If l’ve learned one thing over the past 48 hours, it’s that every quarterback in the NFC North apparently wants out of the NFC North, which is understandable, because have you ever been to any of those cities? They’re all cold.
Not only did we get the ominous comments from Aaron Rodgers following Green Bay’s NFC title game loss, but in news I completely FORGOT to include in yesterday’s newsletter, Matthew Stafford will definitely be leaving the Lions this offseason after spending the first 12 seasons of his career in Detroit.
You want Stafford landing spots? We’ve got that today.
You want more Aaron Rodgers drama? That’s also in today’s newsletter, because there is nothing I love more than Aaron Rodgers drama.
We’ll also covering something called the Super Bowl, which is a game that will apparently be happening amidst all this QB drama. With that in mind, let’s get to today’s rundown. 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. You’ll definitely want to share that link with anyone who’s a fan of a team that should trade for Stafford.
1. Today’s Show: Early Super Bowl betting preview
The Super Bowl is the one game in the NFL each year where trying to bet on it can feel overwhelming and that’s mostly because there are hundreds of bets to choose from. You can literally bet on anything. For instance, I don’t generally like to bet on coin tosses, but for the Super Bowl I’m all in on tails. I don’t love betting on the color of the gatorade that will be dumped on the winning coach, but for the Super Bowl, I will bet my entire bank account on yellow.
As you can tell, there’s a lot to digest when it comes to Super Bowl betting, which is why we’re getting started on it 12 days before the actual game is going to be played. For today’s podcast, Will Brinson was joined by the Wizard of Odds, Kenny White, and the two of them talked through some early bets for the game. First, the guys assessed their conference championship picks before evaluating Chiefs-Buccaneers.
Kansas City opened as a 3.5-point favorite but the spread has settled in at 3 and Kenny doesn’t foresee much movement coming. By now, we’re all aware that Tampa will be the first team to play a Super Bowl in their own stadium, but how could that be factored into the line?
Will and Kenny give a tip for the money line, break down the total and more on this early betting preview.
To listen to today’s episode — and subscribe to the podcast — be sure to click here.
2. Aaron Rodgers apparently wants a new contract
The Packers might not think they have a problem on their hands with Aaron Rodgers, but it’s starting to feel like they might have a problem on their hands with Aaron Rodgers.
The biggest issue right now is his contract and that’s because it seems he wants a new one. According to Pro Football Talk, Rodgers wants a new deal that will make him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league. Rodgers makes as much money as Jared Goff and less than Ben Roethlisberger, so you can certainly make the argument that he deserves more.
The potential problem for the Packers here is that Rodgers’ current contract — that he signed in 2018 — still has three years left and renegotiating after just two seasons isn’t a precedent that any team wants to set, even if it’s with their star quarterback.
Of course, this is a special circumstance and I can’t blame Rodgers for wanting a new deal. After watching the Packers try to replace him in the draft last year, Rodgers responded by going out and playing one of the best seasons of his career, a season that is likely going to end with a second MVP award. By demanding a new contract, Rodgers is basically telling the Packers: If you want this to be a drama free offseason, I need some assurances that I’m your QB of the future.
Packers president Mark Murphy made it very clear on Monday that his team wants Rodgers to return in 2021.
“We’re not idiots. Aaron Rodgers will be back, he’s our leader,” Murphy said.
The problem for the Packers is that if they give Rodgers a new deal, not only does it set a bad precedent, but it also means the Jordan Love pick was basically wasted. One of the biggest benefits of drafting a quarterback in the first round is that they have an affordable contract for at least the first three years of their career. If Rodgers gets a new deal, the Packers will be in a situation where they’ll have to sign Love to an extension without actually knowing if he’s any good. That’s not a situation any team wants to be in.
The bottom line is that Rodgers definitely sounded upset after the NFC title game and if the the Packers want a drama-free offseason, they’re likely going to have to placate Rodgers by giving him what he wants. Basically, the two sides are definitely going to have to iron out a few issues if Rodgers is going to return to Green Bay in 2021.
