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The Around the NFL podcast. Knows there's no basement in the Alamo. From Austin, Texas, it's Around the NFL. Free Agency Week, special edition. Sunday Edition was not the plan. And yet here we are in hotel rooms giving you the information you need. Dan Hanses here, Greg Rosenthal, Mark Sesler, and we are in Austin here, the capital of Texas, the place where I got married to my beautiful wife 12 years ago in May for the iHeart Radio Awards. And we are up for Best Sports podcast. That's tomorrow night. But That's just a personal journey we're on. The reason we're here today is to get you caught up on free agency week, which has already started. This is different. Greg Rosenthal. Did I mention him with Mark Sesler and Greg? I think I did. We've done this It's been for many years now. This is the 12th year of the podcast. We've usually been okay starting Monday and going Monday, Tuesday. But there's been so much churn going on, so much big news that it necessitated a clearing of the decks, and that's what we're going to do for you guys today, Bunker Style.


There's nothing better in life than something that's a surprise, little surprise podcast. The NFL wants to just own our lives every day, every segment of the year. I think they've extended free agency. It used to start on the Wednesday or whatever when the league year started, then it went to Tuesday and Monday, and now it's Sunday. These are the biggest award shows happening in America this week, the iHeart podcast.


Also, what would the best sportscast podcast podcasts do. They would land at the airport, immediately jet stream to a cab, get to the hotel, don't even unpack our bags, set our equipment up, record a mic, record a pot, on a mic.


Is Club Shay Shay doing that? Club Shay Shay is closed on Sunday. What are they doing? It's like Chick-fil-A.


Club Shay is still coasting off the Kat Williams interview, and here we are giving you the content that you need. Yeah, so much has gone down. We're going to get into it. I mentioned, BunkerCast style. If listeners that were following us during the dark days, in the early days of COVID, remember, we would give you guys a daily news rundown from our garages, and we're going to get you up to date. So not a lot of bells and whistles to this app. It's just what you need to know as the legal tampering period opens on Monday. Shall we dig into it? Please. All right. Hit it, Eric.


So if you ever got a problem with Agent 89, I'm sorry for saying that you're an average wide receiver that they eventually will move on.


When teams call me and ask him, Should they trade for you?


I will say, No, don't trade for Jerry Judy, because he's mentally unable to handle constructive criticism from people who watch, specifically, Can he be a wide receiver?


He could be a wide receiver. He's a tier three. We're going to get to Jerry Judy, who's on the move. But there's something so crushing about Steve Smith having his own little tears and just dropping it as the final line. He's a tier three. Outschers. Outschers. So let's get into the big news, though. The lead news. Baker Mayfield. He has signed a big deal with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers. It is a three-year contract, or at least that's what it is on paper. It is worth 100 million. At least that's what it says on paper. But Rapsheets says the deal includes 50 million in guaranteed money, and he can earn as much as $1.15 over the next three years. He'll never see $1.15. But, Greggy, this contract for Baker, which comes after... He was connected in a couple of different places, Atlanta, New England, but Tampa always felt like the place he would end up, and both sides of this marriage seem happy, and they will move forward together. For how long? We'll see, but at least for 2024.


Yeah, at least one year. We'll circle back to the contractual details, which I think are interesting, inform how in they are on Baker. But to me, that's not as interesting as this journey he's been on to sign a one-year, three to $4 million contract a year ago at this time. Nobody wanted him. To this moment where I think he is smart Partly realizing his best chance for success is just to stay where he is in Tampa. It's not going to be the same offensive coordinator, so that's a little bit of a concern. But to stay with Mike Evans, stay with this organization. I just can't remember a guy having this much of an his top and down career this early into his career. If you're Mark Sesler, a big Baker fan, I think this is best case scenario. I mean, he's flying. He's crushing the Sam Darnold debate right now. This is his chance, I think, to be a legit starting quarterback. What do you mean crushing the Sam Darnold debate? What does that even mean? It's been ups, there's been downs, but right now, Baker's making a lot of money.


Bullish comment. Go ahead, Mark.


I would say that quarterbacks are like cats on some level because they do have a chance to overcome what appears to be death. I mean, we are two seasons removed from Baker being axed by the woebagon Carolina Panthers that had no other answers at quarterback, and we're willing just to move on from him. And he goes to the Rams and has that three quarters of milk play, and then that magical final fourth quarter where he slays the Raiders after being there for a couple of days. But then the Rams didn't want him ultimately either. It seemed like, oh, that would be a place where he'd stay behind Matthew Stafford. So he goes to Tampa Bay, pulls off arguably his finest season. I would say his rookie season had this magic to it where you're like, the ceiling, we don't even know what the ceiling is. But to go do what he did with the Bucks, I really think the best situation, and the money for him is a surprise after where he was a year ago, certainly, is that he is in a place that wants him. And that wasn't true of Cleveland. That wasn't true of Carolina.


That wasn't true of the Rams, ultimately. And I think what he went through with the Browns was certainly humbling, certainly almost on the border of humiliating after the way he started. So to be This year, it just tells you that the story of these quarterbacks is about as unpredictable as any position in sports.


