2020: Dynasty/Fantasy Offseason (Free Agent Hysteria) News, Observations, Rumors (3/18/2020)
Every few days on FFM, in the offseason, per usual, I’m going to share some observations from the latest football news and share any rumors/interesting conversations I’m coming across. Two or three items every few days, as I have things of interest to share.
In no particular order, and the ones I found most interesting so far…
First… Thank God for football, am I right? With normal workflow disrupted. Stock market gyrations. Recession talk. Self-quarantining. The virus apocalypse needs some good hot stove football talk, and we got it going on this week.
I’m going to react to some of the free agent moves and trades, and rumors of such things so far, with random order notes below…
How they affect fantasy and dynasty projections – I will update our projections/rankings/valuations on it all by week’s end. I will discuss first fantasy thoughts as well, but I'll address that in a moment.
In no particular order…
-- I’m not sure anyone will agree with my feelings on the Tom Brady situation, and I’m not trying to get you to join my thinking – it’s just my gut reaction to the news. A few will agree, the majority will think this is dumb -- but here goes…
Tom Brady to the Buccaneers…a sad day for America. No, that’s not true…America doesn’t really care (interested but not fearing or revering Brady anymore). I don’t think Patriots fans really care all that much…they know Belichick did the right thing.
Honestly, my water cooler opinion – it’s embarrassing, to a degree, for Brady.
I don’t care if Tom Brady still wants to play football because he’s ‘loves it so’ or is a ‘warrior’. Why is he doing this? He has all the money. All the records. All the trophies. He has young kids – why not leave on top, healthy, and go find something else fulfilling to do with your life? Maybe give time to helping people via a favored charitable activity in some way?
Nope…he’s going to be away from his family for months on end and go to work for one of the five worst run franchises in football to play with people he does not know, in an offense he does not know, with Bruce by god Arians and his empty hat O-C Byron Leftwich. Why? For love of the game? Or for love of millions of MORE dollars and the ego stroke.
There has to be more to Tom Brady’s, or anyone’s life than this when you've reached a peak financially and professionally?
If you were 40+ years old and had achieved everything in your profession (and your profession was not medical/lifesaving or in some way helping/urgent to people) and you had hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank and young kids and a supermodel wife – wouldn’t you just retire on top and take a year off to enjoy your family/life and plan for your next phase of meaning of life…or would you go play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and have to sit through Bruce Arians’ locker room speeches?
It’s a lot of money!!! He could make a ton of money doing ads or being a Shark Tank business investor, with much less physical and time toll. He and his wife have more money than they can spend in multiple lifetimes already.
Love of the game? He’s not 25 or 35 years old and in his prime nor having a desire to win a title to quench that thirst…he’s done it all and he’s well past his prime and he’s going to play for a bottom-feeding organization and continuing on in a higher probability activity to get seriously hurt and have more toll on your body in general. It is delusional and selfish (with his family), I think. He’s free to do it but I don’t get it at all.
Here’s the sad part. He wanted New England to want him back. He wanted Tennessee to chase him. He wanted San Francisco to upheave their Super Bowl flow. They all said, “Nahhh.” So, he was left with Tampa Bay or the Chargers or retirement. He chose Tampa Bay, running out of options.
The QB who looked terrible the 2nd-half of last season when they weren’t playing a dog crap early schedule, a QB who looks like he lost his deep ball skills a few years ago – he now goes to a deep ball offense in Tampa Bay.
Or, Arians changes everything over for Brady…so he can dink and dunk to what slot receiver? Scotty Miller? We’re just going to assume Arians throws the playbook out and magic is created.
I think Brady is still a top 20 NFL QB, and has the X-factor of experience like none other that may make him a top 10 QB still…but what if away from Belichick he’s just ‘OK’…just because of age? What does Brady have left to prove? I’d rather enjoy my kids while I was on top of the mountain, and then work on my second act of life…I could fully fund any endeavor I wanted after I spent time with my kids in those transitional years from 10+ years old to college. That’s why I think he’s selfish, in the end. He’s in a unique position to not be typical…and he went with ‘typical hanging on athlete’, and is doing it in Tampa Bay for an ego and money grab. God Bless him.
I'm not going all Bernie Sanders and railing on the 1%...he can make all the money he wants -- but you'd think your life would stand for more at his age/ability and after his amazing one-team career and his immense earnings and blessings -- than going to work for the pewter for another season, another tens of millions of dollars. Do you not think I'll think you're the greatest of all time unless you play 1-2 lackluster seasons in Tampa? Why do you care what we all think anyway? You served us well...now go enjoy life.
Also...buckle up for the O.J. Howard = ‘his Gronk’ fantasy hysteria.
