I am unsure what my favourite day on the NFL offseason calendar is that this 12 months, however Feb. 23 is unquestionably within the prime 10 and that is as a result of at present is the day that the franchise tag window opens. For the subsequent two weeks, all 32 groups may have the choice to make use of their franchise tag, which can permit them to lock up one among their key gamers for at the least yet another season.
My spouse as soon as hit me with the franchise tag after which we later agreed to a long-term deal, which I feel is similar factor that Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley are doing, so I do know this stuff can work out. Talking of these two, at present’s publication may have new particulars on their engagement and, for the reason that franchise tag window is opening, we’ll even have an inventory of the gamers almost certainly to get tagged, which suggests I ought to cease stalling and get to the rundown.
As at all times, this is your weekly reminder to inform all your mates to enroll in the publication. All it’s a must to do is click on right here after which share the hyperlink.
1. At the moment’s Present: AFC North deep dive
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With free company simply across the nook, we’ll be spending the subsequent few weeks doing a deep dive on every NFL division and for Tuesday’s podcast, that meant leaping head first into the AFC North. To spice issues up, we introduced in famous Browns homer (Josh Edwards), famous Steelers homer (Ryan Wilson) and famous Bengals homer (me) to argue about what every crew wants to do that offseason to make themselves higher.
On the Bengals finish, we principally agreed that an important factor they’ll do that offseason is beef up the offensive line. If they can not defend Joe Burrow, then they’ll be unhealthy endlessly. Additionally they have loads of different holes to plug, particularly on protection, however getting some safety for Burrow must be their prime precedence.
As for the Browns, we spent a while debating whether or not Cleveland ought to take into consideration buying and selling Odell Beckham. Though all three of us are nonetheless excessive on Odell, all of us agree that the transfer may make sense for the Browns since it might unencumber roughly $15 million in cap house.
In Baltimore, we mentioned all the large selections the Ravens must make this 12 months. They’ve a number of key defensive gamers set to hit free company, together with Matt Judon, and they’ll additionally in all probability want to search out one other pass-catcher for Lamar Jackson.
On Pittsburgh’s finish, the Steelers could be the crew with essentially the most query marks this offseason, which is mildly shocking (that honor normally belongs to the Bengals or Browns). All of us gave our prediction on what is going on to occur with Ben Roethlisberger after which we adopted that up by rating all of the quarterbacks within the AFC North. (Spoiler alert: Roethlisberger got here in lifeless final in all of our rankings.)
To hearken to at present’s episode — and if you happen to’re a fan of any crew within the AFC North, you’ll undoubtedly need to — make sure to click on right here.
2. Gamers prone to be hit with the franchise tag
With the franchise tag window opening up at present, now looks as if an excellent time to undergo the checklist of gamers who may find yourself being hit by the tag. We briefly lined this checklist final week, however now that the window is upon us, we will take a extra in-depth take a look at who may get tagged.
This checklist was compiled by CBS Sports activities NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, who got here up with 13 gamers who could be tagged. The gamers are damaged down into 4 tiers. Groups have till March 9 to make use of the franchise tag.
Here is a take a look at La Canfora’s checklist.
Certain issues: These gamers will both be tagged or work out a long-term contract
Dak Prescott (Cowboys)
Taylor Moton (Panthers)
Allen Robinson (Bears)
Carl Lawson (Bengals)
Kenny Golladay (Lions)
Extra probably than to not be tagged:
Shaq Barrett (Buccaneers)
Shaq Griffin (Seahawks)
Hunter Henry (Chargers)
Enjoying a hunch: No assure the tag shall be used, however La Canfora thinks there’s an opportunity
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers)
Leonard Williams (Giants)
Matt Judon (Ravens)
No telling which means it’s going to go: La Canfora shall be conserving his eye on these conditions
Aaron Jones (Packers)
Brandon Scherff (Washington)
If you wish to hold monitor of everybody who will get hit with the tag, simply click on right here and save that hyperlink. That is our franchise tag tracker and it is going to be up to date each time a crew makes use of its franchise or transition tag. In the event you click on over, our tracker additionally has an explainer of how every tag works.
3. Titans first-rounder apparently does not need to play for the Titans anymore
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports activities
The Titans are presently concerned in a state of affairs that you do not see too usually across the NFL: Tennessee’s first-round decide from final 12 months (Isaiah Wilson) does not need to play for them anymore and he made that clear in a tweet that he despatched out on Monday night time.
