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Derrick Henry has a new home going from the Titans to the Baltimore Ravens. The quarterback the Vikings brought in after Kirk Cousins headed to Atlanta, it is Sam Darnold. Aaron Jones becomes just the latest former packer star to cross the border to Minnesota. The Bingoes are moving on from Joe Mixon, but they are, instead of releasing him and making him a free agent, trading him to the Houston Texans.


It is Zack Moss headed to Cincinnati. Darnell Mooney, the former bears receiver, has agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falgents to become a key new weapon for Kirk Cousins. Day two of the legal tampering period. Maybe we need to get a new name for that. I know the league is trying to push back on it.


It feels very technical.


Because we know the league year is tomorrow.


There's no tampering. And this makes Andrew Siciliano very mad if you even say those words. No one should I don't say those words.


Yeah, but Siciliano is also out here on live television, NFL Network, yesterday saying, Oh, you cannot dip chicken wings in any type of white sauce. What?


He's got the platform. He's allowed to espouse his views on all topics.


That's dangerous, okay? Well, he seems-From the Chris Wesling podcast studio, it's around the NFL. Dan Hans is here with Greg Rosenthal. Mark Sesler, you've already heard from all of us. We are Probably going a little nuts, like the insiders, during these long days and long nights. Now we are back in Los Angeles. We touched down here about an hour ago on a plane, and I would love to say we were put into almost like a motorcade and taken straight here. But it was a mad scramble, finding a cab, get us in the building. And yet we're here now to give you the latest on The League. I would say, again, another show coming off weekly disappointing award show that we're going to get to later in the program. Well, yeah.


That's a spoiler.


That we're here.


That we're here. Well, we don't need accolades. We need to continue to work. That's all we're asking to do. Thank you. And for those that think that we've gotten a little too big for our breaches, I am an hour and a half removed from sitting in the very back row of the plane where at all hours, someone's hips are hitting my ears and my head as they attempt to go into the lavatory. Does it sound like someone that just cares about status and material? No.


I mean, It's always, we use the word heroes with just a little wink, maybe. It's a little twist. Today, it's true, though, for us to get off that plane straight from Austin and get back into the coal mine, the news mind. It's true.


It's funny, and I think telling, and I don't mind telling the audiences because iHeartRadio and it was the iHeart podcast awards. They were nice enough to send us down to Texas. We go down first class. First class, baby. Daddy sitting there with a Miller light enjoying myself. Plenty of room. The guy from Workaholic with the curly hair is sitting in front of us. Yeah, took a selfie with him. Everything's hunky dory. I think there was something symbolic about going to Texas first class and Then on the way to the award show, and then a day after being pitiful losers, and spoiler alert, we'll talk about it later, riding back in coach by the toilets. I think there was something there to dig into as well.


I think seeking humility Equality matters as you gain an age, and that's certainly we discovered it today on the way back.


All right, so much to get to. Did you have to deal with it? Because I was a couple of rows ahead of you. Did you have to deal with any of those people just standing waiting to use your bathroom, hovering over you?


Like I said, these aircraft have gotten smaller and smaller, and people's hips haven't gotten smaller. I literally was sleeping for the first time ever on most of this flight, but kept getting jarred awake by the side of someone's hip, mostly typically women's hips, just smashing me in the ear.


Why women's? Why do you have to add that little detail? That makes me think you like it.


That got him a little…


That's just called biology. I feel bad for them. They're just trying to do what they're trying to do. But I'm also feeling bad for myself. It's like, I'm in the aisle seat, you lean left a little bit and you get banged in the ear.


Did not expect an Americans or turning into a bunch of the fatties take from Matt. Mark, but here we go. Matt.i don't know why it feels crazy.It's going to be an interesting show. It should be fine.


All right.


Strike that from the show.


Let's dig in. Let's dig into everything that's happening, and let's start with the big news. I would say, hit this round of applause drop because we saw the Derek Henry to Ravens thing coming, but that feels a little... Well, I'll give it to us anyway. Just give it. Because everybody seemed to feel like that was coming. Then, of course, it did happen. Derrick Henry, who will be going to the Hall of Fame one day, and barring some remarkable late period, you don't think he's going to the Hall of Fame?


I just don't like it when people just put people in the Hall of Fame. I think he'll I bet you like when certain people do.


You just don't like that I did it.


Justin Graver tweeted today that he believes he'll be a Hall of Fame.


When we talk about Hall of Fame, Greg, we talk about Canton or any sport, you can't tell the story of the league without talking about a player at his position. Derrick Henry, I think, is one of the faces of the running back position in the last 10 years.


Especially in this era, to do what he's done in this era of running back by committee.


Maybe it's just I've heard the guys who have the votes. Their backs always just go up when you're just putting them into the All-Fame. That's on them. One All-Pro, first team, couple of second teams. I would probably vote for him, but I'm saying he's not going to be a rubber stamp.


All right, how about we have a couple of big years in Baltimore and it won't be a debate because Derrick Henry is now joining Ravens, two-year deal worth up to 20 million. So there's nine million guaranteed in his first season with Baltimore. That might be all he gets, guaranteed. If it seems like the money is bigger for the runningbacks this year, I read, again, I'll quote him all the time because I read them all the time, Bill Barnwell. The runningbacks are getting good money, but the salary cap went up. Then runningbacks are actually commanding less of the salary cap for these teams, percentage-wise than ever before. But there's a lot of money flying around the league now because of the cap keeps on going upward. I would love to know. Let's put Eric to work early. Eric, what was the NFL salary cap in the 2010 season when Mark and I started at the company?


Can I get a guess, too? Yeah, well, take a guess. No, Eric, go first.


Because right now, what is it? 220?


No, it's 250 something. Yeah, 250.


Yeah, it's up there. All right. Yes, you got it already?


Quick Google search. I thought he was going to guess.


I was asking him to look Why don't you guess, Greg?Go.


Ahead, take a guess.I'm.


Going to go 112.


That sounds about right. I'm going to go 120.


I'm going to go 42.


You said 2010, correct?


Yes. First answer. With the owners deciding to exit the CBA in March 2011, the 2010 season had no salary cap.


Wait, I was close to it.


Well, then pick a year close to-2009. No, I was closest. This is Hollywood, maybe. I'm just saying.


It was zero, and I said 42.


Salary Cap in 2009. We have to start the show over.


123 million.


There we go. I got it. I said 120.


Did he really? The dub, yeah. That was pretty good. All right. I gave you a nice ballpark. That was nice.


Got us going in the right direction. Anyway, that's all beside the point. The point is that Derrick Henry is a member of the Ravens now, and everyone is talking up, and rightfully so, marked this idea that the reigning MVP, Lamar Jackson, is an explosive ability as an athlete, and now you add Derrick Henry to that mix, and all that does make a lot of sense. I'll caution just a little bit. I feel like I'd be a little more like, Oh, my God, the league is in a lot of trouble if this was 2020, Derrick Henry in 2020, Lamar Jackson. They're a little bit different players entering '24, but still an imposing duo and a move that makes so much sense for Baltimore.


I love the fit. We've exclaimed that we wanted this to happen. To me, it's about the player. It's like, because lesser backs or average to better than average backs have thrived in that system, whether it was the past Greg Roman offense or even this year. I think when you add Derrick Henry to an attack where if you're a defender or defensive coordinator, you've got the one quarterback in the league more than any other running quarterback outside of Josh Allen, that you need to be hyper aware of where Lamar Jackson is on for a firm at all times. Now you add Derrick Henry to the mix. It's like a double headache. I guess part of it is, I don't believe that Derrick Henry is going to fade come October, November. I believe he's got another year or two in him, and I think that makes the Ravens about as hyper dangerous as they've been in the Lamar Jackson era.


You can use your rush yards, over expected. You can use your broken tackles, all these fancy stats. I sometimes use my eyeballs. It tells me Derrick Henry is still running well. I thought he ran well last year. I thought he ran better than his numbers would show on a per carry basis, although he's still a workhorse, still 280 carries, was second in the league in yards, so he can still get it done. When I think of the Raven's offense, you said it well, Mark, it's such a great place to be for a running back, especially in the red zone. I mean, all you got to do is be a Gus Edwards owner in fantasy league and know when the ball is handed off to Gus Edwards in the red zone, he usually just walks into the end zone. No one's really around. Now you have Derrick Henry being the one that gets the ball. The Ravens are so good at this. The running back market goes crazy. They just sit there. They clearly had a price for Derrick Henry. They weren't going to go above it. Somehow Derrick Henry signs for way less money than DeAndre Swift and not that much more than Antonio Gibson and Singletary or Pollard, and significantly less this year than Josh Jacobs.


I don't quite get how that all worked out because to me, running backs are year to year. Anyways, all these guys are, and I'd rather have Henry than any of those guys I just mentioned.


Well, I'm guessing. Maybe not. He gets some age and tred on tires.


He's not a third down guy all the time, but he's got a better at it. He's got a receiver. He's gotten good at that screen game.


I mean, you threw a touch down against the Ravens in the playoff.


He could throw the football. That's always been in his back pocket. I think he's gotten better as a receiver, certainly over the last couple of years.


