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Anne Photograp News 2024

Get ready for the release of the NFL’s schedule, plus three stories you need to read
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Get ready for the release of the NFL’s schedule, plus three stories you need to read

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The season starts on September 5. That gives Bears fans 119 more days of abundant optimism, Panthers fans a few more months of “it can’t be worse than last year” and the Raiders plenty of time to seduce Tom Brady.

Today’s newsletter covers:

  • 📆 NFL matchups 2024
  • 🔍 Patriots GM search
  • 📕 Three stories read
  • 💬 Caleb Williams in high school

The 2024 NFL schedule: What we know so far

The NFL schedule will be released in full next Thursday at 8 PM ET. How popular is the NFL? This schedule release will generate more social media interest than the MLB, NBA, and NHL games that night (two of those leagues are in the playoffs!).

While we wait to learn when Every game will happen, we already know the list of matchups. We’ll see a lot of rematches, players returning to old stomping grounds and other games with storylines. Several are perfect for prime time:

  • Retakes: Not just the Super Bowl reunion, Chiefs at 49ers. Both conference title games will be rerun, featuring Lions-49ers and Ravens-Chiefs.
  • Reunions: It feels weird to type, but Kirk Cousins’ Falcons visit the Vikings, Stefon Diggs’ Texans host the Bills and Saquon Barkley’s Eagles take on the Giants twice. And I’m sure both Sean Payton and Russell Wilson will be circling Steelers-Broncos.
  • stories: The Harbaugh Bowl (Ravens-Chargers), the No. 1 Pick Bowl (Panthers-Bears), the Offense Bowl (49ers-Dolphins) and the Who Is Up Next Bowl (Colts-Texans). Remember, Indianapolis – without starting QB Anthony Richardson – was one score away from replacing Houston in the playoffs.

Easiest path: It depends. Based on 2023 winning percentage, the Browns have the easiest schedule. But based on 2024 projected win totals, what’s probably more reliable is the Falcons have the easiest schedule.

Toughest road: A good example of choosing the right dates? Based on 2023 data, those same Falcons are tied with the Saints for the toughest schedule. But based on projected win totals, the Steelers’ path is the most difficult.

As for everyone in between:

Biggest improvement: According to Sharp Football, the Bengals had the toughest schedule in 2023 but have the sixth-easiest in 2024, the biggest swing of any team. Please stay healthy, Joe Burrow.

Refresher of the schedule formula

Each team’s list of opponents includes:

  • The three division opponents, twice each.
  • The three interconference teams that had tied divisional finishes the previous season (i.e. the AFC North team that finished in first place last year versus the first-place teams from the other AFC divisions).
  • The three other members of one of those divisions change every year.
  • The four members of a division of the other conference rotate every year.
  • A non-conference opponent chosen by the NFL, based on the previous year’s rankings.

What Dianna’s hearing: What will the Patriots do at GM?

It’s May 9 and there’s still no general manager in New England. It’s rare for a team to go through free agency and the draft — especially if they have a top-three pick — and operate without an official GM.

Although owner Robert Kraft and his son Jonathan oversee the operation with more control than when Bill Belichick was there, scouting director Eliot Wolf was the unofficial GM. External team communications with New England were all through Wolf, and it is believed around the league that he will formally be given the title of Executive Vice President of Player Personnel.

But in the meantime, the team has conducted two interviews: one with former Panthers director of player negotiations and salary cap manager Samir Suleiman, and the other with Eagles director of scouting Brandon Hunt. My question to those candidates: Why would you want that job? The schedule has already been drawn up without their input.

We’ll see if the Krafts are satisfied with Wolf’s evaluation and officially give him the top staff role.

Back to you, Jacob.


Stories to read

Today I wanted to highlight three stories from The Athletics that are worth your time. Yes, one contains a British pub.

‘Don’t waste a day’

Warning: After reading Mike DeFabo’s story on Steelers second-rounder Zach Frazier, you might walk through a wall. You’re sure to be inspired as DeFabo masterfully weaves Frazier’s journey.

It starts with a broken nose during his first varsity wrestling match (his career included four state titles and a 159-2 record), covers a pre-match ritual involving a stationary bike in a pitch-black room and ends with a philosophy that endears Frazier in Pittsburgh. Complete spelling.

Journeyman’s legal battle abroad

When Lorne Sam — a former practice squad receiver in Denver and Green Bay — agreed to run a pub in England, he couldn’t have expected to lose everything.

Situated in a village of 174 inhabitants, the Carington Arms advertises itself as “probably the nicest pub in Leicestershire.” But when you come to visit, you’ll likely find the front door locked, the lights off, and the parking lot out of the way. Why?

As explained by Sarah Shephard: The building owner went after Sam to cover the rent shortfalls left by the previous business owners. “The reason for that, he says, is that he is American, because he is different.” It is a unique, sad story.

The ‘key child’

WR Malachi Corley is known as the “YAC King” at Western Kentucky and has broken more tackles than any other college receiver over the past two years. With Corley still available at the start of the third round, the Jets traded up to get the player they wanted anyway.

Corley was raised by a single mother who worked day and night to provide for her children. In seventh grade, he told the high school football coach, “I’m going to be a professional football player.” That led to two-hour drives to Louisville for training and Corley (unknowingly) playing through a broken ankle. An inspiring article by Zack Rosenblatt.


Around the NFL

Nate Taylor wrote an excellent article about it Louis Rees-Zammita former Welsh rugby star who is making the transition to the NFL with the Chiefs.

Extend Justin Jefferson is priority No. 1 for the Vikings, a team that doesn’t have much leverage in negotiations, especially after GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah called Jefferson the “kingpin” of their plans. Still only 24. I expect the star WR to see around $35 million per year.

Caleb Williams’ In high school, opposing coaches said, “We knew it was coming, and we couldn’t stop him.” Kevin Fishbain spoke to two former coaches who faced Williams during that time. It’s where the legend began. Just look at this Hail Mary.

Former Robbers interim GM Champ Kelly is the now assistant GM. He recently spoke to the media and noted that we should keep an eye on sixth-round rookie RB Dylan Laube: “You see him creating not only as a running back, but also as a receiver out of the backfield.”

2025 NFL Draft Consensus Big Board: LSU OT Will Campbell opens at No. 1. Georgia’s Carson Beck is the top QB. The top 25 prospects, ranked.


Jacob’s Picks

📕 The silent fighter. Despite playing all four collegiate seasons in the small Mid-American Conference, Quinyon Mitchell was the best defensive back in this draft (Eagles, No. 22). One reason: “He’s definitely cut from a different cloth. It’s the Quinyon Mitchell fabric.’ (the athletic)

📺 A coin change. That’s what Lions first-round rookie CB Terrion Arnold claimed the Raiders had decided between Arnold and TE Brock Bowers at No. 13. Vegas assistant GM Kelly denied this. (X)

🎙 Best division in football? Undoubtedly the NFC North, a division that Robert Mays, along with ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, has looked at long and hard. (The athletic football show)

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(Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)