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Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

Before we get things started here, we have a small announcement to make. A big reason this newsletter exists is to promote the "Pick Six Podcast," but there's no podcast to promote right now because the show is currently on hiatus. Our final show of the offseason came after the release of the schedule last week, and now, the podcast will be going on hiatus until July. 

Although there won't be a podcast between now and then, there will still be a newsletter, so yes, I will still be hitting your inbox every weekday over the next two months and probably for the rest of time. 

As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. Actually, you don't even have to tell all of your friends; just tell two of your friends and I'll be happy. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here

1. Raiders legend Jim Otto passes away

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The NFL lost a legend over the weekend with the passing of Jim Otto, who was 86. In a statement announcing his death, the Raiders fondly remembered Otto as "The Original Raider."

Here's why he was revered by the organization: 

  • Otto spent his entire career with the Raiders. Otto was drafted in 1960, which just happened to be the Raiders' first year of existence. After being picked, the center would spend his entire 15-year career with the team. Over the course of his career, he played for several different coaches, including Al Davis and John Madden. 
  • Otto was an iron man. Otto started EVERY game the Raiders played in over his 15-year career, which means he started 210 straight games, a number that jumped up to 223 if you include the postseason. Otto was the anchor of the Raiders' offensive line, and during his time with the team, the Raiders played in six AFC/AFL title games and one Super Bowl. From 1960 thru 1969, Otto played in a total of 140 AFL games, which makes him one of just three players who played in every game possible during AFL's existence.
  • The awards piled up for Otto. During his 15 years on the field, not only was Otto voted to 12 Pro Bowls, but he also earned 10 All-Pro awards. He was eventually inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility. "Jim Otto personified the aura and mystique of the Raiders," the Hall of Fame said in a statement. "He was 'The Original Raider,' leading a new franchise from its inception into its first run of glory years from the late 1960s into the 1970s."

You can read more about Otto's life here:

2. Teams with the easiest road to the playoffs based on their schedule

Last week, we took a look at the teams with the most difficult road to the playoffs based on their schedule, so we thought we'd flip things around this week and take a look at the teams with the easiest road.

We had Bryan DeArdo sift through every schedule, and here are two teams that made his list: 

  • Falcons. "The Falcons will start the season with three straight games against teams that won at least 10 games in 2023 in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Kansas City, but things ease up after that, with two games against the Panthers (who went 2-15 last season), a Week 11 game in Denver (8-9 in 2023) and a Week 16 home game against the Giants (6-11 in 2023)."
  • Dolphins. "Of their first seven games, only one is against a team that made the playoffs last year. Miami's toughest game, Week 16 against the 49ers, is at home. If they stay relatively healthy, there's no reason why the Dolphins aren't challenging the Chiefs for home-field advantage when the playoffs start in mid-January."

If you want to check out Bryan's full story, you can do that here.

3. Best rookie fits: J.J. McCarthy in best situation of any rookie QB 

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When it comes to the NFL Draft, there's no easy way to predict whether a player is actually going to be good. Just because someone is drafted in the first round doesn't automatically mean they're going to have a better career than someone drafted in the second round. One thing that can help determine whether a player is going to be successful is how well they fit with their new team. 

With that in mind, Chris Trapasso decided to rank this year's rookies based on their potential fit with their new team, and he had a surprising player at the top: 

  1. Payton Wilson, Steelers. "He had a first-round-caliber career at NC State. Production galore. Then he had a first-round-caliber workout at the combine -- his 4.43 in the 40-yard dash ranks in the 97th percentile among participating linebackers since 1999. ... He steps foot into a magnificent situation with the Steelers by way of the defensive-line personnel that'll help to keep him clean early in his NFL career: T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, Alex Highsmith and young stud nose tackle Keeanu Benton up front."
  2. J.J. McCarthy, Vikings. "McCarthy is a rare cat at the quarterback spot in that he's young (he's only 21 years old), but he still has plenty of experience with 38 starts at Michigan. ... The setup for McCarthy is magnificent, too, with Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson along with a rock-solid offensive line. McCarthy landed in the best environment of any first-round quarterback."
  3. Jayden Daniels, Commanders. "Daniels' offensive coordinator is Kliff Kingsbury, who has coordinated offenses run by Johnny Manziel, Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray and, most recently, Caleb Williams. Sensing a theme there? Athleticism, functional mobility, ad-libbing skills -- and those three are all clear strengths of Daniels' game."
  4. JC Latham, Titans. "Learning from legendary offensive line coach Bill Callahan alongside 2023 first-round pick Peter Skoronski and big-ticket free-agent signing Lloyd Cushenberry indicates this will be a darn-good fit for a Titans team that went aggressive all offseason to improve the roster."

Trapasso ranked the 10 best rookie fits, and you can see his full list here.  

