The Giants signed TE Kyle Rudolph to a 2-year, $14 million deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Rudolph was dumped by the Vikings earlier this month in what was largely a salary-saving move. Rudolph is 31 now but still ranked 21st among 43 qualifying TEs in yards per route run and received strong blocking grades from Pro Football Focus last year. He's unlikely to be a fantasy factor in New York but could be a drain on TE Evan Engram's production.
The Bills inked QB Mitchell Trubisky to a 1-year deal. He goes from #2 overall pick to backup in the span of 4 years. Trubisky is obviously off the redraft radar, while his dynasty value continues to dwindle. He'll be 27 when he hits free agency again next offseason.
The Raiders signed RB Kenyan Drake to a 2-year, $14.5 million deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a head-scratching investment after the team spent the 24th overall pick of the 2019 draft on RB Josh Jacobs, who's been solid for 2 seasons. Per Rapoport, Raiders HC Jon Gruden "sees Kenyan Drake as a jack-of-all-trades — a joker, as they say. He’ll figure prominently in the passing game." Drake will certainly be a bigger drain on Jacobs' volume than guys like Devontae Booker, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington have been. The signing is bad news for both Jacobs and Drake's fantasy values.
The Texans made a couple of minor moves at TE on Thursday, releasing Darren Fells and trading a 7th-round pick to New England for Ryan Izzo. Fells ranked 8th on the team and 2nd among TEs with 28 targets last season. He'll turn 35 in April and is on his last legs. Izzo totaled just 19 catches for the Patriots over the past 2 years -- although he did average a big 16.5 yards per. TE Jordan Akins looks set to enter 2021 as Houston's clear-cut starter, unless the team makes a more significant move at the position.
The Chargers have agreed to a 1-year deal with TE Jared Cook, worth up to $6 million, according to multiple reports. Cook, of course, spent the past 2 years in New Orleans, where his targets dipped but his efficiency spiked. Cook posted 2 of his 3 best yards-per-catch rates with the Saints and scored on 20% of his catches. He faces plenty of opportunity with the Chargers, who allowed TE Hunter Henry to walk in free agency. Cook should face some competition from 23-year-old Donald Parham, but his arrival should also knock Parham's best-ball ADP down from its recent rise. Cook is heading into his age-34 season, so some decline in his performance is certainly possible.
The Broncos have rescinded the restricted free-agent tender on RB Phillip Lindsay, leaving him free to sign elsewhere. Despite averaging 4.8 yards per carry the past 3 seasons, Lindsay never seemed wanted in Denver. A new home figures to be good news for his fantasy value -- although we'll see exactly where he ends up. The Broncos' RB depth chart now reads: Melvin Gordon, Royce Freeman, Mike Boone. We'll see if they add to the group, but Gordon's fantasy value gets a boost with Lindsay's departure.
The Browns are re-signing WR Rashard Higgins to a 1-year deal with $2.38 million guaranteed, according to ESPN's Jake Trotter. It's good for Higgins' outlook that he stays with the team and QB that know him, but the money involved doesn't necessarily point to him commanding a key role. We'll see how the WR corps settles out in Cleveland.
The Patriots are bringing back LB Kyle Van Noy on a 2-year deal worth "up to" $13.2 million, according to NFL Network's Mike Garofolo. Van Noy spent 3 full seasons and part of 2016 with the Patriots before signing with Miami last offseason. He delivered a career-high 6.5 sacks his last year in New England (2019). We'll see how all the roles settle out in an LB corps that differs significantly from that one. Van Noy has generally not been a high-level IDP option, though. Don't expect that to change in his age-30 season.
RB Mike Boone signed a 2-year, $2.6 million contract with the Broncos, according to insider Mike Klis. Boone averaged a strong 5.3 yards on 71 carries with the Vikings over the past 3 seasons. He joins a currently crowded Denver backfield alongside Melvin Gordon, Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman -- although there's a chance restricted free-agent Lindsay departs. Still, Boone is off the fantasy radar for now.
Washington signed WR Curtis Samuel to a 3-year, $34.5 million deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. It's a nice landing spot. Samuel is familiar with OC Scott Turner's offense after spending 2018 and 2019 with him in Carolina. And he should slide right in as the clear #2 WR behind Terry McLaurin. Samuel improved his numbers all 4 years with the Panthers, culminating with a 77-851-3 line this past season. He also carried 72 times over that 4-year span, including a 19-130-1 line under Turner in 2019.
