Shark Bites

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Bills have reached a 1-year, $2 million deal with RB Frank Gore. The 35-year-old (until May) lost the final 2 games of last season to a foot injury but posted 4.6 yards per cary before that -- his best mark since 2012 with the Niners. Gore joins a backfield that looks like it'll still be led by LeSean McCoy, but McCoy managed the 2nd-fewest carries of his career in 2018, tallying the fewest rushing yards (514) and yards per carry (3.2) of his career. It's an upside spot for Gore as a fantasy handcuff. Buffalo also still has veteran RB Chris Ivory around, though he sports a cuttable contract. We'll see what else the Bills do with their backfield this offseason.

The Jets have reached a deal with WR Jamison Crowder, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's not a great landing spot for Crowder's 2019 fantasy upside. The Jets already have WRs Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa in place, along with 2nd-year TE Chris Herndon. But Crowder disappointed big time in 2018, so things can't get much worse. His departure from Washington -- where HC Jay Gruden had expressed interest in re-signing him -- leaves targets for a WR corps that figures to rely on Josh Doctson and Trey Quinn, among others. Jets QB Sam Darnold, meanwhile, heads into his 2nd season with a solid-looking crew of pass-catchers.

Update: Crowder reports it's a 3-year pact worth $28.5 million, including $17 million guaranteed.

The Bengals have reached a 3-year deal with TE C.J. Uzomah to keep him from hitting the open market, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The contract will be worth "more than" $18 million. That's pretty solid money for a TE with 79 catches through 4 seasons and indicates Uzomah will hit 2019 as Cincinnati's lead pass-catcher at the position. We'll see whether free-agent TE Tyler Eifert gets another shot.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that former Patriots DE Trey Flowers will be signing with the Lions when free agency opens Wednesday. Flowers tallied 7, 6.5 and 7.5 sacks over the past 3 seasons but carries further upside in the form of hidden pressures. Pro Football Focus graded Flowers 8th among all 4-3 DEs and counted the 11th most pressures for the position in 2018. Flowers rated in a similar range each of the previous 2 seasons as well. In Detroit, he'll rejoin former New England DC Matt Patricia (now the Lions HC). Expect to find Flowers in DL2 territory in our 2019 IDP projections.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Washington has reached a 6-year, $84 million agreement with S Landon Collins, including $45 million guaranteed over the 1st 3 years. That's a record for annual average and guaranteed money at the position. Collins should certainly have a shot to continue ranking among the top IDP options in his new home. The Giants, meanwhile, gain a significant hole at the position, behind a shaky LB corps.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the 49ers have reached a 4-year, $54 million deal with LB Kwon Alexander. They can't finalize the contract until Wednesday afternoon. Alexander will join a LB corps that saw rookie Fred Warner play mostly on the inside last year. We'd bet on Alexander taking over the middle, though, and Warner playing the weak side. There's room for both to produce quality IDP numbers. Alexander is coming off a left ACL tear, but the new contract indicates little concern over his recovery. We'll certainly keep an eye on his progress through the spring and summer. We'll also see whether the Bucs stick with 2018 rookie Adarius Taylor at MLB or go in another direction.

The Raiders and OT Trent Brown have agreed to a 4-year, $66 million contract. The deal will make Brown the league's highest-paid OT. San Francisco's 1st-round pick back in 2015, Brown was mediocre over his first 2 seasons but has received positive grades from Pro Football Focus in each of the last 2 (1 with the 'Niners, 1 with the Patriots). He ranked 44th among 80 OTs in PFF's 2018 pass-blocking grades and 30th in run blocking. Between Trent Brown and Antonio Brown, QB Derek Carr's supporting cast has gotten a big boost over the past couple of days.

The Raiders have traded G Kelechi Osemele and a 6th-round pick to the Jets for a 5th-rounder. It's a cost-cutting move for Oakland, who is about to hand WR Antonio Brown a big contract. Osemele is coming off a down 2018 that saw him miss 5 games and finish 61st among 77 Gs in Pro Football Focus' grades. But he'll turn just 30 in June and was 1 of PFF's top-graded Gs in each of the previous 4 seasons. He should be a big upgrade for the interior of New York's O-line.

The Lions signed WR Danny Amendola to a 1-year, $4.5 million deal. The 33-year-old has caught 120 balls over the past 2 seasons -- 1 with New England, 1 with Miami -- but totaled just 1,234 yards and 3 TDs. He figures to step in as Detroit's slot receiver behind Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. With run-loving OC Darrell Bevell now calling the shots, it's tough to imagine Amendola seeing enough targets to be a 2019 fantasy factor.

The Rams have reached a 1-year, $14.5 million deal with OLB Dante Fowler to keep the 24-year-old off the open market. It's an interesting contract. On one hand, it's a surprisingly large salary for a former #3 overall pick with just 16 total sacks through 3 seasons. (Fowler missed his rookie campaign with an ACL tear.) The money indicates that both sides expected Fowler to garner at least solid interest on the open market. At the same time, the fact that Fowler went for just a 1-year offer on the verge of his age-25 season points to it being somewhat of a "prove it" contract. Fowler contributed just 2 sacks in his 8 games with the Rams in 2018. Pro Football Focus rated the Rams version of Fowler just tied for 110th among edge players in pass-rushing productivity. (The 2018 Jaguars version tied for 28th.) IDP owners shouldn't pay Fowler much attention yet, especially because sticking with L.A. makes him a LB rather than a DE.

