Main NFL rule adjustments that could possibly be coming, and Ben Roethlisberger lastly will get a brand new contract


It is a massive day right here at CBS and never simply because I am again helming the publication after a one-day hiatus. The rationale it is a massive day is as a result of the launch of our new streaming service Paramount+ is lastly right here. Earlier than as we speak, in case you wished to stream CBS content material, you probably did that by subscribing to CBS All Entry — however now all the things shall be operating by Paramount+, which is a a lot sexier title. 

I am not going to sit down right here and demand that you just join it, however I’m undoubtedly going to encourage you to do this. For one, you’ll watch NFL soccer this fall on Paramount+. Additionally, in case you join now, you will get your first month for FREE. All you should do is click on right here, fill out a couple of issues and then you definitely’ll get 30 days of streaming at no cost. The free month provide runs by the tip of March. 

Scorching tip: If you happen to join on March 11, your free month won’t solely embrace the NCAA match, however you will additionally be capable of stream the Masters Match, which runs April 8-11. The service will now even be the unique dwelling of “Contained in the NFL,” which is sort of motive sufficient to enroll. 

Talking of going contained in the NFL, let’s get to the rundown of as we speak’s greatest NFL information. As all the time, here is your weekly reminder to inform all your mates to enroll in the publication. All you must do is click on right here after which share the hyperlink. Inform everybody to enroll after which ask them to inform everybody they know.

1. Immediately’s present: NFC South deep dive

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports activities

With free company simply across the nook, we’ll be spending the following few weeks doing a deep dive on every NFL division. For Thursday’s podcast, that meant leaping head first into the NFC South. To speak about probably the most mysterious division in soccer, Will Brinson thought it made sense to convey on probably the most mysterious author we’ve got right here at and that is Tyler Sullivan (I swear, I do know nothing about Tyler. I am not even totally satisfied that Tyler is his actual title).  

In addition to Tampa Bay, your entire NFC South appears to be at a crossroads, which is sort of inconceivable to imagine, as a result of for many of the previous 10 years, the Buccaneers had been all the time the one workforce within the division that you may depend on to be at some kind of dysfunctional crossroads. 

In Atlanta, the Falcons should determine if they are going to hold Matt Ryan or if they need to look to seek out his substitute after they go on the clock with the No. 4 general decide within the 2021 NFL Draft. The Panthers‘ quarterback scenario can be murky. Not solely has Carolina made it clear that the workforce needs to improve from Teddy Bridgewater, however the Panthers have not been hiding the truth that they’d love so as to add Deshaun Watson if the Texans are prepared to commerce him. 

One other quarterback scenario that is nonetheless up within the air is the one in New Orleans. When the Saints misplaced within the playoffs again in January, the idea was that Drew Brees would retire, however in some way, it appears he nonetheless hasn’t decided though he is had 40 DAYS to suppose it over. 

On Tampa Bay’s finish, though the Bucs are the Tremendous Bowl champs, additionally they have a number of inquiries to reply this offseason. The Buccaneers have a number of key gamers who’re going to hit free company — together with Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski — and if the Bucs lose two or extra of these gamers, that would make it powerful to repeat. 

To hearken to as we speak’s episode — and in case you’re a fan of any workforce within the NFC South, you’ll undoubtedly need to — make sure you click on right here

2. Main NFL rule adjustments could possibly be coming

Though free company will get many of the March headlines across the NFL, there’s additionally one different massive occasion that takes place yearly and that is the annual homeowners assembly, which shall be held March 30-31 this 12 months.

For probably the most half, any new rule adjustments which are going to be made for the upcoming season are voted on on the assembly. If homeowners cannot determine whether or not they like a brand new rule or not, they are going to typically desk the vote till their spring assembly in Might, however for probably the most half, if there are going to be any rule adjustments, they are going to occur on the first assembly. 

With that in thoughts, there are some main proposals on the docket for this 12 months’s assembly, so let’s take a fast have a look at these

