What is The Read Optional?

The Read Optional is an NFL newsletter, podcast & community produced by experienced writer and scout Oliver Connolly.

After a couple of years away, The Read Optional is back! No more scrolling through endless articles; the very best analysis will be delivered right into your inbox.

If you’re interested in all things football – the X’s & O’s, evaluating players, the salary cap implications of signings and trades, the relationship between the NFL and the college game, and everything in between – then The Read Optional is for you.

Who is this newsletter for? And why should you subscribe? 

🏈No Ads.

🏈No Clickbait. Ever.

🏈Just. Smart. Football.

If you want coverage of one specific team, this newsletter is not for you.

If you want in-depth analysis of the league’s biggest storylines, then this newsletter is for you.

If you’re interested in schematic trends, if you’re wondering what the Packers are up to with their tilt front, how the Patriots’ double-motion works, why a play run by UCF on Saturday could help Trey Lance and the Niners on Sunday, then this newsletter is for you.

If you want to be part of a football community. If you want to laugh at Nick Sirianni’s Nick Sirianni-ness while debating where your team’s top pass-rusher ranks among the league’s best, then this newsletter is for you.

If you want…

  • To know whether or not Josh Allen’s game is evolving or if Lamar Jackson’s contract makes long-term sense

  • To keep up to date with the little details that could you an edge in your fantasy league or office pool

  • To keep tabs on which of the top college prospects will make an impact in the NFL

  • To learn more about the past, the present, and the future of the league

  • To support independent writing that prioritizes what’s best for the reader and not the best click-generator

...then this newsletter is for you.  

As a member of The Read Optional, you’ll be part of a passionate community that loves football and is as interested in its intricacies as you.

Why pay $7 per month or $70 per year to access the content?

For one, to support a writer in an industry where it has become increasingly rare to have the freedom to create beyond sensationalism. There are no ads or sponsorship deals. Just informative, creative, interesting football stuff.

Mainly: the fee is about allowing us to produce the content that you want. It also gives you membership to a community of people that are just like you: People that live and breathe the nuances of football and want to meet others who feel the same.

🇺🇸 What will I get?

🏈 Weekly content, including the return of the weekly columns “The Read Optional” (analysis of the weekend’s games) and the “Film Room Five” (five takeaways from a week of studying tape).

🏈 High-quality storytelling and analysis through long-form written features, covering the past, present, and future of the game. 

🏈 Access to the exclusive Home & Home Podcast with Jon Ledyard.

All that for the price of a drink a month?

Yes! Really!

Subscribe to The Read Optional

Smart Football. Explaining Why. NFL Newsletter and Podcast.


Oliver Connolly 

Sport & Culture writer. Currently: The Guardian / Free agent for hire. Previously: NFL/CFB Scout, recruiting analyst, X's & O's writer/nerd