The NFL Madness Continues
Wow, this off-season has turned into a writer's dream, giving us plenty of storylines with little creativity needed! After the first run of free agency, I was gifted even more over the last two weeks!
The latest bombshell we’ve seen has been that Tyreek Hill ($9.36) is headed southeast to the Miami Dolphins. This is a move that is a head-scratcher in terms of destination, but not the fact that he's traded. It always felt as though Tyreek would be on the move this off-season as he was entering the final year of his deal. He and the Chiefs have had numerous discussions the previous seasons restructuring his deal, and Tyreek avoided this every time. Part of me feels as though he didn't want to be in Kansas City as he was asked to be away from the team during the 2019 incident with his family.
Nonetheless, this hurts Tyreeks' long-term potential in my eyes. Tua Tagovailoa ($3.44) is not Patrick Mahomes ($17.46) by any metric, and I'll expect to see more gadget plays drawn up for Tyreek than we've seen in the past. I can't imagine making any additional investments in Tyreek going forward until we see how he performs in this offense. I am, however, intrigued by Jaylen Waddle ($7.55) who will be operating as a #2 behind Tyreek, which should open up more holes in the opposing defense and give him even more opportunities.
The other big news item we witnessed over these long two weeks was the Cleveland Browns have traded away their future for Deshaun Watson ($14.56). I don't love the move for several reasons, but I also think the Texans didn't get quite enough for him either. In the grand scheme of things the Texans received a haul of draft picks, but little in terms of proven NFL talent.
This has the makings of the Family Guy moment when Peter takes the mystery box full of expired comedy show tickets instead of the free boat. Watson wasn't going to play for Houston, but they should have tried to obtain more stable assets instead of just draft picks, or at least a combination of the two. This trade could ultimately be the horror show of the return the Rams got for allowing Washington to draft RGIII.
As for Cleveland, Deshaun now heads to a team loaded with talent and no first-round pick for the next 3 years. I think it was ridiculous to guarantee his entire salary without knowing what is going to happen over the coming years and potentially rewarded him for not playing over the last 18 months. Regardless, Watson probably will serve some form of a suspension this season and because of that, I'm all in on Jacoby Brissett ($0.51). Brissett has a high rushing floor and is costing us less than a dollar to invest, due to this it feels like a no-brainer. Watson is likely looking at a 4-8 game suspension, and the Browns will no doubt trade away Baker Mayfield ($3.88) before the start of the season.
The Browns have also invested in the wide receiver room with Amari Cooper ($5.20). Amari was a good snag for the Browns and will do well in this offense. I'm still hopeful they will sign Will Fuller ($4.88), but as time goes by I'm less convinced in my desire for him to still be a thing. Regardless, as much as I’m in Brisett, I’ll hold off on investing in the receiving core until Watson comes back.
This has largely been the off-season of trades. As such, Davante Adams ($11.77) is no longer going to be the main man in Green Bay after he was also dealt with the Las Vegas Raiders. Adams and Derek Carr ($4.01) were teammates at Fresno State and are now reunited in Las Vegas. The two had been in constant communication, and I'd have to believe that Carr is now locked into Vegas. In what might be the worst negotiating strategy I've ever seen, I do believe that Carr has become a value now with a stud wide receiver to throw to. Additionally, I'm intrigued by Josh Jacobs ($1.65) if Mcdaniels will utilize him as an every-down back.
Lastly, Matt Ryan ($4.90) was the last notable trade casualty throughout the last two weeks. After the Falcons' pursuit of Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan was able to finagle his way out of a disastrous rebuild and was traded to the Colts. Ryan now finds himself on a championship roster in Indianapolis.
While the Colts do lack perennial receivers, it's notable that they still have their second-round pick in a draft chock-full of receiving options. I expect Jonathan Taylor ($11.53) to continue his hot streak from 2021, and we should hopefully see increased passing volume. Matt Ryan made Devonta Freeman a thing, and I think we could see similar utilization out of the running game. I don't think I'll go heavy at Michael Pittman Jr. ($2.00) as I'm not sure he will fit what Ryan likes to do. However, the Colts do have a good fit schematically with Ryan (even though Carson Wentz was just fine).