2020: Dynasty/Fantasy Offseason News, Observations, Rumors (7/20/2020)
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 or so, as I have things of interest to share.
In no particular order, and the ones I found most interesting recently…
-- Arizona has until July 22nd to make a deal with Kenyan Drake or he gets paid $8.5M for 2020 on the ‘transition tag’ and is set to become a free agent in 2021.
Kenyan Drake isn’t worth a three-year deal for $8.5M much less that for a one-year deal, but the idiotic Cardinals put a gun to their own heads with Drake. It’s a classic thing dumb teams/business people do…something worked for a 2-3 games out of 6-7+ samples/games and now they think they’re geniuses for making the Drake trade and with that they dealt away their other dumb (too much money given in the new RB economy) RB contract (David Johnson) and have now backed themselves into a corner to have to pay Drake way more than the market commands, or risk losing him. Steve Keim is so in love with himself over Drake, he cannot detach away emotionally…and Kingsbury falls in and out of love with players overnight, and he is in love with Drake today…so Arizona is inexplicably all-in on Drake right now.
If Drake got hurt pre-game Week 1 and had to miss the season, Chase Edmonds would step in and be equal to/better than Drake, so why pay Drake much at all? It’s terrible business logic…but Arizona is not smart enough to figure this out, so they are going to either pay a big deal to Drake long-term or rent him for a year and potentially lose him next year. It’s bad-bad-bad economics, but this is the group that put the Steve Wilks/Josh Rosen/Sam Bradford ($20M+) regime in place…on purpose just two years ago.
If Drake doesn’t get a new deal by 7/22 end…then the risk of a Drake/Edmonds split in 2020 is elevated…with Edmonds having a chance to win the day (Kliff will turn on Drake in two seconds if the window opens on it).
If Drake gets a fancy, big new deal…game-on with Drake in Fantasy 2020 because Arizona will cut off their nose to spite their face to prove they signed a great deal (see: the Todd Gurley and Devonta Freeman ridiculous contracts that all the media cheered on as they happened). Drake will be ‘the guy’ in 2020 if they give him a big extension the next day or two…an RB1 candidate.
Part of me thinks…there’s no way Arizona management can be this stupid, and they won’t go further with more money to Drake.
Part of me thinks…there’s no way Arizona management cannot NOT be their stupid selves, and they’ll pay the price (literally and figuratively).
My Drake fantasy projection for 2020 will change on or before 7/23/2020 based upon what they do.
-- I’m interested in what Jacksonville does with Yannick Ngakoue…as a window into the minds of what I think the Jags are now trying to do…
Ngakoue is a pretty solid D-End, but not one I’d pay a big contract to…mega deals to pass rush specialists don’t seem to return the value invested, by and large.
Ngakoue has been complaining for a few years, as is his right to do, for a new deal, etc. – and has basically said he wants out of Jacksonville.
I believe that the Jags will trade Ngakoue for multiple reasons, but if they end up keeping/paying him a big deal -- it let’s me know the Jags are not too serious about change and cannot read the room on things. The reasons why I want to see a trade are…
1) It makes no sense to give out a huge deal extension with the virus-based (revenue shortfall) 2021 and maybe 2022 salary cap reductions coming. The Jags will need to cut payroll ahead, and this is the easiest way to do it/avoid an issue.
2) Ngakoue has been complaining for two years, and I believe the Jags have decided upon a radical change of ‘culture’ with their players. They are getting high character types (and got a bunch from the draft) and moving on from complainers (not saying the complaints aren’t valid). The Jags needed to clean sweep the $#!##y house Tom Coughlin built and now rebuild anew, and they are.
Why they allow GM David Caldwell to draw another paycheck to head this up is beyond me, but I think he’s a token figurehead where the Khan’s are running a lot of the personnel and Trent Baalke was brought in to head up scouting…and probably takeover for Caldwell at some point.
A Ngakoue trade in the next few days would be a sign that things are really trying to change in Jacksonville…and they have a really nice base of young talent to go forward with.
-- I see that the NFL has made some logical proposals on players' pay for 2020 and for those that want to ‘opt-out’. The numbers themselves being proposed can be debated, but the logic is sound – you cannot fully pay players not playing, and you cannot overpay those opting-out when revenues are going to be down in 2020 and who knows about the future revenues for 2021. The NFL offered a reasonable first pass on ‘opt-out’ players.
Big shocker…the NFL players have responded with a sudden coordinated Twitter effort to talk about how much they want to play but they don’t feel safe.
