I do my best to keep you up to date on the fantasy relevant Free Agency transactions!!
Peyton Manning: Chris Mortensen has reported, and almost every fantasy expert out their has confirmed that Peyton Manning has agreed to negotiate terms with the Denver Broncos… the wait is over. What does this mean for the other teams vying for a QB? What does this mean for The Broncos? Tim Tebow?
Well for starters the Broncos front office must be ecstatic, they now get to trade Tim Tebow away (thank god for them) and replace him with the only player who would make their rabid fan base forget Tebow; Peyton Manning. Any receiver plying for Denver must be ecstatic as well, namely Demaryius Thomas, who had a break out year last season. Thomas is an extreme athlete and was able to make a name for himself with Tebow throwing the ball, he should be able to make a big fantasy impact this year with Manning slinging him the ball. Eric Decker will also receive a huge boost from having Peyton Manning, he should act as more of a slot receiver; many people are already making some comparisons between Decker and Wes Welker. At this point however, I feel as though Thomas will end up being the more valuable player; we will have to wait to see if the Broncos sign anyone else to catch Manning’s passes. The Denver running attack should take a backseat to the arm of Peyton Manning next season, Willis McGahee and company will not get the number of chances to run the ball they had in 2011. I wonder who the Broncos will not take in the upcoming draft… Will they try to draft O-Linemen in an effort to bolster the line that protects their new 4-time MVP, will they try to draft a WR or TE to help Manning, or will that also be adressed in free agency? Where is Dallas Clark right now? Jeff Saturday?
The 49’ers will now likely stick with Alex Smith who started every game for them last season. That means that the Dolphins are left with current starter Matt Moore and recruiting a backup, possibly Florida product Tim Tebow… Oh god I hope not. Update: The Dolphins have signed David Garrard. Garrdard did not play last year after being dropped preseason by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Garrard is likely being added for depth since their aren’t many QBs left on the Dolphins roster. Moore should still be the starter with Garrard coming in in case on injury or if Moore plays terrible.
Matt Flynn: Jason La Conforna and Adam Schefter of NFL.com have reported via twitter that Green Bay Packers Free Agent QB Matt Flynn has signed a 3-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks worth 26 million with $10 million guaranteed; a very good contract for a QB who has started as few games as Flynn has. Flynn is likely most known for his week 17 performance this past season when he started against the Detroit Lions in a total shootout of a game. Flynn finished the game with 480 yards and 6 touchdowns in a Packers victory. Flynn’s only other career start was against the PAtriots in 2010 where he threw for 280 yards with 3 TDs along with a INT that was returned for a TD; the game ended in a PAckers loss. So while Flynn has only 2 career starts under his belt and has thrown for justo ver 1000 yards in his NFL career, many people believe that Flynn has the potential to be an immediate starter and quality NFL quarterback. With the 3-year signing in Seattle, it looks like Flynn will get his chance to prove it.
Alex Smith: Their were lots of rumours that Smith might not resign with the 49’ers after they courted Peyton Manning infront of him. The smart thing for Alex to do though? Resign with 49’ers. The 49’ers suffered through many years of struggle with Alex Smith, I think he owes them at least one. It could be argued that the main reason for Smith’s success last season was Coach Harbaugh, I don’t think Smith should be to anxious to play for someone else, or get into a starters battle.
Tim Tebow: It has been announced that the Denver Broncos have traded QB Tim Tebow to the New York Jets in exchange for a 4th round draft pick. Manning was signed to the Broncos on Monday and wasted no time announcing they intended to trade Tebow. Tebow had stated that he was interested in playing somewhere in Florida, but did not get his way as he will be heading to New York very soon. The Jets also signed Sanchez to a contract this offseason, so it seems as though the 2 players will have a bit of a competition going on for who will be the starter. My gut tells me Sanchez will start but if Tebow can improve his throwing and become a sketchy at best QB like Sanchez, he can use his body and legs to give him the edge. In terms of fantasy potential? I really don’t see much here. I don’t expect him to start and if he does there is no telling what type of stats he will put up. I am no Tebow fan and don’t believe he will be as big of a factor in fantasy land as he was last season.
Jason Campbell: Adam Schefter of NFL.com has reported that QB Jason Campbell has signed with the Bears on a one year deal. In signing with Chicago, Campbell takes the backseat to Jay Cutler and will won’t have much fantasy value next year unless something happens to Cutler.