I would guess a lot of teams, whether it's smart or not, are scared off by a guy that is entering his age 30 season, just turned 30 in January, and has over 2,000 rushes in his career. I remember when he came into the league and much was made about how because of Alabama's embarrassment of riches, he didn't get used a ton in college in terms of workload. But he's certainly been a bell cow guy for many years now. We'll see how much they can get out of him. If he does have a vintage type season, yeah, that is scary. To your point about goal line and the way it was for Gus, the bus, maybe Lamar becomes a little bit more of a threat running now that they have this great.


I think so. I think Lamar is a winner in this. Absolutely.


You got Patrick Ricard, their fullback, who's pretty dynamic and gotten into the mix. They had an interesting offensive way.


Did we bring up Keaton Mitchell, by the way?


Keaton Mitchell is coming out. He was incredible. He's coming off a major injury. That was a spice rack special. Keaton Mitchell. I don't think he actually said it on the show. So it doesn't really kill. But I don't think we had him, and then he was texting it. He had receipts. I remember he was very excited aboutRight. There's a paper trail. Keaton Mitchell. And they're a very creative running game. It's very different than when Greg Roman was there, but very creative, mauling. And I just like when teams lean into having a personality. It's one of the reasons why the NFL is so great, and it's why you guys were on top of it, that this just made so much sense. It was such a Ravens move. It makes me more excited for whatever primetime game they put the Ravens in right off the top of the season.


Yeah, feel very good about the Ravens sparring catastrophic injury being near the top of the AFC, and then it becomes once again, now what do we do? How do we take that step? And maybe Henry is a big part of taking that next step once you get to January football. All right. By the way, the offensive line of the Ravens graded out number six overall per PFF last year. Henry is also going into a much better situation there as well. Brian Burns. We mentioned it offhandedly at the end of the show that there was something percolating out there with some reporting around the Edge rusher from Carolina and a potential move to the Giants, and it has indeed gone down. Rapp sheet reported that they make the trade. Burns goes to the Giants in exchange for second and fifth-round picks. Of course, eyebrows shoot up because Burns famously was a target of the Rams who were reportedly looking to give up two first-rounders or willing to give up two first-rounders to get Burns, I believe it was last year or the year before.


While they were falling apart.


The management at the time for the Carolina Panthers said, No, thanks. It's a bad look, obviously. I know it's leadership changes, but organizationally, it's a terrible look. It goes from two first to a second and a fifth. Then, of course, the Giants then turn around and give Burns a big new contract, a five-year extension worth a maximum of 150 million, almost 88 million guaranteed. So, Greg, he's the second-highest paid Ed Rusher in the League. He's 26 years old. I have to say this about Burns. He's one of those guys you always hear about, and this is part he's playing in Charlotte, which is the black hole right now. Is he as good as you hear? Is he as good as they say? Is he worthy of that type of money when it comes to edge rushers in football?


I think he has been, but not last year quite as much. He was coming off of an injury, and his numbers were still good, and he graded out pretty well. It wasn't like it was a bad year. But to me, coming off that injury, he wasn't exactly the same player. Before that, yeah, I would say he's a top 10 edge rusher. Now, he's probably at the bottom end of that 10, but I'd rather have him than, let's say, Daniel Hunter, who was in this market. He's so young and he's so quick off the ball. He always rates really well in those stats of pressure within two and a half seconds. And he's been in a spot where he's always been the man getting a lot of the attention on a team that's not often trailing. So he gets less opportunities and everything, and just very dynamic. And I don't think you can get a pass rusher this good for any cheaper than this. So I think it's a good move for the Giants, and the Panthers just weren't ready to give him that money. I don't know. At some level, I'm almost confused because you do need good players no matter what stage of your rebuild you're in if you're the Panthers.


Well, and understandably Panthers fans, famous ones, and civilians are going absolutely nuts over this.


Who are the famous ones?


There's a country singer that had this gigantic tweet about-Luke Holmes. Yeah, it was like, is this-I thought you meant David Ealey. Is this organization just trying to set itself on fire, essentially? But I think if you're the Giants, because a day ago, it's all about you botch Saquon Barkley, or you let him go, and he went to your rival, and it's a bad look for the Giants who also lost Xavier McKinney. But I would say that overall, when you look at the value they got Brian Burns for, which is a coup de ta compared to what the Rams were going to spend, they added John Runian along the line, Jermaine Melanor. I don't love Devon Singletary, but to patch up Saquon. They had a pretty good day. They are addressing... I think Joe Shane is a quality GM.


He got-Durlack's in the building as Daniel Jones' backup.


To me, it's pretty clear that they're to maybe drafting someone, too. But I just think that the Giants, it's not as big of a tire fire as it appeared to be 24 hours ago.


Yeah, that's why with free agency, everybody's got to chill. Day one, everyone wants your team to go totally nuts. You just got to let it play out and see where things stand at the end of the week. Also, from the Office of Corrections, we got a Van Ginkle edit to me. Yeah, we do. I'm going to move out of the way and you guys could discuss with him.


Well, that was on me. I put him under the Giants. I'm not sure if that was even ever a report or just my mistake throughout the day, it was always on that rundown. Van Ginkle is not on the Giants. I mean, if the only source you have of news in the NFL is the Around the NFL podcast and you're a Giants fan and you just made your own Van Ginkle jersey or posters, who knows, at home, I have bad news for you. He's a member of the Minnesota Vice.


Can I just say also, I was surprised because all we've been hearing on this program is Mark's infatuation with the Van Ginkle. You would think that would not miss your radar, Mark, that you would have been the one to offer.


I am the one that put it down.


I piggybacked off of that.


But Mark was supposed to be the safety net with all things Van Ginkle.


You are right. In my notes, I said it makes sense that he repairs with Brian Flores. Then I was like, Well, I must be wrong because he's on the Giants. And it's like, No, he went back to pair with Brian Flores, the Vikings defense coordinator. It doesn't decrease my belief in Van Ginkle, the fact that we made a podcast there.


No, if anything, it's anIt's a better fit for him in Minnesota. I like what they do.It.


Shook me a little bit. But a true sports show of the year would take a minute to say on us.


Well, they maybe wouldn't have made that mistake. Although I honestly can't remember in 12 years of doing this podcast where we had to come back the next day and we got a free agent signing just completely off. That's pretty good. That's the first. I do, before we go-Shannon Sharp has never made an error when he speaks.


That's true.


You're barely understanding.


Good for him. I have just two quick One, congrats to, as Mark mentioned, Jermaine Illuminaur, who's a friend of our friend Henry Hodgson, product of the International Player Pathway program. What a pipeline that's become. At age 29, just got life-changing money, two years, $14 million. After he's bounced around in the league, and what a great moment for him. But I wanted to read this tweet. It was from Scott Barrett on Twitter of just, If you combine the Brian Burns, Bryce Young, and Christian McAfree trades for what the Panthers got and what they gave up. And this includes the trade they essentially didn't make with the Rams, which is cheating, but it does make it fun. Here's what the Panthers traded. Caleb Williams, assuming that's the number one overall pick.


Should we tell David Ealey to cover his ears?


Or the number one overall pick, Kristen McAfree, DJ Moore, a top 10 pick in the 2023 draft. That was the Rams' pick. The bears drafted a tackle. A second round pick in the 2023 draft, a first round pick in the 2024 draft, and a first round pick in the 2025 draft. That's what they passed on. Here is what they got. Oh, no. Bryce Young, one year of Brian Burns, A defensive or a linebacker by the name of DJ Johnson, who was ranked 125th at the Edge position by PFF last year. Promising. In two fifth-round picks. I mean, that's an all-timer. That is a series series of moves, and it's like, Oh, it's not all the same guy. It's your organization. That is a series of moves as catastrophic as I can remember.


I can flip it and say they're a very charitable organization. They give to others.


I think, as always, Luke Holmes has his finger on the pulse because he was the first one to point out 22 hours ago, No first round pick for McCafree a few years back, and now none for Burns. Are we just firebombing the whole team here or what? Right. Holmes is right.


I like that tweet. I think he's-I'm not familiar with Holmes's catalog, I know he's enormously popular.


It is the 37th overall pick in this draft. It's close to being a first rounder. It's a long road for these. All right.




Somewhere Scott Fitterer is driving around in a cream-colored Porsche down in the south. It's like you buried one of the 32 NFL franchises.


Daniel Jones, by the way, at Drew Lock is... It's like a medium result of what could have happened this offseason for your backup. They gave him $5 million guaranteed, tells me he'll play. If you're not playing well, Daniel Jones, you're not ready, Drew Lock will play.


If I'm the starting quarterback in the NFL and they sign Drew Lock as my backup, I'm not losing sleep. Okay. I mean, Drew Lock?


I think Mark's right. They maybe draft someone, too. But maybe-I think you have to.


What are you...


Where are we going? All right. In other news, the Cincinnati bangles and the Joe Mixon marriage is over. Nfl Network's E-Mrap report reports that Mixon, who a day ago was believed that he was going to be waived, instead, they pulled a trigger on a trade. So they send him to the Houston Texans. So his eighth season in football will be with Houston. Of course, the Texans, as we mentioned, lost Devon Singletary to the Giants in free agency. Mixin joins Damian pierce in that backfield now. So we'll see what we get from Mixin, Mark. On paper, it looks like a nice upgrade for the Texans. He had over 1400 yards last year, twelve touch downs. In general, looked like a guy that had been trending downward and then said, No, I'm not done yet. It's weird that this is when he gets cut or let go by Cincinnati, but Houston takes on the former Pro Bowl.


