July 15, 2024

NFL ordered to pay more than $4.7 billion in ‘Sunday Ticket’ lawsuit, plus ranking top 20 tight ends for 2024

Welcome to Friday, football fans! It’s Tyler Sullivan here lending a helping hand with the Pick Six newsletter as our buddy John Breech takes some much-deserved time off and prepares for the countless kicking battles that await us when training camps open up in about a month. 

Even with this being the dead period on the NFL calendar, there’s plenty of news that we need to get to, so we won’t waste too much time and simply roll out what you need to know before we all enjoy the weekend. First, we ask you to subscribe to the newsletter right here and make sure to tell your friends to join as well. 

1. NFL ordered to pay more than $4.7 billion in ‘Sunday Ticket’ class-action lawsuit

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If you’ve purchased a “Sunday Ticket” package, you may want to listen up. On Thursday, a federal judge ordered the NFL to pay $4.7 billion in residential class damages and $96 million in commercial class damage in what has become known as the “Sunday Ticket” case. 

This class-action lawsuit has been making its way through the courts dating nearly a decade when the case was originally filed in 2015. To break it down in simple terms, the plaintiffs have argued that the NFL worked together with its network partners to inflate the price of “Sunday Ticket,” which would violate antitrust laws. 

After this loss in court, the NFL announced that it would appeal the decision. Per ESPN, there will be a hearing on July 31 for post-trial motions, including one to set aside the verdict. 

“We are disappointed with the jury’s verdict today in the NFL Sunday Ticket class action lawsuit,” the league said in a statement. “We continue to believe that our media distribution strategy, which features all NFL games broadcast on free over-the-air television in the markets of the participating teams and national distribution of our most popular games, supplemented by many additional choices including RedZone, Sunday Ticket, and NFL+, is by far the most fan friendly distribution model in all of sports and entertainment. We will certainly contest this decision as we believe that the class action claims in this case are baseless and without merit. We thank the jury for their time and service and for the guidance and oversight from Judge Gutierrez throughout the trial.”

According to the Associated Press, this case covers every residential and commercial customer who subscribed to “Sunday Ticket” between 2012 and 2022, putting the class-action number at roughly 2.5 million people. 

2. Puka Nacua recaps historic rookie season with Rams

One of the darlings of the 2023 season (and Fantasy Football league-winner) was Puka Nacua. The Rams wideout took the league by storm, setting rookie records for receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,486). Nacua also didn’t wilt under the lights of the postseason, catching nine passes for 181 yards and a touchdown, setting an NFL record for the most receiving yards by a rookie in a playoff game. Simply put, he was lights out wire to wire. 

This week, Nacua spoke with CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani about his rookie season and how he’s preparing for an encore in Year 2. 

“Being more focused on my body parts that I feel like needed work,” he said. “We’re always training obviously for football and some of the basic strength care that comes from standard Olympic lifting, and then just the nuances of my body and the things that have changed either from previous injuries or stuff that I’ve learned from this past season. Being really specific in certain areas of training.” 

When asked if he ever surprised himself for how dominant he was out of the shoot, Nacua said, “I wouldn’t use the word surprised, but it definitely did feel natural. With the media stuff that had come after, but I still remember that first time out in Seattle Week 1 and just feeling like I was in a flow state. My first target in the NFL was a drop, but I just remember after that moment, me and Matthew (Stafford) kind of looking at each other and feeling like everything was still going to be alright. I had made the mistake to start, and everything else went so smoothly after that. So it was amazing.”

To read the full interview which includes Nacua identifying the toughest corner he faced last season, click here.

3. Greatest win for all 32 NFL teams

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While some franchises have reached higher heights than others, every team has that marquee victory that is etched in the very fabric of the organization and will live on forever. Whenever it’s brought up, fans can almost recite it play by play, but can almost certainly remember the game’s signature moment. 

Our Bryan DeArdo decided to dive into that memory bank and highlight the greatest victory of all 32 teams in the NFL. If you want to see all of them, you can read the full story here. Below, we’ll give you three teams and the win that DeAdro notes is their best ever. 

New England Patriots: Super Bowl LI. Trailing 28-3, New England scored 31 unanswered points that included 19 fourth-quarter points to force overtime. In the first possession of overtime, Tom Brady completed passes of 14, 18, and 15 yards to set up James White’s game-winning touchdown. The fifth Super Bowl win in franchise history, Brady made history by winning his fourth Super Bowl MVP award. And while Brady was deserving of the MVP, Dont’a Hightower’s forced fumble of Matt Ryan midway through the fourth quarter (the Patriots trailed 28-12 at the time) changed the complexion of the game. Julian Edelman’s remarkable catch with 2:28 left enabled the Patriots to tie the game and force overtime. 

