Chiefs to host Bengals in Week 2, plus Jets get Monday game in Week 1 and Kirk

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter! 

With the release of the 2024 NFL schedule just one day away, I’m guessing you already know what we’re going to talk about today. If you guessed the schedule release, pat yourself on the back, because you’re right. 

We’ll be taking a look at the latest announcements about the NFL schedule, including a spicy Week 2 game on CBS, plus we finally know what Kirk Cousins thinks about the Falcons’ decision to draft a quarterback and we’ll be going over that. 

As always, here’s your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. Actually, you don’t even have to tell all of your friends; just tell two of your friends and I’ll be happy. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. 

1. Today’s show: Biggest post-draft questions for every NFC team

Getty Images

Last week, we went over the biggest post-draft questions for every team in the AFC, so this week, we decided it was only fair if we did the same thing, but for the NFC. 

For today’s show, Will Brinson, Tyler Sullivan and I went through the entire NFC to look at each team’s biggest post-draft question mark. 

Here’s a look at three of the teams we covered today: 

  • Cowboys: Will Mike McCarthy get fired? As crazy as it sounds, it almost seems like the Cowboys are setting McCarthy up to fail this year. They didn’t really sign any free agents, they haven’t dramatically improved the team and there’s a good chance McCarthy will be gone if he doesn’t get Dallas to the NFC title game. He might not get technically get fired — because his contract expires after the season — but it’s hard to see him returning to Dallas in 2025. 
  • Rams: How do they replace Aaron Donald’s production? It’s going to be nearly impossible to replace a future Hall of Famer like Donald, but the Rams are definitely doing their best. They used their first two picks in the draft on defensive linemen in Jared Verse (19th overall) and Braden Fiske (39th overall). The two are former college teammates, and if they can replicate their Florida State chemistry in the NFL, the Rams might have found a way to help the defense survive Donald’s retirement. 
  • Panthers: Will Bryce Young rebound in Year 2? After struggling last season, things aren’t going to get much easier for Young and that’s mostly because he has to learn an entirely new offense for 2024. The three of us don’t feel great about Young’s chances of improving, which is bad news for the Panthers, because if he struggles this year, Carolina is going to have to start asking itself some serious questions about whether he’ll ever actually be good enough to be the team’s franchise quarterback.  

If you want to hear our conversation on the biggest question mark for all 16 NFC teams, you can do that by listening to today’s podcast here. You can also watch the entire thing on YouTube by clicking here. 

2. 2024 schedule news: Bengals-Chiefs in Week 2, Aaron Rodgers will open on Monday night again

The release of the NFL schedule is still one day away, but don’t let that fool you — we still have PLENTY of NFL scheduling news to cover today, so let’s go over it now: 

  • CBS reveals landing spot for Bengals at Chiefs. Not only do the Chiefs have to open against the Ravens, but after that, they have to turn around and host the Bengals in Week 2 in a 4:25 p.m. ET game that will be televised by CBS. Joe Burrow has a 3-1 career record against the Chiefs, so Cincinnati will certainly be entering that game with a lot of confidence. 
  • Jets get a Week 1 Monday game … again. For the second straight season, the New York Jets will be playing on the first Monday of the season. The Jets will be traveling to play the 49ers in San Francisco in a game that will kickoff at 8:20 p.m. ET on ESPN. Last year, the Jets hosted the Bills on Monday night and things went south quickly with Aaron Rodgers tearing his Achilles on the fourth snap of the game. To add some spice here, the Bills player who tackled Rodgers on the play where he was injured was Leonard Floyd, who now plays for the 49ers. 
  • Dolphins and Bills to meet in Week 2. Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa will kickoff Amazon’s Thursday night schedule with a prime-time showdown at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 12. The Bills have won four straight against the Dolphins and they’ll be looking to continue their run of dominance against Miami. 
  • Tom Brady’s first game as a broadcaster will be in Cleveland. Brady will be taking over the No. 1 announcing job with Fox this year, and his first game will be coming on Sunday, Sept. 8 when the Browns host the Cowboys. 
  • Amazon might get a Christmas game. Last week, it looked like Netflix might be getting both Christmas games, but now, that’s not the case. According to Pro Football Talk, Amazon is making a “strong push” to land one or both Christmas games. The NFL is putting these two games up for bid and Amazon has deep pockets, so if the internet giant is dead set on getting a Christmas game, it’s likely going to get at least one of them. 
  • NBC lands a bonus game. NBC usually handles “Sunday Night Football,” but for the upcoming season, the Peacock network is getting another game. The NFL announced that NBC has won the rights to air one of the Saturday games on Dec. 21. The NFL is expected to hold multiple games that day due to the fact that four of the teams that play that day will have to turn around and play in the Christmas doubleheader. 

We only know six games on the NFL schedule so far and things are already getting juicy.  

3. Jared Goff gets paid: Lions QB lands monstrous extension

Getty Images

Four months after leading the Detroit Lions to the NFC title game, Jared Goff has been handsomely rewarded. Here’s what you need to know about his new four-year extension: 

  • Goff is now the second-highest paid QB in the NFL. Goff has signed a four-year, $212 million deal, which averages out to $53 million per year. That average annual value is the second highest in NFL history, trailing only Joe Burrow, who has a deal worth $55 million per year. The contract includes $170 million in guaranteed money. 
  • Why the Lions decided to pay Goff. If you haven’t been paying attention to the Lions, you may not have noticed that Goff has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL over the past two seasons. Since the start of the 2022 season, Goff has thrown for 9,019 yards and 59 touchdowns, which ranks second and third respectively in the NFL over that span. Goff started his career in Detroit with a record of 0-9-1, but he’s gone 24-14 since then. 
  • Lions are paying everyone. The Lions haven’t been shy about opening up their check book this offseason. Not only did they pay Goff, but they also handed two other contracts worth more than $100 million. Amon-Ra St. Brown signed a four-year, $120 million deal on April 24, which was the same day that Penei Sewell landed a four-year, $112 million deal

For more on Goff’s deal, you can check out our full story here.  