It's obviously not great news for Damian pierce. They struggled, he and the rest of that team struggled to run the ball inside an attack that was so promising through the air. I think it's a good landing spot for Mixin to come in and upgrade it. It It leaves me wondering a little bit about the Bengals, because we've got a lot of moving parts in Cincinnati. We're a team that offensively was sitting in a Super Bowl window, and it's like we're looking at wide receivers, exiting stage left. They signed Zack Moss on a two-year, $8 million deal to essentially replace Joe Mixon. I think Moss actually looked really good in Indianapolis at stretches last season, but that's the first season I really felt that way about him at all.


Yeah, I'm fine with that move for the Bengals. I think they were clearly surprised that anyone wanted to trade for Mixon because it was announced as a release.


You thought it was going to get cut last offseason.




And it was-1400 yards and 12 touch shots is not the work of a bad running back.


No. Not bad. And the techs look, they know Bobby Sloak and Domingo Ryan. They know more than I do about what they want in their running back. I thought he came out of the gates looking very fresh and like, Oh, the old Joe Mixon's back. And then as the season wore on, that burst isn't there. I always loved Joe Mixon in terms of his running style. He came out of college and had that questionable background and ended up having a nice career with the Bengals, but I think his best days are behind him. My guess is they would draft someone, too, but it's not a great running back class. So you pair Mixon probably with a third-round pick and pierce is probably in the rearview. There's always one of those every year, by the way, where someone gets announced as a release and someone's watching free agent frenzy at home. Nick Casero is like, I'd give up a seventh round for Mixin. I like that contract. It's fine.


Still just 27 He's seven years old, but he's been around for a while now, and we'll see if he could still play the guitar.


Gino Stone is a big pickup for them, too. He's making more than any of these other guys they signed.


Lamar Jackson tweeted Gino Stone and said, Essentially, you're gone. You're dead to us. It's been a lot of that going on with these.


But remember, we have the conversation about you got to be careful when your buddy breaks up with his girlfriend and you bury her, and then they get back together. What happens if that would have fallen through? And Gino is coming back. You're right. It was regular. Lamar just basically said, I hate you.


We don't advise.I.


Think it was tongue in cheek. Dead serious.


Also, possibly dead serious. We don't know for sure.


While we're on the Texas, just quickly, I do like their moves lately. They've been rating the Titans, which is going to be annoying Titans fans. Aziz He's Al Shahir, Daniko Autry. I really like the Al Shahir signing because he was with Daniko Ryan in San Francisco. I think he's really good and could have a sneaky Pro Bowl type season with the Texans. They also re-signed Noah Brown.


I also know what you're going to get with Daniko Autry. You You know it's going to be productive. It's good. It's going to work.


I feel like a lot of people are going to be picking the Texans to win that division.


Sneaky, financially exciting career from Daniko Autry. He's probably signed about six of these.


Financially exciting.


I'm just saying, you think of Kirk Cousin.


Financially active or actually exciting. I mean, exciting is the way to describe it. Risky.


I mean, my brain is just so off right now, but financially lucrative, I guess. Sure.




He just keeps signing these $12 million contracts like every other... He's getting it done at age 34.


Breaking news.


What's going on here?


Breaking news. The Texans and Daneel Hunter are in business. The Pelraiser reports that the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end is signing with Houston. Wow. Credits, credits, wrap sheet. As Well, that's the same Hunter coming off a big year in Minnesota. He has 87 and a half career sacks, and he immediately fills the void left by Jonathan Grinard, who left for the- Viking. Viking's day earlier. He traded. That's a nice plug of a hole there in quick manner by Houston.


Interesting. They've chosen him over Grinard. He's three or four years older. He's certainly been a better player overall than Grinard in his He's three, four years older, but they're paying him more than Grinard is making, too. Two years, 49 million with 48 million guaranteed. We haven't seen many deals like that, that short and that big, but it's perfect in this. C. J. Stroud has a low contract, and they have all sorts of cap space. So he'll be back off the books before they even need to really worry about their cap space.


I wouldn't have minded them hanging around with Grunard, who, I think, showed so much promise. But if he's departed, you've gone and found someone to pair with Will Anderson. And these teams that try to get by with one monster pass rusher, it's like you're always going to be seeing that guy get double and triple-teamed. And it's like right now, this trend of getting two dudes that can free up each other inside of the line as well.


I love it. I mean, with Wilkins and Crosby yesterday with the Raiders.


That coaching staff gets everyone on that defense to play. It's Niners-like.


Ryan Burns and Kavon Thibodeau. Yes, to be able to pair two studs causes a lot of trouble for opposing They're going to be such a trendy pick, but it's like, oh, it all makes sense.


C. J. Stroud's their quarterback. You look at their defensive line right now. They added Folefattou Kasi, they added Autry, and now they add Hunter along with Anderson. I had mentioned, I love the Al Shahir signing. D'amico, Ryan got as far as they did without really a great defense. I think they were an opportunistic defense, and now they have a chance to step it up while C. J. Stroud gets better. That is something. A little challenge trade, though. Not That's exactly a trade, but Vikings say, We'll take your guy. Texans says, We'll take your guy.


It's interesting to think about it, but when you look at the two south divisions, will the Texans and Falcons come out of this offseason as the two biggest favorites to win their division? Yes.


Yeah, I think the Bucks are in there.


The biggest in any division?


No, in their own.


Or just-No, in any division.




Really? I believe the Falcons will be, whether or not they actually will be. We go for the Chiefs. That's good. No, well, the Chiefs, yeah. The Chiefs, obviously, who the Chiefs got in there? They got the Reina. Well, the chargers with Harbaugh will make it a little interesting, but you're probably right. The Chiefs probably will come up top.


But I think you're talking about two teams that have shot up the charts.


But after the It might be. To me, it might be these two divisions in terms of where everyone's going to be.


Pretty wild when you think about that they won three games a year ago, but you're not wrong. They'll both be favorites.


All right, let's take a break, and when we return, more news. Dearest Sam, I'm writing you today to offer my heartfelt congratulations on the beginning of a beautiful new adventure. Six years ago, you entered my world like an avalanche of hope. I, and many like me, believed you would be our salvation after decades in the darkness. Alas, the fates played cruel tricks on us all. You were treated in a careless manner and casually tossed away. As my people floundered, you wandered. This week's arrival with the mighty Vikings of Minnesota, an obvious choice for the 2024 team of around the NFL, feels like the end of your undeserved exile and the beginning of at long last. A fair and true opportunity to succeed on the grand stage. I have no doubt you will fend off any competition, thrive in a healthy new environment, and expose each of your critics as the rude, thoughtless little pigs they so clearly are. As for myself, I will champion you from afar. My warm feelings tinged with the bitter sweet. The wistful melancholy only former lovers can truly understand. Safe journey aboard your Norse longship, sweet Prince. Skull forever. Signed, your admirer from afar.


Sam Darnold to the Minnesota Vikings.


That the beautiful sound, romantic sound of the number two. Only A pencil on the-Only lovers could understand that.


Not even family members or just only just physical lovers. If someone's writing from the heart-Your relationship with Sam.


The heart wants what the heart wants.




I commented on that I really wanted Darnal to get a true fresh start because what happened... It's funny. Considering Baker went number one and Sam went number three, what Baker got last year is what all I was thinking, even during this '49er season where he was like one heartbeat away from getting into that lineup and maybe being able to make an impact, just wanted him to have a chance. He has exactly, in some ways, the Baker set up now where we don't know, and They might go and draft somebody in April. I don't want to put the cart before the horse, totally. The contract came out, and at first it was 10 million. I'm like, Oh, he's definitely their starter. We don't know how much guaranteed money is coming into this. But don't you just get the feeling that Kevin O'Neill, and he obviously likes him a lot. Kyle Shanahan obviously liked him a lot. There are people that are champions of this guy, and they're believing in his potential. But I would not be surprised if O'Neill wants to see if he can get that Baker season out of Darnold and maybe reset the franchise with a depreciated asset who can outperform greatly on what they signed him for.




For the pocket of humans that continue to champion Darnold. And I think there's reasons to believe you look at where he was with the Jets and Panthers and say, total disorganization morphine right into total disorganization, where he was actually on the same team as Baker Mayfield. They went into the five and they came He's back out. Baker's had his chance. This is the best situation Darnold's been in in terms of the personnel around him. I don't put it beyond Minnesota. They are in a rebuild mode to some degree. They are sitting at number 11. It just feels possible, maybe even likely, that they trade up to get up to number 5 somewhere and get JJ McCarthy, and then it's Darnold in a competition. But Darnold is actually, I don't think he's a perfect bridge, but he's a guy you could feel excited about seeing what he could do because it's-I hope that's not what happens, but it's certainly possible.


They also It's all a possibility. They get Aaron Jones also, so he gets cut loose by the packers, so they add him. I love Kevin O'Neill. There's a reason he's one of the most popular coaches in the league in terms of that union poll and also the results you've seen. I think he has the right coach. He has the best wide receiver in the league. He's got a running back, I think. It's going to have a chip on his shoulder. I think it's a pretty good setup if it happens for him this time.


