ways. Josh is going to do his thing, he'll find a quarterback who fits his system and Derek will go find a system that fits his style, so it'll be good."
- Derek is excited to pick his next team. "He has a chance to hand-pick the next team that he goes to. He'll have a lot of options. He has some criteria that he's looking at, that I'm going to help him walk through, but he's a smart guy, he knows what he wants, he's very focused on making the right decision for his family and for his future."
- Derek had a good visit with the Jets. Derek was in New York over the weekend and, according to David, everything went well during his visit with the Jets. "There are a lot of good components, there are a lot of things that are very positive about the Jets, he had a great trip," David said.
One thing the elder Carr did note is that Derek's free agency tour is going to be a "long process" and that you probably shouldn't expect the former Raiders QB to sign with anyone right away.
5. AFC North offseason team needs
Over the next two months, every NFL team is going to be looking to fill multiple needs in free agency and the draft. Since it's hard to keep track of every need that every team has, we decided we're going to do it for you. Over the next few days, we'll be presenting each team's needs by division, and today, we'll be starting with Bryan DeArdo's breakdown of the AFC North.
Team needs: WR, CB, EDGE, LG, QB
Cap space: $24.9 million
Outlook: "Baltimore's first order of business is figuring out the future of Jackson, who could find himself playing elsewhere next season if he and the Ravens do not agree on a long-term deal. Regardless of what happens at quarterback, the Ravens needs to upgrade their receiving corps. DJ Chark, Allen Lazard and JuJu Smith-Schuster (who Baltimore showed interest in recently) would be solid free agent options."
Team needs: S, ILB, OT, CB, RB
Cap space: $35.6 million
Outlook: "Each of the Bengals' needs are manageable. Cincinnati drafted Daxton Hill last year in the event that Jessie Bates III departed this offseason. There will also be an opening at inside linebacker with the expected departure of Germaine Pratt. Fortunately for Cincinnati, there are several solid options here in free agency that include longtime Buccaneer Lavonte David, former Colt/Brown Anthony Walker Jr. former Steelers first-round pick Devin Bush and former Bills first-round pick Tremaine Edmunds, among others."
Team needs: NT, DE, DT, OT, ILB, CB, WR
Cap space: $81,000
Outlook: "Pittsburgh's inability to stop the run late in the fourth quarter cost them several games during the first half of the 2022 season. The Steelers will undoubtedly address this issue by adding some new blood to their defensive line. Look for them to address this need during the draft. Javon Hargrave, a former Steeler who recorded a career-high 11 sacks for the Eagles last year, would be a big addition to Pittsburgh's defensive line if they are willing to spend."
Team needs: WR, ILB, DT, DE, CB
Cap space: -$13.4 million
Outlook: "In a perfect world, the Browns would reunite Deshaun Watson with DeAndre Hopkins, but the Browns don't have the assets to make that happen. Cleveland could, however, try to reunite Watson with two of his other top targets from his Houston days: Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks, who would have to be acquired in a trade. On the other side of the ball, Cleveland will have to replace Clowney and fellow starter Taven Bryan assuming Bryan doesn't re-sign."
For a full look at each team's needs and who they should go after, be sure to check out DeArdo's full story by clicking here.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Browns surprisingly fire their special teams coordinator
It's been a busy 24 hours 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.
- Browns dump Mike Priefer. Six weeks after firing their defensive coordinator (Joe Woods), the Browns also decided to dump their special teams coordinator in a somewhat surprising move that went down on Tuesday morning. Apparently, the Browns reportedly have someone in mind to replace Priefer and that someone is current Colts special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone. ESPN is reporting the Browns have also requested permission to interview Giants assistant special team coordinator Anthony Blevins. For more details on the sudden firing in Cleveland, be sure to click here.
- Colts hire an offensive coordinator. It looks like the Colts have finally found their new OC. According to multiple reports, the team is planning to hire Jim Bob Cooter. The 38-year-old started his NFL coaching career back with Indy in 2009 when he served three seasons as an offensive assistant. Since then, he's worked for seven teams over the past 11 seasons, including three years as Detroit's offensive coordinator. Now, he'll be returning to Indy to work for new Colts coach Shane Steichen.
- Chargers defensive coordinator leaves team for Miami. The Chargers' defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, Renaldo Hill, has decided to take a job with another team. Hill is leaving the Chargers to join Vic Fangio's defensive staff in Miami. Hill will serve as the Dolphins' defensive passing-game coordinator. Hill spent two seasons with Fangio in Denver (2019-20) and wanted to reunite with his old boss.
- Former Vikings owner dies at 95. Red McCombs, who owned the Minnesota Vikings for seven years, died on Sunday at the age of 95. McCombs bought the Vikings in 1998 for just $250 million. During his eight seasons as owner, the Vikings went to the playoffs four times, which included two NFC Championship Game appearances. McCombs eventually sold the team to the current owners, Zygi and Mark Wilf, for $600 million in 2005. For more on McCombs' life, be sure to head here.