After three months of waiting, my favorite week of the NFL offseason is finally here: The schedule is coming out this week.
Sure, some people like free agency, and yes, some people like the draft, but not me. The only offseason tent-pole event I care about is the release of the schedule and that will be coming on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, so be sure to clear your calendar. I've had my calendar marked for three years and yes that means I mark it three years in advance for each schedule release. I TOLD YOU NO ONE LOVES THE SCHEDULE RELEASE MORE THAN ME.
Alright, that's enough yelling. Let's get to the rundown where we're going to cover six possible landing spots for Aaron Rodgers, plus a regrading of the 2018 NFL Draft. As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To sign up, all you have to do is click here and then share the link.
1. Today's show: Way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft
Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is officially in the rearview mirror, that means we can start talking about the 2022 NFL Draft. Sure, it's still 11-and-a-half months away, but that didn't stop Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson from doing an entire podcast about it on Monday.
The best part about Monday's episode is that it was a crossover (very important note: My favorite crossover of all time was when "The Jetsons" met "The Flintstones"). For this crossover, Brinson and Wilson were joined by Chip Patterson and Tom Fornelli, who host the Cover 3 podcast here at CBSSports.com. Since the 2022 NFL Draft is going to be filled with guys who still have to play one more year of college football, it only made sense to bring on Chip and Tom, who cover college football at CBS.
During the podcast, the four of them debated who's going to end up being the top quarterback in next year's draft. Although that question is sometime pretty easy to answer -- Trevor Lawrence was the easy No. 1 this year -- it won't be so easy to answer for the 2022 draft. Right now, North Carolina's Sam Howell, USC's Kedon Slovis and Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler are the top candidates to go into the draft as the best QB prospect in the class of 2022.
The four guys also discussed why Oregon pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux -- AND NOT A QUARTERBACK -- could end up going No. 1 overall in next year's draft. By the way, next year's draft is in Las Vegas, so if you're ever planning to attend one, I'd go ahead and choose that one.
To listen to today's show -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. Six Aaron Rodgers landing spots that make the most sense
Somehow, we made it an entire weekend without any new Aaron Rodgers drama popping up, which is good news for the Packers fans if you believe in the "no-news-is-good-news" philosophy. Unfortunately, I don't believe in that philosophy, which is why I've decided to include a list of Rodgers' landing spots today.
Although Rodgers wants to be traded, the fact of that matter is that adding him would only make sense for a very limited number of teams. According to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, there are six teams who should be making a play for Rodgers and here are those teams:
- Broncos: "They have the defense, Rodgers is down with playing in the Mile High City and they have interesting pieces on offense.... They won it all with a late-30s QB not long ago, Elway has the personality and mentality to appeal to Rodgers, and at this point trading a bunch of future draft picks, or even picks and (gulp) Bradley Chubb, has to merit consideration. Without a QB like Rodgers, getting past Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes in K.C. might be folly."
- Panthers: "Don't get caught up in what they are paying Sam Darnold; they just spent a ton just to move Teddy Bridgewater's contract. David Tepper ain't crying about $20M here or there. Darnold is still a big gamble; Rodgers provides 3-4 years of certainty."
- Saints: "There isn't anything that goes on in this league that Sean Payton isn't aware of. And he is very unsettled at QB – for the short and long term. He hasn't been in this position in forever. And he has shown in the past he will move a lot of draft capital for a player."
- Raiders: "Being patient is not something Gruden is particularly famous for...They were watching the Wilson stuff in Seattle very, very closely, so I have every reason to believe same goes with Rodgers and the Packers. Gruden was once a Packers assistant. He'll have the lay of the land."
- Eagles: "Super progressive front office that loves to make trades and has some pieces that might interest the Packers. GM Howie Roseman also has at least two first-round picks next year already (three if Wentz plays enough Colts snaps) and an improved roster on offense that could give Rodgers what he needs."
- Dolphins: "They love to make moves, too, even if they don't always make sense. Trading picks is a fetish of sorts for them. They still have an abundance in the next few years. Want Tua Tagovailoa as part of the deal? He'd be far more equipped to play Week 1 than Jordan Love."
Of these six teams, the Broncos are basically the only one that hasn't tried to hide their interest in Rodgers. That being said, I think the best fit would be the Saints and I think the Raiders would be the most fun. For La Canfora's full explanation on why each of these team's would make sense, be sure to click here.