Kyle Orton: Adam Schefter has tweeted that Kyle Orton has signed a 3-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, making his Tony Romo’s backup for the next few seasons unless he moves again or Romo gets hurt. The move means Orton will have very little value in fantasy land this year.
Chad Henne: Henne has signed a two-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2011 the Jaguars used rookie Blaine Gabbert who struggled all season long. Henne will likely take over as the teams starter as they club attempts to let Gabbert develop. As a Dolphins fan I have watched Henne for a few seasons now and must say I would not be terribly excited with the signing of Henne, but he is still better than any other option currently available.
Dave Garrard: Garrard has reportedly signed a deal with the Miami Dolphins… yay. Garrard was released by the Jaguars before the 2011 season and did not play. As a Dolphins fan I am hoping that he was added for depth. Miami has been the plague thus far in free agency failing to lure in either Manning or Flynn or any other big name player so far. Moore will likely be the DOlphins starter at the start of 2012 with Garrard coming in should Moore struggle (badly) or get hurt.
Dan Orlovsky: This will have next to no fantasy impact, but Colts backup QB Dan Orlovsky has agreed to a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Starting QB Josh Freeman struggled much of last year for the Buccs but is hands down the more talented player and should not be threatened by the arrival of Orlovsky.
Charlie Whitehurst: The move will have very little impact in the fantasy world, but I thought I would still include the signing of Whitehurst with the San Diego Chargers. Whitehurst signed a two-year deal to play behind Philip Rivers, meaning he won’t be seeing the field much, if at all.
Michael Bush: It is being reported that Bush has signed a 4-year deal with the Chicago Bears worth $14 million with $7 million guaranteed. The deal is actually pretty disappointing for fantasy fans; Bush will share the rock with Matt Forte, likely lowering the value of each. Forte was having a career season until his season was ended due to injury and Bush also had a good year replacing Darren McFadden as the Raiders starter when DMC went down. Both players thrived under a full workload, but I have serious doubts about these players sharing the ball. Forte is the more talented player and I see him as being the starter most games and receiving the bulk of the workload. Bush I believe has a bit more size where as Forte is known as an outstanding pass-catcher so both players will see times when their particular skill set will ben needed. Bottom line though, sucks for fantasy.
Mike Tolbert: Jason La Canfora of NFL.com has tweeted that San Diego Chargers Free Agent RB Mike Tolbert has signed a 4-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. Tolbert will now be added to the RB tandem of Jon Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, giving this team an even more effective rushing attack. Newton, Williams, Stewart and Tolbert all on the field at once could pose quite a few difficulties for opposing defences.
Peyton Hillis: Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis has signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Hillis was a breakout RB in 2010 and graced the cover of Madden but struggled with injuries in 2011 and was rumoured to be traded at times during the season. Jamaal Charles missed almost all of last year but has had lots of time to regain his health and should be the #1 option over Hillis. However, the offence in Kansas City has been known to employ a balanced two RB attack.
Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis: It was reported last night that the Law Firm has signed a 3-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, largely acting as the starter in place of Cedric Benson. In my opinion, Benson was the better runner. Last year I lived with a Patriots fan and enjoyed poking fun at Ben-Jarvis for never really being able to push a pile or move players back, he always seemed to run into a wall. However, what he lacks in power he helps make up for in the fact that he has never fumbled. Ever. Not once in his pro career, not once in his college career. Ben-Jarvis has shown himself to be a player a coach can hand the rock to 15 or more times a game and he will not turn it over.
Le’Ron McClain: Multiple sources have reported that McClain has signed a deal with the San Diego Chargers that will have him largely filling the role left behind by Mike Tolbert, who looks even less likely to resign with the club. McClain as a valuable part of the Ravens for four seasons before playing for the Chiefs in 2011 where he served as a HB/FB style of runner using his size to plow through defenders. The deal is 3-years long but I can’t seem to find out how much he is being paid.
Calvin Johnson: Johnson has signed a deal with the Lions that will make him the highest paid WR in NFL history, beating out the $120 million dollar contrat Larry Fitzgerald signed. It’s a 8-year deal worth $132 million dollars with $60 million guaranteed. Calvin Johnson is the most talented WR in the league, over Larry Fitzgerald so the deal makes sense. Johnson has been a huge part of the Lions success and has a very bright future ahead of him playing with the young QB Mat Stafford.