I think even though it is short term, and it is more or less, Greg, you and I were talking about it at the airport, the Geno Smith contract, and Geno is probably in his second and final year with Seattle after signing that deal. I don't like it. I don't think it's a bad deal for the Bucks. It's one of those deals that makes sense after last year. But then it's like... And you said it, you want Baker on the deal when he's trying to prove it. Now you're paying him as a guy that's supposed to actually lead you potentially to the promised land. I know he's not paid at the top tier of quarterbacks, but for me, that's way too much for Baker where I can... And you bring up guys like Jake brisket all the time, and players of that elk. In terms of what Baker actually gives you over the course of a 17-game season, I think they'll regret this contract, but I also understand why they did it. It was a safe move. It will be seen mostly as a logical move, but I have a feeling this time next year, it won't be remembered as a wise one.


But Dan, what if he gives you what he gave them a year ago? For an NFL quarterback, is the price out of hand at that point?


I guess. I think it's like one of those things good is the enemy of great. I think he is a solution where he is, in a way, the progress stopper for them finding the next true quarterback after braided. But also, I say that knowing the Bucks' history, for the most part, they've been comb in the desert looking for a quarterback. Braided was this outlier. They won the Super Bowl with Brad Johnson, and that was a huge defense that really got that done. So He brings them a level... He was obviously a professional competent quarterback this year, but it's just like he has to repeat that. Consistency has never been Baker's thing. Staying healthy has never been Baker's thing. It's just a deal that I feel like is a major red flag for me, and where it's going to be a lot of deals over the next five days that you're going to put your eyebrow up on. This is one of them for me.


Yeah, I do worry that his play will go down because he's been streaky. Now, I actually thought he played his best ball at the end of the season. The playoffs and whatnot was like, Okay, this is almost the Baker people were talking about how he was playing the whole year where I thought he was a little uneven. Without Dave Canales, that's a big concern. But if he does decline, Dan, he's not going to be on the team next year. It's very similar to not just the Geno contract, but the Derek Carr contract that the Raiders gave Derek Carr before the 2022 season. Both of those contracts with Geno, they gave around 10 million in this case Baker. I think Geno's was 12. Into the second year, Derek Carrs was similar. And the Raiders just decided to eat that money, and they cut him because he didn't play well. Geno was just over the line, I believe, for Seattle to just be like, Okay, let's keep Geno. And who knows, he might even get a third year if he plays great. But they're in a spot where they can draft someone. And I don't think the Bucks would eliminate that.


To answer your question, Mark, though, where you said, Would it be worth it if he does play at that level? I think it would be. If you actually do the average quarterback salary now, Baker You're still only 16th or 17th at the time of signing it. So this is your middle class. There has to be something between Superstar and Jacohe-Briset, and it doesn't seem fair that it's that huge of a drop. So I think it's fine. If he plays at that level, I think it's worth it. And I think it shouldn't eliminate them from even thinking about drafting someone in the second round.


When I woke up this morning, I was feeling pretty dangerous. In other big news, other big signings, Chris Jones and the Chiefs get it done. Kansas City agreed to terms with the defensive tackle on a five-year extension through 2028. It's a deal that includes 95 million guaranteed. So that is different. That is, I feel like, where things are continuing to head in the NFL, where players, at least the superstars, are getting massive guaranteed deals on shorter contracts. And for a player like Chris Jones, Mark, who's 32 years old. Excuse me, he's 30 years old now. This contract maybe even sets him up for one more big deal after this, but I think everybody wins here.


The last time we saw Chris Jones, he's pressuring Brock Purdy on that critical overtime third down that forces them, the 49ers, into a field goal that sets up the Chiefs to go do what they did. He is a direct reason. They got to the Super Bowl, won all the games they did, won the Super Bowl. He is the arguably the best defensive tackle in the league right now. And I think if you're Kansas City, you're in one of the rare positions in sports where it's like you look out over the length of this contract and say, It is not ridiculous to suggest that we win four Super Bowl's. Three Super Bowl's, It would even be, to me, just like the over-unders sitting there at three with all the pieces they have. You don't just let Chris Jones walk away. I think they walked into this offseason with a tricky situation on defense.


Wait, three more during Chris Jones' contract?


I'm just saying they could win three of the next four Super Bowl, and I'd have no problem with saying that that is not an outrageous claim. It's like back during the Yankees heyday saying they win three or four World Series. They're that football team with what they have right now. It's like, you let guys like this go. We've seen three different types of Chiefs, offenses and defenses, win Super Bowl in the past half decade. Keep adding to what you have. Keep your star players around. Jones wanted to be there. He said that emphatically during their parade, and he's sticking around. It's like it's a lot of money, but it won't look that... None of these contracts look bad 700 days from now. They're fine, and he's worth it.


This one worries me less, Greg.


It worries me less, but the history of the NFL would say that giving a 30-year-old defensive tackle, quarterback money, although I guess it's like Baker quarterback money, has some risk in it. He hasn't shown any decline of play. I love it. It is a reminder when people are saying, Oh, the cap, see how real the cap is. You You have to make moves. It's like, no. He's still banging that drum. Yes, I am. My main thing is teams ultimately keep the players they want to if they really want. I'm really glad that this is a marriage that continues because I started thinking about it during that playoff run, and he had the pressure that forced Josh Allen to miss that throw that would have maybe won the game for them in the division around the Bills. Then he had another great Super Bowl. If you just go through game by game, he's the guy making the plays game after game. Donte Hightower would have a case for this, but I don't think any defensive player in the last 20 years has made more championship and playoff-winning plays than Chris Jones. If you can't reward him Who are you going to reward?