Please see my lengthy piece last week on how the ‘will they play?’ question is a giant ‘play’ that’s going to be acted out in front of our eyes, and one of the plot points is going to be each side threatening people dying and/or taking away the season – and my conclusion is/was that it’s all total B.S. about to happen the next few days/weeks, as both sides want to play football and will come to an agreement -- but not before a bunch of nonsense is played out in front of us/the media has to occur – and the ‘play’ is just now starting, acting out almost as I foresaw it happening…and we’re just in Act One.
On cue a bunch of star football players all tweeted perfect English sentences that definitely were not written for them by a P.R. group and tweeted them all at about the same time. The media, playing their ‘character’ in ‘the play’ as always, isn’t sure if this is coordinated or if the players are really that scared (they just happened to all get scared all at the same time via Twitter) but the media is always ‘in character’ for this play…they love reporting ‘concerns’ if it fits their ‘hysteria’ motif.
“But aren’t you concerned…_______ ” are the most meaningless and deadliest words the media uses with people and the public.
If you do not agree with being ’concerned’ about whatever, then you can only be left with the only other option – you’re NOT concerned. Who is NOT concerned about anything substantial? Am I concerned social security will be bankrupt and I won’t see my money down the road? What am I going to say, a definitive ‘no’? Meaning I have ZERO concern of that. I have some feeling that I don’t think the government will be solvent and be able to pay social security in the future…but I still work and give them my FICA due anyway. Am I ‘concerned’ that I could get the virus? Yes…but I still use my computer everyday without thinking about an affected virus except when the PC Matic commercial runs. Am I concerned I could get the COVID virus? Yes…but I still go out and live my life because I see my odds are equal/worse jumping into a car and driving and getting into an accident. Am I ‘concerned’ older family members will get THAT virus? Sure, but I’m also thinking many of them shouldn’t have a driver’s license…but they still do, and you’re at risk of them on the roads because they can’t see or hear or react very well…but can still legally drive somehow. We’re all ‘concerned’ about a lot of things, that’s not a reason to completely change everything just because of some voiced ‘concerns’…or we’d have to change everything all the time because we don’t know ‘who’s concerns are valid?’ and someone is always ‘concerned’ about something.
If the players were really ‘concerned’ about their virus fate/mortality or for those around them…they’d just take a year off and live on basic unemployment for a year. Actually, the NFL is offering them $150K if they opt-out…not bad. But if they are so ‘concerned’, I mean, what’s a year of football pay worth if they or a loved one are going to die by Week 8 from playing football? We all know the virus loves to hang around football being played and is not present at the grocery store or hanging out ‘at the club’ or partying on a boat or wherever the players are going around to (like most other under 80-year-old Americans). Where do people think they are going to hide from the virus successfully…and who wants to live like that forever anyway? The players (and their figurehead NFLPA) aren’t really concerned (99.9% of them) about contracting the virus…they’re just trying to pressure the NFL for more money/security, which is fine/smart, but don’t think I’m ‘concerned’ about them NOT playing with their latest tweet storm – because I know they are ready to play or they wouldn’t even be discussing a way to play and they all would NOT all be meeting up with each other in secret and working out together.
I predicted it last week, and will again this week…soon you will see the NFL have to threaten to pull the season to get the NFLPA/players in line…and they’ll make the threat by leaking it to some loudmouth/useless football ‘insider’ who will them breathlessly run that to the public. It’s the NFL’s version of what the players/NFLPA is doing…negotiating in public to win sentiment/send a message. The NFL league offices cannot/will not coordinate a tweet from all 32 owners, so they’ll have to leak it to a source and probably Jerry Jones will hint it at a presser just to get the ball rolling. The public will then be afraid of a lost season, and then…
…suddenly out of nowhere there will be a deal – the players getting like 5-10% more than the league’s first offer was enough for them to risk life and limb, apparently -- and thus all the hysterical reporting and months of fears of no season will be forgotten in an instant as we start predicting what teams benefit from reduced fans in the stands.
…except the media will talk about the virus aspect nonstop and they cannot wait to run a death counter total along the bottom of the TV screen crawl along with the latest NFL scores during games. But there likely won’t be any deaths, not at their ages and conditioning and resources and testing – so, the media will have to display ‘positive test counts’ to try and scare us instead. Anytime to keep us scared and divided.
There is going to be a football season, college (power conferences) and pro, wherever money is made from such things. Losing money things/leagues (like the Ivy, etc.) that no one cares about will shut down, but highly profitable things will play on because the owners and players absolutely want to go forward and work/earn and they are not really ‘concerned’ like they make themselves out to be for public negotiations.
You better start prepping for your fantasy drafts, setting dates and such – because we’re playing on! Hopefully, you’ll prep with FFM. We invite you to!
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