By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)
It’s time to review more new contracts! Just one week and one article and video weren’t enough to cover all of the new contracts, signings and re-signings so far in the 2021 NFL and Dynasty Owner league year. If you missed the first article and video highlighting the contracts signed before and during the 2020 season plus those after the season ended and in the first few days of free agency, then go here to read the article (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/03/new-contracts-for-the-2021-dynasty-owner-season/) and here to see the video ((185) New Contracts for the 2021 Dynasty Owner Season | Dynasty Fantasy Football – YouTube).
In addition to more new contracts, we have a new deadline on when Dynasty Owners need to deal with those contract changes. If you haven’t done so already with the initial set of contract updates, you still have time as Dynasty Owners now have until March 31st to fit the roster under the $127.75 million salary cap for the 2021 Dynasty Owner season.
It was a lot to process last week and with more contracts still being signed, it remains so now. If you rested after the first couple of days of free agency and haven’t been following all of the new signings, then it’s time to catch up. March 31st will be here before you know it.
All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth 1 point for every 40 yards.
All statistics and position ranking data listed are from the 2020 Dynasty Owner season. Updated 2021 salaries are currently posted on the Dynasty Owner website based on data from Spotrac (www.spotrac.com). All contract ranking data were accurate as of the morning of March 26th and taken from Spotrac using their Average Salaries ranking page (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/), then sorted by position.
Kenny and the Rest
In the early days of the 2021 NFL free agency season, we saw several multi-year, double-digit million dollar per year salaries being handed out to WRs and TEs, such as Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel and Nelson Agholor. After those guys signed, the big money stopped pretty much stopping flowing, except for one big name WR who signed a contract that is far different than the contracts signed by pretty much everyone else in the past few days. It’s like Kenny Golladay signed the Lamborghini deal, a few TEs got the Chevrolet deal, and the rest are fighting over whatever is left among the used cars.
- Kenny Golladay (WR – NYG) – $18 million: His contract pretty much overshadows every other contract signed this off-season by a WR or TE. Jonnu Smith got 4 years, but “only” $50 million. Allen Robinson and Chris Godwin got franchise tag deals, but even those are for less money ($17.88 million for Robinson and $15.98 million for Godwin) and are only one year deals. Only Trent Williams (OT – SF) got more years and more money per season, while both Bud Dupree (OLB – TEN) and Joe Thuney (OG – KC) signed for one extra year and more total money, but less on a per year basis than Golladay did. With the $17.2 million increase in salary from 2020, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to his ownership level on March 31st.
- Kyle Rudolph (TE – NYG) – $6 million: Golladay won’t be the only new guy catching passes for the Giants as they also signed Kyle Rudolph to a 2-year, $12 million contract. He was the #40 ranked TE in Dynasty Owner last year with the Vikings when he made $9 million in salary. While this contract is $3 million less, this new deal pretty much guarantees that Rudolph won’t be owned in Dynasty Owner for the second consecutive season.
- Marcedes Lewis (TE – GB) – $4 million: Lewis is owned in only 1% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now. It’s unclear if those Dynasty Owners with him on their team will keep him now that the almost 37-year old veteran will be making $1.75 million more in 2021 than he did in 2020 ($2.25 million). If so, hopefully they can find a replacement who will score more than the 38.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points that Lewis did last season.
- Chris Manhertz (TE – JAX) – $3.325 million: Another member of the unowned in Dynasty Owner club is new Jacksonville TE Chris Manhertz. Not surprising since he only scored 11.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for the entire 2020 season. He wasn’t drafted in 2020 with a $1.15 million salary playing for Carolina and it’s doubtful that he’ll be owned in 2021 when his salary nearly triples to $3.325 million.
- Dan Arnold (TE – CAR) – $3 million: Arnold is another TE who was actually able to sign a multi-year deal as he got a 2-year, $6 million contract to move from Arizona to Carolina. His new $3 million salary is almost five times what he earned in 2020 ($615,000). He was the #23 ranked TE in Dynasty Owner and provided good value for his Dynasty Owners last season. The same performance in 2021 would be in line with his ranking as the 29th highest paid NFL TE.
