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Sport Ranking 2021 NFL divisions from top to bottom, plus Packers wideouts skipping OTAs with Aaron Rodgers

11:35  27 may  2021
11:35  27 may  2021 Source:   cbssports.com

The Packers’ Poor Management of Aaron Rodgers Hurts All Parties

  The Packers’ Poor Management of Aaron Rodgers Hurts All Parties Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers aren't budging. But the damage has already been done to the MVP's trust in his organization.The Packers might win another Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers, but they cannot win their standoff with him. That is because nobody really wins this kind of standoff. As soon as you are in it, you have lost.

A day after Aaron Rodgers spoke publicly about his ongoing feud with the Packers , hinting that Green Bay's front office has a distorted "philosophy," the star quarterback wasn't the only big-name player absent from team OTAs . No. 1 receiver Davante Adams, along with four other wideouts including potential This round of OTAs is completely voluntary, so no veterans are required to show up. But it's probably not a coincidence that four of Rodgers ' top pass targets decided to stay away on the same day. Adams, of course, is fresh off his own comments about the Rodgers situation, telling reporters

Aaron Rodgers isn't going anywhere , at least for now. That's what Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur suggested immediately after his team traded up to use a first-round draft pick on none other than quarterback Jordan Love , sparking debate as to whether the reigning NFC North champions Brett Favre, the same legend who gave way to Rodgers more than a decade ago, said this week he believes No. 12 will finish his NFL career elsewhere. And while Love may very well spend multiple seasons learning behind Rodgers before even getting the chance to take the field, it's conceivable

We're now officially past the midway point of the 2021 NFL offseason. Hooray! Football is on the horizon. And since John Breech is taking a break from his post-vacation return to work, I -- Cody Benjamin -- am here to guide you through all the latest from around the NFL.

a man standing in front of a crowd © Provided by CBS Sports

This is the Pick Six Newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)

We've got Julio Jones trade buzz, division rankings and much more:

1. Today's show: Julio Jones trade talk, NFC South preview

There's a lot happening in the NFC South ahead of the 2021 season. The Buccaneers are preparing to defend their Super Bowl title. The Saints are set to play without Drew Brees for the first time in more than 15 years. The Panthers are banking on Sam Darnold rebounding with fresh scenery. And the Falcons? They may or may not be trading arguably their best player in Julio Jones.

Aaron Rodgers skips Packers' first OTA practice session amid standoff with team

  Aaron Rodgers skips Packers' first OTA practice session amid standoff with team As expected, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a no-show Monday for the Packers’ first organized team activities session of 2021.ESPN first reported that Rodgers was not in attendance.

The Aaron Rodgers saga trumps anything else going on this division thus far in 2021 . Keanu Neal gives insight into new role with Cowboys, reuniting with Dan Quinn and Damontae Kazee for 2021 . 2 hours ago. Ranking 2021 NFL divisions from top to bottom , plus Packers wideouts skipping OTAs with Aaron Rodgers .

The Packers kicked off Phase III of their offseason training activities ( OTA ) on Monday and for the first time in his career, Aaron Rodgers didn't show up. In a normal year, it would be a total surprise for Rodgers to skip OTAs , but this isn't a normal year. The Packers quarterback has made it clear that he wants out of Green Bay, so he had no reason to show up for the voluntary With Rodgers and the Packers still at odds, it's pretty clear that a trade is absolutely still possible, and with that in mind, Will Brinson decided to do a Madden simulation of the 2021 season that involved Rodgers getting traded.

On Wednesday's Pick Six NFL Podcast, Jared Dubin joined Will Brinson to break down the latest rumors regarding a potential Jones deal, as well as preview the rest of the South. Some highlights:

  • Dubin sees the 49ers, Titans, Chargers and Colts as some of Julio's most logical landing spots, with Los Angeles potentially eyeing a short-term upgrade on Mike Williams, a 2022 free agent; and Indianapolis potentially in the mix for a new No. 1 for Carson Wentz
  • Brinson thinks Jones will produce "top five" numbers if he stays healthy in 2021 and probably has "two to three years left in the tank"
  • If the Titans get Jones, Brinson believes oddsmakers might quickly pivot to make Tennessee the new favorites in the AFC South

Catch the entire episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 schedule: Toughest stretch, opponent preview, key matchups, predictions and more

  Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 schedule: Toughest stretch, opponent preview, key matchups, predictions and more As always, it's Super Bowl or bust in the City of ChampionsDespite facing the NFL's toughest schedule this season, Mike Tomlin is keeping his team's sights set on pursuing the franchise's seventh Vince Lombardi Trophy. If they want to make a Super Bowl run, Pittsburgh will first have to get through a competitive AFC North division that includes two teams that made the playoffs in 2020 in the Ravens and the Browns. Speaking of the Browns, it was Cleveland that staged an upset of Pittsburgh in the wild card round of the 2020 playoffs.

