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Dynasty-Fantasy Notes/take on 2019 Free Agency Week (Day Two)
As I started mapping out/typing my notes from the day’s activity, I was pretty well finished with the rough draft early evening (eastern), but was ready to add any late-breaking items as needed but it looked like the interesting stuff was ‘done’. Then the OBJ trade hit…then later-later Le’Veon signed. The NFL never rests.
We updated all our Dynasty rankings (and the debut of the Best Ball ranks) after the OBJ trade, but then Le’Veon happened after that – next update planned for THU night or FRI morning to adjust for that. We pretty well knew Bell was headed to NYJ or OAK, so not a radical change of events.
In no particular order, here’s my reaction to some of the signings that caught my attention on the second day of free agency with the OBJ and Le’Veon reactions shoehorned in…and I’ll hit on them more in a few days as all the free agent signings calm down.
-- It was Green Bay Packers day today (at least before OBJ news hit)…signing top available safety Adrian Amos, top sleeper best OLB Za’Darius Smith, and top sleeper best DE/OLB Preston Smith. This was a huge push by the Packers…a problematic defense for the past few years but showed signs of improvement under new D-C Mike Pettine last year – they have promising young corners and, now, younger/proven/upside pass rushers. The Packers are in position to be low-key big winners of free agency 2019.
-- Teddy Bridgewater turning down Miami is such a slap in the face…
…not to the Dolphins, they’re used to that – a slap in the face to anyone of you who supports this dreadful organization. Bridgewater had his ONLY chance to start Week 1 in 2019 (and was offered more money) by signing with Miami and he said, “No, thanks” -- and went/stayed with the team he felt was the better opportunity big picture. Nick Foles did the same thing a few years ago – he spit on Mike Zimmer and others, and he went to be a backup for Andy Reid/Doug Pederson in KC instead of competing to start as a not-really-wanted free agent and then did the same going with Pederson to Philly.
It’s gutsy, mature on behalf of Bridgewater…and a chilling reminder of how poorly run the Dolphins are…that one of the best geographies to play in with no state tax cannot draw any talent because of their football people, owner, and operations. They’re reduced to re-signing failure DeVante Parker.
Miami has a terrible team with inexperienced/proven nothing ex-Patriots assistants and an empty GM, and little cap space…it’s unreal what a terrible state this franchise is in. Their constant ‘big dream’ each year is if EVERYTHING goes right, they might get a wild card berth.
Bridgewater feels being a backup in New Orleans is better prep for a better opportunity down the road (in NO or elsewhere) than what Miami’s likely lukewarm commitment to him was. Good for Teddy.
Instead, the Dolphins will add going-nowhere fast Tyrod Taylor. And I’m not buying this ‘tank for future QBs’ bit either. There’s no guarantee the team will lose enough to pull this off. The whole ‘tanking’ thing is a red herring to deflect how poorly the Dolphins have been run and how bleak the future looks right now. If they were serious about losing they would have hired Hue Jackson as head coach this offseason.
-- In that same vain, Anthony Barr turns on the Jets and goes back on his word and returns to Minnesota. No one wants to join Miami, with other options…and they definitely do not want to join the Jets unless paid way more than anywhere else (see: Le’Veon Bell).
In other news, the Buffalo Bills added John Brown and Cole Beasley. Are you kidding me?
Somewhere Bill Belichick is laughing one of those laughs where you’re laughing so hard you’re crying, and can’t stop laughing or crying…and every pause makes you laugh again. He’s doing that thinking about how pathetic the AFC East is.
Le’Veon Bell signing with the Jets move the needle little for NYJ. I know this – Adam Gase and Le’Veon Bell will be a problem, a relationship issue by year’s end.
-- Two of the best moves in free agency were under-the-radar but absolutely brilliant…and the team starting to get with the program is – the Arizona Cardinals. Steve Keim is on his way to rescuing his career.
(1) Signing Jordan Hicks away from Philly is off-the-charts brilliant. In a division where the offensive gurus preside (McVay and Shanahan), guys who love throwing to their running backs and can be clever with tight ends…the Cards just got, arguably, the best pass covering linebacker in the NFL in Hicks.
(2) Signing Brett Hundley, to me, is another sign…a forerunner to their Kyler Murray pick at #1. It’s strange for Hundley, of all the QBs out there, to be tapped/approved by Kingsbury. He had to want Hundley.
Now, the Hundley signing gets mocked/ignored by the mainstream, because they’re such geniuses on QBs from their hits such as ‘Mayfield is too small’ and ‘Foles is washed up (a few years ago)’, but I’m smarter on QBs than THEY are…and I say Brett Hundley has some skills. He was a spread, Air Raid-ish attacking QB in college…then was lost in the empty NFL years ago…they didn’t know what to do with him, and Mike McCarthy is an awful NFL coach hidden behind Aaron Rodgers who couldn’t develop him. If college grad Hundley were entering the NFL Draft today, with the success of open offenses in the NFL, might be a top 100 pick in the draft. Back years ago, he was a ‘system guy’ and a ‘runner’, and fell in the draft.
‘System guy’ and ‘runner’…hmmmm…who else is described/tarnished that way by the mainstream analysts? Oh, that’s right…Kyler Murray.
We have one more clue to the Murray to Arizona at #1 heist about to happen, and it’s the cheap add of Brett Hundley.
Also, note…Hundley could be the QB who is one hit away from stepping in and taking over the Air Raid.
Also, note – Brett Hundley is as good a human being as there is in the league…a reason why most don’t like him in the league…he’s not a meathead who swears every other word out of his mouth like 99% of the coaches, and that’s seen as a weakness for Hundley.