One and Done
Even though it’s NCAA tournament season, we’re not talking about freshman who play one year in college and then go off to the NBA. Nope, we’re talking about all of the WRs and TEs who signed one year contracts. There’s a lot of them, so we’ll only cover some and break them up into three categories. First, we’ve got the three guys who signed with a new team for more than they made in 2020:
- Will Fuller (WR – MIA) – $10.625 million: Despite failing a PED test and having to miss the final five games of the 2020 season, Fuller will be getting paid nearly $8.1 million more in 2021 than he did in 2020 ($2.54 million). Because of the suspension, he still has to miss the 2021 season opener so don’t pencil him into your Week 1 Dynasty Owner lineup.
- Gerald Everett (TE – SEA) – $6 million: Everett stays on the West Coast, but moves from north from Los Angeles to Seattle on a 1-year, $6 million deal. He was the #24 ranked TE in Dynasty Owner in 2020 when his salary was only a little over $1.5 million. The nearly $4.5 million increase is a nice one for the 26-year old who played his college football at South Alabama.
- Keelan Cole (WR – NYJ) – $5.5 million: Cole moves to New York to join Corey Davis and Jamison Crowder on the Jets. He got a salary increase and will earn $2.24 million more in 2021 than he did in 2020. He is still available in a majority (55%) of Dynasty Owner leagues.
The next group of players are those who signed with a new team as free agents, but took a pay cut to go along with their one-year contract.
- A.J. Green (WR – ARI) – $6 million: Easily the largest pay cut in this group as Green will now earn $6 million in Arizona after costing his Dynasty Owners $17.97 million in salary in 2020 while playing for Cincinnati. He was drafted in 81% of Dynasty Owner leagues in 2020, but his ownership is now down to 57% after playing in all 16 games, but finishing with only 111.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (6.96 points per game).
- Jared Cook (TE – LAC) – $6 million: Cook is also going to make $6 million in 2021, but his salary is only $1.5 million less than it was for New Orleans last season. He’s going to replace Hunter Henry in the Chargers offense and catch passes from Justin Herbert now instead of Drew Brees.
- DeSean Jackson (WR – LAR) – $4.5 million: Jackson’s salary will be $4.8 million lower than it was in 2020 when he made $9.3 million for Philadelphia. He only played in five games for the Eagles last season after appearing in just three games in 2019. Injuries plus his salary are probably why he’s owned in a mere 9% of Dynasty Owner leagues currently.
- Breshad Perriman (WR – DET) – $2.5 million: Perriman is on his fifth team in just his sixth NFL season. This year, he’ll suit up for the Detroit Lions who gave him a one year, $2.5 million contract to replace Kenny Golladay. He might be replacing Marvin Jones as well since there aren’t a lot of quality WRs in Detroit right now. Either way, his Lions’ contract is $4 million less than he made last year for the Jets.
The final group is two WRs who re-signed with their current team and took $8 million in salary for the 2021 season. They are now tied for the honor of being the 29th highest paid WR in the NFL. For one player, that’s an increase in salary, while it’s a decrease for the other one.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – PIT) – $8 million: JuJu is the one with the salary increase, from just under $1.05 million in 2020. The Steelers brought him back presumably for one final go-around with Ben Roethlisberger at QB, but he’ll compete with Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool for receptions again in 2021.
- T.Y. Hilton (WR – IND) – $8 million: There are some similarities and some differences between Hilton and Smith-Schuster. Both will be competing with a pair of young WRs (Michael Pittman and Parris Campbell for Indianapolis) for receptions and earning $8 million per year. However, Hilton will have his fourth new starting QB (Carson Wentz) in four years and make $5 million less than he did in 2020.
There are plenty of other WRs and TEs who signed new contracts, but are not listed here, such as DeMarcus Robinson, Chris Conley, Isaiah McKenzie, Jacob Hollister and Tyler Kroft. A few others have signed with new teams, such as Adam Humphries with the Football Team and Josh Reynolds with Tennessee, but their new salaries aren’t available yet.