Yeah, they're not done building. They hit a home run last year with their draft. I don't know if we're going to have KJ Osborne back, but I love Jordan Addison as a two. Hawkinson. I get it. The Darnal The Hive is out there. When this news happened, my immediate reaction was how obnoxious the Darnold Hive is going to be for the next 5-6 months. Half of our listeners appeared to respond with this here. That's a Dan Hansen shout out. It wasn't, Paul Rudd. It wasn't. That's If I wanted to shout him out, I'm not into-What you do-blind items on Twitter. Well, I will say- Here's who it is.


But you understand why there might have been.


Yeah, no, I get it. We do the show together. We have a listener.


We happen to.


But it's bigger than just Dan. It's Daniel Jeremiah- Yes, he's the leader. Who had a number one overall. It's Mina Kimes, who always thought he was going to be great. It's Nate Tice, who thinks he's this unher... Quarterback talent. It's Bill Barnwell. It's all the big tape heads and names in the business. They've always all believed in Sam Darnold.


You couldn't even put him in your 101.


Yet you watch him play football, and it's never really happened for him. Because some people are able to look past the circumstances and see, even you look at his last time as a starter with the Panthers, he put some good tape out there, and some of the data backs that up.


They see that this is a guy that has never been in position to succeed. There are so many quarterbacks. There are very few quarterbacks in the league that can overcome ineptitude all around them. He's not one of them. So I'm not saying he's going to become a top 10 quarterback, but I think he has the potential to be a guy that's on the right side of the Dalton scale if he gets his chance. And I hope he does. And I don't think... I'm not going to be too obnoxious.


No, I'm having fun with it.


If he lights it up in September, it could be an issue.


The one little-I like that we get this.


This is a great way if it happens. Again, Because the Vikings could go out and get a quarterback.I.


Think they're going to.I do, too.


Well, if he gets his starts this year, it's going to put to bed something that it's not just me. There are other people that have always wondered, and this feels like a good healthy setup for him.


The one little drama magnet out there that concerns me a little bit is you've got to keep Justin Jefferson happy. I mean, he's become one of those wide receivers where it's like he can't float through his career with poor quarterback play. You've moved on from Kirk Cousins. I'm sure he wasn't happy about that. And There is some pressure on Darnal to come in. He's now in that thing where your number one star diva wide receiver needs to be fed correctly on a weekly basis. They will.


You want to be happy?


Justin Jefferson is going to get fed.


You want to be happy? Just listen to Quesi at the Combine saying that Justin Jefferson deserves and will be the highest paid player in the league non-quarterback, which is a bold statement. You're only going to say that, I think, if you've already actually made that offer and he didn't accept it and you're still working it out. I mean, that That is an amazing thing. There's no way they are ever going to trade him. I think the contract, and we haven't seen the details, but whether the base salary is 6, 8, 9, whatever it is, to me, that actually tells you exactly who he is, which is an in between. Not a backup, not a starter, a guy you pair with your rookie, certainly above what Baker got last year and a lot above what Sam Darnold got last year. He only got three or four million last year. But someone that's not necessarily expected to start 17 games, that the rookie is going to have a chance, most likely, if they can get one.


And Quesi, he's looking at it like, we think we have something in here with him potentially. And if he can be a league average or better quarterback, would I rather have Sam Darnold for seven or be paying Kirk Cousins still 40?


Well, I think they did the right thing for their team. We talked about that yesterday.


When you needed to draft a new guy anyways, I think that that's the smarter move. Aaron Jones is an interesting signing just that one day he turns down a pay cut from the packers, and then he joins the rival. We've seen this move before, especially with the packers in the Vikings, and adds a little juice. I think he was playing well. At the end of last year, reportedly, he turned down a contract with the packers that would have brought his salary down to $4 million. He ends up getting six from the Vikings, so he does come out ahead. He must have known that before he did it, and now he can get a little revenge.


I still remember broadcasting a show from home when he signed that monster deal with the packers. It just shows you that 700 days later, it just doesn't matter.


If he's healthy, he's in a block and change in 700 days in life, especially in the end of the-It's disturbing.


By the way, any Van Ginkle, Vikings, takes about where he fits in in Fongio's defense?


Well, it's Brian Flores, who knew him so well in Miami. I think that Van Gyncal started to get on the radar of the hipster Van Gyncal crowd during that Flora's run in Miami, and then continued in a different scheme. It's like he seems like he could fit in anything, certainly with the Vikings.


In Adding Darnold to they really are the hipster team this year. Instead of signing Cousins for all that money, they get Darnold, hipster favorite, Van Gyncal, Blake Cashman, Jonathan Grunard. Aaron Jones has been extremely active here in free agency.


It's like the Silver Lake of the NFL.


They are not looking at it like we're taking some huge step back. They're year three under O'Know. They're definitely trying to compete. They just thought this was the time at quarterback to make the change.


Some real team of ATN vibes here.


No, we were never doing...


Just a conversation. Well, you know what? Can I argue why it's a conversation? Because now, it's like you bounce away from them for four seasons. But we made a mistake last year. But now this would be the year that when we don't pick them, they thrive. Or they start three and one, we pick them, and they lose seven out of eight, which is typically what the Vikings are doing to us.


I'm saying get in early. Get in early.


It would be good to pick one before the season starts. Whenever we pick midway through, they immediately go on a lose. I also have a lot of fun Vikings drops. Those are always fun.


I'm just saying it's a conversation. And Vikings fans are screaming right now at their listening device, Don't do it, don't do it. But it just might make the most sense. In other news, the Falcons, speaking of Kirk Cousins, so Cousins has a good setup. I think Darnold has a good setup where Cousins used to be. I think Cousins has a nice setup in Atlanta because you have Drake London as your number one. You have Kyle Pitz as your tight end with number one potential. You have Béjian Robinson, who has potential to be the best running back in the league. They did seem to be missing that second piece after Calvin Ridley disappeared in the wideout game. How about Darnell Mooney? So he lands three for 39, 26 guaranteed. This is one of my favorite moves, Greg, of free agency. In the first two days, I think Mooney was a depreciated asset. He's one year removed from a 1,100-yard season with Chicago. If you put him in functional offense with a pocket passer with elite skills like Cousins, I think that Mouhne can definitely bounce back and become a real dude in that offense. I love this move.


I do, too. He's a unique player because there just aren't many players that get open consistently deep down the field. Now, he's not a big player, and you do see him struggle sometimes in those contested catch situations, but he was in a tough spot, and there was a lot of chatter of, if you just watch the bears tape, he's out there getting and they don't have anyone. Yeah, they need a two. They need a three and a four and a five. They are going to need to get active in terms of the draft and just getting some rotation players. But he's someone that I think you can be confident. He takes a full complement of snaps. The interest was there for him. He got a lot more guaranteed money, for instance, than Gabe Davis. We'll see if he gets more than Calvin Ridley when he signs tomorrow. Sounds like he's probably going to sign with the Jaguars, by the way, while we're here, because if he signs with the Jaguars Wednesday, they only have to give up a third-round pick. If he re-signs with the Jaguars, which would mean today, they have to give up a second-round pick.


The fact that he's just floating out there means I don't think the Patriots are going to get there.


I was trying to make sense of this. Isn't that an easy trade term to circumvent?


Yes. Why did they-They are doing that.


But that seems such an easy way to do it. I feel like this was the Falcons, right? Why did they put the language like that where the Jaguars could just easily just wait an extra day?


It wouldn't surprise me if this is an issue brought up with the NFL management counselor or whoever decides these things.Iron it out.It seems a little shady to me, and the Patriots probably aren't going to get them. That was a side point, but Darnell Mooney. Well, two-lane connection, by the way. Two-lane GM, Terry Fontineau in Atlanta.


Greg, no. Couldn't get rid of him. Not a single person.


Tulane wide receiver Darnell Mooney. It's a little Greenway of loyalty there.


This is not a Tulane College podcast, but I appreciate the fact that you went to school there. He had 140 targets in that thousand-yard season. He's only had 122 over the last two years. I do think that he's in for a larger role, and they slotted incorrectly with the Falcons. Speaking of-And I'm glad you went to Tulane, Greg.


No, I just mean-Wait, you went to Tulane? I just mean this is probably the last time ever there's going to be a big time of free agent signing Tulane to Tulane.


Greg, by the way. Ever.


I mean, unless Fontanou goes and finds... Who else we got?


Don't worry, it won't get into detail, but how about some of those mega Greg reveals on to the airport today about his days at Tulane?


Yeah, I thought it was confessional.Learned a lot.I.


Lose track of what stories I have told you guys.I'm happy you're here.Explosive.Oh, stop.


Happy you're here. Hold on to your butts, Patriots Talk, they sign Jacobi Brisset. They signed Jacobi Brisset, so they add the veteran quarterback to the room, a guy that's... Everybody loves Jake brisket. I feel like we've been talking about Jake brisket on the show since in the very beginning. So much so that the Jake brisket dropped at a company's. Slides me off a piece of that Jake brisket. Has gotten use that If Frax could get just a slice of royalties, I would say Frax seems like she's pretty good with money with some of these trips she takes in the summer. But she probably wouldn't say no to more money. A little mailbox cash, as they call it.