Also, I can’t wait for the Jameis Winston ‘can’t find a job’ news watch every day by the media. Don’t worry Jameis…the President is about to send you a thousand dollars. You’ll be fine. A dollar for every pick you threw last season. Again, I say…Jameis was EVERY football analyst’s no brainer lock QB of the future when they scouted him out of Florida State.
-- Philip Rivers to Indy or Tom Brady to Tampa? Which one is better…which team is better…which team would you rather? Did the Colts also turn down Brady…for Rivers?
I could rail about Rivers as well as I did Brady…he has like a hundred kids and moved to Tennessee to prep for a better family life than in L.A., and we’re constantly reminded of him being a family man…and he could walk away with his wealth and health and focus on his tribe of kids – instead he’s going to give it a go with the Colts.
I give Rivers a tad more grace…never won or even been to a Super Bowl and made far less money in his career and his wife is not pulling down supermodel money either. One more year…one last shot…$25M to do it and then ‘done’. If I were Rivers, I would have wanted to walk away with a big family, health intact, and after earning $219M before taxes just in football contracts, not to mention everything else he made money with. And his skills are fading fast too. This is probably his last season.
Indy isn’t winning the Super Bowl with him. Hell, they won’t be favorites to win their division. So, this is a Rivers one-year sweet money grab and long shot Super Bowl shot with no commitment beyond this season. I’m sure more season tickets will sell with Rivers than a year of Brissett.
Do you think the Colts or the Bucs are winning their division this season?
So why do ‘this’ (spending a fortune on aging QBs) to the business big picture? Think about the ‘why’ here, from the organization’s standpoint.
You know who is thinking ‘big picture’, considering the now and the future…the Patriots, and the 49ers…and Titans it appears, for passing on these expensive, aging QBs as well. The smart teams, the recent playoff teams passed, and the Bucs and Colts didn’t. What’s that tell you?
Makes for good football soap operas, though!
-- Teddy Bridgewater to the Panthers? I did not see that coming. I get it the more I think about it…
It’s a three-year deal, meaning he’s likely to be paid heavy for 2020 and we’ll see about 2021 and can be dumped easily in 2022, if it comes down to it. He's a smart ‘bridge’(water) QB while Carolina drafts a developmental this year or next.
Teddy has some familiarity with the new Panthers O-C Joe Brady from their time together in New Orleans.
As I thought all along, as many did, Cam Newton is gone from Carolina – either a trade or just outright cut is coming. It also means Carolina realizes they have no chance at moving up to get Joe Burrow from Cincy, so that rumor all but dies and we’re in for a soap opera of Cincy drafting a not-wanting-to-go-there Joe Burrow.
Christian McCaffrey has to be thrilled with this signing…the ultimate check down QB joins the fray. However, McCaffrey may be holding out or traded, so it might not matter as much to him.
-- Cory Littleton signing with Las Vegas makes me think one thing…
It should make me feel better about the Raiders defense, and it does – but my predominant thought is…man, the Rams are dying a fast death. The team that almost won the Super Bowl two seasons ago has bad contracts, overloaded star deals, and are losing all their foundational players – like Littleton. Players are leaving the Rams…I thought Sean McVay was the future. I’m not so sure he’s just a ‘good coach’ and not the next great one. The Rams seems like a mess.
While the Raiders are coming on strong. Mike Mayock is going to end up giving guys like me hope of being NFL GMs someday. Well…not me, but TV draftniks like Daniel Jeremiah and Louis Riddick will be GMs next year if/when the Raiders make the playoffs this season.
-- If the Rams are dying, then I don’t know what the word for what the Bears are doing to themselves.
If there is a bigger loser in the offseason than Chicago, I don’t know who it is. Jimmy Graham, Robert Quinn, Danny Trevathan all signed to big deals…you’ve gotta be kidding me. That Jimmy Graham signing may be the single worst of the 2020 offseason – typical of this totally dead/dying Bears franchise.
There is going to be a major revolt in Chicago this year…and Trubisky-Nagy-GM Pace are all going to get crushed by the local media and fans. Nagy may survive it with Pace and his QB jettisoned/burned at the stake.
-- The fact that the Bills just let DT Jordan Phillips go…would make me REALLY scared about signing him. Sean McDermott has been right on the money with players he’s getting and dumping the past few years – maybe the best wheeler-dealer in the NFL right now.
So, who comes along and steps into the trap? The Arizona Cardinals, of course…they’re paying up for this.
-- If you thought Bill O’Brien was dumb for trading DeAndre Hopkins (which I didn’t but I thought he sold him short/left money on the table)…then your case was further enhanced by the Texans signing Randall Cobb to the deal they did. Outside of the Jimmy Graham-to-Chicago deal…this may be the worst deal of 2020. What a waste of money. Randall Cobb must have a rabbit’s foot jammed up his arse somewhere.