Dallas Cowboys: Super Bowl VI. While they’ve been known as “America’s Team” since 1979, the Cowboys were previously labeled as “next year’s champions” after coming up short in several championship games that included a three-point loss in Super Bowl V. The 1971 Cowboys finally broke through; they went 10-0 with Roger Staubach starting under center, capped off with a dominant Super Bowl win over Don Shula’s Dolphins. Staubach won Super Bowl MVP honors, while his rushing attack — led by Duane Thomas and Walt Garrison — ran for over three times as many yards as the Dolphins’ backs Jim Kiick and Larry Csonka. Dallas’ “Doomsday” defense, led by linebacker Chuck Howley, defensive tackle Bob Lilly and defensive backs Mel Renfro, Herb Adderley and Cliff Harris, became the first unit to not allow a touchdown in the Super Bowl. 

New York Giants: Super Bowl XLII. The first NFC team to win the Super Bowl after winning three road playoff games, the Giants shocked the heavily favored Patriots while denying them the chance at becoming the NFL’s first 19-0 team. Trailing 14-10 late in the game, Eli Manning’s iconic completion to David Tyree set up Manning’s game-winning pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left. The Giants then sacked Tom Brady for a fifth time before forcing consecutive incomplete passes intended for Randy Moss. The Giants’ defensive mastery was led by Justin Tuck, who tallied two sacks, six tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Hall of Fame pass rusher Michael Strahan recorded a sack of Brady in what was his final NFL game. 

4. Agent’s Take: How Dolphins can effectively pay Tyreek Hill 

A lot of focus in Miami is being paid to what kind of extension the Dolphins will hand to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. While that’s certainly a situation that’s worth monitoring, so is the contract status of Tyreek Hill. The wide receiver market has exploded this offseason, and Hill is now in line to be the latest pass catcher to cash in. But how will that actually come together? 

CBS Sports’ Joel Corry dove into Hill’s current contract and rolled out a few scenarios of how the team can compensate him with a market-level deal. It should be pointed out that Hill has three years left on his current deal, but the last of his guaranteed money is this year which is why his contract is of central focus.  

Corry notes that Miami could follow a similar path that the Eagles went down with fellow star receiver A.J. Brown, who signed a three-year, $96 million extension in April giving him an average annual salary of $32 million.  

“At the very least, the Dolphins should be willing to redistribute some of the $45 million from 2026 to 2024 and 2025,” writes Corry. “For example, Hill’s 2026 salary could be lowered to $30 million where his 2024 compensation increases to $27.7 million from $19.765 million, and 2025 goes from $22.935 million to $30 million. The $7.935 million salary increase for 2024 could be in the form a roster bonus due a couple of days after signing. Hill’s 2025 base salary, which is currently unsecured, would be a fully guaranteed $28.9 million. The other $1.1 million in 2025 compensation would be Hill’s existing $1 million third day of the 2025 league year roster bonus and $100,000 2025 workout bonus.”

5. Ranking the top 20 tight ends for the 2024 season


We are continuing to go through each position in the NFL here at CBS Sports and unveil our rankings heading into the 2024 season. Now, it’s the tight ends turn. Our Jared Dubin was tasked with looking at the position group and slotting in the best of the best in his top 20 list. While Travis Kelce may have captured most of the headlines in 2023, the Kansas City Chiefs star lands at No. 2 on Dubin’s list and is looking up to George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers. 

Dubin on Kittle: Kittle is an absolute monster who can take over games as both a receiver and a blocker. His absurd 15.7 yards per reception average topped the next-closest tight end with at least 25 grabs (Likely) by TWO FULL YARDS per catch. His targets turned into an explosive play (16 or more yards) 27.8% of the time last season, via Tru Media, by far the highest rate at the position. And he is the best blocking tight end since Rob Gronkowski. As good as Kelce is as a pass-catcher, right now, Kittle is the better overall player. And that makes sense, given that Kittle is still in his prime and Kelce will be 35 in October.

Here’s a look at the top five of Dubin’s tight ends for 2024: 

  1. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
  2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
  4. Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions
  5. Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals

To see the full top 20 list, click here.

6. Extra points: Sanders makes first public comments since health scare

Want more NFL news? Here are some other noteworthy headlines from across the league: