Update: This deal has been finalized.
The Eagles can also pick up a conditional pick in 2016 based on how many snaps Bradford takes. If Bradford plays less than 50 percent the Eagles will get a 4th-round pick, if he does not play at all it becomes a 3rd-rounder. If Bradford plays more than 50 percent of snaps the Eagles will not receive any additional compensation.
Change is afoot. Foles’ second season as the starter in Philadelphia didn’t go as well as his first. After a ridiculous 27-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2013, Foles tossed 13 touchdowns against 10 picks last year. It wasn’t all his fault, however, as he was playing behind a patchwork offensive line and didn’t have as much time to throw. In the seven games that he finished in 2014, he averaged 16.9 fantasy points, which is about what Philip Rivers scored as the #12 QB on the season. Foles ultimately broke his collarbone in Week 9 and missed the final eight games of the season. He'll be penciled in as the starter in St. Louis, but this is a scheme/system downgrade, and the Rams' receiving corps is currently lacking established talent. As for Bradford, he'll get a fresh start in a friendly offense, though the Eagles just lost Jeremy Maclin. It's a familiar situation for Bradford, who has never had the benefit of a strong supporting cast. Both quarterbacks will be QB2 types heading into the summer.
Jay Glazer reported that the deal sends Seattle's first round pick and C Max Unger to the Saints. The Seahawks have been looking to upgrade at tight end for a while now, and they finally got their guy. Graham's value takes a minor hit as he heads to the run-oriented Seahawks, though he'll continue to be a target hog given the current state of the Seattle receiving corps. The move is a big upgrade for Russell Wilson, who was the #3 QB in 2014 despite a serious lack of playmakers in the passing game. Conversely, it's a major downgrade for Drew Brees, who loses his top target in the passing game. Unger's arrival is good news for the recently re-signed Mark Ingram, while the Seahawks will have to find a way to replace one of the best centers in the game. The loss of Unger will have a negative impact on Marshawn Lynch. Also, TE Josh Hill could step into a big role for the Saints.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Chiefs are expected to release Bowe on Wednesday, according to a source. Bowe became expendable when the team locked into an agreement with Jeremy Maclin on Sunday.
Bowe's production has been on the decline since 2011, though the last two years (with QB Alex Smith) have been particularly ugly.
Vereen will serve as the team's passing down back, putting a sizable dent in the upside of Rashad Jennings, who averaged 3.2 catches (and 23 receiving yards) in the nine games in which he played significant snaps. With Andre Williams also in the mix for early down work, this situation appears to be devolving into a true committee.
Update: This deal is finalized.
Gore reportedly backed out of a deal with Philadelphia. He's turning 32 this summer, but should be able to shore up the Colts' running game. Dan Herron and Vick Ballard are in the mix, and the team could also bring back the still-effective Ahmad Bradshaw. Gore is better than advertised in the passing game, so re-signing Bradshaw may not be necessary. Gore averaged 51.0 receptions from 2006-2010, but as soon as Greg Roman took over as offensive coordinator in 2011, Gore's targets dropped precipitously. He averaged just 28.3 targets over the past four seasons, while the Colts' running backs accounted for 113 targets last season, so look for Gore's value to jump in PPR formats. Due to his age, Gore typically goes later than he should in fantasy drafts, but he hasn't missed a game in three seasons and should be reinvigorated by a change of scenery.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 12:14pm
The Denver Post, which first reported the news Monday night, said the multiyear contract is worth around $9 million a season.
Thomas was the #3 TE in 2013, but struggled to a #10 finish last season after dealing with torn ligaments in his ankle. He has considerable talent as a pass-catcher, but this is a huge system downgrade from Denver to Jacksonville. He'll no longer enjoy the benefits of playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense and will instead be relying on Blake Bortles to deliver the ball. If the Jaguars feature him in the passing game -- and why wouldn't they? -- he has the potential to finish as a fantasy TE1 provided he can stay healthy. It's certainly an upgrade for Bortles and a downgrade for Manning, though whomever wins the starting tight end job in Denver will be on the fantasy radar.
Update: He signed a two-year, $6 million contract.
After averaging 132 targets in the previous two seasons, Hartline's looks were cut in half in 2014 with the emergence of rookie WR Jarvis Landry. Hartline averaged 75 catches for 1,050 yards from 2012-2013, so he gives the Browns a functional, starter-caliber receiver. If this doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, it's because it wasn't meant to be. Hartline may be able to provide 70+ catches and 1,000 yards, but he only has 12 touchdowns in 92 career games, so he'll be more useful in PPR formats than in standard leagues.
Johnson is turning 34 this summer but can still play a big role in a good passing offense. He should have several suitors as free agency wears on. He'll leave behind DeAndre Hopkins, who finished as the #14 WR in both standard and PPR formats even though the Texans’ quarterbacks finished 17th in both touchdowns thrown and yards per attempt. Assuming the team gets similar play from the position in 2015, Hopkins should continue to produce solid to high-end WR2 numbers. His targets should increase with the team’s decision to release Johnson.
Update: Mallet signed a two-year, $7 million contract.
It looks like the Texans are going to move forward with Mallett and Brian Hoyer, who is also reportedly set to sign with the team (though it's not a done deal). In two games, Mallett completed 41 of 75 passes (54.7%) for 400 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions before tearing his pectoral muscle. He served as Tom Brady's understudy for three seasons so there is some optimism that he can turn into a quality NFL starter. He'll likely have to beat out Hoyer for the starting job.
Update: This deal is finalized.
The wild ride of subtraction and addition will apparently continue with the Philadelphia Eagles because receiver Jeremy Maclin plans to reunite with former coach Andy Reid on the Kansas City Chiefs once free agency officially begins on Tuesday, according to league sources.
The Chiefs will need to clear salary-cap space to sign Maclin, whose new contract would project in the range of what Randall Cobb received to stay with the Green Bay Packers at $10 million per year. It's possible Maclin could slightly exceed Cobb's salary when negotiations are finished. Unlike Cobb, who chose to remain with his team, the Green Bay Packers, Maclin is prepared to depart Philadelphia, coming off his best season, in which he had 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Maclin played on a one-year, $5.25 million contract in 2014 after missing 2013 with an ACL injury.
Update: The deal is reportedly worth around $11 million per season.
Maclin was the #9 wide receiver in both standard and PPR formats last season. However, he did most of his damage in the first eight games (46-801-8, #2 WR) and faded from Week 10 on (40-528-2, #23 WR). His targets dropped from 10.5 per game in the first half of the season to just 7.5 T/G down the stretch, but this decrease basically coincided with Mark Sanchez taking over for Nick Foles at quarterback. If the report turns out to be true, he'll have Alex Smith as his quarterback and could hog targets alongside up-and-coming TE Travis Kelce. Reid is familiar with Maclin, so we would expect his transition to be a smooth one, though this appears to be a system downgrade.
For Smith to have remained with the Ravens, which several league sources reiterated has been an extremely unlikely scenario for weeks, he would have had to leave several million dollars on the table.
Although no deal has been finalized, sources indicated there's strong mutual interest between the former second-round draft pick and San Francisco. One source characterized the Smith situation as a "done deal with the 49ers," barring any unforeseen snags. Deals cannot become official until Tuesday at 4 p.m., when the league year and free agency signing period begins.
Smith acknowledged his pending departure Sunday night with a blog in which he thanked the Ravens for his four years in Baltimore.
Update: Smith signed a five-year, $40 million deal that includes $22 million guaranteed.
Smith got off to a slow start in 2014, posting just six catches for 85 yards in the first three games. Over the final 13 games of the season, he averaged 3.3 receptions for 52 yards and 0.85 touchdowns, which equates to #20 WR-type numbers in PPR formats. As it stands, he finished as the #29 WR in PPR and #19 in standard formats (thanks to the high touchdown rate), which is the fourth time he has finished in the top 23 (in standard formats) in his four-year career. He'll join a 49ers receiving corps that is likely losing Michael Crabtree and has a still-effective Anquan Boldin as a possession receiver. Smith will serve as a deep threat for QB Colin Kaepernick, though this move has to be considered a downgrade from an offensive/quarterback standpoint since the 49ers are typically run-heavy and Joe Flacco is pretty adept at putting touch on the deep ball. Throwing with touch is not one of Kaepernick's strengths.