-- Stefon Diggs to the Bills…
I don’t get it all for the Bills. Diggs is not a big need for them, this passing game is limited by Josh Allen…not a lack of WRs. They just spent a ton on WRs last year.
I cannot imagine Diggs is thrilled about it either. What wide receiver wants to play (geographically) in Buffalo, and what deep ball receiver wants to work with erratic Josh Allen?
I bet Buffalo could have gotten DeAndre Hopkins with this offer, maybe? I wonder if Sean McDermott knows what Bill O’Brien knows and didn’t want to risk working with a diva WR and having to pay him off with a new deal this year (or else)?
I see people saying this was a ‘great deal by the Vikings, and better than what Houston got’. Not really. Don’t be dazzled by the volume of picks…a lot of picks in this are nothing/later round picks exchanged.
Considering cost and opportunity -- the Vikings getting Buffalo’s #22 is really not better than having a #40 (from ARI). I said it yesterday, smart NFL GMs don’t want 1st-round picks, they’d rather have more early 2nd-round picks, from a cost/contractual terms and players available standpoint.
The Vikings got a nice #22 pick and a 4th-rounder in 2021 (all the other 5ths and 6ths and 7ths exchanged are low value/insignificant) for Diggs.
Would you rather have a #22 pick now and a 4th in 2021 for your WR trade away, or what HOU got…the #40 pick (better than #22, or at least kinda equal considering cost structure) PLUS David Johnson? If DJ pops again it’s a homerun. If DJ flops you can cut him and get a 4th-round compensatory pick in 2021. They are very similar value deals – shame on Houston for not valuing Hopkins higher.
Minnesota is losing all kinds of free agents and now Diggs, building back up some of their previously deficient cap space…but they have yet to land anything/anyone of note in all this. This is a far worse team than it was in 2019…what is the point of all the moves if they free up money and can’t land anything good? At least, they haven’t yet.
-- Miami is buying themselves a football team. The most improved team from free agency so far – the Dolphins. Byron Jones, Emmanuel Ogbah, Kyle Van Noy…very nice pieces. Jordan Howard at RB is super-smart.
-- DeForest Buckner to Indy for a #13 pick? Smart by the 49ers…as they’ll probably trade that pick and get more picks. The 49ers are needing to consider cap space ahead, and Buckner was going to cost so much…he needed to be sacrificed.
Indy is taking a big risk here, but logical. Buckner can be very disruptive…but boy did they just spend a lot of money on a defensive tackle.
-- I’ll leave you with one more Patriots’ QB rumor, and then one FFM message…
Rumor: The odd/kinda expensive signing of Case Keenum in Cleveland might be the forerunner of Baker Mayfield traded to the non-Tom Brady Patriots the next 24-48 hours. Just a rumor I keep hearing whispered and have thought of myself for a few months now. I just don’t think Cleveland can afford the PR hit...maybe next season or mid-2020 season if things don't go well.
Message: I only hit some of the football things of note. I’m going to discuss the deeper things like Hayden Hurst, Austin Hooper, Todd Gurley and fantasy things on Diggs, Bridgewater, etc., AND the very under the radar name that is a HUGE fantasy winner in all this activity – discussing all that in our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball (DOBB) subscriber area. Report planned to be released tomorrow.
2020 Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball Subscriptions Now Available
It’s time for season #2 of our last season’s debut subscription…Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball.
I created Dynasty offseason as a way to communicate rankings/valuations on (500+) existing players (and also 400+ IDPs) for Dynasty and Keeper planning purposes (trades, etc.) as well as getting the jump on Best Ball/MFL drafts that begin in February and run all the rest of the year.
The fastest growing success percentage/money earning with FFM scouting/rankings/etc. is in those Best Ball/MFLs – draft a deep roster and forget it until the season begins, and then just watch the results…no lineup settings, no trading. Just pay to compete, out-draft everyone else, and try and cash in on our early/better read on things.
Dynasty Offseason subscriptions will be available when College Football Metrics begins (1/3/20), and you can purchase as a combo or just individually the one you want/need. However, the Dynasty Offseason rankings, etc., will not kickoff until right after the Super Bowl (articles and reports will post in January but player rankings/mock drafts not until past the Super Bowl)…and then we pile in material daily/weekly until opening day of the new NFL season.
If you were not a part of the Dynasty Offseason program last year, I will have more details on it on my playoff game recaps in 2020 and some additional explanation on Best Ball/MFL leagues, how to get started in them, how they work, etc. – if you’re not doing Best Ball/MFLs…you are missing out.
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