A day after Aaron Rodgers spoke publicly about his ongoing feud with the Green Bay Packers , suggesting he objects to the current front office's "philosophy," declining to deny reports that he wants out and acknowledging his willful absence from team OTAs , it appears the star quarterback isn't the only Packer set to stir the pot this spring. None of the other wideouts have talked extensively about Rodgers ' situation but have presumably been in contact with the QB. Previous reports have indicated Rodgers even informed some teammates he doesn't intend to play for the Packers again.

As the Aaron Rodgers saga continues toward June, the Packers reported to Green Bay for organized team activities without a resolution in sight. Rodgers was not among those who arrived at Lambeau Field for the start of the Packers ' OTAs . The news of Rodgers ' absence doesn't come as a surprise What was once a lingering matter related to his existing contract now seems much larger, and it would have been a bigger story had Rodgers reported than not. Still, though, Rodgers ' absence indicates there is indeed a divide between him and the Packers , and even if his disagreement seems to be

2. Davante Adams, other Packers join Rodgers in skipping OTAs

If you thought the drama in Green Bay was dying down, think again. A day after Aaron Rodgers spoke publicly about his ongoing feud with the Packers, hinting that Green Bay's front office has a distorted "philosophy," the star quarterback wasn't the only big-name player absent from team OTAs. No. 1 receiver Davante Adams, along with four other wideouts including potential starters Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, skipped Tuesday's practice.

This round of OTAs is completely voluntary, so no veterans are required to show up. But it's probably not a coincidence that four of Rodgers' top pass targets decided to stay away on the same day. Adams, of course, is fresh off his own comments about the Rodgers situation, telling reporters he's unsure if the QB will be back and hinting he's uncertain about his own Packers future in the event Rodgers is dealt elsewhere. Buckle your seat belts, because this thing doesn't appear to be ending soon.

Top 25 NFL players under 25: Lamar Jackson headlines 2021 list, which features three Buccaneers, two Steelers

  Top 25 NFL players under 25: Lamar Jackson headlines 2021 list, which features three Buccaneers, two Steelers The best of the best youngsters in footballSome of the NFL's brightest stars are also some of the NFL's youngest. Just ask Jaguars, Jets, Bears, 49ers and Patriots fans, who this April welcomed fresh faces at the quarterback position -- all of whom could start this year at 22 or younger.

Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers is included in the rankings , of course, but the top of the list is sure to surprise. As you'd expect, I was left with a strong group of qualified passers, but there are some notable omissions from the top 10. The first one that leaps off the screen (and will likely attract an avalanche of angry tweets) is the absence of perhaps the league 's top quarterback and most exciting deep passer: Patrick Mahomes.

Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams were among the 10 players on the Packers ' roster not present at the first voluntary OTA on Tuesday. We already knew that reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers did not report to Green Bay for the start of voluntary organized team activities ( OTAs ) on Monday, but the first practice open to reporters Tuesday revealed that the Packers ’ presumed top five wide receivers for the 2021 season also didn’t show.

3. Insider: Why NFC West is the NFL's top division of 2021

NFL Insider Jason La Canfora refuses to rank all 32 teams like most analysts, but he's all about sorting the divisions. Which ones are superior entering 2021? Which ones are pushovers? Here's how he stacks them up, plus some insight on his No. 1:

  1. NFC West
  2. AFC North
  3. AFC West
  4. NFC South
  5. AFC East
  6. NFC North
  7. NFC East
  8. AFC South

Why the NFC West at No. 1? I could make the case for all four of these teams reaching the postseason, if I wanted. Personally, I still have major reservations about the Cardinals' ability to compete at a high enough level defensively and I am waiting for that offense to truly evolve as well. Kyler Murray can only run around and make so many plays. With the Rams making a major upgrade at quarterback, I am more bullish on them than I have been in years. The Seahawks are in the dance every year as long as Russ is there (and he still is!), and the 49ers are a trendy pick for a bounce-back season for good reason. The games between these teams will be wild. I really believe three of these teams have the chops to win the NFC West despite the challenges playing in it presents. Ultimately, injuries and travel could be what separates them. There is no truly weak link. Power division; power ratings.

