2021 NFL Free Agency Preview: QB & TE Edition
Okay, according to Twitter 27 teams need new QBs. Will be 28 once Lamar Jackson throws his next interception.
- I would like to first address Carson Wentz. If any of you guys are aware of this man named Andrew Brandt - he was a former exec for the Green Bay Packers he was there for a long time, he was the VP for a while. Lot of success, really smart guy - he does a podcast now, giving people insights into like what really goes on behind closed doors in executive offices.
- From my understanding of everything he's said about the situation so far, given the Wentz' contract, there's close to a 0% chance Wentz is anywhere but Philadelphia next year.
- He has a cap hit to Philly of $34M... - they can't just drop that would obviously just be dumb and unrealistic and would give the a $59M dead cap. But Let me tell you what else that $34M cap means - if he's traded to another team... Philly is still on the hook for that $34M cap.
- This quote is from an article that Brandt wrote just three weeks ago (which I'll link in the description): "Of the 1,800-plus players in the NFL there is no player into which a team has made more of an organizational investment than the Eagles have in Carson Wentz. There are NFL players for whom teams have invested multiple top draft picks; there are NFL players for whom teams have invested contracts totaling north of $100 million; there are NFL players for whom teams have allowed other players to leave to clear the path for that player to succeed. But there is only one team and one player for whom all of those organizational inputs were made: the Eagles and Wentz."
- He goes into every situation, trading, cutting, trading after June 1 - All the details that people like you and me have no idea about when it comes to cap and why or why not a team would do one thing or another.
- What that Doug Pederson split told me was that they know they cant move Wentz, their only hope is to fix him.
- Dak is interesting bc he's coming off of the injury ad Dallas didn't want to pay him in the long-term last year so they franchised him. I'm still not sure why they didnt give him a contract, like if it was like - in case he gets hurt.. or he's old, which he's not and he did, and you're just going to sing him now, that's just another year of inflated QB contracts. Not sure there's ever been a more relevant situation to use the phrase "time is money" its QBs salary's in the NFL. They get bigger, higher, faster stronger every year. The franchise tag is enormous, they can hit him with it again, maybe prove that he's back to full strength for a year and then sign him big next offseason, but idk. If you're a Dallas fan, what do you want to happen here, give Dak a fatty right, and give it now? All in all, I'd be shocked if Dak isn't back in Dallas and isn't the QB for the next 5 years.
- We have Trubisky, who's option didnt get picked up, so the Bears would have to sign him to a new deal, he played like fine.. but we hav four years of Trubisky and I'd be fucking livid if I was a Bears fan and they let him be the guy again next year. He's the #2 overall pick, he's going to get another chance like Mariota, to be the #2 somewhere. You're just holding onto him if you have him in a dynasty superflex league.
- Phil Rivers singed the 1-year $25M deal with Indy, got bounced first round in the playoffs unsurprisingly. Rivers hasn't decided yet if he's going to return next year. Rivers is a means to an end, not the path to the end. He's obviously past his prime and while I don't think he was a liability to the Colts in 2020, he wasn't going to get them over the top. It's a really interesting situation bc Jacoby Brissett is also a free agent. They gave him a go at starting QB and clearly didn't plan on him being the guy for them, and I doubt another franchise will. Brissett, will likely land somewhere in the NFL as a top tier backup QB. Rivers should probably hang it up, but I could see him going somewhere like, say, Chicago or Washington as another stop-gap, though I think this was the perfect situation for Rivers behind an offensive line that could give him time and a really strong ground game. The Colts are not in rebuild mode at all, so drafting a rookie, or going to Jacob Eason won't be their move - they're a team that could look to resign Rivers and run it back or hit the FA market. You hold Rivers for now in dynasty leagues.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick. Some team is going to get the goat backup. I mean fuck let Fitzy get Indy a ring. Nah, he'll do what he's always done, sign somewhere as a backup, best case scenario bridge QB that wont start 16 games.
- Dalton - same thing as Fitz. Minus the enthusiastic initial statement about the ring. Could see Dalton signing somewhere without a solidified QB and being in a camp battle for the job.
- Cam - things get interesting with Cam. I know a lot of people thing he's done. And he almost definitely is - even though reports from Mike Reiss and Jeff Howe out of NE say he has a 20% chance to resign with New England. They'll definitely look for other options, maybe settle if they really can't get anything else, but I would be shocked if Cam isn't competing for the starting job in another city in 2021. I know his numbers are miserable, but like what QB could do anything with that receiving core like holy shit. The most popular narrative we'll probably hear will be Cam to Washington, re-uniting with Ron Rivera, where they don't have anything other than Alex Smith who is actually on a pretty big contract with Washington. $24.4M cap hit in 2021, would be a $10M cap hit if they got rid of him. It would not surprise me in the slightest if Cam was a starting QB in the NFL in 2021. It wouldnt surprise me if he took a backup gig like behind Lamar with RGIII going to FA, or maybe like behind Burrow or Dak, if they miss an opening of the season and he gets a few starts? Doubt it but you never know.
- Jameis Winston
- Jameis to New England. Who says no? Besides every fantasy football player and Bill Belichick.
