Hello, ladies and gentlemen. It's Wednesday, and Week 1 of the 2023 season is just over a week away. Joe Burrow, meanwhile, is still a question mark for the Bengals' opener, which is why John Breech requested another day off to gain composure. Or at least we think that's the case. In the meantime, you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the NFL.
This is the Pick Six newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got Jonathan Taylor news, reactions from cutdown day, and much more:
- Today's show: Colts keep Jonathan Taylor; what's next?
Will Brinson, Brady Quinn and Leger Douzable teamed up on the latest "Pick Six NFL Podcast" to break down all the biggest moves around Tuesday's roster-cut deadline, including the on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, seemingly delaying any potential trade of the disgruntled veteran. Some highlights:
- The guys agree that Colts owner Jim Irsay is to blame for the ongoing drama between the two sides, arguing he "made it really personal" when suggesting publicly that Taylor isn't actually of any short- or long-term value to the franchise
- Douzable believes a resolution could've been found with a "sweetener" of a one-year deal, a la Austin Ekeler and Saquon Barkley, but now he's not so sure, noting that "being on PUP doesn't help him get a new deal"
- Brinson suggests that Colts general manager Chris Ballard convinced Irsay to keep Taylor on PUP, as opposed to a Did Not Report list, as a means of potentially mending fences down the road, seeing as the RB will be paid to rest for four games
Catch the full episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL content) right here.
All 32 teams trimmed their rosters from 90 to 53 players on Tuesday, which means dozens of notable names hit the market. Among ourfrom cutdown day: several teams are preparing to enter 2023 with unproven insurance under center.
Bears crown rookie as new backup: After cutting both Nathan Peterman and P.J. Walker, who got $2 million guaranteed to back up Justin Fields in the spring, Chicago is tentatively rolling with only Tyson Bagent, an undrafted rookie out of Division II Shepherd, as Fields' insurance at QB.
Mac Jones could have a new backup: New England saw the Bills and Dolphins settle for shoddy backup QB spots and decided to one-up them by carrying zero backups on their initial 53, cutting not only spicy undrafted rookie Malik Cunningham but, in a surprise, 2022 fill-in Bailey Zappe. Now both are back on the practice squad, but that means they are also unprotected -- liable to be signed by any team at any point this season.
Joe Burrow on track to play Week 1: Rather than lock up extra QB insurance, the Bengals cut two of their backups in Trevor Siemian and Reid Sinnett, leaving only Jake Browning on the depth chart behind Burrow. Even with Cowboys prospect Will Grier reportedly on the way, it's a good sign that Burrow will be ready to go after sitting out weeks of camp with a calf injury.
3. Top landing spots for notable cut victims
- Colt McCoy to the Patriots? After waiving Bailey Zappe, Trace McSorley, and even rookie returner/receiver/quarterback Malik Cunningham, the Patriots have starter Mac Jones as their lone signal-caller on the roster. Whether or not they bring back one (or more) of those players via the practice squad, New England will, of course, add a quarterback to the roster. If the Patriots go outside of the organization, Colt McCoy would be a solid veteran to pair with Jones in Bill O'Brien's offense.
- Andy Isabella to the Titans? Tennessee is relatively thin at receiver behind DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks, so it'd make sense to take a flier on a speedy wideout like Isabella as pass-catching and special teams depth. Isabella ran a 4.31 40-yard dash coming into the NFL and that type of speed should be something Tennessee wants to inject into its offense.
- Chosen Anderson to the Lions? Anderson battled for the No. 3 receiver job for the Dolphins this summer, but ultimately couldn't make the 53-man roster. The 30-year-old receiver could still be a valuable piece within an offense looking to stretch the field with his speed. Could that potentially be the Lions? The wide receiver depth chart isn't that impressive for Detroit behind Amon-Ra St. Brown. Anderson could be an ideal replacement as a deep threat while second-year receiver and former first-round pick Jameson Williams serves his six-game suspension.
4. Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason believe Cardinals are all but tanking
Previewing the 2023 season on an "NFL Today" conference call this week, the former quarterbacks didn't mince words when asked about Arizona's own QB situation going into Week 1. With Colt McCoy released and Kyler Murray rehabbing, Arizona isn't revealing its Week 1 starter, which could be rookie Clayton Tune or recent acquisition Joshua Dobbs. Esiason thinks the Cards' QB clearly room ranks "32nd in the NFL," and Simms said "it's hard to make a case they're not trying" to in the 2024 draft, which could be used on heralded USC prospect Caleb Williams.
5. Sauce Gardner: Jets have 'what it takes to win the Super Bowl'
Nothing new out of the Gang Green hype machine, but notable nonetheless. Speaking with CBS Sports, the star cornerback expressed a Aaron Rodgers' underrated "swag" and mobility. Rodgers, meanwhile, was especially feisty on the latest "Hard Knocks," going so far as to crown the stadium New York shares with the Giants as after guiding a win over the G-Men in the preseason., highlighting
6. Extra point: Eagles trade, Von Miller still hurt, Purdy's doubts, more
Hungry for more headlines? You came to the right place:
- 49ers QB has come a long way : But the
- : The Bills pass rusher will miss at least four games
- : Just eight months after suffering cardiac arrest on the field
- Broncos : In a swap of draft picks via trade with the
- : The former All-Pro corner is headed to Steel City
- : Just one year after acquiring the ex-Eagles first-rounder