3. Matthew Stafford landing spots
I got so caught up in the hype of the Buccaneers and Chiefs making it to the Super Bowl in yesterday’s newsletter that I completely forgot to mention one of the biggest stories of the weekend: Matthew Stafford and the Lions will be parting ways this offseason.
In my defense, this is Lions news and it’s pretty easy to overlook almost anything involving the Lions. However, this story is definitely going to add some spice to the offseason and that’s mainly because anyone who even remotely needs a quarterback should be calling the Lions over the next few weeks to try and hammer out a deal for Stafford.
With that in mind, here are a few landing spots:
1. Colts: Their quarterback just retired and they have a ton of cap room.
2. Broncos: The last time the Broncos made a splash move for a QB it worked out in their favor (Peyton Manning ended up leading them to two Super Bowls), so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them try and make another splash move.
3. 49ers: It kind of feels like the 49ers are going to keep Jimmy Garoppolo until something better comes along and Stafford would qualify as something better.
4. Washington: The Football Team’s new general manager (Martin Mayhew) once held the same job in Detroit and was the guy who drafted Stafford in 2009, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him make a play for the quarterback he once drafted.
5. Patriots: The Cam Newton experiment didn’t really work out for the Patriots, which means Bill Belichick might be looking to re-try this experiment, but with a different NFC quarterback who’s no longer wanted by his team.
If you want to check out a full explanation for each landing spot, be sure to click here.
4. Super Bowl LV: 10 facts to know
I was going to do 55 facts to know about Super Bowl LV here, but that probably would have taken me three days to write and since this newsletter is supposed to come out every day, the math didn’t add up, so I did what any resourceful person would do: I trimmed it down to 10 facts.
- Tom Brady is starting his 10th Super Bowl, which is double the amount of any other quarterback in NFL history (John Elway has five Super Bowl starts, which is the second most for a QB). Also, this is the first time out of those 10 appearances that Brady has made the Super Bowl on a wild-card team.
- This game will mark just the second time in his 10 appearances that Tom Brady has been an underdog in the Super Bowl. The only other time came in his first appearance when Brady and the Patriots beat the Rams 20-17 as a 14-point underdog.
- This will be the first Super Bowl ever to feature the last two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks facing off against each other (Patrick Mahomes won in 2019, Tom Brady won in 2018).
- This will be the second Super Bowl ever where both starting quarterbacks had previously won a Super Bowl MVP award. The only other time was when Tom Brady faced Eli Manning and the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI (2011 season).
- Patrick Mahomes will be the first quarterback to start in multiple Super Bowls at the age of 25 or younger.
- Patrick Mahomes joins Kurt Warner (1999, 2001), Tom Brady (2001, 2003), and Russell Wilson (2013, 2014) as the only quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl twice in their first 4 NFL seasons.
- The Buccaneers are the fourth team seeded fifth or lower to make the Super Bowl since 1990. The other three teams all ended up going home with a Lombardi Trophy (2005 Steelers, 2007 Giants and 2010 Packers).
- If the Buccaneers win, Bruce Arians (68) would become the oldest coach ever to win a Super Bowl. Bill Belichick, who was 66 when the Patriots won Super Bowl LIII, currently holds that distinction.
- The Buccaneers are the first team to play the Super Bowl at their home stadium, but they’re not the first to play the game in their home state. Prior to this year, that had been done four times with the Raiders (Super Bowl XI, Super Bowl XXXVII), Rams (Super Bowl XIV) and 49ers (Super Bowl XIX). Coincidentally, the Buccaneers’ lone Super Bowl win came over a Raiders team that was playing in its home state.
- Tom Brady is gunning for his seventh Super Bowl win. If he gets it, the Buccaneers quarterback will have more Super Bowl wins than any FRANCHISE in the NFL (The Patriots and Steelers both have six)
- The Chiefs are trying to become the ninth repeat champion in NFL history. The last team to do it was the 2003-04 Patriots and their second win came with Tom Brady beating Andy Reid’s Eagles.