- This is probably going to be the most fun QB signing of the offseason. Brees is basically a lock to retire and who knows if the Saints actually trust Taysom Hill to be their real starter, but from a financial standpoint, given that the Saints are in arguably the worst cap position of all NFL teams -- they might have Brees retire, let Winston walk and roll with Hill on a $16M contract. If they do that, and pull of a playoff worthy season, it would confirm to me that fantasy twitter is without a doubt the dumbest crevice of the internet.
- Don't forget after this 35-30 season, Winston signed legitimately a 1-year $1.1M deal with the Saints.
- I would be shocked if an NFL team, maybe the Saints, does not give this guy another chance at being a starter. He was the former #1 overall pick, throws the #1 overall most pics, but he's 27, he has 3x 4,000 yard passing seasons on his resume, a 5,000 yard season, and apparently half of the coaches in the league are "quarterback whisperers" feel like i hear that phrase 8000 times an offseason. which is 8000x more times than id like to hear the phrase in my life to begin.
- Jameis could wind up in Chicago, Washington, could take another backup role on a bigger contract and take over. Falcons probably do some dumb shit like take Devonta Smith at 4, not get a QB and sign Jameis.
- Mullens is like semi-interesting but also not really, bc he has gotten a ton of play time during his time in SF - so the more film you have, the more likely someone in the NFL likes you. He has 17 starts to his name, 25:21 TD INT ratio, an impressive 273 yards/game. We've seen some monster yardage games out of Mullens, but we've also seen some really poor ones. Maybe a team like Carolina brings him into compete with Teddy Bridgewater, who knows. Jimmy G isnt a FA, but after the zillion $$ SF gave him last year, their dead cap for him is like $2M. This is another one of those situations where its like, everyone on Twitter just like yeah no way they roll with him again cause he sucks, but act like there's just a top10 NFL QB waiting to get signed. Sure, anything can happen in the offseason, but im expecting Jimmy G to be their QB next year and I'd hold onto Mullens and see what happens.
We actually have some really notable names on the FA market this year. Jonnu, Hunter Henry, Gronk, Tonyan, Gerald Everett.
This is a notably strong draft class for the TE position, however. So some suitors for TEs might look to the draft. Though, there might be teams that want to invest heavily into the position, get they johnny sins on and hit it from both angles.
Im sure New England would love to have a TE that literally did anything for them. Wouldn't be surprised if they chased after a big FA name, despite using byke to byke picks on the position in the draft, getting nothing out of either rookie.
Jacksonville makes sense with a TON of cap, and looking to build up that offense around Trevor Lawrence, give him as many weapons to work with as possible. I feel like no one has wasted contracts on TEs quite like the Jaguars. It's like me on UberEats fees. It's impressive.
I wouldnt be shocked if the Cardinals looked to invest in the position either.
- So first up, we have Jonnu Smith. I hope Tennessee retains him and Corey Davis run it byke with that offense, but it seems like they probably need to put some money into their defense. Jonnu looked like he was gonna breakout this year, with the position all his - finished at TE10, nothing exciting there. Battled injuries all year but technically set career-highs across the board in his fourth season 65-41-448-8. Really inconsistent fantasy guy all year, but still just 25 years old, super athletic.
- I think of all the free agents, the Pats would be most intrigued by him. Investing into him during his prime, and he's super versatile which they love in their players. Big, fast, can catch, can run with the ball in his hands and can block.
- The other big ticket name here is Hunter Henry.
- The Chargers have the 11th most cap space right now, so I really hope they resign him, I'd love to see Henry get a full year with Herbert and a new HC in LA. I think Henry could finally put together the year that everyone has been wanting to see from him.
- Henry still yet to play a full 16, his 14 this year was a career-high as were his 92 targets and 60 receptions. But it wasn't a great year overall, he went over 67 rec. yards just twice and it was byke in Week 1 and 2, pretty much all downhill from there.
- Im less excited about Henry in FA bc he's more Austin Hooper & Zach Ertz than the other top guys. Strong hand, but catch and fall. So, I don't see a ton of situations where we see his value rise if he moves to.
- Gronk is either re-signing with Tampa or retiring. You hold him and he's an easy TE1 next year if he's byke.
- Robert Tonyan, what a year. 11 touchdowns ties Kelce for most TDs. However, and why I doubt the Packers resign him, is the rest of his numbers. 59 targets, 24th among TEs. 52 catches and 586 yards, both 13th among the position. He's going to be turning 27 and this is the perfect time for him to cash in on the highest bidder. So, I wouldn't be shocked at all if the Jaguars wind up just overpaying and ending up with him lol. Very Jaguar-esq move. Good player, great year and I don't want to downplay anything, bc he's not going to be a dud, he's actually a wildly athletic player, so the ceiling can be there, but whoever signs him is likely paying for that ceiling.
- Gerald Everett, another super athletic player to keep an eye on. He's not THAT THAT young anymore, he'll be 27 before next season starts, so it would've been nice to see a breakout year, but we've seen lots of late breakout TEs that move like Everett. So, doubtful he's a TE1 next year or anything, but I'm certainly intrigued to see where he lands. Arizona would be a spot to keep an eye on. I wouldn't hate him coming to Atlanta either.