4. Justin Fields drama: Steelers QB apparently didn’t get along with one former Super Bowl MVP 

With Justin Fields now in Pittsburgh, it will be interesting to see if he gets along with Russell Wilson, because it seems that he definitely did NOT get along with another Super Bowl-winning quarterback that he once played with. 

  • Fields had a rocky relationship with Nick Foles and Andy Dalton. The three quarterbacks all played for the Bears in 2021 and apparently, there was a lot of drama. According to Tyler Dunne of Go Long, the relationship between Fields and the other two quarterbacks was “toxic as hell” with most of the animosity coming between Fields and Foles. 
  • Fields and Foles couldn’t stand each other. According to the report, the relationship between Foles and Fields basically hit rock bottom after a situation where Foles was trying to teach something to Fields, only to turn around and realize that Fields wasn’t paying attention to anything Foles was saying. According to the report, Foles and Fields “could not stand each other.”
  • Former Bears employee seems to confirm the report. Although Dunne’s report came from an anonymous source, it seems to line up with some information that was shared back in February by Josh Lucas, who served as the team’s director of player personnel from 2015 thru 2022. “We thought having two vets with him would really help him with Andy and Nick, and that was not cohesive at all,” Lucas said. 

Dalton and Foles are literally two of the nicest guys in the NFL and if Fields couldn’t get along with them, it will be interesting to see how he does while working with Wilson in Pittsburgh. If you want the full details on what happened with Fields in Chicago, you can check it out here

5. Kirk Cousins finally breaks silence on Falcons decision to draft a QB

Getty Images

When the Falcons made the decision to draft Michael Penix Jr. last month, it was pretty clear that Kirk Cousins wasn’t very happy about the pick. Cousins’ agent made it known that the pick was a “big surprise,” and that Cousins was shocked by the choice. 

For the first time since the pick was made, Cousins took part in an interview, and that came this week on the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast. 

Here’s what Kirk had to say: 

  • Cousins says he’s not holding a grudge against the Falcons. Apparently, Cousins is going to let bygones be bygones. “No, I don’t think there can be, I don’t think it’s helpful,” Cousins said of whether there’s a beef with the team. “Like, we’re trying to win a Super Bowl, and it’s hard enough. So let’s all be on the same page and let’s try to go win a Super Bowl.”
  • Cousins isn’t going to worry about what he can’t control. “Let’s deal in reality and recognize that fact, and then be a steward not an owner,” Cousins said. “So I just believe that I gotta steward what comes my way and control what I can control, which is what a steward does, but a steward doesn’t worry about that which they can’t control.”
  • Cousins says he went through this same situation with the Vikings. “Vikings, three years ago, I was finishing up a round of golf before the draft on Thursday and I’m on like the 18th hole, walking up the fairway and Klint Kubiak calls me, our OC,” Cousins said. “And he says, ‘Just wanna give you a heads up, we may draft a quarterback tonight.’ I said, ‘OK.'” 

Of course, the difference between the Vikings situation and the Falcons situation is that Minnesota called him up BEFORE the draft (the Falcons called while they were on the clock) and the Vikings ended up using a third-round pick on a QB, which definitely isn’t the same as using a first-round pick. 

Cousins is saying all the right things right now, but it will be interesting to see how he reacts if Penix looks like the better QB in training camp or if Cousins struggles in the first few weeks of the season, which will likely lead to a situation where Falcons fans are calling for Penix to start. You can read our full story on Cousins here.  

6. Extra points: Antoine Winfield Jr. lands record-breaking contract

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 roundup for you.

  • Buccaneers give Antoine Winfield Jr. historical deal. The Buccaneers safety was given a four-year, $84.1 million deal on Wednesday, which makes him the highest-paid defensive back in the NFL. The fact that Winfield is making that much is notable, because it’s the first time a safety has held that title of highest-paid defensive back in the salary cap era, which started in 1994. You can read more about his deal here
  • Bills add Marquez Valdez-Scantling. After just one year in Kansas City, MVS is on the move to Buffalo after signing a one-year with the Bills that’s worth up to $4.25 million. Valdez-Scantling wasn’t a huge weapon for the Chiefs last season, but he did come up big in the playoffs, which included making a clutch TD catch in Kansas City’s Super Bowl win over the 49ers. 
  • Bills steal former NFL ref away from ESPN. The Bills have been busy this week. Not only did they sign MVS, but they also stole John Parry away from ESPN. Parry, a former NFL ref, served as a rules analyst at ESPN, but now, he’ll be using his knowledge of the NFL rulebook to help the Bills. 
  • Trey Hendrickson shows up to Bengals workouts. Even though he requested a trade last month, the Bengals star still showed up for the voluntary portion of the team’s Phase 2 workouts this week. Hendrickson said he wants to win a Super Bowl in Cincinnati, so it doesn’t sound like he’ll be holding out over his trade demands. 
  • Jets tried to replace their offensive coordinator without actually getting rid of him. Apparently, the Jets are not happy with Hackett. According to a report from SNY, the team tried to hire someone this offseason who would have run the offense, but would not have been the offensive coordinator (They didn’t want to have to fire Hackett since he’s good friends with Aaron Rodgers). The hire didn’t happen, which was probably for the best, because it certainly would have created a bizarre situation, and you can read more about it here

Leave a Comment