This has been your daily digest of interesting Super Bowl facts.
5. Five early predictions for Super Bowl LV
I just gave you some facts about the Super Bowl and now, our Jordan Dajani has something even better and that something just happens to be some predictions for the game. You might be thinking it’s too early to make predictions, but if I’ve learned one thing from making early predictions, it’s that it’s never too early to make early predictions.
Here are five Super Bowl LV predictions from Dajani:
1. Tyreek Hill goes for over 100 receiving yards and wins Super Bowl MVP
2. Patrick Mahomes gets sacked four times
3. Rob Gronkowski catches a touchdown pass
4. Crucial second half turnover
5. Chiefs repeat
My favorite prediction here is probably the first one and that’s because not only does it feel like it could happen, but Hill also has great value if you plan on betting on who’s going to win MVP. Patrick Mahomes (-105) or Tom Brady (+220) might be the smart bet, but Hill is +1400, which means you would win $1400 on a $100 bet for him to win MVP. The idea of a wide receiver winning MVP isn’t that far-fetched either as four wide receivers have won the award over the past 16 years (Quarterbacks have won 10 of those while defensive players have won the other two).
To read Dajani’s full explanation for each one of his predictions, be sure to click here.
6. 2021 mock draft plus combine changes
If you’re a fan of the Chiefs or the Buccaneers, you can probably ignore this section and that’s because you have much more pressing things to worry about like whether your team is going to WIN the Super Bowl. However, for fans of the the other 30 teams, the Super Bowl is just a depressing reminder that your team wasn’t good enough this year, which means you should focus on the mock draft below that was put together by our draft analyst Ryan Wilson.
How are the Lions going to replace Matthew Stafford? Wilson has the answer below.
Here’s a look at his top 10.
- 1. Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
- 2. Jets: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
- 3. Dolphins: LB Micah Parsons (Penn State)
- 4. Falcons: OL Penei Sowell (Oregon)
- 5. Bengals: OL Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)
- 6. Eagles : TE Kyle Pitts (Florida)
- 7. Lions: QB Trey Lance (North Dakota State)
- 8. Panthers: CB Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)
- 9. Broncos: QB Mac Jones (Alabama)
- 10. Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
If you want the details on each one of those selections along with the other 22 picks in the first round, be sure to click here so you can check out Wilson’s entire mock draft.
7. Tom Brady’s dad was in “life or death” situation
The final section of the newsletter is usually reserved for special teams, but we’re taking a break from that today to cover Tom Brady’s dad, who apparently was in a “life or death” situation while battling COVID-19 during the 2020 NFL season.
Tom Brady Sr. told ESPN on Monday that things got so bad that he missed watching a game that his son played in for the first time ever this season.
“We’ve never missed a game at Michigan or New England or wherever,” he told ESPN. “For the first two games when I was in the hospital, I didn’t even care if they were playing — much less missing the game. It was a matter of life and death, just like anybody who goes to the hospital. That’s serious stuff.”
According to the elder Brady, he said his son would “FaceTime me every day on his way to and from practice” during the ordeal. Brady Sr. also said that noticed his son was very understandably “stressed out” while all this was happening.
The good news for the younger Brady is that mom and dad both plan to be in Tampa for Super Bowl LV.
“This year has been unbelievable,” Brady Sr. said. “Not knowing where we’re going to start the season out, and being where we are to end the season is just a stunning development as far as I’m concerned. … Getting to the 10th Super Bowl in 19 years of playing is pretty — it’s incomprehensible, actually. It’s beyond anything we could ever imagine.”
Speaking of things you could never imagine, I won’t be around for the newsletter on Wednesday, which means Cody Benjamin will be taking over. The only problem with Cody is that as the resident Eagles homer here at CBSSports.com, he’s been paying so much attention to Philadelphia’s coaching hire that I’m not even sure he knows there’s a Super Bowl this year. Tomorrow should be fun!