If Arizona pulls off trading Rosen and drafting Murray and Arizona high school and college star WR N’Keal Harry – the NFC West is going to be epic football ahead.
-- Hey, I love Zach Zenner…one of the most ignored talents in the NFL. Why he would he re-sign with the same Lions team that has wasted him for years…I don’t get it.
I want to just give up on him, but I was then wondering if sees Kerryon Johnson as a target to take out…and/or the Lions HAD TO have said the right things to him. Zenner is a doctor, he’s no dummy. He had to have gotten some kind of assurance here…and, remember, he had that great showing late in the season…when the new regime finally gave him a chance.
If Blount isn’t back, could Zenner be in the split (the lesser touches) with Kerryon?
-- The Bears have signed two of my favorite underutilized talents of the past five years – Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Davis.
Mike Davis signing…is just further confirmation Jordan Howard is going via trade.
But what does the CPatt add mean? Well, it could just be his next stop on the underutilized train ride of his career…a #4 WR, occasional hand-off, and ace return man. But it could mean Taylor Gabriel or Anthony Miller could be in trouble of losing their spots.
Man, the Bears are sitting on a powder keg of great PASSING game weapons. Not offensive/run game ones (once JoHo is traded)…but PASSING game weapons. It’s all teed up for Mitchell Trubisky now…
-- Deone Bucannon to the Bucs…that was an easy prediction to book. It’s just the beginning of a run of ex-Cards going to Tampa the next few days. No major players, but supporting cast, etc.
-- The Steelers grabbed as good a corner as was available in free agency -- Steven Nelson from KC.
It seems like the Steelers are spiraling out of control, and maybe they are…but I heard Jay Glazer address this noting we all thought Seattle was losing too much talent last year, and then they there were back in the playoffs.
If the Steelers could effectively replace Ryan Shazier, finally, they might be a surprise team, in a sense, in 2019. Conner-Samuels is fine to replace Bell. They just added a top corner. They need to replace Antonio...in a draft overflowing with WR talent. The Steelers aren’t dead yet…but the Browns are punching them in the AFC North head repeatedly all offseason.
-- I had written the following note about the Browns, and then soon after…they acquired Odell Beckham. I’ll let my original note start, and then we’ll add-on the OBJ analysis…
Pre-OBJ: The Cleveland Browns have added Kareem Hunt, Olivier Vernon, and Sheldon Richardson while ditching Kevin Zeitler and Jamie Collins.
The Browns are making AFC North leader moves while the Steelers make mass purges, the Ravens try to makeover their offense and tread/lose water on defense…and we don’t know if the Bengals are still in the NFL with their lack of moves (because no wants to go there…not players nor coaches).
It’s amazing that the Browns, the NFL laughing stock, could totally change its fortunes in less than a year by ditching a media-beloved, stunning failure of a head coach and getting a franchise QB the most in the media and analyst realm thought was a mistake. In two moves over the past year, years’ worth of ineptitude are erased and the team has become the AFC North favorites.
The NFL really isn’t that complicated…it’s the people that run (and own) teams that butchering the obvious, while their willing accomplices in the football media cheer on and support there terrible group-think moves for coaching hires and Alabama-Clemson-Ohio State draft picks. Why do the same teams rule the NFL over long stretches of time, while others haven’t had a playoff win in decades and everyone else randomly is stuck in the middle? Because they keep making the same mistakes over and over and over, thrilled the media is applauding them at every ‘new’ change…as the league runs interference trying to shut down any negative talk (that’s why Sean McDonough types have to go from Monday Night Football, and the ESPN personalities like Colin Cowherd and Bill Simmons got pressured out of ESPN, while empty Jason Witten and Booger McFarland types are pushed).
The Browns have gone from team that could barely win a single game for years to this year’s division favorites in the snap of a finger…led by a ‘system’ quarterback who was ‘too short’ (per the experts) and a head coach (Kitchens) always passed up for head gigs.
OBJ to NYG for a #1, #3, and Jabrill Peppers…
Utterly brilliant by the Browns. They win this deal by a mile. I’m not big on spending big on wide receivers, but this is a little different situation. There’s perfect logic and symmetry here.
First, OBJ is probably the most gifted wide receiver in the NFL. He’s better than Antonio Brown, and younger, and less nuts. OBJ’s issues were with NYG management and nutty coaches, and he had a point…look at how far the Giants are falling in relevance, and wins.
Second, you put Beckham with his best friend (Jarvis Landry) and also reuniting them all with their trusted WR coach from their college days at LSU…smart. Landry-Beckham-Mayfield all worked out together in the summer, and thus some relationship already built.
Antonio Brown to Oakland is a step back in offense/coach/QB play for him. While Odell Beckham is going to merge with potentially the best quarterback talent we’ve all ever seen. When you possess Mayfield, you go all-in on him and surround him with weaponry…and they just got him (arguably) the best WR in the NFL.
OBJ is worth WAY more than a 1st-round pick, even considering the payroll differential. A 3rd-round pick is nothing…the Browns have had a million picks of late. Jabrill Peppers is a nice player, kinda, but of low value…he’s a thrown in/dumped on NYG.
The Giants have made a big move to get in the running for worst run NFL franchise. They are shedding all their talent, and yet rolling with Eli for unknown reasons. With OBJ, Eli Apple, Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon all gone…why are they sticking with Eli? What are the expecting to do this year…win? Tank for a future QB? Good luck with all that.
We’ll be discussing the Evan Engram, Baker Mayfield, Sterling Shepard, etc., impacts of all these changes in the days to come. For now, you can see our first projection on it in our Dynasty Rankings and Best Ball Rankings, updated last night for all the latest moves.
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