“I am achieved with soccer as a Titan… no additional feedback,” Wilson wrote.
More often than not, when somebody complains about their crew on Twitter, they do it cryptically in order that nobody is aware of what they really imply. Not Wilson, although. Within the since-deleted tweet, he did not depart a lot to the creativeness. Essentially the most shocking half is that he says he is “achieved with soccer as a Titan,” which could imply he nonetheless desires to play, however simply not in Tennessee.
Wilson’s time in Nashville has been nothing in need of a catastrophe. Since being chosen with the twenty ninth general decide within the 2020 NFL Draft, the offensive lineman has made far more headlines off the sphere than on it.
Wilson’s profession in Tennessee acquired off to a rocky begin and that was earlier than Week 1 even kicked off. Within the lead as much as the season, he was given a trespassing warning for attending a celebration, which is much more notable, as a result of he wasn’t purported to be attending events as a result of pandemic. In September, Wilson was arrested for a DUI, which solely added to his mounting points. Wilson was then suspended by the crew in December for “violating crew guidelines.”
The Titans are so fed up with Wilson that normal supervisor Jon Robinson referred to as him out throughout a press convention final week.
“We put him on the reserve/non-football damage checklist [in December] and have not spoken to him since,” Robinson mentioned. “He’ll must make a dedication on whether or not he desires to do what it takes to play professional soccer. That shall be on him.”
The 6-foot-6, 350-pound offensive deal with out of Georgia as soon as regarded he could be the way forward for the Titans’ offensive line, however now, it is beginning to really feel like he won’t have a future in any respect in Tennessee.
4. Patriots determined for a quarterback
Final offseason, the Patriots determined it might be an excellent time transfer on from Tom Brady and in information that in all probability did not shock most individuals, the transfer fully backfired of their face. Not solely did the Patriots wrestle with out Brady, however so as to add insult to damage, the 43-year-old signed in Tampa Bay and rubbed salt within the Patriots’ wound by successful the Tremendous Bowl.
With the Brady gone, the Patriots ended up signing Cam Newton, however that did not work out so nicely, as they completed with a shedding report (7-9) for the primary time since 2000. Final 12 months, the Patriots waited till June to signal Newton, nevertheless it does not seem they will be ready that lengthy once more to signal a quarterback. As a matter of reality, it feels like they have been proactive within the QB market. In keeping with The Athletic, the Patriots have been calling anybody and everybody a couple of commerce.
From The Athletic:
“Invoice Belichick and the Patriots, in pursuit of an improve on the place, have had conversations relating to each potential commerce goal within the league… (If) a quarterback has been perceived to be accessible, the Patriots have picked up the cellphone.”
There are many quarterbacks on the commerce market — like Deshaun Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Marcus Mariota and Sam Darnold — which suggests the Patriots have had loads of conversations. If the Patriots do not commerce for a quarterback, they might be observing one other misplaced season, so it will not be shocking in any respect in the event that they pull off a commerce a while within the subsequent month.
5. Rating free agent edge rushers
USA At the moment Photographs
With free company beginning subsequent month, now looks as if an excellent time to try gamers who shall be accessible. Since I do not need to overwhelm you by itemizing each participant who shall be a free agent, we will do that in an organized method. I’ll checklist off the top-10 gamers by place and at present, we will go together with edge rushers.
This 12 months’s free agent class of edge rushers is definitely fairly loaded, which suggests any crew that struggled to hurry the passer final season may have an opportunity to beef up their protection throughout free company. The Titans, Jaguars and Bengals all completed with fewer than 20 sacks final season, which is notable, as a result of it marked the primary time since 2008 that three or extra groups completed with beneath 20 sacks.
As La Canfora famous earlier, there’s an opportunity that just a few of those guys may get hit with the franchise tag, which suggests they will not make it to free company, however as of proper now, this is a take a look at the top-10 free agent edge rushers together with who they performed for final 12 months
1. Shaq Barrett (Buccaneers)
2. Leonard Williams (Giants)
3. Leonard Floyd (Rams)
4. Bud Dupree (Steelers)
5. Trey Hendrickson (Panthers)
6. Yannick Ngakoue (Ravens)
7. Haason Reddick (Cardinals)
8. J.J. Watt (Texans)
9. Matthew Judon (Ravens)
10. Justin Houston (Colts)
Jeff Kerr put this top-10 checklist collectively and if you happen to learn his piece, he goes into extra element about how a lot cash every man will be capable of command in free company, so you will get an concept of whether or not your favourite crew will be capable of afford any of those gamers. To take a look at Kerr’s story, make sure to click on right here.