They got to keep the guy.


I think you made the point I was going to make that he's under that category. Aaron Donald is obviously seen as probably the best defensive player, certainly the best defensive lineman of his generation. But Jones now has certainly a case to be in that group. Those are the guys that you maybe take the chance on the age 30 contract with. It does not to circle back to Baker, but it also does show you how strange it is that Chris Jones and Baker got about the same money. I think the difference in player and the impact those players have, it's a no-brainer.


Well, the guaranteed money is quite different. Now, it says practically guaranteed, and this is one deal where the detail details haven't come out, which is when they don't come out, totally, it usually means it's not great for the players. I want to see what practically guaranteed me. This stuff annoys me. But either way, 95 million guaranteed is quite a lot more than 40 for Baker. That's a difference in terms of the player.


There is a risk. He is 30. Also, the 30 today for athletes meets something different than it did in 1995. But also, the other parallel universe we're talking about is that the Raiders sign him for this and pull him away from the Chiefs and make him the centerpiece of their forgettable defense, probably for the next four or five years. I like him on the Chiefs. I like him part of this team. Keep it going. They're a team that can take risks, has taken risks all along, and it seems to work out for him time and again.


To be fair, defensive tackles have started to age better. Like, Pletcher Cox, who we're going to get to in a minute, he was still playing at a high level at 35. A lot of these guys do play very well, 32, 33. I mean, it's a question with Aaron Donnell. There's some whispers out there. We haven't put it in a news rundown down, but there's some whispers of like, What's going on with Aaron Donald? He might want more money. He might be retiring.


If this is Chris Jones at age 33, I think it's a conversation. I mean, it just seems like a no-brainer to me. Then if he continues to play at this level a couple of years from now, yes, then they really have to think whether they want to continue that. Everybody wins. Remember, they already tagged Lejaria Sneed, and he's open to finding a trade partner. I think their game plan continues to come into focus. Now you got Chris Jones under contract. He's the Patrick Mahomes of your defense. You're going to tag and try to get assets for the cornerback, and now they're going to build around Mahomes. It's scary. It's scary because the Chiefs are one really good offseason away from really distancing themselves from the pack. And so far, so good, at least if you're a Chiefs fan. So far, not so good for Mac Jones in the NFL, at least after his rookie year. He was a Pro bowler. It looked like the Patriots had found an immediate successor to Tom braided, but then it all fell apart over the ensuing years for Jones. And on Sunday, the Patriots moved on. It was reported first by Adam Schefter that the Jaguars have agreed to acquire Mac Jones from the Patriots in exchange for a late draft pick.


I believe it turned out to be what? A sixth and a seventh?Sixth round.Just the sixth. Sixth round pick for Mac Jones, who went 15th overall a couple of years back. That 2021 draft class, no great shakes. Even Trevor Lawrence, who now Mac Jones will back up, hasn't quite lived up to the hype, but he's certainly been better than all the other players taken in the first round. Greg, I know as a Patriots fan, whatever you are. You were ready to move on from Mac Jones. But it is crazy to think from where we were when they got to the playoffs in that first year and even made some throws and that loss to the Bills. It was just a really good first year. Two couple of years a week later being shipped out of town for a six-round pick, that's about as sudden a turn as you get.


Right. I was saying Baker has had the most up and down career possible. I don't know if Mac Jones is ever going to get the ups again, but man, his has been a roller coaster that The tape he put out there, his rookie year was real. When you see someone play at that level, and I thought he did a lot of things well, you tend to think that they can have a career, even if it's a career as a Ridge quarterback type of guy, a middling guy. But I can't remember a quarterback looking more that had shown a high level before, looking as obviously broken as Mac Jones did last year. So this deal actually seems curious to me for the Jaguars. They get him for one year, like two and a half million. It's fine. It's a one-year deal, essentially, to be your backup quarterback, but they're not going to pick up his fifth-year option. Then he's just a free agent again. I guess it's fine. It's just a backup quarterback, but I'm almost surprised that they did it. It hurt. It hurt my feelings when Walker walked into the bathroom this morning as I was shaving on the way, getting ready to come out, and he goes, Breaking news.


The Patriots have traded Mac Jones. He's gotten really into the free agency period. He's typing it up on his typewriter.


As he must to earn your love.


Yes, he must.


I did notice, literally, a full gigantic page of typewritten notes coming from Walker's typewriter, which is like, this is an old-school journo operating at this point. I'm proud of your son.


Yeah, it really makes me happy. But he's really got into But we're a long way from doing the gritty. He used to think Mac Jones was the best player ever when Mac Jones was doing the gritty at the Pro Bowl. Now he stinks.


I'm almost willing to give Mac Jones, which is a rare thing, two mulligans, because I think two years ago, they could have mismanaged him in their entire offense with more of a botched mindset. Last year was a disaster in New England. It's like when Josh McDaniels, who I think Peter Principal, can be an offensive coordinator, was his tutor. He showed the promise of an organized game plan, an organized process each week. For all that Bill Belichick has done, the way that his apathy towards Mac Jones verbally down the stretch, too.He.


Disliked him. Forget apathy.Yeah.


