The first day of summer this year isn’t until June 20, but I don’t think anyone actually knows that because the unofficial start of summer is this weekend and that’s the only date anyone cares about.
The start of summer means people will be taking vacations and let me just say that no one is doing this vacation thing better than Aaron Rodgers. The Packers quarterback has now been in Hawaii for more than a week and I’m starting to think he might not ever come back because he’s having way too much fun there.
Over the course of his trip, Rodgers has been spending a lot of time with actor Miles Teller, who is on the island with him (Rodgers is there with his fiancée Shailene Woodley and they’ve been spending all their time with Teller and his wife Keleigh).
Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The only reason I’m mentioning Teller is because he sent out a tweet on Thursday night that said, “Cheers to signing with the Packers.”
I have no idea if he was talking about Rodgers, but let me just say that his tweet is going to go one of two ways:
1. If Teller is breaking news of a Rodgers signing, he’s going to be hailed as a hero in Green Bay.
2. If he’s trolling Packers fans and there is no signing coming, no Packers fan is ever going to see a Miles Teller movie ever again.
That is your daily Aaron Rodgers update — now let’s get to the rundown, where I promise to not talk about Rodgers.
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: An in-depth look at the NFC East
© Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Now that we’ve made it through every big event on the NFL’s offseason calendar, we’ve decided to take a look back to see how each team did, and today, that means we’re going to take an in-depth look at the NFC East.
How did each of the teams do in free agency? Did they help themselves in the draft? Did the NFL give them a friendly schedule? We’ll be covering all those topics and more for each NFC East team. Not to mention, we’ll also be going over the win totals and the divisional odds for each team.
For today’s show, Will Brinson brought in our NFC East guru, Jeff Kerr, who is also a noted Eagles homer, which I had to mention because he thinks the Eagles are going to be good this year. Although Philadelphia finished 4-11-1 last season, Kerr likes them to hit the over this year on their Over/Under total of seven.
“The last five times they finished last in that division, they made the playoffs the next year. If you have a bet to make for them to make the playoffs, I would take it,” Kerr said. “It just seems like they are the quickest worst-to-first team ever. …. They are so tough to predict, but if I go with history, I’d go over.”
For anyone who is thinking about fact-checking Kerr, he is absolutely right about that worst-to-first thing. The last five times the Eagles finished in last place came in 1999, 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2016, and each time, they followed it up with a playoff appearance the next year.
Brinson also likes the Eagles over, but he’s taking it begrudgingly and because he likes the value at +135 (bet $100 to win $135).
The two guys also spent plenty of time covering the Cowboys, Giants and Washington, so you’re definitely going to want to listen to the episode.
To listen to today’s show — and to follow the podcast — be sure to click here.
2. Ranking the top triplets in the NFL
When you think of the NFL’s most famous triplets, the first ones that usually come to mind are the ones that played for the Cowboys in the 1990s (Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman). Fittingly enough, the Cowboys have one of the top set of triplets heading into the 2021 season and we know that because our Jared Dubin and the team here at CBSSports.com went through and ranked all 32 teams based on their three best offensive skill players.
Here’s a look at the top five sets of triplets in Dubin’s rankings:
- 1. Packers (Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Aaron Jones). Dubin made sure to note that the Packers would likely fall out of the top 10 if Rodgers isn’t their quarterback, but for now, he is, which is why Green Bay is ranked at the top.
- 2. Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Travis Kelce). “Mahomes is still the best quarterback in the NFL. Edwards-Helaire, billed as a perfect fit for Kansas City’s offense, did not necessarily look like one last year, but his skill as a pass-catcher should still make him a valuable contributor this season and beyond. Whether you want to use Kelce or Tyreek Hill for the pass-catcher spot, the Chiefs would still end up at or near the top of these rankings.”
- 3. Cowboys (Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper). “The Cowboys were one of only three teams — along with the Chiefs and Packers — to receive at least one first-place vote in the rankings. Dak Prescott’s ankle injury was scary and gross, but given that it was a joint injury and not something having to do with a ligament or tendon, it hopefully shouldn’t linger and affect the remainder of his career.”
- 4. Seahawks (Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, Chris Carson). “The Seahawks finally decided to Let Russ Cook last season… for a few weeks. He was the leading MVP candidate for a while, but then after a couple turnover-happy games, they went back to their run-oriented ways. It’d be nice if we could assume they’d go back to letting Wilson control the offense, but that seems unlikely.”
- 5. Vikings (Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson). “Jefferson just had perhaps the best rookie season in the history of wide receivers. He broke Randy Moss’ record for receiving yards in a rookie year, and added 88 catches and seven touchdowns to go along with his 1,400 yards. Cousins was obviously at the helm for that fantastic season, and will be again this year despite the presence of third-round pick Kellen Mond on the roster. Cook is one of the best two-way running backs in the NFL.”
This is only the top five and Dubin and Co. ranked ALL 32 teams. To see the top half of the rankings, which features the top 16 teams, you’re going to want to click here. To see the bottom half, you’re going to want to click here. (Spoiler alert: The Texans ranked at the bottom followed by the Lions and Broncos.)
3. Bears could be for sale: Family having internal discussions about selling team
Jeffrey Brown/Getty Images
The Chicago Bears have been in the NFL since the league’s first year in 1920 and in that time, the team has only been owned by one family, but that could soon be changing.
According to Jim O’Donnell of the Daily Herald in Chicago, there could be a sale coming in the near future and that’s because there’s some “internal strife going on among family members to sell … now.”
The principal owner of the team is 98-year-old Virginia Halas McCaskey. The Bears were founded by George Halas and he ran the team until his death in 1983. At that point, the team was passed on to Virginia, who is Halas’ daughter.
With the organization heading into a crossroads, selling the team would serve two purposes. First, it would allow the McCaskey family to cash-in on their investment. The Bears are worth an estimated $3.5 billion and if that’s what they sell for, it would be some serious profit, considering Halas only paid $100 for the team in 1920.
By selling, it would also potentially put the Bears in better shape for the future. There’s a chance the Bears could move outside of Chicago to Arlington Park if they can get a new stadium built, but if that doesn’t happen, Soldier Field is going to need extensive renovations. Either way, bringing in a deep-pocketed owner would help the cause.
According to O’Donnell, the three most likely candidates to purchase the team would be Pat Ryan, Jeff Bezos and Neil Bluhm. Ryan is a billionaire and he’d likely have the best shot at landing the Bears because he’s already a minority owner (he apparently has the right of first refusal to buy any part of the team that the McCaskey’s might sell). Ryan is well known in Chicago and already has the football field and basketball arena at Northwestern named after him.
Between the stadium situation and their potential sale, the Bears are going to be a team to keep an eye on this summer.
4. Tim Tebow continues to be a hot topic
I hope you like reading about Tim Tebow, because I have a feeling we’re going to be hearing a lot about him over the next few months. As a matter of fact, there’s a 40% chance that my bosses ask me to start a spinoff newsletter at some point this offseason that only features Tebow.
So what do we have on Tebow today? Well, we’ve got a few things to go over, starting with Champ Bailey.
- Tebow’s ex-teammate calls him an ‘infectious leader.’ Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey, who spent two seasons with Tebow in Denver, had some interesting comments to make about the quarterback-turned-tight end during an interview on CBS Sports’ All Things Covered podcast this week. Basically, Bailey gave Tebow the old compliment sandwich: He said something nice, then followed it with something not so nice. “He’s infectious,” Bailey said. “A great leader. I love his preparation. But I grew up with a lot of guys like that and they just didn’t have enough athletic ability to play football. He has a lot of great qualities, but he’s just not an NFL quarterback.” To read about Bailey’s entire interview, be sure to click here.
- Urban Meyer might turn Tebow into Taysom Hill. Although the belief is that the Jaguars signed Tebow to play tight end, it turns out Meyer might have even more planned for his former college quarterback. According to ESPN, the Jaguars coach might end up using Tebow the same way the Saints have used Taysom Hill. For more on how Urban Meyer is running things in Jacksonville, be sure to click here so you can check out the latest notes from CBS Sports Insider Jason La Canfora.
- Trevor Lawrence played as Tebow in NCAA video game. My favorite Tebow story so far is the fact that Trevor Lawrence pretty much only used Tebow when he played video games as a kid. “That was really when I started to get into watching football and college football, right when Tim Tebow was in his heyday at Florida,” Lawrence said. “I played with him on all the NCAA games.” Tebow might be a horrible QB right now, but if you ever get your hands on NCAA 2007, you definitely want him as your quarterback.
Also, you can bet on Tebow’s touchdown total for the 2021 season and the Over/Under has been set at 2.5. Although the under seems like the obvious play here, the ticket will only cash if Tebow is on the Week 1 roster (if he gets cut in training camp, it’s a push and you get your money back). Since Tebow has to make the roster for the bet to count, I’d actually consider taking the over, especially if the Jaguars plan to use him like Taysom Hill. If he’s just half as good as Hill, he should hit the over. The Saints Swiss army knife has averaged eight touchdowns per year over the past two seasons.
5. Predicting the Steelers’ final record for 2021
Scott Winters/Getty Images
With Memorial Day right around the corner, that means the dead part of the NFL offseason is almost upon us and although things can get kind of boring during that period, we’re going to keep things spicy around here by going through and predicting each team’s record for the 2021 season.
There are 32 teams and we’ll be doing four teams per day until we make it through every team. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the Steelers.
