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2021 NFL Free Agency Thread


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14 hours ago, ZWK said:

2 years, $20M looks correct for Aaron Jones's contract, from what I see on Spotrac (plus a team option to add on another 2 years for $28M). GB gets to choose between:

1yr $14M ($14M/yr)
2yr $20M ($10M/yr)
3yr $36M ($12M/yr)
4yr $48M ($12M/yr)

Seems likely they keep him two more years and then gonzo.

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He’ll be nevermore if he becomes a Raven.

Good for Fitz, this will make all 32 NFL teams he's played for, a remarkable accomplishment.  We will miss him in Miami, one of the greatest QBs to ever put on a Miami uniform, that's not a lie.

Biggest fantasy winner today was McLaurin.   

Just to be clear, I would have thought franchise tagging Jones after burning a 2nd rounder to create a RBBC would have been stupid, too. 

Can we get a list of instances when teams chose to sign RB's for ~$10Million/yr deals and it turned out looking like a really SMART move? That's just pretending you didn't flush a 2nd rounder to create a RBBC like GB did and looking at paying RB's $10+Mil a season. Maybe Gurley in his prime? MAYBE, because the contract was atrocious after that and has been a boat anchor since. And I hate to break this to anyone but Jones as part of a RBBC is completely different than Gurley in his prime.

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1 hour ago, BoltBacker said:

Just to be clear, I would have thought franchise tagging Jones after burning a 2nd rounder to create a RBBC would have been stupid, too. 

Can we get a list of instances when teams chose to sign RB's for ~$10Million/yr deals and it turned out looking like a really SMART move? That's just pretending you didn't flush a 2nd rounder to create a RBBC like GB did and looking at paying RB's $10+Mil a season. Maybe Gurley in his prime? MAYBE, because the contract was atrocious after that and has been a boat anchor since. And I hate to break this to anyone but Jones as part of a RBBC is completely different than Gurley in his prime.

I am not sure what you are looking for, but here have been recent numbers for RBs . . .

Salary Cap Hits:
2021: Ezekiel Elliott $13.7M, Derrick Henry $13.5M, Saquon Barkley $10M
2020: David Johnson $11M, Ezekiel Elliot $10.9M

Total Cash Paid Out:
2021: Aaron Jones $14.2M, Derrick Henry $10.5M
2020: Christian McCaffrey $22.3M, Ezekiel Elliott $19.8M, Dalvin Cook $16.3M, Derrick Henry $15M
2019: LeVeon Bell $15M
2018: Todd Gurley $21.9M, Saquon Barkley $21.2M, David Johnson $13.9M, Jerick McKinnon $12.5M

Current Average Per Year:
Christian McCaffrey $16M
Alvin Kamara $15M
Ezekiel Elliot $15M
Dalvin Cook $12.6M
Derrick Henry $12.5M
Joe Mixon $12M
Aaron Jones $12M

 

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17 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

I am not sure what you are looking for, but here have been recent numbers for RBs . . .

Thanks for the list and I think it illustrates my point nicely. IMO the ONLY time it makes any sense to pay up for RB is if you a team in a SB window and a RB that is at the very least the team MVP and probably contending for league MVP. Of course there are other "intangibles" like having a history of health before the contract and the RB doesn't have a history of off-field problems but even then if you have a RB that is deserving of big contract he should be touching the ball so often then health concerns are almost built into the equation. This is why it makes absolutely no sense to sign a RB to big salary with the hopes of building a SB contender around him eventually. By the time you build a team around him he will have been beat up or knocked out playing the most punishing position on the field.

Todd Gurley - This would be my single example of giving a big contract payed off in that they got to a SB with Gurley being the best player on the team. The subsequent injuries and salary cap fallout are precisely why you have to be in a SB window to even consider giving even a league MVP type guy one of these deals. The Rams took their shot when it was there and I don't blame them even if they could probably could have structured the contract in a slightly more team friendly way given the position.

LeVeon Bell - Complete and utter joke that ended like a tire fire.

Jerick McKinnon - Joke and a team nearly won a SB DESPITE his silly contract not because of it.

David Johnson - If not for the patron saint of stupid trades(Bill O'Brian) this might be right up there with the last two.

Saquon Barkley - Non contender and is wasting his prime while paying the RB position so much it will be more difficult to build a SB team around him.

Christian McCaffrey - See Barkley.

Alvin Kamara - Some people will say this belongs in the Gurley category but I disagree. If you are averaging ~250 total touches a year as a "workhorse" RB I just don't think the offense really revolves around you. He may be the most talented player on that offense but I don't think the franchise lives or dies based on whether he is on the field in the same way the Rams did with Gurley or the Titans do now with Derrick Henry. 

Ezekiel Elliot - The franchise does revolve around this guy but after the past year you have to wonder how much of his early success was related to the OL. Add to that they off-field stuff and this contract was probably a mistake. I absolutely think his salary is holding back the team from building a SB contender at this point and the team probably was never close enough to a SB window they should have taken this gamble in the first place.

Dalvin Cook - See McCaffrey.

Derrick Henry - This is almost a Gurley situation and I think it really boils down to whether you think the Titans are a SB team or not. Henry is absolutely the most important player on the team, an MVP candidate in my mind, but I just don't think TEN is a SB contender unless their defense makes a huge leap. This one is as close to the Gurley contract as the second one on this list that makes sense to me.

Joe Mixon - See Saquon, but add past off-field baggage. The Bengals would be better off overpaying even an average LT to keep Joe Burrow standing upright until they can build a team around Burrow. Is it more important to have a RB to take pressure off a rookie QB or a running game? Teams have been been winning SB's for awhile without needing a single pro-bowl level RB as long as they have a good enough running game.

In summary, about a third were complete laughable busts, a third were good players stuck spinning their wheels for organizations that didn't move any closer to becoming a SB contender, and lastly a third if I'm being generous were players that were given the big paycheck but never led their team over the hump. Gurley came close, but he's really the only one that even came close.

INJURY ASTERISK! - I'm sure I'll get a lot of replies that go something like, "Yeah, but more than half those guys got injuries so....." but that is precisely my point. These guys only earn these contracts because they are the team MVP but if you are a RB touching the ball that often you only have a short window where you will actually be performing up to what you are getting paid. You can throw out the anomalous Walter Payton guys if you want but they are just that. An anomaly that proves just how remarkably uncommon Walter Payton was.

@Anarchy99has been kind enough to provide a list of the top paid RB's in the past three years. I'll just add a list of the SB champions for the last 13 years...

'20 TB

'19 KC

'18 NE

'17 PHI

'16 NE

'15 den

'14 NE

'13 SEA

'12 BAL

'11 NYG

'10 GB

'09 NO

'08 PIT

If we can agree that the point of this entire exercise for NFL teams is to win a SB maybe we should look at that list and identify the highest paid RB on that list. This is a fantasy football site and I realize that to US the RB that accumulates the most statistics is relevant for OUR teams to win a championship but I'm just not sure that's how successful team building works in the NFL. So what was the highest paid RB of the last 13 years on the teams that actually won the SB?

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1 hour ago, BoltBacker said:

So what was the highest paid RB of the last 13 years on the teams that actually won the SB?

I'll go one better. Here are what all the SB winning teams you mentioned spent on RB in their title winning season. The past 5 years are based on salary cap numbers, the remaining years are based on cash payouts (so not what the cap number was in that given year). That would explain why Ray Rice had such a big number.

2020 TBB	L Fournette	$2.5M
		Ronald Jones	$1.9M
		Ke'Shawn Vaughn	$864K
		Lesean McCoy	$750K
		TJ Logan	$750K
		Kenjon Barner	$214K
2019 KCC	Lesean McCoy	$3M
		Damien Williams	$1.7M
		Anthony Sherman	$735K
		Darrel Williams	$533K
		Darwin Thompson	$527K
		Spencer Ware	$189K
		Tremon Smith	$115K
2018 NEP	James White	$3M
		Rex Burkhead	$2.3M
		Sony Michel	$1.8M
		James Develin	$1.7M
		Jeremy Hill	$1.2M
		Kenjon Barner	$333K
		Brandon Bolden	$200K
2017 PHI	Darren Sproles	$4M
		L Blount	$1.3M
		Kenjon Barner	$568K
		W Smallwood	$540K
		Corey Clement	$475K
		Jay Ajayi	$326K
2016 NEP	L Blount	$1.5M
		Brandon Bolden	$1.1M
		Dion Lewis	$913K
		James Develin	$840K
		James White	$702K
		DJ Foster	$459K
2015 DEN	Ronnie Hillman	$770K
		CJ Anderson	$585K
		Juwan Thompson	$510K
2014 NEP	Shane Vereen	$847K
		Stevan Ridley	$778K
		Brandon Bolden	$570K
		James Develin	$570K
		Jonas Gray	$458K
		L Blount	$258K
2013 SEA	Marshawn Lynch	$7M
		C Michael	$1.2M
		Spencer Ware	$502K
		M Robinson	$494K
		Robert Turbin	$480K
		Derrick Coleman	$405K
2012 BAL	Ray Rice	$17M
		Vonta Leach	$3M
		Bernard Pierce	$949K
		Anthony Allen	$465K
		Bobby Rainey	$371K
		Damien Berry	$273K
2011 NYG	Ahmad Bradshaw	$6.5M
		Brandon Jacobs	$4.8M
		DJ Ware		$995K
		Da'Rel Scott	$524K
		Bear Pascoe	$480K
		Henry Hynoski	$390K
2010 GBP 	Ryan Grant	$5M
		John Kuhn	$1.2M
		Brandon Jackson	$930K
		Korey Hall	$555K
		James Starks	$420K
		Quinn Johnson	$395K
		Dimitri Nance	$301K
2009 NOS	Reggie Bush	$12.1M
		Heath Evans	$1M
		Mike Bell	$541K
		Pierre Thomas	$467K
		Lynell Hamilton	$316K
2008 PIT	Willie Parker	$4.2M
		Mewelde Moore	$2M
		R Mendenhall	$1.2M
		Najeh Davenport	$1M

 

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CB A.J. Bouye's deal with the Panthers is worth $7 million over two years. 