They just did not like each other. He was from Alabama, of all things. It's like he got the seal of approval from nick Saban. I would just say that Mac Jones of anyone, he's going to be a backup, but he deserves a new start. But I said some of these backups sometimes. It's like he might have to come in and play three critical games and put a new stamp on what we think about him.


I think he was exactly the type of... He's a tier below Baker to me, but the exactly the type of quarterback of everything around him as Greg strips off. Oh, my God. We just saw Greg's bare chest.


You're going to see that on YouTube. He's in his hotel room. Anything could happen.


Anything goes in a hotel room on a business trip, and Greg just showed you.


It's hot. I take off my hoodie.


There's no air in these rooms. We all look like... Greg looks like cherry tomatoes.


I should turn the AC down or something like that. But yeah, it's hot. I'm just trying to raise our YouTube subscribers. You just did. I know I mean, at least you raised me. I'll tell you that. Some of the men now can just check it out.


My point being that if everything is perfectly set up around a quarterback like Mac Jones, you could be all right. Maybe you'll win 10 games if things break the right way. But I think he was exposed. You're right, Mark. The whole de facto offense coordinator Patricia thing was terrible. In a way, ruined Belichick's Patriot's career as well, or at least how it ended. But also, I think you saw with Jones' temperament, which also war on teammates and coaches, he's not a guy that actually handled adversity well. I think that's something that will continue to follow him. I don't have high hopes for Mac Jones moving forward. He's better than, for instance, every backup the Jets ran out there and. C. J.


Bathard was the Jaguar's backup last year, I guess. I don't know. He's either better or not.


I'd say they're even.


If he's like he was last year, he's worse than every as a quarterback in the league. At least Doug Peterson, it's a nice little landing spot for a quarterback.


All right, so Mac Jones, gone. Not gone. Hunter Henry, he resigns with the Patriots. Three years, 27 million. So that tight-end room keeps Henry. Remember, he was one of the big signings by the Pats a couple of years back in free agency. Although I read that some of his pop-the-hood route numbers were among the worst in the league in terms of explosiveness for a tight end. But that seems to be in line with what the Patriots are really aiming for with their offense post Tom braided. Finally, they also added Chukuma Okafor. Yeah, I got that. Ocorafor?


You got it. Ocorafor.


Anyway, former third-round pick. He spent his first six years with the Steelers. He gives them another option on their offensive line. They're going to lose some of their line this offseason. It looks like in free agency, so Chuki comes in.


They're as thin in terms of their skill position talent as any team in the league. They are the thinnest, I would say, and the slowest. Hunter Henry does not help there, but he is solid, and it's just one spot you don't have to worry about as much. There's literally no tight ends now in my top 50. There's only one in the top 101 that's Noah fan. It's a weirdly scarce position and is not supposed to be a good- Will Disley didn't crack that group? He did not. There's none in the draft either that are expected to go in the first two rounds, at least, other than Brock Bowers.


If you needed a tight end, last year was the year to get one in the draft. Okay, Terry Judy. We know that happened when we were in London in October when Steve Smith went nuclear with Mike Garafolo on NFL Network about Judy. However, Judy does have a big-time draft pedigree. What did Amina call it on the show last week? Pretty Pick.


Pretty Pick. Pretty Pick. It was a privilege.


Pretty Pick privilege. He was selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Remember, again, God, we say free agency isn't perfect. How about the draft? There was Jerry, Judy, and Henry Rugs as two painted as two can't miss wide receiver prospects. And Rugs obviously ruined his career and his life in a different way, but hadn't done much before that happened. And Judy just has not been able to get it going in Denver. So, Mark, he now goes to the Browns. And the terms, the Browns send back a 24, fifth, and 6th-round draft pick. So they didn't give up a lot. They're taking on a player that's ostensibly very talented. It just has not translated at this level for the most part.


Look at how they're building their wideout room over the past couple of seasons because they leased the Cowboys for Amari Cooper. I mean, the Cowboys were in a tough spot and gave Amari Cooper to the Browns for very little. They took a flyer on Elijah Moore, and I wouldn't say that there's evidence that that's worked out. This just seems to me... He's okay. To me, Elijah Moore is a piece, but I don't know what they were expecting. Jerry Judy is an experiment. I could argue that he didn't have the luxury of solid quarterback play in Denver during his time there, but he was plagued with drops. I think there were flashes where you'd see, Wait a minute, this guy, if he can string together consistency, there's a lot to like about him. Cleveland right now has a lot of wideouts because they also have... They drafted David Bell. I think Cedric Tellman is someone who's interesting. They got David Najoku. They lost Bill Callahan. I think that's a big loss for the Cleveland Browns. Nick Chubb is coming off of injury, and were another offseason removed, still asking the same question if the quarterback they traded for can actually play quarterback at the level they thought they were going to get.


It's a weird mix.


It's a weird room.


It's a weird room. These are people, and I think that's criticism sometimes Sometimes, at least in the NBA, but in the NFL, too, of the analytics crowd. They're maybe not taking into account chemistry. It is just a weird group. Cooper, Judy, Watson, certainly. We'll see. Judy's been He's been reasonably productive. For someone who gets grief for being so disappointed, he has 3,000 yards in his career. When he's been healthy, and three of his four seasons has been healthy, he's had 8:56, 6:70, 9:72, and 7:58. It's like, he's not great, but it's not bad. But it's weird because it's a one-year, $12 million contract that he's on. Then after that, he's a free agent, and they'll just have to decide what they want to do. It's not that cheap, but it's also cheaper than almost anyone else that you could possibly think of getting with that production at this time of year. Andrew Barry does have a way of winning the trades, and I would say it does make sense to me for what they paid.