A Six Pack of Running Backs
Nearly all of the RB excitement came before the start of the 2020 season with the re-signings of Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry and Joe Mixon to multi-year contracts worth $12 million or more per season. Aaron Jones signed his 4-year, $48 million contract ($12 million per season) just before free agency started. Since then, only one player signed a contract worth a total of over $10 million (Kenyan Drake for $11 million over two years with Las Vegas). We finally have another signing for over $10 million, a two-year deal for Chris Carson to return to Seattle. However, most of the RB deals at this stage are, not surprisingly, one year deals.
- Chris Carson (RB – SEA) – $5.21 million: While it seems like most of the new salaries are nice round numbers, Carson’s salary for Dynasty Owner purposes is $5,212,500. This is an increase of almost $4.6 million from last season. His new salary makes him now the 14th highest paid RB in the NFL. Pretty close to his #20 ranking among RBs in Dynasty Owner in 2020.
- Phillip Lindsay (RB – HOU) – $3.25 million: Lindsay signed with Houston after a couple days of contract limbo. First, Denver indicated that they were going to resign him and tendered an offer to him as a Restricted Free Agent, but two days later, they changed their minds, by rescinding their tender offer and allowing him to become an Unrestricted Free Agent. All that means for Dynasty Owners is that they need to have $2.675 million in salary cap room to keep Lindsay on their rosters.
- Mike Davis (RB – ATL) – $2.75 million: Surprisingly, Davis had to take a very modest $250,000 pay cut from the $3 million he made with Carolina in 2020 to sign with Atlanta. He did get a two-year contract, but after the way he filled in for an injured Christian McCaffrey and finished as the #12 RB in Dynasty Owner, it was surprising that he didn’t get better offers than the 2-year deal he signed with the Falcons.
- Damien Williams (RB – CHI) – $2.55 million: The “should have been MVP of Super Bowl LIV” opt-ed out of the 2020 season. After sitting out, he was released by Kansas City and signed by Chicago. Dynasty Owners who kept Williams on their roster for the 2020 season will have to pay him $2.4 million more in 2021 than the $150,000 opt-out salary they did last year.
- James White (RB –NE) – $2.5 million: Another “should have been Super Bowl MVP” also got a new contract in the past few days. Unlike Williams who switched teams, White stays with New England on a one-year, $2.5 million contract. The new contract will save his Dynasty Owners $1.5 million from last year.
- Tevin Coleman (RB – NYJ) – $2 million: Coleman moves from San Francisco to the Jets to play for former 49ers Defensive Coordinator and now new Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh. After earning $4.25 million in 2020, Coleman will now be paid less than half as much, just $2 million in 2021. He is rostered in 77% of Dynasty Owner leagues now after being drafted in 100% of leagues in 2020.
Few New Quarterback Signings
Just like RBs, all of the big QB news occurred either before the 2020 season when Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson signed their new contracts or before free agency started last week. That’s when Dak Prescott signed his new contract. After that, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andy Dalton signed $10 million deals and a few backup QBs got new deals with new teams (Mitchell Trubisky, Jacoby Brissett and Mike Glennon).
In the past few days, there has been little in the way of QB signings with the Raiders restructuring Marcus Mariota’s old deal and giving him a new one year contract being the biggest news. All of the recent QB deals are as follows:
- Marcus Mariota (QB – LV) – $3.5 million: After speculation that he might be traded to Washington or somewhere else to be a starter (or at least compete to be the starter), Mariota restructured his contract to stay in Las Vegas as Derek Carr’s backup. His new contract is a 1 year, $3.5 million deal which saved his Dynasty Owners $5.3 million in salary cap space. He’s only owned in 37% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now if you have salary cap room and need another backup QB.
- Joe Flacco (QB – PHI) – $3.5 million: So, let me get this straight. Flacco starts four games for the Jets in 2020, completes only 55% of his passes, scores a measly total of 71.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and gets $2 million more in salary to go to Philadelphia to back up Jalen Hurts. I’m sorry, but this doesn’t make any sense. As does the fact that Flacco is still on Dynasty Owner rosters in 24% of leagues.