  • Reviewing roughing the passer. This one’s fairly easy — if this rule had been to move, roughing the passer would turn into a reviewable play. Though it turned out to be a catastrophe when the NFL determined to permit move interference to be reviewed, this rule makes barely extra sense. Roughing the passer is a penalty that has lots much less grey space than PI. 
  • Timeline for teaching interviews to alter. The Payments have proposed a rule that will ban all head teaching and front-office hirings till after the Tremendous Bowl. If the rule passes, interviews would even be forbidden till after the convention championship video games in late January. For extra particulars on this proposal, make sure you click on right here. Our Jonathan Jones wrote about why the rule in all probability will not assist a lot even when it passes and you may test that out by clicking right here
  • Wild onside kick different proposed once more. For the third straight 12 months, a variation of this rule is being proposed and for the third straight 12 months, I am hoping the rule passes. Below this proposal, groups would have the choice of making an attempt to transform a fourth-and-15 play within the fourth quarter as a substitute of an onside kick. If you wish to understand how precisely that will work, make sure you click on right here
  • Additional time change proposed. There are two proposals associated to altering additional time. The primary proposal is fairly easy and would change the additional interval again to sudden demise (the workforce that scores first would win the sport, which is what the NFL’s OT rule was till 2012). The opposite additional time proposal is a “spot-and-choose” rule that will hold the coin toss from having such an affect in OT. Below this proposal, one workforce would select the yard line the place the OT drive begins and the opposite workforce would select whether or not they need to play offense or protection. For example, if the Chiefs and Buccaneers had been enjoying in additional time and the Chiefs received the coin toss, they might decide any yard line on the sphere. In the event that they picked the 10-yard line (90 yards away from the tip zone), the Buccaneers would get to decide on whether or not they wished to play offense or protection. It is really a implausible proposal and I hope it passes. For extra particulars on the wild proposal, make sure you click on right here

For a proposal to turn into a rule, 24 of the NFL’s 32 homeowners must vote it by. 

3. Massive Ben will get a brand new contract

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After six weeks of drama, it seems to be like Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers have lastly ironed out their variations. Roethlisberger will certainly be returning because the Steelers quarterback in 2021 after signing a brand new contract that was introduced by the workforce on Thursday. 

“I’m grateful to be at this stage of my profession and very happy to regulate my contract in a manner that greatest helps the workforce to deal with different gamers who’re so important to our success,” Roethlisberger mentioned in a press release. 

Though the main points of the deal have not been introduced, the truth that Massive Ben mentioned he agreed to “regulate” his contract would appear to suggest that he did not take a pay minimize. Nonetheless, it is undoubtedly attainable that is what occurred, however we can’t know till the complete particulars of the brand new contract come out. Regardless of the way it breaks down, one factor is for certain: The Steelers made it clear this offseason that they would not be bringing Roethlisberger again below his outdated contract, which was set to depend $41.25 million towards the wage cap in 2021 ($22.25 million useless cap together with $19 million in 2021 wage). 

Of that complete, the one quantity that could possibly be adjusted there was the $19 million. If that complete wage was transformed to a bonus, which means his cap hit for 2021 may find yourself falling beneath $25 million, which might liberate a much-needed $15 million or extra for the Steelers. However, if he was requested to take a pay minimize and his wage dropped to $10 million to $15 million, then the Steelers would decide up $4 million to $9 million in area. 

4. Jets appear open to buying and selling Sam Darnold  

Though Ben Roethlisberger is returning to Pittsburgh, the identical cannot be mentioned simply but for Sam Darnold in New York. 

Final 12 months, the Jets made it clear that Darnold would not be obtainable in a commerce, however this 12 months, it appears that evidently they’ve modified their thoughts about that. Jets common supervisor Joe Douglas met with the media on Wednesday and when requested about presumably dealing Darnold, he answered by saying precisely what you’d count on a common supervisor to say

“I’ll reply the decision if it is made,” Douglas mentioned. 

That is NFL converse for, “If you happen to name and make a suggestion, not solely will I pay attention, however we’d even find yourself making a deal if I just like the provide sufficient.”

The Jets mainly have two choices right here: They’ll commerce Darnold after which use the No. 2 general decide on a quarterback or they might hold Darnold after which use the second general decide to fill different holes. (In the event that they hold Darnold, the transfer that makes probably the most sense could be to commerce right down to accrue extra picks, as a result of when you will have as many holes in your roster because the Jets do, extra picks cannot damage.)

If Darnold does get traded, our Patrik Walker got here up with three potential touchdown spots for him: 

1. Bears
2. Patriots
3. Texans

You’ll be able to take a look at Walker’s full story on Darnold and different gamers who would possibly get traded by clicking right here.  

5. Gamers who may flip into cap casualties

Picture by Rey Del Rio/Getty Photos

In a standard offseason, there are virtually all the time a couple of shock cuts that should be made for wage cap functions. Sadly for veteran gamers across the NFL, this is not a standard offseason. With the wage cap set to go DOWN in 2021, there are going to be lots of people dropping their jobs between now and the beginning of free company on March 17. 