Yeah, I was going to say I would like Jerry Judy at that cost for my team as a team that's looking to fill out a wide receiver room. I think the trade is a good one for the Browns on the surface right now because who knows? Maybe the light does click and maybe Deshawn eventually returns amongst the living as a franchise quarterback. But Amari is turning 30 this year. And yeah, now you got two former high draft picks in Moore and Judy that you're hoping to salvage and turn them into something bigger. It does put a lot of pressure on in Joku and the running game and Chubb coming off a major injury in the offensive line, which lost their behind-the-scenes leader. So many range of outcomes, Mark, for the Browns on that side of the ball this year.


Yeah, I just think it shows how they value the wide-up position. It's like, I guess you could go give Calvin Ridley a ton of money and wonder If he's going to be the guy you hope he is, too. It's like they don't have a ton of cap from that wasn't the route they were going to go. They knew that the Broncos were trying to trade Judy since the middle of the 18th century, so they probably got a better cost than you'd think.


Our guy Kevin Saunders, by the way, Oh, yeah. He keeps taking L after L. There was a point where you could have gotten a better return for Jerry Judy, but they kept never making those trades, and now they're just taking whatever they could get for him. They got a year of him starting, and he wasn't terrible. They did get that out of him. But Kevin Saunders, I do wonder if Kevin Saunders, you never wish to-Referring to the general manager of the Broncos. Yes, of course. His alternate name. There is an outcome where he's no longer with the team after the draft, and Sean Payton is the one that's calling the shots here, but that is total guesswork. I have not heard anything like that.


For those who may be curious, if his employment is terminated, he gets his name back. That's fair. That's the right move. That's the right play, and that's where we'll go on that. All right. In other news. That seems fair.


It does seem fair. I think you made it. It was a unilateral It was a small decision by you, but I think it was fair.


There was a report out there in terms of Saunders taking the L that there was a third and a fifth offered for Judy as recently as the fall. They were like, Now we're holding out. Now they give up two day three pics. Let's see if the Browns could turn that into chicken salad. All right. But we shouldn't... Steve Smith, that was fun, and we enjoyed it, and the headlines were great and everything. But I also trust Steve Smith's judgment on players as well.


He was proven right by the The GMs apparently listened to him, except Andrew Berry, but even he didn't have to give up much.


All right, here's a saucy report that's been floated out there via Albert Breer, of course, of si. Com. The chargers have had exploratory talks. I love that. Whenever you hear exploratory talks, I feel exploratory talks. I feel like it ends up happening.


Oh, yeah. Something.


It's happening. Not always, but many times it turns into something. Anyway, exploratory. Explorator, five-syllable word. For the number of letters, you might not find too many words that bang out a five-syll in that amount of letters. What about 10 letters?


You're a skilled broadcaster, Dan.


Yeah, come back to us, Exploratory. Try to be a little more like 60% G here. We got five letters, one syllabus. We're efficient.


Exploratory talks about trading receiver's Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. Brewer adds that Allen is less likely to be dealt, but they are answering the phone on both of those. And that comes on the heels of a continued speculation on the other side of the ball around both Joey Bosa and Kaleel Mack, their two premier pass rushers. So the chargers in the Harbaugh era, we cannot, Greggy, close the door or turn our back to the idea that Harbaugh is just nuts enough to look at this core, which everyone else sees as untapped and say, That ain't my core. I'm going to build this team in my vision. And that means turning all these marquee names into draft picks and whatnot and starting fresh with the quarterback, most likely. There's logic to that, too.


I think it makes sense. I actually think if in a weird world where the Chargers won three more games, but these players were all about the same, I think they might be gone anyways. If you look at them one by one, Joey Bosa never plays. I think they have to cut or trade Joey Bosa. They get something for... He never plays, and he's one of the highest paid players in the league. He literally has played more than 500 snaps a couple of times in his career. He just doesn't play. Cleo Mac, good season, but getting paid a I would guess Mike Williams and Joey Bosa are no longer on the team. I would guess Keenan Allen will be. Then Mac, I don't know. But I don't really know any of them. I'm just guessing. But those are my guesses.


I'm reading tea leaves here, Mark, and I think we're seeing enough out there now that Harba is really going to shake up the league, and a lot of these guys are going to be playing elsewhere in September. I'm here for it. That sounds fun because a lot of these guys also play positions that teams are scouring, looking for help, and they will flood the market as a potential big-time contributor.


Right. Because the chargers experience with Bosa is case example A. But other teams are going to look at Bosa in a completely different way and say, That's exactly the piece we need to get two edge rushers But the one thing I'd say about this, because I agree with you, I think Harba is going to come in, do things differently. Maybe they play with no wide receivers. Maybe they have eight offensive linemen and run the ball 465 times a month. But the only problem is if you do get to the point where you move Kaleil Mac, you move Joey Bosa, because they need to make moves no matter what because they're caps. So exploratory will turn into something. But if Mike Williams is gone, Keenan Allen is gone, it's like, okay, but you still need to fill those key core positions, especially at EdgeRusher, with someone else. And it's like the fallout of finding a C minus version of those four players or some amount of them could be costly. And it's like, I think Harba has to set the table a little bit and say, if we're going to have a totally new team, because when you went to the Niners, they what started like 6 and and just rolled into the play-off.