That's how you make those trips.


If I've ever critiqued her to her face, it was like, Why aren't you actually becoming a voiceover artist in our town here in Hollywood? You'd be making Total Bank.


A lot of competition. As Zumwalt, that's a lot. Before you struck gold with our company. Jay makes seven million a year doing voice for us. It was a grind because there's so much competition. You know that Zumwalt? I went with him once. This is years ago. It would have been 2008. We were living in Hollywood, and I drove. Jay didn't know how to drive at the time, or he didn't have his license at the time.


Was he 14? How old was he?


Jay's your age around.




He's not a kid. I drove him, and we drove to a production studio in Culver City. I just sat in on a recording session where Jason had to redub all of Steven Segal's lines to some straight to video made made in Korea film or made in Russia film at the time. Just imagine watching Jason Zumwalt, The Voice of God, and around the NFL making grunting sounds in the voice of Steven Segal for three hours. It was amazing.


Can we purchase this tape? I want to watch this.


That's the life of a voiceover.


I almost need to leave the room right now. It's just too much.


Also the voice of Roman Belek in Grand Theft Auto is a mega fan Gamers, no. All right, let's get back on track. A little somewhat shout out. Jake brisket is in the room. He's a quarterback. Pat's going to take a quarterback number three overall? Maybe, probably. Jake is in there as a great veteran alongside a young quarterback that is coming in now that Mac Jones is out of the picture with Jacksonville. They also resigned offensive lineman Michael Wendu. I think I got it. You got it? Yeah. To a three-year, $57 million contract, 38 million guaranteed. That's nice money. They also re-signed Josh Uche on a one-year deal. He wanted to stick around. He wanted to stay with the Patriots. Calvin Ridley, reportedly, is potentially going to give up money that the Patriots want to give him to stay in Jacksonville. There's a report out there that the Pats are hot for Ridley, but Ridley's not so hot for the Pats, and he wants to stay in Jacksonville. So Patriots active today.


Look, if their plan here is to bring me back in, get me more in-by the way, the only reason you're out is because you don't go to the Super Bowl every year now, which is always a little bit of an underreported aspect of Greg is not a big fan.


Underreported. As soon as they stopped when it was Super Bowl, you bail.


I said it on this show. Everyone was very That's a bad fandom. Upset. It wasn't so much bail. It was just like, Hey, we've hit the peak. You're a little less into it. Tom Brady's gone. What are you going to-Hey, why don't you grow up? What are you going to replace Tom braided? How about replace him with one of the guys that actually started for him while he was serving his suspension back in the day with some exciting moments as a rookie. I mean, you get Jake brisket in the building, and then you get either Drake May or Jaden Daniels, and you got the perfect quarterback tutor. That That is an exciting combo. I do like they kept… This is very different than the Belichick area. They kept the players that I would want them to keep. Ucheon ended up only signing for one year, three million. Mike Garrafullo says he passed up money to stay elsewhere. He probably passed up second-year money, and he's betting on himself to have a bigger year. But it is interesting to me that these guys want to stay with Mayo. I really like Owenu. I mean, he's been their best offensive lineman, most consistent, versatile over the last couple of years.


It's like, they keep the guys they like, they bring in the guy they like. I see you, Gerard Mayo. I see what you're doing.


And their front office. It's not just a one-man band at this point. It's probably Elliott Wolf.


It's really not Gerard Mayo. But I think Percet- But I think Percet- Elliott Wolf.


What lineage? Peret is the perfect person for this situation. He's proving he can do this over and over. It's notable that Alex Van Peld is a true offensive coordinator. He was under Stefansky during that year that Peret shined in Cleveland. But he went after Baker, or at least reportedly. And he knows what he's getting in Jacobi Peret. Jacobi Peret is a celebrated Kevin Stefansky called him the best teammate he's ever observed in a locker room. So this Patriots team could use a little bit of that. And whatever rookie they draft, and I assume they will, it's the perfect path from A to B.


And it's similar money to Darnold. I think he's getting eight million. I I think we aren't going to know what they're doing, I'm going to guess, until draft week or draft night. I think they're leaving themselves some wiggle room here. If someone gives them a godfather offer, they might say, Let's move down. Let's pick up a bunch of picks. Who knows? Maybe we'll take a second or third round quarterback, and we just go with that for now if we're not in love with who's there at three.


If Jake brisket is one of the best veteran quarterbacks you'd want in a room with a young hotshot rookie, I would say among lower on the list would be Marcus Mariota, who quit on his team a couple of years ago. But apparently, he keeps getting hired. People must like the guy. I don't get it. The commanders agree to terms with Marcus Mariota on a contract that's worth up to six million, which is, again, what has Mariota done in the last eight years in this league?


Everyone wants to fix these high quarterbacks.


What is a pretty pick privilege, as Mena called it. The number two pick is going to Washington. They're going to obviously take as a quarterback. This is bad news for Sam Howell, who went from midway through last season. Oh, maybe Sam Howell is the long-term answer to. I don't even know if he's on the team anymore, the way this looks. That's one big move for Washington, or a move for Washington. The other one would be Austin Echler. Man, it is tough out there for running backs because Echler went from scoring 20 touch downs a year for a run there to having a down contract year in 2023. He a two-year deal with the Commanders. Not a lot of sizzle there. Worth up to 11.43 million, less than 5 million total in 2024. That is obviously when Echler was holding out last summer, and he was like, Look at my production. Look who I am. The worst-case scenario came true, short of getting a catastrophic injury, which is he didn't play as well, the tape didn't look hot, and then he didn't get paid very well. But at least he got a job. Could have been worse.


There were guys last year, if you remember, like the Dalvin' Cooks of the World that hung out all through the offseason looking for a job. Echler gets paid, but not what he wanted.


I mean, Antonio Gibson out the door to New England, so you pair him with Brian Robinson. I think reading some stuff that Echler put out there today, and he's pretty active on social media, seems highly motivated to wipe away the narrative from last year and what happened on the bad chargers team. I don't hate it. And this is a team also from the Mariota standpoint, absolutely, they're drafting a quarterback. I'm just assuming that without any at this point. There's whispers that Howell, if someone else wanted to make something out of them, that they would maybe move Howell.


Which to me, he'd be a fun backup.


I think so, too.


To add to the mix.


Look, motivation has never been an issue for Austin Echler. That dude has maxed out his career in a way that very few players his side is undrafted. I mean, he's had an incredible career, so I don't know if trying harder is going to get it done for him. I'm not excited about that backfield, Austin and Brian Robinson. They've been incredibly active, Dan. Brandon McManis, there is a kicker to changing teams, is a commander. Dante Fowler is a commander. Nick Allegretti, the guy who you might remember stepped in in the Super Bowl for the Chiefs. That's right. The last couple of games, he's a commander. Cleland Furl, a lot of Super Bowl experience. Then Jeremy Chin, that's one that I like out of all these just as a bit of a flyer, one year, five million had a nice early couple of years for the Panthers.


They're turning that roster over. And yet, until they need this quarterback to hit, until they get the new quarter, they got the owner out, now they got to get the quarterback right. And then there's just something so gray to me with that team, and they need that someone to electrify the team. I know the fans feel the same way.


It is a good sign that a bunch of players followed Dan Quinn from Dallas to Washington. And this is a team that I feel like, especially on a Ron Rivera, it's just Can you plug in aging, veteran, milk toast, quarterback for 2,000 years in a row. It's a new experience for them to go draft a rookie.


I mean, it might work out for the Patriots, but that win over the Broncos on whatever it was, Saturday night or Sunday night, it was Christmas Eve. The fact that you couldn't win one game down the stretch, Ron Rivera. How did that team turn into a four-win team? They go and steal that two-pick and they're sitting pretty.


That stiff kicker of yours, Pipes, one with the game on the line after missing 14 kicks earlier. That's right.


It does annoy me.


I wish they had their-Welcome to how the other half live, Greg. It's not fun. All right, one more before we take a break. Patrick Queen, the linebacker, former first-round pick of the Ravens who had a breakout season last year. Once Roquan Smith hit the scene in Baltimore. He was able to leverage that not into a new deal with the Ravens, but a contract with the rival Stealers three years, up to 41 million. I don't know what the real money is, but Queen goes to Pittsburgh. Another one, Mark, that just makes sense.


Well, if there's two teams I could pick league-wide to make good use of these signings, it's Pittsburgh and it's the Ravens. It does feel like this is the free agency Maelstrom, where you're getting a lot of player goes from A to rival B. There's some juicy story lines. You can already see that Patrick Queens lined up against the Ravens and Lamar Jackson in week three on Sunday Night Football, that's your story line That's what they went in there.


This Steeler's regime has really struggled to fix this inside linebacker position, something they used to be known for, and they've just been throwing good money after bad. They finally got a little more aggressive. They're usually not too aggressive in free agency, but the real money really is a one-year, $14 million contract. I think Patrick Queen would be high on the list of guys who were most disappointed by the market he had when he got to free agency. Jordan Brooks, Frankie Louver. They got better deals, but really all the off-ball linebackers, none of them hit it too big.


All right, let's take another break, and we will continue on.