Patrick Mahomes wants Chiefs to become first NFL team to go 20-0

  Patrick Mahomes wants Chiefs to become first NFL team to go 20-0 Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe talks blocking out the noise, defenseman Jake Muzzin's status and how he may change his forward lines ahead of the Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.

4. Deshaun Watson case could remain open until after 2021 season

There doesn't appear to be any clean resolution in sight for the star Texans quarterback, who's still facing 22 civil lawsuits for alleged sexual assault or misconduct. ESPN reports that neither Watson's camp nor his accusers have engaged in settlement talks, while Watson himself cannot be deposed, or asked to provide sworn out-of-court testimony, until late February 2022.

In other words, there's a chance the Watson case could remain unresolved until after the 2021 season. The QB's 22 accusers are set to begin depositions in September, per ESPN, barring a settlement before then. In any event, it's unclear if Watson will take the field for the Texans -- or any team -- when the 2021 season begins. The former first-rounder reportedly still desires a trade out of Houston (and is skipping OTAs to reinforce his request), but he also remains under investigation by the NFL. Even if he faces no criminal charges as a result of his case, the league could opt to place him on the commissioner's exempt list (essentially paid leave) or outright suspend him.

  Ranking 2021 NFL divisions from top to bottom, plus Packers wideouts skipping OTAs with Aaron Rodgers © Provided by CBS Sports

5. Predicting every game on the Patriots' 2021 schedule

As the season draws closer, we're running through the entire NFL with full-season predictions. This week, resident Patriots expert Tyler Sullivan offered his forecast for New England's 17-game slate. Will Bill Belichick rebound? Can the Pats ride an uncertain QB room back to the playoffs? Let's take a look at some of his key game picks and a final record projection:

Ranking the NFL's top 100 players, plus why June 1 is a big day for Aaron Rodgers and Julio Jones

  Ranking the NFL's top 100 players, plus why June 1 is a big day for Aaron Rodgers and Julio Jones Here's everything you need to know about the NFL for June 1Oct 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (right) greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (left) after a NFL game at Raymond James Stadium.

  • Week 4 vs. Buccaneers: Welcome back, Tom Brady! This is the game that we're all waiting for ... For the first time as a visitor, Brady will be taking his Buccaneers into Gillette Stadium to face the team he called his own for two decades ... I don't expect this game to be particularly close and could be one of the early periods where Cam Newton's status as the starter is seriously in jeopardy. Patriots lose 33-20.
  • Week 6 vs. Cowboys: The strength of Dallas will remain on the arm of Prescott and the Cowboys' passing attack, but that should play into New England's hand in this matchup. The Patriots' strength this season is their defense, particularly in the secondary with Stephon Gilmore and newbie Jalen Mills. Patriots win 24-20.
  • Week 18 vs. Dolphins: New England ends the 2021 regular season on a high note. Mac Jones gets to go head to head with his former college teammate in Tua Tagovailoa and this matchup could possibly have a playoff trip on the line for the Patriots as a wild card. Patriots win 24-17.

Final record prediction: 9-8

6. Rapid-fire roundup: Steelers defend Big Ben, another comeback story?

Want more NFL news? Good. Here are some other nuggets worth your time:

  • Cam Heyward tired of Ben Roethlisberger criticism: The Steelers vet says the QB deserves more respect
  • Justin Blackmon hints at an NFL comeback: The ex-Jags first-rounder hasn't played since 2013
  • Patriots, Titans reportedly on Julio Jones' wish list: The Falcons WR may have a preferred landing spot
  • Champ Bailey opens up on Tim Tebow: The Broncos legend dishes on Tebow's chances in Jacksonville
  • Falcons upset over Julio interview: Atlanta was reportedly blindsided by Jones' trade talk on Fox

WFT coach Ron Rivera has vaccine scientist speak with team; Montez Sweat unmoved .
WFT coach Ron Rivera said less than half his players vaccinated for COVID-19, so he had top scientist talk with team. Montez Sweat still won't get it.Kizzmekia S. Corbett, who was instrumental in research that led to the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and recently joined Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, spoke to Washington players on Tuesday night.

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