Marques Colston: NFL.com’s Jay Glazer has reported that the New Orleans Saints have resigned Wide Receiver Marques Colston to a five-year deal. The deal is reportedly worth about $40 million with about $19 million guaranteed. Drew Brees was slapped the franchise tag this past week which had people worried about the future of WR Colston and G Carl Nicks, one of the best in the game. Brees should be pleased to know that Colston has been brought back for another 5-years; Colston isn’t always thought of when people think of elite wideouts but he is extremely talented and consistent wen healthy and has been a big part of the Saints aerial attack for many seasons now. With Colston now locked up the top WRs still available for Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson and Brandon Lloyd.
Brandon Marshall: Wow… just wow. After two seasons Marshall is leaving the Dolphins to rejoin Cutler with the Chicago Bears. NFL.com is reporting that Marshall is heading to the bears in exchange for tow 3rd round picks. As a Dolphins fan and an owner of a Miami Dolphins Brandon Marshall Jersey, I am not happy about this. I had no idea there was even talks of shipping Marshall elsewhere and still don’t want to believe this.
Reggie Wayne: Adam Schefter has recently reported that Reggie Wayne has agreed to resign with the Colts on a 3-year deal. Many people had suspected that Wayne woud end up going where Peyton goes, but since no one knows when Manning will sign with a team, that will not be the case. Wayne had stated that he would not be waiting for Manning, and why would he, its his career. Wayne has been a Colt his entire career so it’s makes sencse that he would resign with the club. He will now get to work with and help develop the future #1 overall pick Andrew Luck.
Vincent Jackson: Jackson has reportedly signed a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers giving them such much needed fire power at the WR position. 2nd year receiver Mike Williams regressed from his terrific rookie season; as did the team in general. Jackson will give the team an extremely talented deep threat capable of multiple TD performances when he is healthy.
DeSean Jackson: NFL.com has confirmed that the Eagles have resigned speedy and explosive WR DeSean Jackson. Jackson is one of the fastest players in the league and easily one of the most dangerous when he gets the ball in his hands. He has had problems playing a full season and is very up and down in terms of fantasy output, but he is still a game changing player.
Brandon Lloyd: It hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, but almost every football expert and insider believes that St. Louis Rams free agent WR Brandon Lloyd will sign with the New England Patriots very soon. Lloyd exploded in 2010 with a fantastic season and was a top WR last year as well with St. Louis despite the teams QB troubles. Brandon will now have an elite QB in Tom Brady throwing to him but will also be sharing the field with Welker and Gronkowski among others, his targets this upcoming season if he ends up a Patriot could be hard to judge.
Pierre Garcon: Garcon tweeted that he will be signing with the Washington Redskins in the near future as the Colts loose another piece of their roster. The Redskins are looking to add some impact players to help out RGIII when he hits the field in the coming season and it seems as though Garcon is the first piece. It is also being reported that the Redskins are trying to land WR Josh Morgan.
Robert Meachem: Michael Fabiano of NFL.com has reported that the San Diego Chargers have agreed to a 4-year contract with Saints WR Robert Meachem. Meachem didn’t have a big season in 2011 but was a big part of the Saints success over the past few years and is known to be capable of coming up with game changing plays. I’m hoping that Meachem will get more opportunities with the Chargers with Vincent Jackson gone.
Laurent Robinson: Robinson has signed a 5-year, $32 million dollar contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Robinson started last season with the Cowboys behind Austin and Bryant but when they missed time with injures Robinson exploded as a top fantasy option. The Jags are in desperate need of a WR and Robinson should be a welcome addition to the roster. The question going forward will be who is throwing him the ball, Gabbert struggled all of last season as a rookie.
Mario Manningham: It has been reported by multiple sources that Mario Manningham, who caught the spectacular catch late in the Superbowl to help give his team the lead, has signed a 2-year deal with the San Francisco 49’ers. The 49’ers also added Randy Moss a week or so ago so will now have Manningham and Moss stretching the field for them, something they lacked all season long last year. If the 49’ers land a good QB they could be a very scary team this year.