The Seahawks signed TE Gerald Everett to a 1-year, $6 million deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a "prove-it" deal for a guy who underwhelmed across 4 seasons with the Rams. There might still be untapped upside here, though, for the 26-year-old who was the 44th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Everett averaged 14.8 yards per catch across 3 college seasons and tested as an 85th percentile athlete. He's getting a big QB upgrade in Seattle -- but the 'Hawks seemingly want to rein in the passing game, while TE Will Dissly also figures to remain involved. That keeps Everett stuck in TE2 territory for now.
The Bucs inked K Ryan Succop to a new 3-year, $12 million deal. Succop drilled 28 of 31 FG attempts last season, although he missed 5 XPs. He still finished as a top 8 fantasy K. And with the Bucs bringing the band back together for 2021, Succop will be a strong option in drafts.
Former Lions K Matt Prater is joining the Cardinals on a 2-year deal. It’s an upside landing spot for the reliable fantasy kicker. Arizona ranked 6th in yards and 13th in scoring last year, the 2nd season for HC Kliff Kingsbury
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Jaguars are trading TE Josh Oliver to the Ravens for a conditional draft pick. Oliver is an intriguing talent who arrived via Round 3 of the 2019 draft, but injuries have kept him almost completely off the field since. Baltimore doesn’t offer muc immediate opportunity, with Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle leading the depth chart. But we’ll see if a change of scenery can get anything going.
The Panthers have reached a 1-year deal with EDGE Haason Reddick, with $6 million guaranteed and a max value of $8 million. We're a bit surprised that Reddick didn't find more on the open market after more than doubling his career sack total with 12.5 for the Cardinals in 2020. But he lands in Carolina with his college coach (HC Matt Rhule) and likely in an edge rotation with Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos. If this landing spot gives Reddick DE designation for IDP leagues, then it'll be a solid fantasy outcome for him. His arrival can't hurt a defense that posted the 12th-lowest pressure rate in 2020, but Reddick will need to show it was more than a 1-year flash.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Colts are retaining RB Marlon Mack on a 1-year, $2 million contract. Fantasy owners everywhere wanted Mack to be leaving in free agency, but it makes sense for Indy to keep a reserve RB they trust at low cost. Mack, of course, is coming off the Achilles' tendon tear that ended his 2020 season in Week 1. If he's all the way back, his presence will threaten the rushing workload of Jonathan Taylor and add risk to Taylor as a Round 1 fantasy pick (while Nyheim Hines challenges in targets). We'll probably have to wait until the summer to see whether Mack is back to full strength, though.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that LB Jayon Brown is re-signing with the Titans on a 1-year, $5.25 million deal. Those terms scream "prove it" contract, with Brown coming off a dislocated and fractured elbow that ended his 2020 season prematurely. We're a little surprised the productive young LB couldn't get more in this market, but perhaps teams want to see him start a full 16 games before committing beyond that level. Brown lost 8 games to injuries over the past 2 years (6 of those in 2020) after taking over a starting spot about midway through 2018. He has rated among the top LBs in coverage since then and delivered starter-level fantasy production. Barring a setback with his elbow this offseason, expect to find Brown back among the top 24 LBs in our 2021 IDP rankings.
The Cardinals signed WR A.J. Green. No word yet on the terms, but it's likely a cheap, 1-year deal. After playing in just 9 games across 2018 and 2019, Green played all 16 last season -- but set career lows with an ugly 45.2% catch rate and 11.1 yards per catch. He ranked 79th in yards per route run and 66th in Pro Football Focus receiving grade among 84 WRs with 50+ targets. Green turns 33 in July and might just be out of gas. He figures to be no better than 3rd in line for targets in Arizona behind WRs DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. We'll see if WR Andy Isabella is ready to take on a bigger role in 2021.
Update: It's a 1-year deal worth "up to" $8.5 million with $6 million guaranteed, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
WRs Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson are planning to return for the 2021 season, per Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Both players opted out last year due to COVID-19. Citing a team source, Salguero writes that “both [players] are in the team’s plans.” One of Hurns or Wilson might enter the deep league radar this fall, but don’t bet on it. The Dolphins are still in play for a top free agent WR, while they’ve been linked heavily to the top WRs in the draft.
The Titans have agreed to a 1-year deal with TE Anthony Firkser, Paul Kuharsky reports. It was an expected move and keeps the 26-year-old atop the current depth chart in a Titans offense that just let TE Jonnu Smith walk. We'll see what else Tennessee adds at the position. Firkser is OK at the TE3 level in current best-ball drafting -- with upside into TE2 range if he emerges as the starter.
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