WR Ryan Grant's 4-year, $29 million deal with Baltimore has been voided due to a failed physical, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. It might turn out to be a lucky break for the Ravens, who seemingly overpaid for a replacement-level talent. We'll wait for news on Grant's health. Baltimore, meanwhile, is left with WRs John Brown, Breshad Perriman and Chris Moore atop the depth chart.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins has inked a 2-year deal with the Jaguars. It's a rather disappointing landing spot after ASJ had been connected to the Seahawks and Saints. He should serve as Jacksonville's lead pass-catching TE but will compete for targets with a relatively deep WR group in a run-heavy offense. Seferian-Jenkins' upside is likely a TD-dependent fantasy spot starter.
The Raiders have signed WR Jordy Nelson to a 2-year, $15 million deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. It's certainly arguable whether Oakland upgraded or downgraded by going from Michael Crabtree to Nelson. The longtime Packer turns 33 in May and is coming off a career-low 9.1 yards per catch. The absence of QB Aaron Rodgers for 9+ games didn't help. But Nelson's 1.22 yards per route run in 5 full games with Rodgers ranked 62nd among 88 qualifying WRs, per Pro Football Focus. He should at lease soak up most the of 8.5 targets per game Crabtree averaged over the past 3 years, but Nelson should be considered no better than a low-end WR2 at this point.
The Raiders have released WR Michael Crabtree. It sounds like it's a precursor to Oakland adding WR Jordy Nelson. Crabtree is coming off a disappointing 58-catch, 618-yard campaign. But he still tallied 8 TDs in 14 games, giving him 8+ scores in 3 straight seasons. He also posted 85 and 89 catches, respectively, the previous 2 years and will be just 31 in September. Crabtree should draw plenty of interest on the open market. We'll assess his bounce-back chances when he finds a new home.
The Raiders have signed RB Doug Martin to a 1-year deal. We'll see what this means for RB Marshawn Lynch's tenure in Oakland, but the Raiders certainly shouldn't be banking on Martin as their answer in the backfield. He's 29 now and coming off 2 straight seasons of 2.9 yards per carry. In fact, Martin has failed to reach 3.8 yards per carry in 4 of 6 NFL seasons. Don't consider him more than a RB5 in early best-ball drafts.
The Bengals have signed TE Tyler Eifert to a 1-year deal, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. We never heard Eifert connected to another team, which likely means he didn't draw much interest on the open market. That's not a big surprise considering he's missed 41 games over his 5 NFL seasons and is coming off back and knee surgeries. Eifert turns just 28 in September and has scored 18 TDs in his last 23 games, so there's upside here. But he can't be viewed as more than a TE2 in 2018 fantasy drafts.
As expected, the Dolphins released DT Ndamukong Suh and his big ol' contract Wednesday. Miami made the move despite incurring a $22.2 million cap hit, designating Suh a June 1 cut to spread the dead money over this year and next. Suh instantly becomes the top free-agent on the market. We'll be interested to see where the 31-year-old lands for both his IDP outlook and his potential effect on the team defense.
The Dolphins on Wednesday released TE Julius Thomas. The veteran spent just 1 year in Miami, catching 41 balls for 388 yards and 3 TDs across 14 games. He now hits the open market heading into his age-30 season, with a fairly significant injury history. We're not expecting much from Thomas going forward.
The Patriots on Wednesday agreed to a 3-year deal to keep RB Rex Burkhead on the roster, NFL Network reports. Burkhead finished top-20 in points per game among RBs in PPR scoring last season. Dion Lewis has left town, and Mike Gillislee looks like less of a factor than anyone expected heading into 2017. We'll see if New England adds any other significant backfield pieces, but Burkhead looks like a solid RB2 in fantasy football drafts at the moment.
The Broncos on Wednesday agreed to send QB Trevor Siemian and a 2018 draft pick to the Vikings for a 2019 pick (both unspecified), according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Siemian actually joins Minnesota before Kirk Cousins has officially signed, but Cousins will obviously step into the starting role -- barring some shocking breakdown in negotiations. Siemian, meanwhile, can slide into the backup role he should have occupied all along.