How ugly is it going to get? One NFL coach advised ESPN that “it should be a bloodbath throughout the league” subsequent week. Over the previous few days alone, we have already seen guys like Golden Tate, Kyle Rudolph, Kyle Van Noy and Jared Prepare dinner get launched and that is simply the tip of the iceberg. 

With that in thoughts, our Chris Trapasso got here up with a listing of six veterans who will seemingly be getting a pink slip in some unspecified time in the future over the following 13 days. 

1. Von Miller (Broncos)
2. Emmanuel Sanders (Saints)
3. Preston Smith (Packers)
4. Kwon Alexander (Saints)
5. Derek Barnett (Eagles)
6. John Brown (Payments)

To take a look at Trapasso’s full story and rationalization for every minimize, make sure you click on right here. With regards to cuts, the groups you are undoubtedly going to need to control are the Chiefs, Rams, Falcons, Eagles and Saints, and that is as a result of all 5 of these groups are presently greater than $20 million OVER the projected cap. (The Saints are almost $70 million over, so do not be stunned in the event that they minimize half their roster over the following two weeks.) If you would like an even bigger checklist of cap casualties, then you definitely’re undoubtedly going to need to click on right here to see Cody Benjamin’s checklist of 25 guys who could possibly be minimize. (Cody is so good that he wrote the checklist final week and among the guys on it have already been minimize.) 

6. Prisco’s prime 100 free brokers of 2021: Wanting on the backside 10

After the Tremendous Bowl ended, I did not hear from Pete Prisco for almost three weeks, so I simply assumed he flew to Aruba for a six-month trip, nevertheless, it seems that wasn’t the case. Because it seems, I have never heard from Prisco as a result of he is been placing collectively his annual checklist of the highest 100 free brokers. 

Yesterday within the publication, Cody named the highest 10 gamers on Prisco’s checklist and since I do not need to regurgitate what Cody gave you, I’ll take a fast have a look at the final 10 gamers on the checklist. With regards to constructing an NFL roster, the distinction between a Tremendous Bowl winner and everybody else is the power to seek out some expertise in free company to construct the backend of the roster and never surprisingly, two of Prisco’s backside 10 free brokers performed for the Tremendous Bowl-winning Buccaneers this 12 months. 

So who made the underside 10 of Prisco’s checklist? Let’s discover out.  

91. SS Rayshawn Jenkins (Chargers)
92. OT Rick Wagner (Packers)
93. FS Malik Hooker (Colts)
94. FS Ricardo Allen (Falcons)
95. LB Tyus Bowser (Ravens)
96. WR Antonio Brown (Buccaneers)
97. CB Michael Davis (Chargers)
98. WR Kendrick Bourne (49ers)
99. RB Leonard Fournette (Buccaneers)
100. OL Nick Martin (Texans)

Since groups will not have some huge cash to spend this 12 months, these mid-tier free brokers would be the ones to be careful for when free company begins on March 17. For a full have a look at Prisco’s prime 100, make sure you click on right here

7. The Kicker: Tom Brady’s elbow surgical procedure in 1983

For the previous 10 years, I all the time believed that the perfect alias any NFL participant ever got here up with was Ron Mexico, however it seems I used to be fallacious, as a result of Terry Bradshaw had a wild one in 1983. Thirty-eight years in the past, Bradshaw was checking right into a hospital to have surgical procedure and he ended up utilizing the alias “THOMAS BRADY.” That is in some way an actual story. You’ll be able to learn the unique story from 1983 by clicking right here

I first learn this story 24 hours in the past and I am unable to cease fascinated about it. Apparently, the story is even crazier than it sounds, as a result of Bradshaw did not even decide the alias, the hospital selected it for him.  

I’ve now spent far more time than I care to confess attempting to determine how this occurred and here is what I’ve provide you with:

1. The hospital seemingly wished to select an alias along with his initials. (Each Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady begin with “TB.” The 2 names additionally begin with “T. Brad,” so possibly the hospital wished to verify to incorporate a reputation with all 5 of these letters so Bradshaw did not get confused with one other affected person who might need the initials TB.) 
2. If you happen to look on the prime 50 boys’ names from 1983, there are solely three that begin with “T” and people are Thomas, Timothy and Travis. The hospital seemingly wished to maintain issues so simple as attainable, in order that they used the primary “T” title they considered and Thomas was on the prime of the title checklist. 
3. If you must include a pretend final title for somebody in 1983 and it has to start out with “B” or “B-R-A-D” there is a 100% probability you are choosing Brady as a result of it was such an iconic title again then on account of “The Brady Bunch.” 

Growth. Thriller solved. 

Does my household hate me for ignoring them yesterday so I may determine this out? Sure, however it was all price it.



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