Shark Bites

9:04am EDT 4/20/21

TE Jordan Reed announced his retirement. A talented pass-catcher, Reed's career was unfortunately defined by injuries, most notably his 7 documented concussions. He finishes a 7-season career with 355 catches for 3,602 yards and 28 TDs.

2:04pm EDT 4/19/21

QB Alex Smith announced his retirement on Monday. The 36-year-old impressively made it back on the field from a devastating leg injury in 2018 -- although he was clearly limited in his 8 appearances last season. The #1 pick of the 2005 NFL Draft, Smith hangs 'em up with 35,650 career passing yards, 199 TDs and 109 INTs.

Washington is releasing RB Bryce Love, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Love simply hasn't been able to recover from a significant ACL tear in December 2018. He's suffered multiple setbacks and has yet to hit the field since going in the 4th round of the 2019 draft. Love is still just 23 but is looking like a long shot for fantasy value. We'll see where he lands.

The Falcons released RB Ito Smith. A replacement-level player, Smith has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry and 5.7 yards per catch over 3 NFL seasons. His departure, though, leaves Atlanta with only RBs Mike Davis, Qadree Ollison and Tony Brooks-James. The Falcons are an obvious candidate to add a RB in the draft. But if they don't, Davis would be set up for a heavy workload.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman announced his retirement. It's not surprising news if you've been following the reports on his knee trouble. Edelman finishes an 11-season career with 620 catches, 6,822 yards and 36 scores. He had some monster performances in the postseason, including 9-109-1 and 10-141 lines in the Super Bowl. The Patriots likely had a good idea that Edelman was done and added WRs Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne in free agency.

NFL executives expect WR Larry Fitzgerald to retire at some point prior to the 2021 season, according to The Athletic's Mike Sando. Fitz has so far been hush-hush about his plans. He turns 38 in August and mustered just 7.6 yards per catch on 54 grabs last year. We've been anticipating this news: Fitzgerald isn't even in our 2021 WR rankings.

The Seahawks have agreed to a 2-year deal with DE Carlos Dunlap. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that it's worth $16.6 million, with $8.5 million guaranteed. Seattle released Dunlap earlier in the offseason, but the new deal makes it clear that was a cap move. Dunlap went from falling out of favor in Cincinnati and registering just 4 QB hits in 7 games to rebounding after a trade to the Seahawks. Dunlap delivered 14 hits over 8 games in Seattle, despite a foot injury that cost him 1 week and limited his playing time in at least 2 others. Dunlap has DL2 potential for 2021 IDP leagues.

Giants team doctors are concerned with 1 of TE Kyle Rudolph's feet and believe he needs surgery, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Rudolph missed the final 4 games of last season with a foot injury, but we never got any details on it. He agreed to -- but didn't sign -- a 2-year, $14 million deal with New York last week, but that's now hanging in the balance. We'll see where this goes, but Rudolph is no better than a late-round flier in fantasy drafts right now.

Update: Rudolph has officially signed his contract with the Giants. It's unclear if he'll need surgery on that foot.

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 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 Saints have released LB Kwon Alexander. It's not a surprising move. The veteran was set to make $13.2 million and $13.5 million in the final 2 years on his contract and suffered an Achilles' tendon tear in Week 16. We'll see whether he's ready to play for anyone in 2021.

Saints QB Drew Brees has announced that he's retiring. It's a move we've all expected this offseason, removing the player who has started behind center in New Orleans for the past 15 years. Taysom Hill is the leading candidate on the current roster to replace him. Many expect Jameis Winston to return and compete with Hill. We'll see whether Winston re-signs with the team. Brees retires with the NFL record for career passing yards, but that won't stand for long with Tom Brady planning to play another 12 years.

ESPN's Mike Triplett reports that the Saints plan to release LB Kwon Alexander. The veteran was set to make $13.4 million in 2021 and tore his right Achilles' tendon in Week 16. So this move comes as no surprise. We'll see if he can make it back to the field in a significant role for any team in the coming season. Long-term, there's still time for the 26-year-old to round back into form. He remains stashable if your IDP dynasty league is deep enough. Alexander's release plus Trey Hendrickson's impending free agency should help New Orleans find snaps for Zack Baun in his 2nd season.

The Vikings have released K Dan Bailey. The veteran converted a career-worst 68.2% of his FG attempts last season. There's certainly still a chance the 33-year-old lands a gig elsewhere this offseason, but we'd hold off on selecting him in FFPC best-ball drafts for now.

The Giants released WR Golden Tate, saving a little over $6 million against the 2021 salary cap. Tate is coming off a tumultuous 2020 season, missing Week 1 for a performance-enhancing drug suspension and later getting benched for a game after publicly complaining about his role. He finished with a 35-388-2 line and turns 33 in August. We'll see where Tate lands, but he's not a great bet for a big 2021 fantasy impact. His departure from The Big Apple frees up opportunity for Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Evan Engram -- although we'll have to see what other moves the Giants make this offseason.

The Vikings are set to release TE Kyle Rudolph, NFL Network reports. Rudolph remained useful last year, ranking 21st among 43 qualifying TEs in yards per route run and garnering strong blocking grades from Pro Football Focus. But he turned 31 in November and was set to count over $9 million against the 2021 salary cap. We'll see where Rudolph lands on the open market. Meanwhile in Minnesota, it's wheels up for TE Irv Smith, who's had a promising start to his pro career sharing the field with Rudolph. With Rudolph out for the final 4 games of this past season, Smith ranked 4th among TEs in PPR points.

Washington is set to release QB Alex Smith, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, saving nearly $15 million against the 2021 salary cap. Kudos to Smith for getting back on the field in 2020, but he looked like a shell of himself, averaging just 6.3 yards per attempt with 6 TDs vs. 8 INTs. The 36-year-old has said that he wants to continue playing, so we'll see where he lands. Taylor Heinicke is now the only QB on Washington's roster. The team will certainly add to the depth chart via free agency and/or the draft.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman is still "trying to work his way back" from the knee injury that cost him the final 10 games of last season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. We never got any details on that injury, but it was obviously significant. Edelman wants to play in 2021, per Rapoport, but it's unclear if his knee will let him. We'll keep an eye on the situation, but Edelman is hardly worth even a late-round dart in early fantasy drafts.

The Texans released RB Duke Johnson, saving about $5 million against the 2021 salary cap. Johnson sputtered to career-low 3.1 yards per carry this past season, although he still averaged a strong 8.9 yards on 28 grabs. He was never more than a role player for the Texans, though, reaching 15 touches in a game just once. Johnson has now played for multiple NFL coaching staffs, and none have deemed him more than a change-of-pace back. We'll see where he lands, but it'd be unwise to expect his role to change much on his new team.

The Eagles will release WR Alshon Jeffery after the new league year begins in March, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. This comes as no surprise. Jeffery just turned 31 and is coming off a 6-catch season, delayed by a late-2019 foot injury. We'll see whether Jeffery catches on anywhere else. We'll also see exactly how the Philly pass-catching corps shakes out through free agency and the NFL Draft. (The Eagles pick 6th overall.) TE Zach Ertz has been a rumored potential mover as well. We'd bet on Philadelphia making a significant WR addition via the draft or free agency. Travis Fulgham and Jalen Reagor stand as the top 2 incumbent wideouts in targets. (Greg Ward is an exclusive-rights free agent.)

 
 
 

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