Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
During the month of August, Tuesday is basically the most depressing day of the week because if it's Tuesday, that means players are being cut. Today will mark the second cut day of the month with the third (and final) one going down next Tuesday.
One person who definitely won't be getting cut today is Tom Brady; well, unless he decides to cut himself so he can go on another vacation. Speaking of Brady, we'll be talking about this return to Tampa Bay, plus we'll be unveiling our All-AFC East team.
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: Kenny Mayne breaks down anything and everything
For today's episode of the Pick Six podcast, Will Brinson brought on Kenny Mayne as a special guest and the former ESPN anchor flipped the show upside down. Mayne has an entertaining take on almost everything, which is good news for our listeners, because he spent about an hour giving out those takes on the podcast.
Over the course of the podcast, Mayne talked about:
- His time playing college football at UNLV
- Why his tryout with the Seahawks got cut short
- What his new podcast is like
- What he does to keep himself entertained
You definitely want to listen to this podcast, so make sure you click here. You can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Cut day: Raiders expected to release Kenyan Drake
With the NFL now playing three preseason games, the league decided to hold three cut days, with each one coming on the Tuesday following a full week of preseason action. The second cut day is happening today (teams must trim their roster down to 80 players) and the final one will be coming Aug. 30 when each team has to get all the way down to just 53 players.
On each cut day, the NFL's 32 teams will have until 4 p.m. ET to get their roster down to the allotted number.
Although teams have until 4 p.m. ET today to make their cuts, here's a look at some notable players who have already been released:
RB Kenyan Drake (Raiders)
WR Tavon Austin (Bills)
P Matt Haack (Bills)
FB Andy Janovich (Texans)
WR Dazz Newsome (Bears)
TE Kendall Blanton (Rams)
K Ryan Santoso (Jaguars)
Drake is definitely the most surprising name on this list. The running back, who signed a two-year deal with the Raiders last year, was dumped after just one season in Las Vegas. The upside for Drake is that he had $11 million in guaranteed money included in his contract, which means that he made $11 million for just one season. There is a small chance that Drake could be traded before 4 p.m. ET today, but if that doesn't happen, he'll definitely be released.
Also, Santoso might not be a household name, but the fact that Jacksonville released him is notable because it means that the Jaguars currently have ZERO kickers on their roster. When you've been bad for as long as the Jaguars have, I guess you have to try new things to get the ship turned around.
As for every other cut that's being made today, if you want to check out the full list of players being released, just click here. (The list won't be final until after the 4 p.m. ET deadline).
3. 2021 All-AFC East team
The Bills have arguably the best roster in the NFL, so it probably won't come as a huge surprise when we tell you that they ended up with the most players on our all-division team for the AFC East.
Jared Dubin went through all four rosters in the division to create one Super Team that consisted of 27 players (12 on offense, 12 on defense plus three special teams). Of the 27 players on the All-AFC East team, THIRTEEN OF THEM came from Buffalo. On the other hand, the Patriots only produced four players on the all-division team, which was the fewest of the four teams.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the offense for the AFC East's all-division team:
QB: Josh Allen, Bills
RB: Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots
WR: Stefon Diggs, Bills
WR: Gabriel Davis, Bills
WR: Tyreek Hill, Dolphins
TE: Dawson Knox, Bills
FLEX: Elijah Moore, Jets
OT: Terron Armstead, Dolphins
OT: Dion Dawkins, Bills
OG: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Jets
OG: Laken Tomlinson, Jets
C: David Andrews, Patriots
If you want to see the defensive side of the AFC East's All-Division team, plus the special teams representatives, then be sure to click here.
4. One thing we learned about each NFL team during Week 2 of the preseason
With the second week of the preseason officially in the books, CBSSports.com's Jordan Dajani decided that now was the perfect time to reveal one thing he learned about each team over the weekend. With most teams only playing their starters for part of the first half, you don't always learn a lot about each team, but you definitely still learn something, so let's check out Dajani's list.
- Falcons: Marcus Mariota is looking good. "Marcus Mariota is the new starting quarterback in Atlanta, and I think he's an underrated storyline this season. The Heisman trophy winner helped the Falcons score 10 points on the first two drives of Atlanta's second preseason game, and the quarterback connected on a few deep passes as well. Mariota is in a favorable situation with his former offensive coordinator as head coach, and several former Titans teammates on the roster."
- Bears: Special teams are looking special. "The special teams certainly stood out in Chicago's win over Seattle. The Bears gashed the Seahawks returning both kicks and punts. Rookie Velus Jones Jr. returned a punt for 48 yards and a kick for 31 yards, Nsimba Webster returned a kick for 58 yards, Cairo Santos converted on both of his field goal attempts and all three extra point attempts, punter Trenton Gill landed four of his eight punts inside the 20 and the punt coverage team even scored a touchdown."
- Cowboys: Kavontae Davis shows why he was the USFL MVP. "The Cowboys took a shot on the USFL MVP formerly of the New Jersey Generals, and it has paid dividends. Saturday night, Kavontae Turpin recorded a 98-yard kickoff return touchdown, and then an 86-yard punt return touchdown -- all before halftime."