4. Ranking every Week 1 game: Prime-time games set to steal the show at start of season 

Now that the NFL schedule is out, we're even more excited about the 2024 season than we were before, and to prove that, we decided to rank every Week 1 game based on watchability. 

Are we three-and-a-half months away from Week 1? Yes.
Is that going to stop us from doing this ranking? No. 

Garrett Podell ranked every Week 1 game, and the NFL schedule-makers will be pleased to know that he thinks they hit a home run with the four prime-time games being played in the opening week. Let's take a look at his ranking: 

1. Ravens at Chiefs, 8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday (NBC). "An AFC Championship rematch between two-time NFL MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson's Baltimore Ravens, last season's AFC top seed and the NFL's top defense, against back-to-back Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to kick off the 2024 season? Enough said."

2. Jets at 49ers, 8:15 p.m. ET, Monday (ABC/ESPN). "Aaron Rodgers starts his second season with Gang Green on 'Monday Night Football,' and he will face his longtime NFC nemesis in the San Francisco 49ers, the reigning NFC champions."

3. Rams at Lions, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC). "There's the layer of Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff being traded for each other and Stafford then winning the Super Bowl with the Rams, something Goff was unable to do. Then, there's the additional layer of Goff and the Lions ending Stafford and the Rams' season in the wild card round in 2023. This spite-filled playoff rematch is a great way to end the first full Sunday of NFL action."

4. Packers at Eagles, 8:15 p.m. ET, Friday (Peacock). "The young Packers, who had the NFC champion 49ers on the ropes in the divisional round last postseason, square off against the uber-talented Philadelphia Eagles, who are relying on new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to get Jalen Hurts and their passing game back on track."

There are 16 games being played in Week 1, and if you want to see where each of those games fell on Garrett's ranking, you'll have to check out his full story here

5. Former All-Pro running back retires at age 32

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After just eight NFL seasons, former NFL All-Pro David Johnson has decided to retire at the age of 32. The former Cardinals running back made the announcement on Sunday. 

Here's what you need to know about his career:  

  • His career got off to a fast start. After being taken in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals, Johnson made NFL history during just the first two weeks on the field when he became the first player ever to record a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown and a kickoff return touchdown within the first two games of a career. Johnson's uniform and cleats were both sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  
  • Johnson takes the league by storm in 2016. After showing flashes of his talent during his rookie year, Johnson put it all together during a second season where he put up eye-popping numbers. Johnson rushed for 1,239 yards in 2016, which is a big reason why he ended up leading the entire NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2,118. Johnson also led the league in total touchdowns with 20. Johnson was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2016 to go along with a first-team All-Pro nod. If you had Johnson on your fantasy team in 2016, there's a good chance you won your league title. 
  • Johnson was part of the DeAndre Hopkins trade. After spending the first five seasons of his career in Arizona, the Cardinals decided to trade him following the 2019 season. The Texans dealt Hopkins to Arizona in March 2020 in a deal where they got Johnson and several draft picks in return. 

Overall, Johnson played for three teams over eight seasons, but he never quite returned to form. He also missed 15 games in 2017 with a wrist injury. You can read more about Johnson's career here.  

6. Extra points: Tua Tagovailoa reports to OTAs

It's been a busy 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.

  • Tua shows up for OTAs. After skipping most of Miami's voluntary workouts, Tua Tagovailoa reported to the team today for OTAs. Tua skipped a good chunk of Miami's offseason voluntary workouts as he continues to look for a new contract, but it's clearly a good sign for the team that he decided to show up for OTAs. 
  • Fanatics files lawsuit against Marvin Harrison Jr. It's been more than three weeks since the end of the NFL Draft and you still can't buy Harrison's jersey with the Cardinals. The reason for that is because he hasn't signed a deal with the NFLPA and the reason for that is because he's not happy about a deal he supposedly has with Fanatics. Well, Fanatics is now suing Harrison, for allegedly breaching a contract he has with the company. This is definitely an interesting story, and you can check out the details here
  • Two Chiefs players arrested. Kansas City offensive tackles Wanya Morris and Chukwuebuka Jason Godrick were both arrested and hit with one charge of misdemeanor marijuana possession. The mayor of Kansas City, Quinton Lucas, definitely doesn't seem to think the arrests are a big deal. "There's absolutely no reason to splash someone's mugshot all over the internet for any misdemeanor, let alone one that's legal in over half the country," Lucas wrote on social media in reaction to the arrests. This is one of a multitude of issues that Chiefs have had to deal with this offseason. The team is also still dealing with Rashee Rice's legal situation. 
  • Tom Brady hangs out with Patriots' new QB. Drake Maye might be filling some extra pressure now after meeting the most successful QB in NFL history over the weekend. The Patriots new quarterback got to hang out with the Patriots' old quarterback, and you can check out the details on their meeting here
  • Rookies in their uniforms for the first time. The NFLPA rookie premiere event was held over the weekend, and if you want to see what each rookie looks like in their uniform, you can check that out here.