The free agent period is percolating and will be in full swing in mid-March. Prior to free agency, we’re going to take a quick overview look at each team and some of the player/fantasy ramifications looming.
We’ll look division-by-division at the various team CAP and contract and free agent situations…
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Overview: The Patriots are under the CAP by approx. $42M at this writing, but Tom Brady is going to command a good chunk of that. The Patriots are probably not going to have a ton of free agent money to spend, but they never really go wild in free agency as it is.
Big UFA names: They are Tom Brady, Devin McCourty, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Joe Thuney
I would highly assume Brady will be re-signed, but Belichick might be ready to move on/forced from most or all of McCourty-Van Noy-Collins…not that he doesn’t like them, but that so many ex-Patriots coaches will try to buy them away in free agency that it will not be cost prohibitive…especially with the Pats not in the greatest CAP situation. Thuney will probably go for some good money, but he might be the one the Patriots try to keep.
The Patriots are at a crossroads as a mostly older, expensive, fading team at most positions – while their new/chief rivals, the Bills, are young, cheap, hungry and they have plenty of CAP space. We could see the Patriots overhaul chunks of the defense through a youth movement and picking over the free agent scraps, and turning them into Pro Bowl players…as they do…or try to bring the vets back with creative CAP management for one more run with Brady. The signing of Tom Brady will set this franchise back at least two years, because then the team needs to play with a 1-2 year window in mind.
If Belichick had it his way, he’d probably move on from Brady…but the owner won’t allow that to happen, so the whole team is stuck watching/tied to the Brady fade. I think we’ll see Brady re-signed and then Odell Beckham added, one way or the other, soon after as part of the Brady commitment.
Shock CAP-reasoned Cuts: NONE projected.
The Patriots, per usual, and unlike most teams always, don’t have any egregious contracts they need to consider pulling the plug on.
Their biggest debate will be whether to keep Mohamed Sanu for his final year of his contract or just cut him and save the $6.5M…likely they keep the veteran WR who is at/below market price. Sanu would like a new deal but will probably be forced to play this one year out and hit free agency as a 31+ year old WR in 2021.
Overview: As it sits right now, the Bills are top 5 in the league in CAP space available. Over $80M approx. to work with. The Bills have a difficult time getting players to willingly come to Buffalo to play, the city/geography/cold, so they will have to (again) overpay free agents to come in.
The core of the Bills team is young and/or cheap.
Big UFA names: The Bills are in good shape here. No real issues to deal with re-signing or replacing. DT Jordan Phillips and DE Shaq Lawson are free agents, but not priority or devastating to lose.
Shock CAP-reasoned Cuts: Nothing of note.
Tyler Kroft should be ditched…$6.4M to pay to play 2020 or cut for $1.6M hit. No fantasy concerns wherever he may land or re-structures with Buffalo.
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.
NEW YORK JETS
Overview: Top 10 in available CAP space with approx. $55M to work with. No real free agents of note they are dealing with…Robby Anderson is like the biggest talent as an unrestricted free agent. The Jets have money but are one of the least desirable places for free agents to go to. I suspect they will overpay one free agent this year and then strikeout on a bunch of others, and then use their CAP space for either acquiring via trade or (more likely) signing some players to contracts early to buy loyalty (which is smart).
Big UFA names: Robby Anderson is really the biggest name, fantasy-wise.
Anderson is an underutilized talent for sure…he’s also a major headache/issue waiting to happen off the field. I think he’ll find out there’s not much of a market for him, except maybe for a team who is desperate and cannot attract free agents well…which the Jets qualify, but they’ve wanted out on Anderson for a few years now. They should let him walk and just take the compensation pick.
I think Robby is going to Las Vegas (Mayock connection) or Carolina (Rhule connection via Temple) or Philadelphia (shown the most interest in trading for him the past few years at the deadline).
Shock CAP-reasoned Cuts: The Jets have a bunch of awful contracts bogging down the top of their CAP…C.J. Mosley, Le’Veon Bell, Trumaine Johnson, Jamison Crowder make up $57M…or nearly 30% of the CAP. The tragic comedy of that is…the Jets can get out of none of these deals easily – there’s more cost than savings cutting this group.
The Jets are arguably the worst run franchise + worst roster + worst CAP spending combo in the NFL. Good luck with Adam Gase and his lackeys trying to fix it.
The likely cut for space, of note – Quincy Enunwa (would save $2.4M) and maybe LB Avery Williamson cut or restructured…cutting Williamson would create $6.5M in CAP space…but the Jets don’t have a real CAP issue, just a terrible roster with terrible deals issue.
Overview: Miami is #1 in the NFL, right now, in available/projected CAP space with $93M. A desired place to play (Florida, no state tax) and a team with the most money and most draft stock – if Miami isn’t a contender in two years, everyone should be fired.
Big UFA names: None. They smartly dumped everything heading into this season.
They have to be the most set up for the future team in the NFL -- but, can they actually capitalize on it? Teams that have done this before (cleared contracts, accumulated picks) all failed in recent years…the Browns the past few years and the Raiders before that. Odds are…Miami will butcher the opportunity.
LB Vince Biegel had a nice season as a journeyman player finding a home with Miami and he is an RFA, and I’m sure Miami will sign him on the cheap.
Shock CAP-reasoned Cuts: Miami doesn’t have to cut anyone for financial reasons, but they will make some moves for logical reasons. Two moves they will make…
First out the door – Albert Wilson will either make $10.8M to stay on contract or be cut for a minimal $1.3M hit…so, he is gone. He’ll go to the Jets to reunite with inexplicable Wilson-lover Adam Gase, who was the driving force behind his ridiculous contract in Miami a few years ago.
SAF Reshad Jones will likely go as well. A hefty $10.2M CAP hit to cut, but they would pay him $15.6M to stay on the roster. He’s probably gone.
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