He had great players. He inherited a lot of great players.


He really did. Here, he inherited great players, but a cap, hell. Changes have to be made. I would not be surprised if Bosa is somewhere else.


Herbert's 26 years old. Actually, today's his birthday. Happy birthday, Justin Herbert, who turned 26 today. I hope he's doing something marvelous.Friend of the show.Best friend of the show. It totally makes sense to me because you have a But in that situation, when you look at that team, you have a head coach who has complete job security, quarterback who is the unquestioned franchise star, and he is under contract. Harbaugh is not in a rush to make this the year. If he plays with some level of patience, he could really set them up with some trades and moves where even if they take a step back this year, and I don't even know if they will, because I never underestimate the combination of high-level quarterback play and a good coach. They could surprise people this year, even by getting rid of a bunch of these guys. But they could set up and become a big-time team in a couple of years. So if I'm a Chargers fan, I have trepidation about this because I might own some of these jerseys, and I might be a fan of a lot of these players, and I might think to myself, We want to keep this core together for one big run with a real head coach.


But maybe give Jim the benefit of the doubt. I would. Who's got it better than Nobody. Let's take a break, and then we'll hit the rest of the news. All right. Welcome back. Let's get back into it. Yes, we are here in Texas, by the way, for the iHeart Radio Awards. We are nominated for Best Sports podcast. A lot of people say we're an underdog. I say, Mark, right now, the hotel we're staying at, the pool deck is closed for renovations ahead of spring break, which is, I mean, what about us? We're here. Sure. We're about the rowdy teens that you're preparing the deck for. I had a whole plan. I was going to go out on the deck like Joe Namet in Miami in 1969, and I was going to get a young Brent Musburger at my feet while I held a cocktail. I said, We're going to win an award at the iHeart. In fact, I guarantee it. But now Now the pool's closed, so I can't do it. We'll just have to settle for a win in the fight thing.


Well, you said it to our audience, and I had told you that I felt a different energy. I think when this was first announced and you realized you're going against the Kelsies, it's like, I don't... It just seemed like not only David versus Goliath, but like baby David versus full-grown Goliath, like literally a baby that's immobile. That's the position we seem to be in. But now I feel like we're growing more powerful, more strong. I have a conspiracy theory that the shadowies who have done us right and wrong through the years, I just feel that maybe behind the scenes, they sent us here because they know that there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Now, no matter what, there's a nice hotel to stay in in a city to explore. If you want to talk your shit, talk your shit, pal.


A great city. By the way, I like the idea of the shadowies being an award show, too. Then we just nominate different middle managers in a series of levels of awards.


Best changing I love the subject when the ATN crew brings up something you don't want to do, like different awards like that.


All right. Greg, did you have anything else to add there?


Not really. I don't share your guys' confidence, but I don't think we have particularly less than a one in five chance, but there's five strong podcasts. I definitely don't think the Shadr League figures know anything or there's a conspiracy. But there's five strong candidates. I'm not giving us... I guess I'm using the boring math analysis here. I wouldn't see why we had a better chance than Club Shay Shay or Dan Levatard.


I would imagine that the Kelsies have probably never heard of our show, have never listened to it. They This also, they're doing so well that this award process may not be on the radar on any level. But I cannot wait to hear the commentary when we do upset them and just their feedback to that.


It's got to be on TD's radar. Our old producer who's their producer, one of their producers. It could be here. We're going after you, TD.


I would say, though, like Meredith Baton or Matt Schneider, who are here, management with NFL, if we do win and then it turns out that you're right, Mark, that this was all had been pre-arranged. I would say they would be getting a shadowy lifetime achievement award. Yes, absolutely. To me, that would be at least, or at the very least, something they deserve.


I want a drunken Travis, Kelsey, overseas, bitching to Taylor Swift about losing this award to three podcast bozos. I want to be a fly on the ball for them.


I want Taylor Swift to write a song just burying us for winning the iHeartAward. All right, let's get back to it. The eagles, man, the eagles are in transition. This happens for every team. High-profile team that's made the Super Bowl, didn't quite get there, coming off a very disappointing year, obviously. And now we know they lost. Speaking of the Kelsies, Jason Kelsie retired last week. Now, Fletcher Cox stand out on the other side of the ball. He also retires. So Cox, I mean, for a team that... And it's surprising because Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelsie are two highly respected, decorated leaders that are known as guys that can command a locker room. That all went down with them in the locker room. So now you're taking them out of the locker room. The Eagles are a wild scene right now, and they're like the Brown's offense. The range of outcomes is all over the place in Philadelphia, but They're also doing business. Brandon Graham, another important part of the defensive line, he has resigned, but also a report out there that Josh Sweat and Hassan Redik are available in a trade. So a lot of info just downloaded there to the listeners, Greggy.


Where do you want to go?