- Chiefs: First-team offense looks like it's in midseason form. "I know it's the preseason, but man, Patrick Mahomes and Co. look good. On Kansas City's first possession against Washington, the offense went 87 yards down the field on 12 plays, and Jody Fortson caught the first of his two touchdown passes. The next possession, the Chiefs went 82 yards down the field again on 12 plays, and Fortson caught his second touchdown pass. Overall, Mahomes completed 12 of 19 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns."
- Patriots: Ty Montgomery might be the guy to take over for James White. "With White off to retirement, it could be Ty Montgomery who takes over as the receiving back in Bill Belichick's offense. Yes, Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson will handle the bulk of carries, but the versatile running back/wide receiver could play a role as Mac Jones' check-down guy. Against the Panthers this weekend, Montgomery caught one pass for 5 yards and rushed four times for 13 yards and a touchdown."
Dajani's list actually includes all 32 teams, and if you want to check out the full list, be sure to click here.
5. Tom Brady was firing on all cylinders in his return
If we've learned two things about Tom Brady this year, it's that he doesn't age or get rusty. The 45-year-old quarterback finally returned to Buccaneers practice on Monday after taking 11 days off and even though he was reportedly hanging out in the Bahamas, he somehow managed to stay in perfect football shape.
Here's what the Buccaneers had to say after his first practice in almost two weeks:
- Brady had the offense 'firing on all cylinders.' Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate was impressed with how Brady looked. "if anyone can get away with the 11-day break during training camp, it's Tom. He came back kind of firing on all cylinders. Yeah, we're all excited he's back and ready to move on," Brate said.
- Todd Bowles wasn't concerned about Brady falling behind during his time off. "He's a film junkie. I'm sure he's watched tape of everything," Bowles said. "So (it's) him coming back in, picking up where he left off, just getting used to the mechanics again. He's been great, same as when he left."
- Brady's presence adds a spark to Buccaneers practices. Here's what Lavonte David had to say about Brady, "His presence is one of a kind. He's Tom Brady, so when he's not out there, you kind of know," David said. The good news for the Buccaneers is that Brady isn't expected to take anymore in-season vacations.
Not only did Brady return to practice on Monday, but he also returned to social media. After going more than two weeks without a tweet, Brady returned by responding to that crazy "Masked Singer" conspiracy theory. You can see his tweet by clicking here (Spoiler alert: He would like everyone to know that he wasn't filming an episode of "The Masked Singer" during his 11-day hiatus).
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Bengals star safety finally returns to team
It's been a wild 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.
- Jessie Bates is back in Cincinnati. The Bengals safety skipped all of training camp, but he's now back at the team's facility and he can officially participate in practice now after signing his franchise tag. There had been reports that Bates was going to skip the season instead of playing on the franchise tag, but let's be honest, that was never going to happen. By signing the tag, he'll guarantee himself $12.91 million for the 2022 season and he'll be allowed to try to work out an extension with the Bengals next year.
- Commanders place Chase Young on Reserve/PUP list. The No. 2 overall pick of the 2020 draft will miss at least the first four games of the regular season. Young tore the ACL in his right knee in Week 10 last season.
- Bills and Cardinals make trade. Arizona picked up some depth on the offensive line on Monday after making a trade for Buffalo guard Cody Ford. In exchange for Ford, the Bills will get a 2023 fifth-round pick in return.
- Kayvon Thibodeaux could miss up to three weeks with sprained MCL. The Giants' first-round pick is likely going to be out three to four weeks after spraining his MCL against the Bengals. If the injury keeps the rookie out closer to four weeks, that means he could miss New York's opener against the Titans.
- Lawyer for Deshaun Watson's accusers will represent Alvin Kamara's accuser in lawsuit. Tony Buzbee was the lawyer for all 24 of the women who filed a lawsuit against Watson, and now, he'll also be representing Darnell Green, according to Pro Football Talk. Kamara is accused of assaulting Green during a February fight in Las Vegas.
- Amazon makes deal with DirecTV for Thursday night games. DirecTV will be allowed to air "Thursday Night Football" games in bars and restaurants after making a deal with Amazon. Each Thursday game will be exclusively streaming on Amazon, but most bars and restaurants don't have the capability to stream Amazon to a mass audience, which is why the two sides agreed to make the deal.
- Mike Tomlin says Steelers QB job is still up for grabs. When training camp started, the QB job looked like it was going to go to Mitchell Trubisky, but Kenny Pickett has definitely made things interesting with his phenomenal preseason play. According to Tomlin, Pickett still has a chance to earn the job and the decision will come down to how each guy handles the upcoming week of practice.
- Aaron Donald plans to play through at least 2023. Although Donald contemplated retirement this offseason, it doesn't sound like that will be happening again after the 2022 season. The Rams star said this week that he's definitely going to play at least two more seasons. "I got a two-year commitment right now, so I'm going to do everything I can while I'm here to help the organization win and be successful," Donald told NBC Sports. "I'm gonna last as long as I can, as long as I can play at a high level."