The Bills have signed QB A.J. McCarron to a 2-year deal, according to NFL Network. We don't know the financial terms yet, but we have to assume Buffalo will at least give McCarron a chance to start in 2018. The Bills, of course, also recently moved up in Round 1 via a trade with the Bengals and have the ammo to move up further if they fancy a particular QB. McCarron started 3 games late in 2015 after Andy Dalton suffered a thumb injury but has yet to show anything special in general. Don't consider him much of a fantasy football factor.
The Jaguars have signed TE Niles Paul, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Paul flashed with a 39-507-1 line back in 2014 but hasn't been the same player since a fractured ankle cost him the entire 2015 season. He's still only 28, though, and owned a 94th percentile SPARQ score pre-injury. Don't bother drafting Paul in early best-ball leagues, but he'll be worth monitoring this summer.
The Lions have released TE Eric Ebron. The 10th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft -- 2 spots ahead of Odell Beckham -- flashed at times but was largely a disappointment in 4 seasons in Detroit. Ebron missed 8 games and totaled just 11 TDs. He did come on over the 2nd half of last season, though, catching 38 balls for 414 yards and 3 scores over his final 9 games. Ebron turns just 25 in April, so we're not ready to throw in the towel on him just yet. We'll see where he lands.
The Ravens have released WR Jeremy Maclin. The team's WR room is being completely re-tooled, adding John Brown and Ryan Grant and with Mike Wallace an unsigned free agent. Maclin turns 30 in May and has missed 8 games while averaging 11.6 yards per catch over the past 2 seasons.
The Giants are set to sign LT Nate Solder, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a huge get for a team desperate for offensive line help. Solder ranked 32nd among 81 OTs in Pro Football Focus' 2017 grades, including a 12th-place finish in run blocking. None of New York's OTs last year ranked better than 52nd in the overall grades.
The 49ers have reached a 4-year deal with RB Jerick McKinnon, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The former Viking was looking to land a bigger role and will certainly find opportunity in San Francisco. After losing Carlos Hyde, the 'Niners backfield now features McKinnon and 2nd-year RBs Matt Breida, Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols. McKinnon underwhelmed as a runner in Minnesota, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry over the past 2 seasons. But he did rank a decent 18th among 51 qualifying RBs in Pro Football Focus' 2017 rushing grades. And he tied for 7th in PFF's receiving grades on the strength of a career-high 51 catches for 421 yards and 2 scores. That followed a 43-255-2 receiving line in 2016. We'll see exactly how this backfield shakes out this summer, but McKinnon has plenty of fantasy potential in an ascending offense. He turns just 26 in May.
Update: McKinnon got a whopping 4-year, $30 million deal. The $7.5 million annual salary makes him the league's 4th highest-paid RB.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Cleveland has agreed to a 3-year deal with RB Carlos Hyde. The contract is reportedly worth “more than” $15 million total, with $6 million in the 1st year. Hyde is an upgrade over Isaiah Crowell in the “early-down” role, and his signing indicates Cleveland doesn’t plan to significantly increase Duke Johnson’s role. There’s room for both RBs to contribute worthwhile fantasy numbers in what should be a much-improved offense, though Hyde’s easily the more attractive draft target. His arrival makes it significantly less likely that the Browns draft Penn State RB Saquon Barkley next month.
The Panthers on Tuesday agreed to a 3-year, $24 million deal with CB Bashaud Breeland, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The former Washington corner will get $11 million guaranteed and take over a starting job on a Carolina D that traded away Daryl Worley. Breeland should continue to be a decent IDP contributor. The Washington secondary, meanwhile, will now move forward without 2 of its top 3 CBs from the past 2 seasons. (Kendall Fuller went to the Chiefs in the Alex Smith trade.)
WR Taylor Gabriel announced Tuesday that he had agreed to terms with the Bears. Gabriel might have trouble finding targets if Chicago retains WR Cameron Meredith and finally gets something out of Kevin White -- on top of adding WR Allen Robinson. But we'll keep an eye on Gabriel's projected role as the roster and depth chart settle out and we get into summer.
The Jaguars on Tuesday reached a deal with WR Donte Moncrief, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The former Colt surpassed 32 receptions just once over his 1st 4 seasons and lost 13 games to injuries over the past 2 years. He has plenty to prove before you should treat him as a significant fantasy asset in Jacksonville.
The podcast crew is back to break down all the early action of NFL free agency.4:03pm EDT 3/14/18 Read More
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