The terms of the deal weren't made available when the Panthers signed the former Bronco last week. Bouye, soon to be 30, will be suspended for the first two games of the 2021 season, but should work his way into Carolina's starting lineup soon thereafter. The former Pro Bowler missed much of the 2020 season with a shoulder injury. 

RELATED: 

Denver Broncos

SOURCE: ProFootballTalk.com 

Apr 12, 2021, 12:17 PM ET

 

 

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Buccaneers signed RB Giovani Bernard, formerly of the Bengals, to a one-year contract.

Bernard, who had at least 30 catches in all eight seasons he played with the Bengals, adds another receiving option to Tampa Bay's backfield ahead of Ronald Jones. The deal also likely takes the Bucs out of contention for a back in the draft, though Leonard Fournette's, Jones', and Bernard's contracts all expire at the end of this year. 

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On 4/5/2021 at 5:00 AM, BoltBacker said:

Just to be clear, I would have thought franchise tagging Jones after burning a 2nd rounder to create a RBBC would have been stupid, too. 

Can we get a list of instances when teams chose to sign RB's for ~$10Million/yr deals and it turned out looking like a really SMART move? That's just pretending you didn't flush a 2nd rounder to create a RBBC like GB did and looking at paying RB's $10+Mil a season. Maybe Gurley in his prime? MAYBE, because the contract was atrocious after that and has been a boat anchor since. And I hate to break this to anyone but Jones as part of a RBBC is completely different than Gurley in his prime.

But there's always an exception, and Jones, in his defense, has been hyper-efficient with his touches, according to Fantasy Pros. I mean more than just a little efficient. Like league-changing efficient. He and Henry both, both recipients of those contracts. I agree that Henry isn't on a Super Bowl contender. Jones is. And the offense runs through him and Rodgers. There's got to be wiggle room against conventional wisdom sometimes when advanced stats determine that he's the man.

Jones was a signing the Packers almost had to make, in my estimation. And I roster Dillon and have none of Jones. So there's no personal bias there. Jones is the ultimate do-it-all guy and the guy behind him isn't. It's really a two-year signing, maybe one if they don't mind dead cap or if they don't mind eating next year's to go for it this year.

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Field Yates

@FieldYates

Effective at 4 PM ET, unrestricted free agents that sign with a new team no longer count towards the NFL’s compensatory pick formula. Amongst those available: Richard Sherman, Justin Houston, Alejandro Villanueva, Russell Okung, Melvin Ingram, K.J. Wright & Jason McCourty.

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Raiders signed CB Casey Hayward, formerly of the Chargers. 

Hayward was an elite corner from 2016 to 2019 but was hampered by injuries last year and ultimately became a casualty this offseason. If he returns in full form, the signing will look like a steal in hindsight. Casey also gets to reunite with Raiders DC Gus Bradley, who was his coordinator for four years with the Chargers. With the rookies distributed via the draft, teams were likely able to assess their remaining needs and Vegas identified corner as one of their gaps. Pro Football Focus ranked Vegas as a bottom-five coverage unit last year and the Raiders spent far more draft capital on safety than cornerback. Even if Casey is past his prime, this signing should greatly boost the Vegas secondary. 

SOURCE: Josina Anderson on Twitter

May 4, 2021, 5:52 PM ET

 

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On 5/5/2021 at 1:08 AM, Faust said:

Raiders signed CB Casey Hayward, formerly of the Chargers. 

I know it's definitely fashionable to hate on everything that the raiders do, but I kind of like their offseason. 

They improved their DL before the draft in FA, improved their secondary in the draft, and now have signed a #1 CB. A backfield of Jacobs/Drake may not be popular with us fantasy nerds but IRL it makes sense to keep both players as healthy and effective as possible. I wasn't a huge fan of the John Brown signing as I don't think that's how Carr beats defenses but Brown should team with Ruggs to at least scare defenses to playing honest and loosening up the defense for Jacobs/Drake/Waller. The Snead signing seems to be viewed by most a minor blip(just like the Agholor acquisition last year) but it's very possible he leads all LV WR's in receptions this season.

The whole thing kind of revolves around the rebuilt OL, which is no small thing, but it wouldn't be surprising to me at all if the raiders finish above .500 for just the second time since 2002. They will definitely miss Hudson but I'm not sure the rest of the departures will be hurt them as much as their salaries would indicate.

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Free agent Richard Sherman has "been in talks" with the 49ers about a possible return.

Sherman has also talked with the Seahawks and has interest from the Saints and Raiders. There's nothing imminent, but returning to the 49ers remains in play for the 33-year-old. Sherman's market should start to heat up over the coming weeks.

RELATED: 

San Francisco 49ers

SOURCE: Sacramento Bee

May 8, 2021, 12:03 PM ET

 

 

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