Our Bryan DeArdo went through the Steelers’ entire schedule and picked out all the games they’re going to win and all the games they’re going to lose. Last year, DeArdo predicted that the Steelers would go 11-5 and they went 12-4, which means his prediction was only one game off, so I’m very interested to see what he’s going to predict this year.
Here’s a look at how he sees the Steelers doing in three key games:
- Week 1: Steelers at Bills. “The Bills will be favored, but something is telling me that the Steelers’ new offensive game plan (with new offensive coordinator Matt Canada) could help Pittsburgh catch Buffalo off guard. … That being said, I’m still picking the Bills.” Prediction: Bills 20-16 over Steelers
- Week 6: Seahawks at Steelers. “The difference in the Steelers winning and losing this game may come down to containing Wilson and receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. If the Steelers allow Wilson to make Houdini-like plays, they’ll head into their bye with a loss.” Prediction: Seahawks 28-24 over Steelers.
- Week 18: Steelers at Ravens. “If Harris and the Steelers’ running game can hold their own against the Ravens, that will open things up for Roethlisberger and the passing game. Big Ben should be able to take advantage of the middle of Baltimore’s defense.” Prediction: Steelers 19-17 over Ravens.
Overall, DeArdo is predicting that the Steelers will end the season with a 10-7 record, which doesn’t sound too crazy. The offense is expected to take a small step back this year, but if Najee Harris gives them a nice boost, that would take some pressure off Big Ben and if that happens, it won’t be surprising to see them win 10 or more games.
If you want to see DeArdo’s prediction for each game, click here to check out his entire story. Be sure to check out today’s predictions for the Browns, Dolphins and Ravens as well.
6. Rapid-fire roundup
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 small roundup for you.
- Todd Gurley visits the Lions. Gurley spent four seasons with Jared Goff in Los Angeles, and now, it looks like there’s a chance the two could be reunited. Gurley was in Detroit on Thursday for a free agent visit, making the Lions one of the few teams he’s talked to during his free agency.
- Alex Smith rips Packers over Aaron Rodgers situation. Alex Smith has been in the same situation as Aaron Rodgers before: Back in 2017, the Chiefs traded up to draft a quarterback to replace him. The difference is that the Chiefs let Smith know that they were going take Patrick Mahomes. The Packers left Rodgers in the dark and because of that, Smith is calling their actions “inexcusable.” You can read more about the retired QB’s comments here.
- Le’Veon Bell blames Jets for his poor play. After signing with the Jets, Bell never really found any success and in news that probably won’t surprise you, he’s blaming that on the fact that the Jets didn’t know how to use him. In a rant on Twitter, Bell wrote that the Jets never gave him a real “opportunity.” “I had more touches in 2017 for the Steelers than I had my entire time with the Jets,” Bell wrote. In other news, I think we can safely assume that Bell definitely won’t be returning to the Jets.
- Veteran offensive lineman gets suspended on same day he announces his retirement. After 11 years in the NFL, Jared Veldheer has decided to call it quits. The offensive lineman, who played for the Raiders, Broncos, Packers, Cardinals and Colts over the course of his career, made the retirement announcement on Thursday. In news that may or may not be a coincidence, his announcement came on the same day that the NFL revealed that Veldheer had been suspended for the first six games of the 2021 season.
- Former Super Bowl winner wants to make a comeback. After watching Tim Tebow get signed, it appears Brandon Jacobs has decided that he also wants to make a comeback. Not only does the the former Giants running back want to return to the NFL, but he wants to play defensive end. Apparently, Tebow has started some sort of movement. I wonder who’s going to be next.
7. The Kicker: Titans player says his $250,000 Rolls-Royce was stolen from the Atlanta airport
After heading to Florida for three weeks earlier this month, Janoris Jenkins got an unexpected surprise when he returned home on Wednesday: His car was no longer in the parking lot at the Atlanta airport and that’s because it apparently got stolen.
This wasn’t just any car, either, it was a $250,000 Rolls-Royce Wraith. The Titans corner filed a police report this week after authorities at the Atlanta airport gave him the “runaround.” According to Jenkins, the airport had footage of his car entering the lot, but they claimed they had no footage of his car leaving the lot.
The car was parked in the South Economy lot at the airport, just in case you’re wondering which lot you need to avoid the next time you’re at Hartsfeld-Jackson. The one thing I will say about this case is that there’s a ZERO PERCENT chance I would ever park a $250,000 car at the airport in any parking lot, let alone an economy lot. I would literally walk to the airport while dragging three suitcases before I’d park a Rolls-Royce there.
The moral of the story here is that if you’re flying anywhere for Memorial Day, don’t park your car at the airport, especially if it’s a Rolls-Royce.