Shark Bites

TE Eric Ebron is signing a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Steelers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. A 1st-round bust for Detroit, Ebron rehabbed his value a bit in Indianapolis with 41.7 yards and .59 TDs per game over the past 2 seasons. Last year, he ranked 14th in Pro Football Focus' receiving grades and 9th in yards per route run among 35 TEs with 40+ targets. In Pittsburgh, Ebron joins a TE group with Vance McDonald, who restructured his contract earlier this week. Those guys could vulture production from each other, leaving both as unreliable fantasy options. We'll see how the situation plays out this summer.

The Falcons have reached a deal with free-agent RB Todd Gurley, less than a day after the Rams released him. Gurley showed us last season that he's no longer built for the workhorse role he shouldered for 3 full seasons with L.A. But he's still likely to lead the Atlanta backfield for 2020. We'll see whether the Falcons add anything else significant to a backfield that returns Ito Smith and Qadree Ollison (with Brian Hill a restricted free agent) after dumping Devonta Freeman. But Atlanta is about as good a landing spot as owners could have hoped for Gurley's fantasy outlook. He looks solid in the Round 4-5 range in current fantasy football drafting.

The Rams announced Wednesday they've released RB Todd Gurley. He will still count $20.15 against the salary cap over the next 2 years, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The timing of the move keeps them from having to pay another $10.5 million in salary and bonuses this year. Gurley was obviously not the same player in 2019 after being dogged by a knee issue over the 2nd half of 2018. He now becomes the latest clear argument against giving an RB a big 2nd contract. That said, Gurley will catch on elsewhere and likely remain fantasy relevant. We'll see about that landing spot. The Rams, meanwhile, return Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown at the top of the RB depth chart. Henderson now looks set up for a breakout 2nd year after limited opportunities in his rookie season.

The Cardinals have agreed to a 1-year, $8.5 million deal with LB De'Vondre Campbell, according to Drew Rosenhaus' agency. That likely installs Campbell as the ILB starter next to Jordan Hicks, a spot that saw Haason Reddick and Joe Walker take turns last season. Campbell finished 12th among fantasy LBs in 2019 (depending on your scoring format). Don't bet on a repeat of that. But Reddick did open 2019 performing as a top-20 fantasy LB, which displays the upside to Campbell's likely new role. Expect him to land in mid-to-high LB3 territory in our 2020 IDP rankings. Reddick, meanwhile, looks like a safe drop in most dynasty leagues. He has yet to sustain a starting role through 3 years, and the Cardinals have moved on from the coaching staff that was around when Arizona drafted him in Round 1.

The Broncos have released QB Joe Flacco. The 35-year-old is expected to be ready for the 2020 season after missing the 2nd half of 2019 with a neck injury but will surely need to settle for a backup job on the open market. Denver is moving forward with QB Drew Lock, who has some upside as a late-round fantasy pick after an encouraging finish to his rookie campaign.

The Saints have agreed to a 4-year, $32 million deal with S Malcolm Jenkins. The 32-year-old began his career in New Orleans as a 1st-round CB back in 2009 before moving to safety. He spent the past 6 years with the Eagles after leaving in free agency and helped turn Philly into a perennially tough matchup for TEs. Back with the Saints, Jenkins might be stepping in for S Vonn Bell, who hit free agency this week. New Orleans is certainly paying starter money to Jenkins, who figures to land in DB2 territory in our 2020 IDP rankings.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Chargers "are not looking to sign a veteran QB, as they move forward with Tyrod Taylor." We'll see if that holds true, given that free agency just opened. We'll also see whether the team goes QB in Round 1 of the draft. Taylor, though, spent 3 years starting for the Bills and opened 2018 as Cleveland's starter before giving way to Baker Mayfield. In his last full starting season -- 2017 -- Taylor graded out 10th among passers, according to Pro Football Focus. He would bring a higher fantasy ceiling than 2019 Philip Rivers provided, primarily because of Taylor's rushing.

The Falcons have reached a 3-year deal with EDGE Dante Fowler worth up to $48 million, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Fowler was a bust in Jacksonville after arriving as the 3rd pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. But he rebounded with the Rams, delivering 11.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss and 16 QB hits last season. Fowler will be just 26 when the season begins. If he can continue performing the way he did as a Ram, Fowler would help Atlanta and be fantasy relevant. He'll carry more IDP upside if his new situation means a DL designation. The Rams, meanwhile, signed EDGE Leonard Floyd to a 1-year deal to take Fowler's place. The Bears dumped Floyd this week, but he arrives with more production behind him than Fowler brought with him from Jacksonville.

The Jaguars have traded QB Nick Foles to the Bears in exchange for a compensatory 4th-round pick, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Foles notably spent 2012 with Bears HC Matt Nagy in Philadelphia and 2016 with him in Kansas City, so there's some familiarity there. Still, we imagine that this will be an open competition for the starting job this summer between Foles and Mitchell Trubisky. Neither guy is an exciting target in early best-ball drafts. In Jacksonville, meanwhile, QB Gardner Minshew is left atop the depth chart for now.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Titans are trading DE Jurrell Casey to the Broncos for a mere 7th-round pick. This is clearly a case of Tennessee dumping salary. Casey still has 3 years left on his contract, with cap numbers of about $11.8 million, $12.3 million and $13.85 million. Casey remains a productive player heading into just his age-30 season and should start for the Broncos in 2020. We'll see how Denver handles the remaining 2 cuttable years on his deal beyond that.