Deion Branch: Branch has resigned a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. Branch was pretty up and down last year as a member of the PAtriots offence and will probably be even lower on the depth chart with Brandon Lloyd coming to town to serve as the deep threat. Lloyd, Welker, Gronk and Hernandez will all likely see more action than Branch, who is now 32 years old.
Randy Moss: After spending a year in retirement, Randy Moss has decided he wants to return to the NFL and it didn’t take him to long to find a suitor. Yesterday it was announced that Moss had agreed to a deal with the San Francisco 49’ers, details on the length and amount of money have not been released but one can only imagine that the deal is largely based on incentives that will see Moss paid more the better he plays. Moss has been known to be a trouble maker in the locker room and quite the diva, but Jim Harbaugh worked out with Randy personally and must liked what he saw to sign him to a deal. The 49’ers were in desperate need of someone who can stretch the field, in the teams playoff loss to the Giants last season only one pass was completed to a WR, 3 yards to Michael Crabtree.
Ted Ginn Jr.: Adam Schefter has reported that Ginn has resigned with the 49’ers on a one-year deal. Ginn has had trouble with drops and consistency in the past but is one of the fastest players in the league and one of the most dangerous returners who can also bring a level of dangerousness and value to a team.
Eddie Royal: Adam Schefter has tweeted that Eddie Royal has agreed to terms with the San Diego Chargers. Royal was rumoured to be in talks to join the Redskins for the pat few days so the news comes as a little bit of a surprise. Royal is a speedy receiver and return man but can also be inconsistent catching the ball. Royal is no Vincent Jackson but should help out on special team and is also able to stretch the field and cash in on big plays with his game. QB Philip Rivers will hopefully be able to find ways to capitalize on Royal’s speed.
Kevin Ogletree: Ogletree has signed a one-year deal with his current team the Dalas Cowboys. Ogletree has been deep on the depth charts in Dallas for a a couple of years and has had to deal with injury problems. With Laurent Robinson gone Ogletree may get a few more chances on the field but is largely untested, as the one-year deal shows.
Kevin Boss: It as been reported that Kevin Boss has signed a 3-year $9 million dolar deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Boss is a good pass-catcher and blocker and will create a nice TE duo with Tony Moeaki. The team also has a good RB combo with Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis; I am starting to like some of the moves that the Chiefs are making. The team also has a pretty solid defence and decent quarterback in Matt Cassel. It will be interesting to see if Boss becomes more off a blocker due to pass-catching ability of Moeaki.
Jacob Tamme: Tamme has become the second TE to sign with the Denver Broncos today. Tamme was the backup in Indy and played well with Peyton Manning when Dallas Clark was unavailable. I imagine it will not take long or Tamme and Manning to reconnect, resulting in Tamme winning the starting role at TE; I still think Dreessen is a very good red zone target and could take away from Tamme in that area.
John Carlson: Schefter has reported that the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a deal with Seattle Seahawks TE John Carlson. Carlson has potential to be a valuable asset at the position but has been held back in the Seahawks system as well as by injuries. He is no Gates, Graham or Gronk but has the ability to be an asset to the club.
Joel Dreessen: It has been confirmed that Houston Texans Free Agent Tight End Joel Dreessen has signed a deal with the Denver Broncos. Dreessen has been a backup in Houston for a few seasons and saw a nice increase in production this year, using his size and strength to help him haul in 6 TD passes. Dreessen in a big boy and I believe will become a favorite Red Zone target for Manning.
Martellus Bennet: Dallas TE Martellus Bennet has tweeted that he is becoming a member of the New York Giants. Bennet maybe be an unknown to many as he has had very little attention as the #2 TE in Dallas behind Jason Witten, but he is known be a very efficient blocker with good hands who has underperformed in his time in Dallas. He has the opportunity to the top option at TE in New York with the current void at the position but will need to prove himself. Deal is reportedly one-year and worth $2.5 million.
Mario Williams: After days of rumours, its official, Houston Texans DE/LB Mario Williams has signed a 6-year dea with the Buffalo Bills; the financial details have not been released yet. Williams was the #1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft and has played for the Texans his entire career, recording 53 sacks and making 2 pro bowls. Williams is considered one of the premier pass rusher in the league still with room to improve at only 27 years of age. Houston even experimented using him at Line Backer at times last year due to his extreme athleticism. Mari will definitely be an immediate boost to the Bills defence. It is now being reported that the deal could be worth upwards of $100 million dollars with $50 million gauranteed.