Before we take a break, let's do a little breaking news. Perfectly-timed breaking news. Bang. The Steelers are sending wide receiver Deontay Johnson to the Carolina Panthers. Hey, Bryce Young actually has a wide receiver.


That's good. That's a good trade. I don't even know what the terms are.


We don't need it. Nobody knows yet.


Man, the Panthers need Adam Thielen, for all the trade on his tires, he put together a nice season for them, but they obviously need to fill the DJ more hole. Does Deontay Johnson, is he a knucklehead? Is he a guy that you could trust to be your down to down number one dude and anchor of the offense? We'll see, but he certainly has a talent.


No, he gets open, and we've got an update. It is quite an interesting trade, a player for player trade. Deontay Johnson and a late pick. I think it's pick 240. What round is that? Sixth, probably. Then the Steelers get Dante Jackson. Very confusing. Deontay Johnson for Dante Jackson.


Can we give him a new name, too?


Dante Jackson, who is an up and down cornerback, but good when he's been good, and pick 172. That's fun. The Steelers get 178. They get a day 3 move up in the draft, and they get a cornerback in exchange for Deontay Johnson. I mean, cornerbacks, they need cornerbacks in Pittsburgh. I get it, but it seems good for Carolina.


I think that's Deontay Jackson fits for the Steelers. I really think he does.


He's like a nasty thing. He really does. I like Deontay Johnson. I like Deontay, but I think if you're inside the Steelers world, Deontay Johnson had those weeks last year where he was accused of not putting in full effort, and I wonder if he burned bridges.


You're right. He's talked about in trades for a while, so it's like maybe they're sick of him.


But also, bitterly disappointing because he's so talented. But his act, obviously, is what got him sent out of town. So the Panthers are taking a little bit of a roll of the dice there in terms of who you're bringing in. But if it works, I think it's a good trade.


Yeah, they needed it. I think I'm fine with both sides. It is so hard to get wide receivers, which is why throwing DJ more of all people into that trade, I think, really hurt Carolina. They felt that. They need two more, but you can't start getting 2-3 good ones without one first. He gets open. I mean, he has a reception perception We've got another bit of breaking news. I think it's-Tepra be talking? It's not Carolina, but it is a fun one. During the show, the top guy left on my top 101, Daneel Hunter. He got taken off the board. Now it's the number 2 guy on the list or number 3, Chauncey Garner Johnson is returning to the Eagles on a three-year deal. Isn't that nice?


Up to 30.


Took a little one-year break. There you go.


He's back. Eagles are like, Oops, we messed up. Come home.


They do feel like they messed up, I think, with that James Bradbury contract. They could have just given that money to Chauncey Garner Johnson last year, but oh, well.


Isn't it nice when you could correct your error like that? Like us with Van Ginkle.


He's only 26 years old, and he has bounced around, but that was a perfect spot for them. Their secondary was rough last year. As exciting as they were or they look offensively, I still have questions about the defense, but this helps.


Yes, that late season collapse was almost unique. You have not seen anything like that from where they started to where they finished. Changes are being made in Philly, and we'll see what happens. Let's take a break, and we will finish out the news. Now another edition of NFL Media Insiders. Friends or foes. And Cowboys long time all pro. Speaking of receivers who would...




Never mind. Go ahead. I thought it was me. Listen. I was told I was gone. No, no, no. It's all right. It's okay. You got it, Mike. Do it. Ian's not paying attention. I'm not even on the screen. It's the voice of God, Mike. It's the voice of God. Tell me about something else, please. It's been a long couple of days. We're 25 hours into this frenzy?


Oh, my God. We're live, guys.


We're not going to tape.


They're getting worn down with a barrage of news that seems to never end. I feel like the only one thing is what life is about at this It's just NFL transactions.


Let's hear another one. You got another one? It's a good app so far. Andrew, if I may, Tom is usually the most buttoned up, the most on the money of us all. So when even he is just like, Oh, my bad. I thought it was, you know it's coming unraveled. That worries me because we still got a couple of days left. To think that Josie Jules got us off the tracks. Yeah, Josie Jules got us back on the tracks.


You got the friend back on the track.


You'd almost have to say our critique yesterday on various platforms. Don't say our. Well, no.


You made it a little personal, and I was taken aback.


I wouldn't have gone there out of pocket, but when the topic came up, I went down the road. But it was a bit of a flashpoint. Focus on some level, a media, an understated media because it just seems to be growing and growing.


Wait, so you're saying this could be the beginning of the end for the inside?


No, I'm just saying that it's 24 hours later, and the tension seems to be only rising.


Right. You could also say an entire segment on the show called NFL Media Insider's Friends or Fos, might be teasing this as well.


That's true.


It's a good point.


It's a concern. It would be good to do a flashpoint focus on the insiders and just have one of them on.


Mike G. Or all three of them.


Mike G. I think Mike G would give us unvarnished takes on it.


But Mike G also, what I love is he's willing to be just a tad removed from some of the deeper, what it seems to be going on there, from what we can tell. He could give us not a one-sided opinion, but...


Maybe we'll get Mike on next week or something.I'm.


Sure he'd be check in on the status.I'm sure he'd be excited to discuss the status.


I think he actually would. He might get a text about it after the appearance. All right, let's get back into it. Yes, Tyrod Taylor leaves the Giants. He gets replaced by Drew Locke. The Jets ruin their season last year. That's not an overstatement. By not addressing quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers, by going with Zack Wilson, who had given them no indication of an ability to play starting quarterback in the NFL at a high level through two years, to then say he was the backup. And in only the Jets moment, Rodgers blows his Achilles. We're going to get to Rodgers in a second. On the fourth play of the season, Wilson is a train wreck. They end up using a bunch of quarterbacks, season ruined with the great defense. Tyrod Taylor now joins of the fray. And Tyrod Taylor is the backup's backup. If Jake brisket is President of the Backups Club, Tyrod Taylor might be Vice President. Aaron Rodgers might be Vice President soon. But I love Tyrod as a backup. I don't like durability concerns. We already have a 40-year-old quarterback, but I can't say anything else other than, Okay, you've professionally filled the backup spot this year, unlike last year, Joe Douglas.


From that standpoint, good job by the Jets. They also address their offensive line in some way. Ravens guard, John Simpson, who was a starter for all 19 games for them last year, he gets signed to a contract, so he immediately becomes one of their starting guards. They also take a flyer on former 49ers first-round picture von Kinlaw, who signs a one-year deal with the team.


Love Tyrod, love the bizarre transformation he made, love the Jets agreeing with me and not nick Westling, who thought Tyrod was way too high in my rank because he was like, something. He was like, Calm down. In my mind, Tyrod was always overly safe. He can run and he's got a good arm, but he's just very conservative. Then when he came in last year, he was like, This career might be ending soon. I'm going to turn into Ryan freaking Fitzpatrick. He led the NFL by far, according to PFF in big-time throw rate.


He was slinging the pill.


17 big-time throws in very limited sample size. But if it's anyone over 50 dropbacks in the league, he had a couple of hundred. Easily number one. It's a good list, too. It's Stafford, Josh Allen, Gino, Dak, Trevor Lawrence. It's a good list. He was slanging it.


The whole Zack Wilson thing beyond his actual play, it was just a weekly storyline. There was drama. Then at some point, he and Rodgers, you're hearing about, weren't as close as you thought. It's like, Tyrod Taylor brings zero drama. The Jets could to use a player like that. He's not going to get into the headlines as far as we know. Probably he will. That's how it works.


He also seems to get hurt.


Well, right. His durability is a continuing narrative everywhere he goes, but hopefully, he doesn't have to play at all.


John Simpson, a nice little Mahler, will blow up your opposing defensive lineman with some splash blocks.


Some of his pop the hood analytics suggests he is, after an up and down start to his career, maybe a good signing. So I hope so. Now, Aaron Rodgers is still the QB1 ostensibly. He hasn't really played for them yet, but we get everything else with Aaron Rodgers, including this from the New York Times. Hit it, Aaron. The New York Times. This is a headline that broke about an hour and a half ago. Aaron Rodgers and Jesse Ventura top RFK Junior's list for running mate. Here's the lead by Rebecca Davis O'Brien. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Has recently approached the NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler, Jesse Ventura, about serving as his running mate on an independent presidential ticket, and both have welcomed the overtures. Two people familiar with the discussions said, We have a lot of overseas listeners. It is almost a certainty that it will be Donald Trump versus Joe Biden in the November presidential election. One of those two guys will most likely become President. Rfk, who seems like a nut and is a big anti-vaxxer and all that other stuff. I don't even care enough. Don't come at me with, actually RFK is good.


I don't care. Just take it somewhere else.


He's not.


He's the Ross Perot of this election for people that are old enough. Can he take votes away from one of the Democrats or the Republicans? So he does potentially have a big role in this election. And the fact that Aaron Rodgers potentially is mulling the idea of being vice president tells me again, and let it be known that I'm on record. I said it a month ago on the show, I feel terribly about this upcoming jet season. Aaron Rodgers, who came out and said after the year, no more distractions. Now he's in talks to be a vice presidential candidate. And by the way, when Mark is the presidential election-It's right in the heart of the NFL season.


It takes months and months and hours and thousands of hours of time to run.