3. Regrading the 2018 NFL Draft
If you're wondering what Pete Prisco did over the weekend, he decided to put on his professor hat and regrade the 2018 NFL Draft. This is actually a fascinating exercise and that's mainly for two reasons: For one, Prisco now has three years worth of film from each player so he can determine whether a team's draft class actually ended up being good or bad. Also, we get to see how good (or bad) Prisco's original grade was for each team when he handed them out on the night of the draft back in 2018.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the two teams with the highest grades and the four teams with the lowest grades.
Regrade: A+ for Buccaneers and Colts
- Buccaneers: "They had eight picks in the draft and four will be definite starters in 2021. They are first-round defensive tackle Vita Vea, second-round corner Carlton Davis, third-round guard Alex Cappa and fourth-round safety Jordan Whitehead. Second-round running back Ronald Jones is a rotational player in their scheme who has started games and could again this season." Prisco's original grade: A.
- Colts: "They took guard Quenton Nelson in the first round, which opened some eyes since he went sixth overall, which is high for a guard. But he's played up to that level and has been a big reason why their line has been so good. They then took linebacker Darius Leonard in the second, and he's been a star on their defense." Prisco's original grade: B+.
- Texans: "Their first pick was third-round safety Justin Reid, who is a starter. Third-round tackle Martinas Rankin was traded to the Chiefs for Carlos Hyde, who is no longer on the roster." Prisco's original grade: C+.
- Jaguars: "They took defensive tackle Taven Bryan with the 29th pick, passing on Lamar Jackson, which angered some of the fan base. The fans were right. Bryan has not come close to fulfilling expectations and has been mostly a backup." Prisco's original grade: C+.
- Raiders: "They had nine picks in the draft and three are on the roster, with just one a starter. The lone starter is first-round pick Kolton Miller, who is their starting left tackle." Prisco's original grade: C.
- Saints: "They traded up in the first round — giving up their first-round pick in 2018 and another in 2019 — to get pass rusher Marcus Davenport. He hasn't played to that value with just 12 sacks in three seasons. Third-round receiver Tre'Quan Smith has 80 catches and 23 starts in three seasons, so he was a good pick. The only other player on the roster from that draft is seventh-round guard Will Clapp, who is a reserve." Prisco's original grade: C+.
- Jets: "The Jets traded up from the sixth spot to the third spot to land quarterback Sam Darnold. It cost them three second-round picks to do so. Clearly it was a bad deal since they traded Darnold to the Panthers last month." Prisco's original grade: C+.
If you're wondering how the other 26 teams graded out, you're going to want to click here to check out Prisco's full story.
4. DK Metcalf holds his own in 100m race
DK Metcalf won't be headed to the Olympics any time soon, but he did hold his own on Sunday in a 100m race against some of the fastest sprinters in the world.
The Seahawks receiver was in California where he participated in the USA Track and Field (USATF) Golden Games and Distance Open. The 23-year-old, who hasn't run track since high school, came out and ran a very respectable 10.37 in the 100.
Although Metcalf finished last in his heat, he did much better than most people thought he would do. He also managed to beat two other sprinters who weren't in his heat. Of the 17 men who participated in the 100m on Sunday, Metcalf had the 15th-best time. The winning time in the first round of heats belonged to Isiah Young, who ran a 10.09.
The one thing to keep in mind here is that Metcalf was racing against sprinters who train year nearly 365 days per year to run the 100m, unlike Metcalf, who had only been training since February. Also, Metcalf is built like a football player and at 229 pounds, he was easily the heaviest sprinter on the track (To put Metcalf's weight in perspective, Young weighs just 174 pounds).
Basically, if Metcalf quit football, he would likely have a shot at qualifying for the Olympics. Not only would he be able to train year-round, but he'd be able to drop 50 pounds, which helps him in football, but not so much in track.
Metcalf was actually asked after the race if he might consider losing some weight and giving this whole sprinting thing another go and based on his answer, it sounds like he's committed to football.
"I've got minicamp to go to," Metcalf said.
If you missed Metcalf's race over the weekend and want to watch it, be sure to click here.
5. One thing each team got right in the draft and one thing each got wrong
Even though everyone seems to think that their team had a perfect draft, I have some bad news for you: Your favorite team didn't have a perfect draft. Over the past seven days, we've been running a series that covers one thing each team got right in the draft and one thing each team got wrong. We'll be wrapping that series up today with our final five teams and we're going to focus on the Denver Broncos, because when you see what they did wrong, you'll realize why they're on the list of teams that need to think about trading for Aaron Rodgers.