Cortland Finnegan: Finnegan has reportedly signed a 5-year deal with the St. Louis Rams worth about $50 million dollars. Finnegan is a fiery player who can disrupt other players and cause turnovers; he will be a valuable player in struggling St. Louis defence. He will also be reunited with coach Jeff Fisher.
Curtis Lofton: Curtis Lofton is a 25-year old linebacker who has signed a 5-year deal to play with the NEw Orleans Saints afte spending the first years of his career in Atlanta with the Flacons. Lofton is an extremely talented linebacker and was one of the better players on the Falcons defence, the Saints will certainly receive a boost from the hard hitting Lofton. Lofton has been a starter since his rookie season in 2009 and already has 469 career tackles with 7 forced fumbled.
Carlos Rodgers: It as been reported that Rogers has resigned with the San Francisco 49’ers. Rogers had a career season in 2011 leading the team with 6 interceptions and making his first pro bowl. According to ESPN’s John Clayton, with Rogers coming back the 49’ers will have all 11 defensive starters returning.
LaRon Landry: The New York Jets have signed free agent Safety LaRon Landry to a 1-year deal reportedly worth $4million dollars. Landry is known is one of the most athletic players in the league but has been dealt with some serious injuries, which is likely the reason for the 1-year deal. When Landry in healthy though, he is one of the fastest safeties in the league and one of the hardest hitting. The Jets needed a Safety and have gotten what can be a great one in Landry if he stays healthy. The Jets secondary just got even better.
Carl Nicks: It was reported late last night that Saints Guard Carl Nicks, one of the best in the game has agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The deal is a 5-year deal worth about $47 million with $31 million guaranteed. Tampa also signed Vincent Jackson, meaning they have landed two of the most wanted players available during this free agency. Any team would be very happy signing a player as talented at his position as Carl Nicks is.
John Abraham: Abraham has agreed to a 3-year deal with his current team the Atlanta Falcons. I have a good friend who is a Falcons fan and he was worried he was going to lose Lofton and Abraham. He can rest a little easier tonight knowing that Abraham will still be a Falcon, anchoring the teams pass rush. Abraham is no spring chicken however and is not at the level he used to be. The 33-year old is stil an effective pass rusher but the Falcons are going to need some help and some youth at that position some time soon.
Jeff Saturday: Saturday has signed a deal to join on with the Green Bay Packers. Saturday has spent pretty much his entire career with the Colts and with Peyton heading to Denver their were rumours Saturday might head their too, but alas, it seems that is not the case. Saturday is as consistent a Centre as this league has and will be a good addition to the Packers. Saturday also gets to join another team with an elite level quarterback, so I’m sure he is happy too.
Paul Soliai: DT Soliai has resigned with the Dolphins on a two-year deal worth $6 million dollars guaranteed. Soliai was one of the brightest spots on the Dolphins roster this past season and was likely a priority for the Dolphins.
Brandon Carr: Carr has signed a five-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, confirming reports that had been coming in all day. Carr is a solid cornerback and will help give the Cowboys some added presence in the secondary, something the Cowboys desperately needed.
Trent Cole: Cole has agreed to a 3-year deal that will have him remaning an Eagle for another 4 years; the price tag has not been released. Cole is a force at defensive end position and has been distrusting opposing QBs for seasons. Philly has dangerous pass rush and it seems they don’t want to lose it.
Richard Marshall: It has been confirmed that The Miami DOlphins have signed CB Richard Marshall to a 3-year deal worth about $16 million dollars. The Dolphins have a very streaky secondary led by Yeremiah Bell and Vontae Davis who are both capable of being burned. It was no secret the Dolphins needed an upgrade at CB, and it looks like they are hoping Marshall will help with that problem.
Ben Grubbs: The Siants wasted little time in findin a replacement for Guard Carl Nicks. The club has signed Ben Grubbs off the Baltimore Ravens. Grubbs has signed a 5-year, $36 million dollar contract with the team. Grubbs was drafted by the Ravens in 2007 in the first round and has been a starter for the team ever since. He may not be the elite player that Nicks is but is a solid replacement.