When is the very beating heart of the election process when you're on the run up to the election and you're traveling, crisscrossing the country?


The autumn into late autumn. August, September, October.


Aaron, come back to us, number one, for even allowing this to get to this point, but I'm sure he will explain it in a way that makes sense to him. The fact that it's coming from the Times and is reported by all the highest or most respected media outlets tells you it might be real.


He said it. He's on record saying that those are at the top of his list, and he's talking to Rodgers consistently. Rodgers, just a few years ago, was quoted saying, I'm an athlete, not an activist. And said he didn't want to be treated that way. Now he has a legitimate chance to be the vice presidential candidate. This isn't just lately in American politics, when there's a third or fourth party on the ballot, they don't get any meaningful vote. It can be anywhere from less than 1% to 2% to 3%, something like that. At least right now, it appears that RFK Jr. Has a chance to get... Not a Not a chance to win, but a chance to get a sizable part of the electorate to vote for him anywhere from 10% to 20%, something like that. Aaron Rodgers might be on that ticket. Yeah, I think stupid. I can't imagine this was actually going to happen.


He's married to Sheryl Hines of Herbieur enthusiasm. I think that she'd be fascinating.


We probably should stop talking.


I wouldn't be terribly... I mean, I'd be disappointed by the overall boondoggle when it was over. But if Rodgers decided to retire tomorrow to take this run seriously with Kennedy, I don't think that would be the worst thing for the Jets.


What if he runs and he plays for the Jets? Nothing's off the table right now. I would think- His weekly McAfee appearance becomes like his stump day. Instead of traveling the country, he just-Well, actually, because if you're voting for a quarterback who could be unfurling heroics every Sunday versus clunky speeches, it might be a better place for vice presidents to aren't seen in high esteem, typically.


Does this sound like anybody you know in the NFL, Mr. Kennedy, 70, has in recent years become prominent for his vaccine skepticism and his promotion of conspiracy theories about the federal government and public health apparatus?


Yeah, there seems to be... There's a match there.


Greg, you're saying, Let's move on, but that's the news, dude. This is in the New York Times. Bro.


It's crazy, man. Well, yeah.


This isn't us just shooting from the hip, right?


No, I know, but we're going to get the... There is We're going to hear from the RFK Junior Bros, and there's no group that's more annoying. I guess maybe they are in Rogers Bros. They're all as one.


Lyons gave up. Let's move on. Okay. The Lyons Got Carlton Davis to receive Carlton Davis. They gave up a 2024 third-round pick and two-six. That's a nice move by Detroit, who really need to make upgrades to their defense, and Davis helps there. They also He added Marcus Davenport and cornerback Amik Robertson. The operation in Detroit making moves as well.


Little surprising that the Bucks did this, but it just was a cap move. Carlton Davis is a number one type of cornerback when he's right. But like so many cornerbacks, it's a tough position to pick a guy long term. He'll look like a Pro Bowler one year and disappoint the next. He's had some injury issues, but a little surprising the Bucks gave up on him.


Like if Aaron Rodgers retired, My choice. It has to be soon, by the way. He'd have to get the guaranteed money goes away, right? That goes back into the coffers.


I would say one thing about him. I think he would not try to fleece the Jets financially. I think he would...


He had some interview. He said he wanted to play four more He's been in the news lately, recently.


No, he's talking about being president.


Yeah, he wants to do someone else.


Four more years. Aera, era. I'm Robert F. Kennedy. Aera, era. Welcome, Aaron, to the stage. Aera, era. All right. The Seahawks keep Leonard Williams and tight-end Noah Fante. They bring them back on new deals. The Dolphins also staying busy, signing Linebacker Jordan-Brooks, Shaq Barrett, Mark. Center Aaron Brewer and tight-end Noah Fent. They bring him back on new deals. The Dolphins also staying busy, signing Linebacker Jordan-Brooke's Shaq-Barrett. Mark. Center Aaron Brewer. Anthony Walker.


Are you Dolphins fan? It's not all doom and gloom. You're still making moves.


You like the Shaq Barrett signing, Mark?


I was officially wrong about Shaq Barrett about a half a decade ago when I thought he had that one five That game where I was like, it's just a flash in the pan. He was much more than that.Pro-bowler, Super Bowl champion.Yeah, like an anchor to a Super Bowl-winning team. So X marks the spot on a bad opinion by me.


Half a decade to go. This is a nice signing.


A bad opinion, I also would say, is, let's team up Jameis Winston with Deshaun Watson in the same quarterback room.


Did you read what Jameis Winston said?




So he basically-How do you feel about it?


Tell me how you feel about it.


He had other offers, and he said he wants to go to Cleveland. Specifically, he feels like it's almost like a spiritual calling to go and work directly with Deshaun Watson. It's a very Jameis Winston social media post. See what out there?


But that's why he chose it. To be his Svenali?


I think to help him.


To guide him spiritually?


To help him grow. That was the-Jameis Winston? Yes, that was the intonation, if you read it.


I don't know if you've seen. He's done some pastor-type work. There were some great clips of him speaking in church while holding a baby and making a very thrilling talk.We're weird QB.Did.


The baby get intercepted shortly thereafter?


A very thrilling talk.Hey, now.


He's a legend. That is going to He had the fake down as one of the best last snaps ever.


That's a great way to end. You knew it was over, and he had the fake Neil down. That's how it ends with the Saints. I can't get over, and that's amazing that he's going to help Deshawn Watson see the light.


Getting good backup money, which does, to me, indicate, look, they wanted something that could play. Sorry.


They had the best backup in the league last year, and he's a free agent. His name is Joe Flacko.


I'm with you. I think we've talked about this. I think the Joe Flacko presence and what he created last year was probably like, Is this too much of a distraction if Watson continues to be the bet?


I hate that thinking. He was awesome for that. I agree with you. I think that's an element here between the fans and maybe the locker room and whatnot.


So we bring in a known knucklehead in Jameis that no one will have concerns. Okay, now I understand.


I mean, he is a known knucklehead, but I think teams enjoy the experience.


His teammates like him, though.


Oh, good.


Well, in football, that I'm not sure that's true of the other quarterback on the roster.


Listen, we just finished my quarterback is mulling a VP run with an insane person. But the idea that you would pair Winston and let Flack walk is one of the crazier moves I've seen so far this week.


I don't like it. They did keep Zedaria Smith, which I think is very important to edge Russ the Pasture across from Miles Garrett. He was a big difference last year.


Is everyone... Because Flacko, obviously, you haven't heard his name connected anywhere. Is everyone of the belief that that was just a little hot streak, and he's now no longer-He said he wants to start.


I mean, any quarterback would say that. Cleveland seemed like the logical spot.


He wanted to go to-He's been connected with the Titans. I think it would be a good backup spot.


Yes, you mentioned Smith, Maurice Hearst, Naheem Hines, running back, also joins that room. Of course, nick Chubb coming back from a really ugly knee injury and subsequent surgery. Afternoon delight. 8:00 delight. It's not the afternoon. It's either the morning or the night. It's not the afternoon. Greg E. Levante David stays with the Bucks. Wow, he's a Bucks lifer, just like Mikey Evans. The Ram springback, cornerback Darius Williams. Kenny Morris staying in India on a three-year, $30 million deal. And the Panthers continue their spending. Dick Gard, Damian Lewis, linebacker Josie Juhl, and also Ashawn Robinson.


Anything there? Spending a ton of money. Damian Lewis got a big contract, so they gave two huge contracts to interior linemen. They think that's the key to keeping their diminutive quarterback up.


Does any team team bring back X safeties and cornerbacks more than the Rams?


That's right. Darius Swims was playing well with Jacksonville, and yeah, but now he's going back.


The Titans sign former charges first-round pick, Kenneth Murray. The Bills bring back Daquan Jones. The Chiefs sign Deion Bush to a new deal. And Irv Smith, welcome aboard. So there's a new piece of the offense for Patrick Mahomes, the tight-end, veteran tight-end. Beers sign tight-end, Jerold Everett. Eagles sign, Devante Parker, formerly of the Pats. Packers Please bring back All Pro return slot corner, Keesian Nixon. Anything on those?


Patrick Mahomes restructured his contract to open up a lot of space as we enter the new league here on Wednesday, where trades could happen. Just something to keep an eye on with the Chiefs. Nice.


We'll be right back. Hi, I'm Paul Sheer, and I am here to present the Best Sports podcast. And I'd really just like to take a moment here to see how far we've come because we just used to listen to dudes who didn't play sports talk about professional athletes, and now we listen to professional players talk about athletes. A lot. Classic Sheer. It's pretty great. Now, our The Nominies for the Best Sports podcast are...


The Nominies for Best Sports are...


I remember Sheer from the Best Week Ever.


New Heights.


We're probably Vikings. There's probably some Viking blood down the line.


I was lifting weights down the shore one time, and one of the guys was like, You definitely have Viking blood in you. Club Shay Shay.


But people normally tell the truth of kids drunk and angry people. So you're not a kid. I'm not a kid. You're angry?


No, I'm not angry, but boy, hey, boy.


Hard in my take.


If you ever thought it'd be fun to like, Hey, let's just try to hit 41 free throws in a row with your friends. It's not fun. It's not fun. It's not fun, especially if a lot of your friends don't play basketball.