Start with Fletcher Cox, who... If you had said five years ago that Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelsey retire the same week, the Fletcher Cox news would have been seen as like, Oh, that's the bigger news. He's made four all-pro teams, three as a second-team guy. One of the defining defensive tackles of his era. Wouldn't surprise me if he was on the considered for an all-decade type of team. That's the quality of player that he Now, he's not as active in the media and everything as Jason Kelsi. Kelsi's career finished so strong where he was finishing on top. Cox was a guy who signed a contract year after year, and you weren't sure if he was going to return. That's what Brandon Graham is now. But the fact that they brought back Brandon Graham, and then they put it out there that they're not really into their current edge rushers. They're putting a little blame on Josh Sweat, and there was a report, and Hassan Redik, that they just weren't happy with essentially those two players. It just supports my belief that that the Eagles are going to do a lot over the next week. I don't know what it's going to be, but they're going to be super active, and they're going to do a lot.


To me, they shift into high intrigue. You're right, the range of outcomes and what they're going to look like, but they're going to look so different. I think you're looking at a head coach that has been rendered far less powerful than where he was a year ago. If you're Vic Fongio, I can understand looking at what the Dolphins have had to do. Fongio might have, if he's looking at their cap and we're going to have to make some changes. And he had links to the Eagles to begin with. So you move on from that. But you come over to Philadelphia and it's like your defensive scheme is a bit different. But the key components of this side of the ball could all be gone, which big chunks of it. So it's like, that's challenging. I just think the Eagles to me are a very weird, weird operation at the moment.


All right. Any other Eagles takes? Okay, let's move on because we got a lot to get to. The bears doing business They sign a four-year deal. This went down earlier in the weekend. A four-year contract with cornerback Jalen Johnson, 56 million, $54 million in guaranteed money, almost $44 due at signing. So they had put the franchise tag on Johnson, Mark, and now they get a deal done. So as the team is in transition, looking more and more certain that it is Caleb Williams, that's the new face of the franchise. And I saw some, by the not to get sidetracked, because we will talk Jalen Johnson. But I saw, I don't know, I think it was Florio, wrote a piece about like, Oh, what happened with Mac Jones is not a good sign for what the bears will get for Justin Fields. I'm not saying that Justin Fields is going to command a first-round pick or whatever, but there's a big difference between what Justin Fields has put on tape and his situation and what we've seen from him, both as a player and as a man and as a teammate, and what Mac Jones showed the last two years.


So let's calm down with that tape.


Yeah, I'd also like to hear whispers about actual people feeling around for Justin Fields and having true interest in him. I mean, that could be happening without us knowing. But you're right, they're not the same player. I mean, if you're Matt Iberflus, you had to move on from Roquan Smith not so long ago, and that was the core centerpiece of your defense, goes on to the Ravens to be one of the better linebackers in the entire league. So at some point, you've got so much cap room, and I know you're rebuilding, but you got to keep some of these guys versus having to replace them. So this makes a ton of sense to me. I would say, Greg, I think you noted this online at some point, but that Matt Iberflus, he's gone through the process that I think some of these coaches come in where they're coordinators and they're a bit pasty, they're not in front of the camera, but now he's on the thing where he's looking a little more fit. He's got his hair done, he's grown his beard out, and he just looks about 10 times better and more viable as a head coach.


The Iberflus grow up has been a huge storyline this offseason. Showed up to the combine looking good, was at a basketball game with Matt Lafleur, and it was like, who's more groomed here?


Who's your other?


. It was just, Eberfluce is coming strong. He's a wacky personality. Both him and Jalen Johnson timed their career year as well. Not seeing Ibraflus It was never going to be better. But five games into that season, I thought Eberfluce is gone, and you're like, What is the vision here? Then it all came together in terms of his defense really improving. Jalen Johnson was a huge part of that. I think he was smart. He took like 55 million guaranteed. I saw someone to be like, Why didn't he just take the franchise tag and bet on himself? Because it's like, if you have the option to take $55 million guaranteed versus 20, I don't care that I could make more in the long run if I didn't take the guarantee. I'm taking that guaranteedIt's football. The first time around.


It's football. He could plant his leg and he could lose his ACL, MCL on his meniscus. Then he's signing a prove it deal after this.


He's also coming off a career year. If he had been a free agent a year ago, he would not have had this contract.He.


Played the game right.Mart.


Smart man.


Played it right. Also playing it right. Ravens defensive tackle Justin Matabuke, who signs a four-year, $98 million contract. That includes over $75 million in guaranteed money. The numbers are huge, and the salary cap keeps going up, so it makes sense. Anyway, the former third-round pick, this is why the Ravens are always good, because they identify a guy like Matabuke as a third-round pick, and now he's an all-pro, and now he's paid like an all-pro, which creates other challenges for the team, but they'll welcome them.


Patrick said something, I think it was on Mina Kimes' show that he's right. The prices always go up with these guys, though. If the Ravens really knew Justin Matabuike was this good, they could assign him to a deal about half this price a year ago. But they didn't know how he was going to play, and then he really exploded. I like that the franchise tag players, some of them at least, are actually getting paid instead of just a tag.


Yeah, I think they're using that correctly. He's only 26, so if we're worried about the Chris Jones age thing, this is like a sweet spot to hire him.