The Dolphins have signed TE Dwayne Allen to a 2-year, $7 million deal. The 29-year-old totaled just 13 catches across the past 2 seasons in New England but does have 6- and 8-TD campaigns on his resume. Allen does his best work as a blocker, though, and figures to be doing a bunch of that in Miami behind pass-catching TE Mike Gesicki.

12:03pm EDT 3/10/19

The Chiefs signed RB Carlos Hyde to a 1-year, $2.8 million deal. He was unemployed for just about 24 hours after getting dumped by the Jaguars. Hyde is still just 28 but has struggled to 3.9 and 3.3 yards per carry over the past 2 seasons. He ranked 33rd last year among 47 qualifying RBs in Pro Football Focus' Elusive Rating, which measures a runner's impact beyond the blocking he receivers. Hyde joins a Chiefs backfield with Damien Williams, who inked a 2-year, $5.1 million deal in December. Both Hyde and Williams got $1.6 million guaranteed. They'll duke it out for carries this summer.

The Steelers traded WR Antonio Brown to the Raiders in exchange for 3rd- and 5th-round picks. Oakland also gave Brown a new 3-year, $50.1 million deal that makes him the league's highest-paid WR. The move ends Brown's 9-year tenure in Pittsburgh that saw him top 1,100 yards 7 times. The future Hall-of-Famer turns 31 in July and remained a stat-piling machine last season, leading the league with 15 receiving scores and finishing top 10 in catches (104) and yards (1,297). But it's worth noting that he posted his lowest yards-per-target average (7.72) since 2012. And Pro Football Focus graded him 26th among 117 WRs. Even if he's past his peak, though, Brown is still 1 of the game's best. We'll see how he gels with HC Jon Gruden and QB Derek Carr, but he'll obviously be fed a boatload of targets in Oakland. Brown figures to land safely inside our top 10 WRs when the rankings come out this spring. In Pittsburgh, meanwhile, JuJu Smith-Schuster takes over as the #1 WR and James Washington gets a big opportunity to step in as the #2.

The Dolphins have released WR Danny Amendola. The 33-year-old caught 59 balls for 575 yards and 1 TD in his lone season in Miami. Amendola is still a reliable depth guy, but his days as a fantasy asset are over. With WR DeVante Parker also expected to be let go, the Fins are down to Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant atop the depth chart. We'll see what they add over the next few months.

LB Denzel Perryman has reached a new 2-year deal to remain with the Chargers, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Perryman has lost 16 games to injury over the past 2 seasons. When on the field, he has generally been a less-than-full-time player. Last year, however, saw him grow to 75% to 87% in 5 of the 8 full games he played. Perryman carries LB3 potential for tackle-heavy IDP leagues.

The Giants on Friday traded OLB Olivier Vernon to the Browns for G Kevin Zeitler. That news looks biggest for IDP owners, who could afford to pay Vernon no attention as a LB battling an ankle injury. With Cleveland, Vernon should return to primarily playing 4-3 DE opposite Myles Garrett. That immediately increases his fantasy value and puts him in a potentially nice situation. Vernon figures to jump back into our top 20 D-linemen for 2019.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Rams will sign S Eric Weddle, whom Baltimore released earlier this week. Weddle -- who turned 34 in January -- still checked in 10th among safeties in Pro Football Focus grading last season. He's expected to step in for S LaMarcus Joyner, who will hit free agency next week.

The Patriots have reached a deal to acquire DL MIchael Bennett from the Eagles for a mere swap of picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. Philly gets a 2020 fifth-rounder in exchange for a 2020 pick in Round 7. New England gets a veteran D-lineman capable of playing on the edge or inside. Bennett played the large majority of his snaps in edge spots for the Eagles last year. Pro Football Focus credited him with 68 total pressures, tied for 5th most among edge players. And that came with Bennett turning 33 in November. He has played all 16 games the past 2 years and 6 of the past 7 years. Bennett hasn't posted big sack numbers -- reaching 10 just once and never exceeding that total. But he's a real-life asset and capable of DL2 production. He'll help a New England front 7 that might yet lose DE Trey Flowers to free agency.

The Jaguars have released RB Carlos Hyde. They were reportedly looking to get something back for him in a trade, but that was always a long shot with Hyde due $4.7 million in 2019. After giving up a 5th-round pick for him at last year's trade deadline, Jacksonville got just 3.3 yards per carry on 58 attempts out of Hyde. Hyde has flashed at times but is now averaging 4.0 yards per carry for his career, doesn't offer much in the passing game and turns 29 in September. We'll see where he lands. The Jags, meanwhile, will be in the market for RB depth behind Leonard Fournette. T.J. Yeldon hits free agency later this month.

The Broncos have traded QB Case Keenum and a 2020 7th-round pick to the Redskins in exchange for a 2020 6th-rounder. Denver will also pay half of Keenum's $7 million 2019 salary. It's a cheap acquisition for Washington but doesn't solve the team's QB problem. Keenum's impressive 2016 campaign with the Vikings looks like a major outlier. He completed 58.4% of his passes and averaged 6.7 yards per attempt over the 5 prior seasons. Then he completed 62.3% with a 6.6-yard average and 15 INTs as the Broncos' starter last year. With QB Alex Smith (leg) unlikely to play in 2019, Keenum is the favorite to start for Washington for now. We'll see if the 'Skins add anything else to the QB room.

 
 
 

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