Around the NFL. Patient when he needed to, being aggressive when he needed to, and just always doing the right thing because that's what great quarterbacks do.


The Dan Leventard Show. Olson and Romo make you feel like they're enjoying their Sunday as much as you are. Braided The starting point isI who is this guy? I think the product's mediocre the moment I leave the field. Here we go, everybody. Buckle up. And the winner for the iHeart Best Sports podcast goes to Club Shay Shay. Boo.




Boo, boo, boo, Boo, Boo. I had this-Losers.


We lost.


I had this-We are losers.


Mounting feeling that we were brought there by corporate types because we were going to win. But then when we got there to this actual ceremony-You did predict it.




Well, because I was like, There's no way Shannon Sharp has come to this, but they flew us here. But then the minute Shannon Sharp walked through the doorway, and then when we also found out that there was a roped-off section for a level of talent, and we were not allowed into that roped-off section. That's not a good sign. We're not winning this.


That's when the-We're not winning. The first class in champagne days were over. When I saw literal red velvet ropes and a gleaming white couch for one of our competitors, and while we were stuck amongst the rift rift, I said, I don't think this is going our way. Sure enough, you would say, Wow, Club Shay-Shay. That was a big Shannon Sharp, the Kat Williams interview. That was the viral hit of the year. I can't believe they beat the Kelsey Brothers. Well, then the next category was best podcast of the year. Kelsey Brothers took that home. They had a video recording of Travis and Jason with just the vaguest idea what they were even accepting, especially Travis. Travis seemed to be completely in another world. But congratulations to all the winners. It is an honor to be nominated. As you heard from that crew, those are all huge podcasts. The iHeart podcast awards. We were there. It was cool. We thank iHeart, and they flew us down there. Not to win. That's the last time I ever go to an award show and don't win. If that means I don't go to another award show, so be it.


But I will never go and lose ever again.


Because there was a point where we were like, Wait, or have other losers been flown here?


Right. We started at a certain point after a couple of drinks, the open bar was open. You start asking hard questions. It was like, Is there anyone else connected with a podcast nominated that's not a winner tonight?


That's literally standing.


I came to the conclusion that we were alone in that category and that maybe we were behind the scenes. The Rooze was on and we were being snickered after the whole 48-hour process by various individuals.


I did not share your guys's optimism. Even on the way there, I was hiding behind the like, Hey, one in five chance. I wouldn't give us any more than that. Why would you expect to? Probably in my heart, if I had known Shannon Sharp was there, that was the moment that we didn't have a chance. And yes, they have all these roped off couches, and they have different personalities. Kyle McGlackland was there. Chris Pine was there.


Adam Devine.


Popular podcaster or YouTuber, Bobby Altaff was there.


She was there, yeah.


I'm someone who wants to find out and just make sure, even though it sure didn't seem like we had access to those couches. But Dan witnessed what he termed a very embarrassing moment of me.


I wasn't going to bring it up.


Making sure that we couldn't get into those couches and seeing if I could get in there. I was told, no, I did not have access to that. I thought, well, at least I got my boy Dan backing me up here. But Dan quietly walked away from me as I was I'm trying to do this.


Once I saw the 6'8, 340 pound bouncer type dude in front of the velvet ropes, give a Greg a look like, what? I was like, okay, I'm going to take just about a half step back here not to be connected to a very low moment in history.


Look, did it dent my pride a tiny bit? A tiny bit. But I think the calculation was worth it. If I hadn't even 3% chance of sitting on that couch for the show instead of standing, I wanted to find out for sure. I wanted to make sure.


Always ask someone else to ask is one of the...


Good move in that situation.


If you're talent, especially, don't actually be the one like, Sir, can I get behind the road?


Well, my plan was-I think you actually had to say we're talent, which is a toughie to say, Hey, we're talent, can we also go behind the road? I don't think I said that. I didn't say that. My plan was to just walk in there confidently because it's a lesson in life. That worked. If you're going somewhere you're not supposed to be, just look like you belong. But he stepped He stepped forward and the rope was up.


Unless the guy that looks like Clive Campbell is the bouncer.


I don't think I said we were.


Humbly an experience on various fronts.


We did get, and like I said, congratulations to Shannon Sharp.


You know what? He was very... He made a very heartfelt speech that actually showed it meant a lot to him, and I was like, Okay, you got to give it to him.


I like the-I didn't say we have to give it to him, but I would say he's had a meteoric rise in the industry, and good for Club Shee Shee follows him everywhere he goes. He did have something to say about us as well. I'm calling the President. President, we need a National Guard. We need as many men as you can spare 'cause we are killing the-Heroes.


Now that's turned into a low moment in Patriot's history and my own personal history. Yeah.


But again, cool, open bar. Had some good barbecue before at Terry Black's with her old buddy Matt Tanten. Yeah. And another experience, another notch on the belt. Humbling, but also...


Well, it instills in us a sense of revenge. We'll be back. I think they lit a fire under our belt.


You said it.


You said on the shoulders, You said, Dan, as this was happening, this is just so perfect for our podcast. It just makes so much sense how it all played out. And you know what? And we talked about it afterwards, too. That was a scene because it was a strange... It was an award show. It was strange to be there on some level. We thought Chris would have really gotten a kick out of it/been disgusted by it. Probably enjoyed it in the end. It would have blown me.


It was an open bar. Chris would have enjoyed that as well. I think it would have been I think we all were enjoying the... It was an outrageous scene. It streamed live and everything. Anyway, my wife was watching it live at my son's Little League game. She got to see We just lose.


She doesn't listen to a single episode of the pod, so you got her to participate.


That's true. I sent a text because I had alerted my parents that we were going to be in Texas and we were up for an award. When I texted Deb and Keith that we lost Shannon Sharp, my father's response. His texting is always, as many men as age, very taught. It's very straight to the point. We lost Shannon Sharp. I never cared for him. I don't take it. I don't feel that way about Shannon, but I'm glad that dad has our back. Oh, he also added, I didn't see this one, and bad on predictions.Wow.Okay. In terms of his pundentry as well. Love it.


I thought he meant our prediction that we were going to win. Also bad.


All right, anything else? Tomorrow is the official start of the league here. Now, I feel like we're doing too many shows. We're going to do tomorrow's show, and then we'll see what comes after that. But make sure you tune in because we're going to have... What's out there? What's the biggest thing still out there?


I'd say I don't think anything's going to happen. The Justin field situation.It's.


A little strange.Poor Justin. Okay, so only six of the top 25 are available, even starting that list-Who are the six?on Monday. That's a list. The entire top 13 off the original list are gone. But who are the six from my top 25? Tyron Smith, Calvin Ridley, Kendall Fuller, Marquise Brown. Not much of a market for him. Stefan Gilmore, Chase Young, who is reportedly going to take a couple of visits, and Eric Armstead, who probably shouldn't even be on this list because it was reported he was going to be released. I have some doubts of whether this is going to actually happen on Wednesday, but that's the six. But 17 of the top 50, 46 of the 101 overall.


We are getting to the point where we can make a 475-item news list, but a lot of the big names are gone.


No, but here's what could happen. It's like that Mahomes restructuring that I mentioned, The trades, anything surprising on the trade front, I think still could happen Wednesday, Thursday.One.


Big prediction.That's what's happened. One big signing or trade.Oh, wow.I'll mention you have Smith atop your list.Fierry Smith? Smith. Jets bend big on him and bring in Smith. That's my prediction.


Justin Jefferson has moved.


Oh, stop. Now you're just getting old.


The old Sessler, Hale Mary, at it again.


There are little chirpings and whispers out there that...


I mentioned to our friend Rota, Pat, how we lost the club Shee Shee, and he said it was probably his Justin Herbert for four first-round Picks prediction.


That hurt us. The voters did make...


Just seemed too outrageous.


Varios voters came up to me and mentioned Pat's Herbert talk.


I think we get a chargers trade. I think we get a Joey Bosa trade. If we want to get wildly specific, let's go Joey Bosa to the Niners, even though they've signed a couple of pass records. Why not? Team up the Bosa brothers.


How about the Chiefs make a substantial move on offense?




Yeah, they've done very little.


How about like, all right, I'll do something on the realm of Real. Brandon, I, you traded to the Chiefs.Wow, they couldn't do that.Now, there are whispers about I, you.Yes..


No, there are.


And they have a needed wide receiver.


I don't like them doing that in general. It's like, then they're one injury away from having exactly the opposite of what they had last year.Patriots..


Into the Chiefs. I've read if they lose out on the Calvin Ridley sweepstakes, they could dive into the trademark. They're just trying to plug and they might try to get in on the Tee Higgins or Ayuk or on a lower level, Keenan Allen.


And nothing from the Cowboys seems weird. I feel like they are going to want to make a splash.


Yeah, they got like, Dak Prescott's brother tweeting ill words about the Cowboys front office compared to the Eagles.


All right. We don't need to envy the Eagles after our last season. Everyone's so quick to just dive back in on the Eagles.


I know, but we lose.


It's like a paragon of how an organization is.


Reagency is creates mental disorder.


Yeah, it does. All right, that's it. Let's go. Let's get out of here. It's time. It's been a long day. It's been a long three days, but we'll be back. Until then. Keep the call..