- C.J. Beathard (QB – JAX) – $2.5 million: Some people feel this signing foreshadows the Jaguars trading away Gardner Minshew and his $677,721 contract that has two years remaining (Jaguars add C.J. Beathard to quarterback mix, raising more questions regarding Gardner Minshew’s future – CBSSports.com). For Beathard, this is an increase of over $1.6 million from his previous contract with San Francisco.
The Three Kickers
As usual, we’ll close with the kicker position. After quite a few kicker signings right after free agency started, things also cooled down for everyone’s favorite players on their Dynasty Owner roster. Dynasty Owners may have missed these signings while trying to rejigger their rosters for the 2021 season. After that’s done, some Dynasty Owners might want to go out and grab two of the guys on this list while reassessing if the first one is worth his salary now.
- Brandon McManus (K – DEN) – $4.3 million: Missed this one in the first recap as his new 4 year, $17.2 million contract was signed back in September of 2020. Even though he kicks in the high altitude of Denver, McManus was only the #15 ranked kicker in Dynasty Owner in 2020 at his salary of just over $3.75 million. Now, he’s tied with Mason Crosby as the fifth most expensive kicker at $4.3 million per year. That’s going to cost his Dynasty Owner almost $550,000 more in 2021. The news from last Friday that his contract was being restructured won’t impact his salary for Dynasty Owner purposes. Sorry to those of you who were hoping that it would and wanted the salary cap savings.
- Randy Bullock (K – DET) – $1.75 million: Bullock is taking a bit of a pay cut by signing a one year deal with Detroit for $1.75 million. Last season, he cost his Dynasty Owners just over $2.1 million in salary while kicking for 12 games for the Bengals before getting benched.
- Cody Parkey (K – CLE) – $1.2 million: His new one year contract is actually for $1,212,500, but hopefully the extra $12,500 isn’t killing the salary cap for his Dynasty Owners. Parkey is owned in 96% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now, so don’t go looking for his inexpensive contract in the Free Agent Auction.
In other kicker news, Justin Rohrwasser, who was one of the most highly drafted kickers in Dynasty Owner last year, was released by New England. He was drafted in every Dynasty Owner league in 2020 at an ADP of 180.4, which was the fifth lowest. He’s still owned in 34% of leagues now because of his salary cap hit of only $660,000.
NFL free agency continues on, but the pace of signings is slowing down. However, the clock is ticking for Dynasty Owners who now have less than a week to get their rosters under the $127.75 million salary cap. Between this article and last week’s one, we’ve reviewed over 50 different players with new contracts that take effect for the 2021 Dynasty Owner season. Many were big news and discussed on TV, radio, Twitter and everywhere in between, while others didn’t make big news. Regardless of how much attention these new contracts received, they all take effect now and impact your ability to manage the $127.75 million salary cap for 2021.
Both of my Dynasty Owner teams are now cap compliant, but it took some work to get there. How’s your Dynasty Owner team doing with all of the new contracts? Did you survive the first week of free agency only to have one of the contracts from this week send you over the salary cap? Or did one of the player signings free up some cap space for your Dynasty Owner team? Let everyone know how your salary cap is looking by reaching out to me on Twitter (@SteveVT33) or post what your updated 2021 salary cap figure is in the comment section of the video on YouTube.
The importance of these new contracts and in an attempt to try and help all Dynasty Owners get ready for the 2021 season meant a two week hiatus from my usual Friday off-season articles and videos on getting you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team. Those will be back next week.
In addition to my articles and videos, keep an eye out for new articles and videos from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owners writers as well. On Mondays, Nate Christian (@NateNFL) will break down rookies in his Prospect Preview. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is back for another year and will do a deep dive into individual team contracts on Wednesdays. Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL) has his articles and videos on how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster on Thursdays. Read all of their articles, watch and like all of their videos on YouTube (and all of the other available formats, such as Spotify) and follow the four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter.
Thanks to everyone for following, reading and watching! Good luck getting your teams under the $127.75 million salary cap without too many painful cuts.