New Browns RB Carlos Hyde revealed that he played last season around 228 pounds — down 7 pounds from his listed weight. “That’s the lightest I’ve been," Hyde said. “I went into the season feeling the best I’ve ever felt.” Following a new diet, the 27-year-old managed to play 16 games for the 1st time. That produced a career-high 240 carries. HC Hue Jackson has already said that he'll give the former 49er “every opportunity to run the ball.”
The Colts have signed WR Ryan Grant to a 1-year, $5 million deal. It's much less than he was set to make before his deal with the Ravens was voided due to a failed physical, but this contract is a much better proxy for what Grant's actually worth. That said, there's opportunity in Indianapolis, where Grant is currently set to compete with Chester Rogers for #2 WR duties behind T.Y. Hilton. We'll see if the Colts make a significant addition at WR in the draft.
The Jaguars have released WR Allen Hurns. Since topping 1,000 yards and scoring 10 times back in 2015, he's totaled just 961 yards and 5 TDs in the 2 seasons since. Hurns can make plays downfield and is only 26, so it shouldn't take him long to find a new home. Jacksonville, meanwhile, will move forward with Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole atop the WR depth chart.
Multiple outlets report that the Steelers are finalizing a deal with free-agent S Morgan Burnett. An IDP force through much of his Green Bay stint, Burnett heads to a defense that hasn't been overly friendly to safety scoring for a while. Combine that with his injury history -- 14 games lost over the past 5 years -- and he looks like no more than a DB2 for 2018 fantasy football drafts at this early stage. Second-year DB Josh Jones looks like the best current bet to take over Burnett's job with the Packers, though we'll see how the rest of the offseason goes. Jones flashed as a rookie, seeing time in DB and ILB roles.
The Colts on Monday signed TE Eric Ebron to a 2-year deal. With incentives, it could be worth as much as $15 million. It’s a disappointing landing spot for several reasons: Jack Doyle remains locked in as the Colts’ lead TE after re-signing last offseason. Ebron’s likely to siphon some receiving value from Doyle and also blocks the ascension of intriguing youngster Eric Swoope. Doyle’s presence obviously caps Ebron’s upside as well. The former Lion looks like a low TE2 for fantasy football owners in 2018
The Panthers have signed WR Jarius Wright. Although never a real fantasy factor in Minnesota, Wright sports a strong 66.5% career catch rate and 13.3 yards per catch. He's also familiar with OC Norv Turner's offense, having spent 3 years in it in Minnesota. Wright will battle for snaps and targets with Torrey Smith and Curtis Samuel behind Devin Funchess.
The Patriots on Sunday traded a 5th-round pick to the Raiders for WR Cordarrelle Patterson and a 6th-rounder. This looks like a special-teams move. New England already retained WR Kenny Britt as part of a crowded WR corps, and Patterson has achieved little as a wideout with the Vikings and Raiders. Don't expect him to become a fantasy factor in 2018.
The Buccaneers signed DE Vinny Curry to a 3-year, $27 million deal. It’s not yet clear how much of that is guaranteed, but it’s clearly starter money. Curry got starter money in his last Eagles contract, too, but never drew a full share of snaps amid Philly’s talented rotation. He’s capable of double-digit sacks but needs to prove he can stand up to full-time duty. Curry figures to take over at right end after Tampa released DE Robert Ayers
The Patriots have signed RB Jeremy Hill. It's 1 of the few landing spots that could resuscitate his fantasy value. New England has ranked 5th and 6th, respectively, in rushing TDs over the past 2 seasons and just lost RB Dion Lewis in free agency. Hill totaled 27 scores over his first 3 seasons before last year's goose egg. Of course, he's averaged a pathetic 3.6 yards per carry across the past 3 years after going for 5.1 as a rookie. Hill won't be guaranteed anything in a Patriots backfield that also includes Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee and James White.