Tyler Locket also is sticking around, but maybe not a happy story for him in the same way. He agrees to a structured two-year, $34 million dollar contract. He gets 13 million in guaranteed money. That feels like, to me, Greggy, a good value for Locket, who has always been, I thought, an underrated receiver, and you already have a number one in DK, and you I wanted to ask for a much better number two in Tyler, who's been very good for them for many years.


Yeah, I think the line has questions, but Dino has got a nice group of players around him. The fact, though, that he took a pay cut indicates to me, if he wasn't going to take a pay cut, they would have been ready to move on. But I think it was only a $4 million pay cut. It was good for both sides. One of those guys that feels like he should be on the same team for his entire tenure in the NFL.


Good news for the Dolphins. Toronto Armstead, their left tackle is not retiring. There had been some conversations or some speculation, and that could be the case. That is not going to happen. So at least one more year in Miami. Great news, Mark, for Tua.


I mean, there's a lot of pressure on Tua. There's a lot of players leaving that organization. Some of them have been offensive linemen, and When Armstead's in there, the offense is completely different. We've talked about this at an Aussie. When he's not in there, the splits and what happens to Tua on some level are vastly different. So yes, this is a key person to keep around on a Dolphins team in Flux.


8:00 Delight. Hit it, Eric. Roberts, which Eric was with us. Go ham with Eric and Austin. That'd be fun. Imagine. Let's get into it. The Rams give 32 million guaranteed to guard Kevin Dotson. Greg, quickie.


A lot of money for Kevin Dotson. The guards are going to get paid big time in this market.


That is a lot of money. Steelers release Patrick Peterson and Alan Robinson to decorated veterans. Well, one more than the other. The Raiders re-sign Senator André James. They also release Brian Hoyer, who impossibly is still in the league. The Chiefs re-sign Drew Tranquil, and the Bears agree to terms with Kevin Bayard on a two-year deal. Anything on those? Mark?


I love the Tranquil re-signing. I watched Brian Hoyer on Good Morning Football a week or so ago. Thought he did a nice job. Media, job ahead.


Very nice. The Panthers are going to release center Bradley Bozeman. The packers will release linebacker Devondre Campbell. Folee Fatukasi Greggy. Signs a one-year deal with the Texans. I was hoping maybe a Jets' reunion there, but that's not the case. Anything on those, Greggy?


Always liked me some Fatukasi, but the Jaguars didn't, so he couldn't have been playing too well.


All right. Man, that's it. We got a little time for once.


There's some else out there. Didn't he redo it the whole time? These guards are making... Any free agent guard, there's going to be a lot of guys you've never heard of that are making $17 million It was guaranteed. Nailed it. Bang.


What are we doing tonight? We're in Austin. What a great city. I love this place.


I've never been. We arrived about two hours ago.


This is one of my favorite hats. I go through my whole life. I've had random hats that become my favorite hat for two years, and this one is in hitting year one. I just like the look of it. I like the shape. Matt Tanten, our old buddy that we used to work with at NFL Media, who actually works out here now, we're hoping to see him tonight, recommended this barbecue joint, Terry Blacks. That's an option. I think we need to hit up a barbecue place. Any people in the Austin area that are listeners, please let us know where we should go for some authentic Texas barbecue.We're.


Seeing his Mark as well. Where's Mark at? We're seeing the black keys as well. No, I'll go with you and test it out. Let me give it a try.


You will eat the meat at the barbecue.


It's always arrive and assess.


It's an arrive and assess scenario. I was telling Mark I was eating some pig's feet down in Korea town on a Saturday night. Why are you doing that? We're trying to bring him back. He didn't have to do it.


You're leaning into that side of Mark where he just sees it, just the visualization of it being disgusting. There's nothing grosser than the idea of a pig's foot being consumed by humans.


Austin Barbecue has a ring to it that I think harks back to ancient times. It's an easy sell.


Yeah, you mentioned there's a iHeart. We are a part of the iHeart radio network through the NFL, and they've always been very cool with us. There's a private party, and we're going to see the Black Keys. I've always been a white stripes guy when it's talking Black Keys v the white stripes. But I'm going to have an open mind and check out the keys tonight. Maybe we'll have a couple of drinks. We'll get a little loose, but we need to be also focused, boys, because Free Agency Week is not something that to the background just because we have a chance to win a major award.


No, it's weird timing. It's literally the biggest day transaction-wise of the NFL calendar.


In some ways, it feels like the beginning of the end of our show that we would be flying to another state in the middle of the country to try to win an award. This feels like that subreddit. This feels like an entire post about this was the point the guys jumped the shark when they gotWe didn't have a choice.


We didn't have a choice. Right.


This was hoisted upon us.


We got on the plane. We didn't say no. We got on the plane to try to win an award at the start of free agency. I think it's telling. I think we should be ashamed, quite frankly.


It's up for translation.


We'll be back on Tuesday in the studio.


No regrets, actually, because we could do the job just as well here, and we'll be back, as Greg said, Tuesday. If we do win the award, you'll hear If we lose the award, you'll hear about that, too. Thank you, everybody, for listening to this podcast. What I think we're going to end doing at least five this week. So if you are looking to stay on top of everything with the new league here, you have found the right podcast until Monday. I mean, I hope. I mean, it's possible we're going to have to do another one in about an hour and a half the way the league continues to move things up. I don't think so. All right. Till Monday. Heed the call.