- One thing the Broncos got right: Bolstered the defense. "In all, the Broncos attributed 70% of their picks to the defense. Patrick Surtain II is a cornerback who can come in, start from Day 1 and potentially develop into an elite player at his position, and Baron Browning is a versatile piece who could play at any linebacker spot. Denver also took two safeties in Caden Sterns out of Texas and Jamar Johnson out of Indiana, drafted a very fast slot cornerback in LSU's Kary Vincent Jr. and then added depth with its final two picks in Jonathon Cooper and Marquiss Spencer. Vic Fangio's defense is going to be much better in 2021."
- One thing the Broncos got wrong: Didn't draft a quarterback. "Drew Lock disappointed in his first full season as starter, and his status as QB1 is up in the air. The Broncos' quarterback situation over the past couple of weeks has been wild to watch. Denver traded for Teddy Bridgewater prior to the draft, then reportedly put together an intriguing trade package for Aaron Rodgers the day of the draft and then during the draft, they let Justin Fields fall past them!"
To check out a more in-depth explanation from Jordan Dajani on how the Broncos did in the draft, be sure to click here. You can also check out our take on the Falcons (Click here), Cardinals (Click here) and Chargers (Click here).
If you want to read about one thing the Colts did right in the draft, then you're definitely going to want to click here. The biggest thing the Colts got wrong -- they didn't draft a left tackle -- is actually something they attempted to fix on Monday. The team is reportedly signing former Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher to a one-year deal worth up to $9.4 million. One thing that's not clear is when Fisher will be able to play. The former No. 1 overall pick tore his Achilles back in January during Kansas City's AFC title game win over the Bills, so it's unlikely he'll be on the field for at least the first month of the season.
6. Tarik Cohen's brother found dead in North Carolina
Tyrell Cohen, the 25-year-old twin brother of Bears running back Tarik Cohen, was found dead by police in North Carolina over the weekend. Police believe that Tyrell died by electrocution while trying to climb some equipment at a power substation.
According to the News and Observer, Cohen's family filed missing person's report on Saturday night and police found his body on Sunday. According to police, Tyrell was involved in some sort of car accident around 2 a.m. on Saturday and fled the scene before officers arrived. In the hours after the accident, Tyrell never returned home, which led his family to file the missing person's report. On Sunday morning, police received a call from a Duke Energy substation with news that an employee had discovered a body that turned out to be Tyrell's.
"We are heartbroken to learn of the death of Tarik Cohen's twin brother, Tyrell," the Bears said in a statement. "Our immediate thoughts and prayers go out to Tarik, his mother, Tilwanda, and the rest of their family and loved ones. On behalf of the entire Bears family, we extend our most heartfelt sympathies to all who mourn his loss."
As for Cohen, he sent out a tweet on Monday morning.
"While we appreciate the condolences thoughts and prayers, we ask that you respect our privacy during this time. Let us grieve. Please and thanks," Cohen wrote.
7. The Kicker: Football from Tom Brady's first career touchdown pass is on the auction block
I've never started a GoFundMe before, but I'm starting to feel like I should start one this week so that we can all pool our money together to purchase the greatest piece of Tom Brady memorabilia that's ever hit the auction block: The football from his first touchdown pass.
You'd think that Brady kept the ball after throwing his first career TD pass, but that's not what happened back in 2001. After throwing a 21-yard touchdown to Terry Glenn in an October game against the Chargers, Glenn decided to throw the ball into the stands and it ended up in the hands of a huge Patriots fan.
After holding the ball for nearly 20 years, the fan has decided to sell it.
"It's been a great thrill to own Tom Brady's first career touchdown pass because he's the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and he's also my favorite player ever," the man said. "But now it's time for someone else to enjoy it."
If you want to be that someone else who enjoys it, you're going to have to cough up a lot of money. The ball has only been on the auction block for less than 24 hours and the bidding is already up to more than $82,000. The auction, which is being run by Leland's, is running until June 4, which means that number is only going to get higher and higher.
Here's my plan: If 365 of us all contribute $300, we'll have $109,500. If we win the bid, then each of us can keep the football for one day per year. Then, when Brady retires from football in 12 years, we'll sell the ball for $500,000 and each make 356% in profit. This is better than investing in Dogecoin. It's a can't-fail plan.