Tom Brady has agreed to a contract with the Buccaneers, according to multiple outlets. Tampa Bay has been rumored to be a finalist for a while now and holds the upside of 1 of the league's top WR duos in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Brady will also work with longtime NFL coach Bruce Arians. It's tough to say whether Brady impacts the fantasy outlooks for his new receivers, given that we've never seen him outside of New England. Reagardless of QB play, though, it's unlikely that both Evans and Godwin continue to deliver fantasy points at the WR1 level. Brady's arrival officially means we'll see Jameis Winston don a new uniform. His departure from New England also leaves Jarrett Stidham at the top of the current depth chart. We'll see if/how the Patriots choose to address the position further this offseason.

LB Thomas Davis announced Tuesday that he'll be signing with Washington. The move gets him back with former Panthers HC Ron Rivera. It also gives Davis a shot at maintaining a starter role. Washington is returning ILB Jon Bostic from last year's team and added former Bears LB Kevin Pierre-Louis this week. But its LB corps remains weak. Meanwhile, Davis -- who will turn 37 this month -- would seem to have little reason to sign so early without at least the promise of competing for a starting role. We'll see how this group shakes out for IDP purposes.

The 49ers have played a 2nd-round tender on RB Matt Breida and restructured RB Jerick McKinnon's contract. It looks like both guys will be back in the fold for 2020. RBs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman remain better fantasy bets at this point, but this could once again be a frustrating Shanahan backfield.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Raiders have agreed to a 1-year, $4.75 million deal with TE Jason Witten. It's an odd fit, given that Las Vegas had both Darren Waller and rookie Foster Moreau emerge last year. We'll see if Witten actually makes the regular-season roster. Either way, he looks like a fantasy non-factor.

The Colts have reached agreement with QB Philip Rivers on a 1-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. It's been a long-anticipated move that should upgrade the QB play for Indy. Of course, Rivers is 38 and coming off 1 of his worst seasons -- both of which surely factor into the Chargers letting him go. Rivers over Jacoby Brissett should help WR T.Y. Hilton and TE Jack Doyle, but we're not sure about him leading an enormous rebound for the Colts offense on whole. Over the past 4 years, Indy has ranked top 10 in scoring and yards in the 2 seasons Andrew Luck has played; 25th or worse in yards and 16th or worse in scoring in the 2 years Luck missed. Colts HC Frank Reich does have experience with Rivers, coordinating his Chargers offense in 2014 and 2015, and spending 2013 as the QBs coach. San Diego finished 2014 ranked 17th in scoring and 18th in yards; 2015 found the Chargers 9th in yards but just 26th in points.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Dolphins have agreed to a 2-year, $10 million deal with RB Jordan Howard. He instantly becomes the top RB on a team that only saw QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and RB Mark Walton crack 200 yards on the ground in 2019. We'd be surprised, though, if Miami is done making offseason changes to that backfield.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that LB Joe Schobert has agreed to a 5-year deal with the Jaguars worth $53.75 million, including $22.5 million guaranteed. That should position Schobert as the MLB starter in a Jacksonville defense with new questions in the LB corps. Does Myles Jack slide out from the middle to start on the weak side in 2020? Will Telvin Smith return from his 2019 personal-life hiatus? And if so, where will he play? We'll see about those. What we can count on is Schobert heading into 2020 with the group's strongest IDP outlook. Back in Cleveland, meanwhile, 2019 rookies Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki appear to have clear lanes to starting gigs, with Schobert and Christian Kirksey gone. We'll see if the Browns add anyone else at the position.

The Raiders have reached a 3-year, $36 million deal with LB Cory Littleton. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that it will include $22 million guaranteed. That follow's Las Vegas' Monday deal with LB Nick Kwiatkoski to likely fill the team's 2 full-time LB roles for the coming season. Littleton clearly stands as the better player, but we'll see exactly what their roles look like. Littleton became a versatile performer with the Rams, delivering in the pass rush and coverage. He'll remain a stellar bet for fantasy production in the middle of a defense that delivered Tahir Whitehead 108 tackles in 2019. There's room, though, for Kwiatkoski to also reach fantasy-starter territory -- at least in low LB3 range.

The Bears on Tuesday agreed to a 5-year, $70 million deal with EDGE Robert Quinn, including $30 million guaranteed. Quinn rebounded to tie for 9th in the NFL with 11.5 sacks last season and tie for 16th with 22 QB hits. That followed just 24 total sacks over his previous 4 seasons, though, including 2015 and 2016 campaigns halved by injury. Quinn turns 30 in May and has proved a dynamic pass rusher when healthy. He and Khalil Mack have a chance to become the league's top pass-rushing duo over the next couple of years. His move to Chicago's 3-4 base, though, also should change Quinn's designation in most IDP leagues from DE to LB. That will hurt his fantasy value even if he continues to produce. The Bears also reportedly will release former 1st-round OLB Leonard Floyd -- who had been starting in Quinn's new spot. Dallas, meanwhile, must replace the guy who led last year's defense by 6.5 sacks.

The Panthers are finalizing a deal with QB Teddy Bridgewater, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Bridgewater made himself some money last year by completing 69.7% of his passes with 9 TDs and 2 INTs while leading the Saints to a 5-0 record in place of QB Drew Brees. Over that stretch, Bridgewater ranked 6th in Pro Football Focus' passing grades and 4th in adjusted completion rate among 29 QBs with 100+ attempts. He's also familiar with new Panthers OC Joe Brady from their time together in New Orleans in 2018, when Brady was an offensive assistant for the Saints. This move would seem to signal the end of QB Cam Newton's time in Carolina.

Update: ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Bridgewater is expected to sign a 3-year, $60 million deal.

 
 
 

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