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Contract Speculation: Cincinnati Bengals

Contract Speculation: Cincinnati Bengals

By: Matt “TheJerk” Morrison (@DynastyJerk)

Hello all and welcome back.  Free agent news has slowed as we move further away from free agency’s opening.  This was expected and happens each year, but one of my top free agents just signed last week.  His name is James Conner.  I spoke about Conner at length two weeks ago in my Steelers’ article.  I’m not going to belabor the point, but his new contract is worth talking about.  Let’s get to it…

The News

Marquise Goodwin

Goodwin signed with the Chicago Bears last week.  Details about his contract are not released yet, but it’s safe to assume he will be close to the league minimum.  I can’t imagine he would make over $1 million for 2021.  If you remember, Goodwin opted out for the 2020 season due to COVID reasons.  The fact that he is only owned in 4% of leagues is partly due to that fact, but don’t expect his DO ownership to rise above 10%.

Ito Smith

The Falcons released Ito Smith on Thursday.  This move comes after Atlanta signed veteran running back Mike Davis.  The move is bittersweet for me personally as I own both Davis and Smith in my BETA league.  This should give a slight bump to Davis, but I can nearly guarantee Atlanta will look to add an early round running back in the upcoming draft.  Speaking of adding running backs, they signed our next player to a deal as well.

Cordarrelle Patterson

Patterson has been signed by the Falcons.  He signed a single year deal worth 3 million dollars.  I honestly don’t know what this is going to mean for the Atlanta weapons.  My gut tells me that I shouldn’t put too much stock into it.  After all, Patterson is 30 years old and has yet to manage 470 receiving yards in any season.  You might say, “well maybe they will use him as a running back,” and I would agree.  I actually think it’s likely that he will have over 30 rushing attempts in 2021, but the point is that it probably won’t be enough to matter for his personal outlook.  Yes, all of his touches will take away from Davis, Ridley, Jones, and whichever offensive weapons ATL drafts, but I wouldn’t let it concern you.  As far as Patterson goes, I would stay away.  He is 3% owned and has massively disappointed for his first round draft capital.  In fact, this leads into a trivia question…

***In 2013, three wide receivers were taken in the first round.  One was Patterson, one has been massively successful and the other has been an extreme bust.  Name the other two receivers.

Julian Edelman

Edelman, at age 34, has decided to retire from professional football.  He had missed 14 games over the past three seasons.  He is owned in 18% of DO leagues so be sure to drop him before the 7 day window for free drops ends.

James Conner

I spoke quite a bit about Conner in my Steelers’ article.  Here is an excerpt for those that may have missed it…

“…This is a long way of saying that Conner’s value will decrease substantially in 2021, and unless he finds a way to receive more touches and/or increase his production, he will be relegated to middle tier running back value.  So, what do we do with him?  We wait.  I currently own Conner in my BETA league, and I am fine holding him until a new place of employment is discovered.  He will still be on a lower end running back contract, but Dynasty Owners need to accept the fact that he will not return 2018 value ever again.”

When I wrote this article, I was running with the assumption that Conner would make around $5 million per year.  Well, Conner Owners can rejoice in the fact that he was signed by the Arizona Cardinals for 1 year – 1.75 million dollars.  I’m not sure if this was a shock to you, but it sure was for me.  This means that Conner will make less per year than Mike Boone, Carlos Hyde, Devontae Booker, and Andy Janovich (among many others).  While I understand that Conner is not a top tier running back (or maybe even a middle tier running back), but he is better than all of those players, and I believe he should have been compensated more fairly.  But in the end, it is what it is.  A player’s value is determined by what a team is willing to pay him, and obviously Conner was happy enough to sign the contract.

Regardless, Conner Owners will be able to retain him for roughly one million dollars more per year than his previous contract.  This is great value and is a 65% pay cut from what I expected.  If he can work his way into any type of significant role in Arizona, he will be a very solid bench running back at worse.  Hold him with confidence, or (if you feel brave) send out an offer or two for him.

Contract Speculation

Now let’s talk about some current and former Bengals players.

One player that I have already written about is A.J. Green.  Green signed a single year contract worth 6 million dollars with the Arizona Cardinals.  He says goodbye to the Bengals, the only team he has ever played for.

John Ross has also left the Bengals.  He will play with the New York Giants in 2021.  In his four year career, the speedster was unable to eclipse 28 receptions in any season.  He will pair up with Daniel Jones in 2021 and bring a vertical threat to the Giants offence.

Samaje Perine resigned with the Bengals on a two year deal.  He will make $1.65 million per year.  Perine hasn’t been able to show much of his potential over his four year career.  His highlight season was also his rookie season as he had career highs in rushing attempts (175), rushing yards (603), receptions (22) and receiving yards (182).  Perine will come into 2021 as Joe Mixon’s backup (as Giovani Bernard has signed with the Bucs).  However, there is good reason to believe that Cinci will look at running back during the 2021 draft.

The final player I want to talk about today is Brandon Allen.  Allen is not a big name, but he does have the potential to provide value in 2021, especially in the first half of the season.  Allen re-signed with the Bengals for 1 year – 1.5 million dollars.  This move not only locks up Allen as the probable backup quarterback, but it is also possible that he will be the Bengals starting quarterback to start the season.  If you remember, Joe Burrow tore his ACL and MCL in November.  This was a devastating injury for both Burrow and the Bengals.  It was also unclear whether the injury would linger into 2021.  I’m not a doctor, and I have no new info on Burrow’s knee, but it is not outside the realm of possibility that he will miss at least a few games to start the season.  I know that teams and players like to be optimistic about injuries, but sometimes that optimism can go too far.  I truly hope Burrow will be ready for the start of the season, but if he isn’t, it’s likely you’ll be able to play Allen on your bench.  He will not be a league winner, but he should still be owned in most DO leagues on the off chance that Burrow gets injured again.  I am rostering him in my BETA league, and I have no intention of dropping him.

***The two wide receivers that were drafted before Cordarrelle Patterson in the 2013 NFL Draft are Tavon Austin (1.08, Rams) and DeAndre Hopkins (1.27, Texans).  Talk about quite a difference in careers…

As always, thank you for reading and continuing to stay up to date on all Dynasty Owner news.  Please follow us on Twitter @Dynasty_Owner, and subscribe to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  We have only one more team to talk about in the AFC North and that is the Cleveland Browns.  They actually only had a single free agent that we need to talk about, and his contract has already been signed.  But we will get to that next week.  Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

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