The Seahawks on Friday agreed to terms with WR Jaron Brown, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Brown spent 5 years with the Cardinals, topping out at 31 receptions. He’ll join a Seattle offense that just lost WR Paul Richardson in free agency after trading away WR Jermaine Kearse last summer. Brown could settle in as the Seahawks’ 3rd option behind Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. It’s not a fantasy-rich opportunity, though, for a limited talent
RB Danny Woodhead has announced he’s retiring. Baltimore recently released him after an injury-marred 2017. Woodhead spent 9 seasons in the league after arriving as an undrafted free agent
The Lions have agreed to a 1-year deal with RB LeGarrette Blount, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. Blount will reportedly make $4.5 million, which is $2 million more than he got from the Eagles last year -- coming off an 18-TD season with the Patriots. Blount figures to join a backfield committee that retains Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah. With Riddick the primary pass-catcher, it's tough to find a significant role for Abdullah. Blount's OK in the Round 9 area of best-ball drafts right now.
WR Ryan Grant failed his physical with the Ravens, voiding his new contract. Given that Baltimore quickly turned it’s attention to Michael Crabtree and signed him for 3 years, don’t bet on another shot for Grant here. He’s also unlikely to find as friendly a target situation as he appeared to land in earlier this week. We’ll see where Grant ultimately sticks
The Ravens have reached a 3-year deal with WR Michael Crabtree, NFL Network reports. It’s a $21 million contract with $11 million guaranteed and $15 million total in the 1st 2 years. Ian Rapoport reports incentives could push that to $20 million. Whatever the specifics, we certainly like Crabtree much more than Ryan Grant, whose deal voided after he failed a physical. Crabtree looks like the heavy favorite to lead Baltimore in targets this fall and could dominate that category. He’s an easy WR2 in current fantasy football drafts, with upside to the top of that range
The Seahawks on Friday reached a 3-year, $14 million deal with former Panthers TE Ed Dickson. We’re not sure yet on the guaranteed portion of that, but it’s hard to bet on the 30-year-old getting all of that. Dickson has been a decent player but also a backup for most of his career. The new situation could push him into the top half of TE2 territory, but we’re not getting fired up about him. The losses of TE Jimmy Graham and WR Paul Richardson could leave more and better targets for WR Tyler Lockett. We’ll see who else Seattle adds this offseason, though
Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict drew a 4-game suspension Friday for a PED violation. He’ll certainly appeal, but we’ll see how that goes. We’ll also see how the situation affects a Bengals LB corps that added Preston Brown in free agency Friday
The Bengals on Friday signed LB Preston Brown to a 1-year deal. That’s a surprisingly small commitment for a guy who has started since entering the league, given the money flying to other LBs early in free agency. Brown should be the favorite to start in the middle for Cincinnati this season but might not be in on all sub packages. We’ll see, too, how Vontaze Burfict’s PED suspension impacts Brown’s role.
The Vikings on Friday announced that they have signed DT Sheldon Richardson. He spent a quiet 2017 with the Seahawks but remains a big talent and joins a loaded Minnesota D-line. Richardson will play alongside DT Linval Joseph and DEs Everton Griffen and Danielle Hunter. All carry IDP intrigue, and Minnesota figures to rank among the top defenses in both real life and fantasy in 2018
Washington on Thursday re-signed ILB Zach Brown to a 3-year deal with $24 million. We don't know the specific terms beyond that yet, but it's tough to imagine the team actually paying Brown $8 million per year over the next 3. The Titans and Bills already let Brown walk from starting gigs, with Buffalo watching him leave for just a 1-year, $2.3 million contract last offseason. When Brown's in the lineup, though, he has repeatedly delivered fantasy numbers. And the new deal at least makes him a strong IDP candidate for 2018.
The Raiders have signed LB Tahir Whitehead. The former Lion could play the middle or weak side in an Oakland defense that should sport a 4-3 base. Whitehead delivered solid tackle numbers over the past 2 years in Detroit. He figures to make sense as an LB3 in IDP drafts, but we'll see how the rest of the Raiders LB corps shapes up.
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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