6. Decide Six NFL roundup
This text is proscribed to 6 foremost matters every day, however in the course of the meat of the offseason, that simply is not sufficient, so occasionally for the subsequent few months, we’ll be doing a roundup the place I offer you an all-you-can-eat buffet of soccer information. Since nobody is even allowed to go to buffets proper now, that is the closest any of us will get to the precise factor for the subsequent few months.
Listed below are just a few tales from across the league:
Washington’s new title coming in 2022. Washington crew president Jason Wright mentioned in October that the brand new title in all probability would not be coming till 2022 and it seems the crew has now made that official. The official web site the crew is utilizing to characteristic their rebrand has been up to date to say the crew shall be getting a brand new title in 2022, which suggests, the Washington Soccer Workforce is right here to remain for at the least 2021.
Mike Tomlin recognized with COVID-19. The Steelers made it by the season with out coping with any severe COVID issues in Pittsburgh, however the identical cannot be mentioned for the offseason. Tomlin confirmed this week that he is been recognized with COVID-19 and shall be staying away from the crew facility till he will get higher.
Alshon Jeffery out in Philadelphia. After 4 seasons in Philly, it seems that Jeffery’s time with the Eagles is over. The Eagles are anticipated to dump Jeffery when the brand new league 12 months begins on March 17. For extra particulars on Jeffery’s impending launch, make sure to click on right here.
Asking value for Russell Wilson is astronomical. If anybody desires to commerce for Russell Wilson, it appears that evidently Seattle’s asking value will begin at three first-round picks and go up from there. For extra particulars on Wilson, make sure to click on right here.
Ex-Cowboys participant hated taking part in for the Cowboys. David Irving spent 4 seasons with the Cowboys and apparently, he didn’t like taking part in in Dallas in any respect: “I hated going to work for the Cowboys,” Irving mentioned. “A Cowboy is all ‘hardy har har’ and all this America’s Workforce stuff. I belong in Las Vegas with the Raiders.” For extra on that story, make sure to click on right here.
And only for the report, I additionally belong in Las Vegas.
7. The Kicker: Aaron Rodgers making non-football headlines
If I needed to rank which NFL participant is having the very best offseason, I would in all probability say Patrick Mahome (he simply turned a dad) or Tom Brady (because of the drunken throw of the Lombardi Trophy), however I’ve to say Aaron Rodgers may quickly be on the prime of this checklist.
Not solely did he get engaged, however he is additionally set to host “Jeopardy!” this offseason. There is a good likelihood that you have already heard about each of these issues, however don’t be concerned, I’ve acquired new particulars so as to add to every one.
On the “Jeopardy!” finish, it was introduced in January that Rodgers could be serving as a visitor host, however on the time, we did not know the precise dates of his exhibits, however now we do. If you wish to watch the Packers quarterback host “Jeopardy!” make sure to mark your calendar for April 5-9, as a result of that is when Rodgers shall be internet hosting his first 5 exhibits. The 2020 MVP will stick round and host 5 extra exhibits that can run April 12-16.
As for that engagement, Shailene Woodley lastly confirmed that she’s the thriller girl Rodgers was speaking about when he revealed he had a fiancee throughout his MVP acceptance speech at NFL Honors on Feb. 6. Woodley did an interview on “The Tonight Present Starring Jimmy Fallon” Monday night time and naturally, Jimmy had to ask in regards to the engagement rumors.
“Sure, we’re engaged,” Woodley mentioned. “However for us, it isn’t new information, you recognize, so it is type of humorous. Everyone proper now could be freaking out over it and we’re like, ‘Yeah, we have been engaged for some time,’”
Properly, that is attention-grabbing. They have been engaged for “some time.” I do not know what the means as a result of everybody has a unique definition of what “some time” means, however I will not be stunned if it comes out that they acquired engaged sooner or later in December or earlier.
One enjoyable reality about Woodley: The 29-year-old nonetheless hasn’t had an opportunity to see Rodgers play in individual.
“I nonetheless have by no means been to a soccer sport as a result of we met throughout this wacky, wacky time and all of the stadiums had been closed that he was taking part in in,” Woodley mentioned. “So, I’ve but to go to a soccer sport.”
Woodley did not point out a marriage date, however based mostly on how rapidly these two have moved, I will not be stunned if it is tomorrow. OK, it in all probability will not be tomorrow, however my guess is that it occurs sooner or later this offseason.