Skip to content

Free Agent Friday: NFC East

Free Agent Friday: NFC East

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Wild Card weekend has concluded, and we look forward to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. There was quite a bit of controversy this weekend. It’s actually the most I think I’ve seen since the 2019 NFC Championship Game between the Saints and Rams. That game involved the infamous no call on an egregious pass interference. Well, I think this week may have topped it with the sheer number of controversies.

First, we had the errant whistle in the Raiders/Bengals game. In case you missed it…A whistle was blown prior to a touchdown scoring play being completed. The refs (unprecedentedly) ruled that the touchdown would stand, and their explanation was that the play is unreviewable. That was seemingly the wrong decision as that referee crew will not enforce another game this postseason.

Second, we had the inexplicable finish to the 49ers/Cowboys game. The game ended with some combination of Mike McCarthy and Dak Prescott’s decision to run a QB draw with 14 seconds left and zero timeouts. The bulk of the controversy came from fans complaining that the refs were incompetent and/or “out of position” on that final play. I think the sole blame needs to be placed on the play call with zero blame on the refs. The referee in charge of spotting the ball looked like he was attempting to set the World Record 40 yard dash time as he came rushing into the offensive line. Not only did he hustle to the ball, he really didn’t even know where he was spotting the ball in an attempt to allow Dallas to spike the ball. Unfortunately, there was not enough time remaining for this to occur, but I don’t see how any blame should be put on the officiating crew.

The final thing I want to mention is more of an observation than a controversy, but the Los Angeles Rams absolutely embarrassed the Arizona Cardinals. There was poor play and poor play calling on the Arizona side. The Rams are a legitimate threat on offense and defense, and I look forward to watching a juicy Rams/Buccaneers matchup on Sunday. I can’t wait to recap those games, but for now, let’s talk about another free agent division.

NFC East

I’ll give you the same spiel that I gave in my first Free Agent article, and one that I will likely give in every article just as a reminder.

This will not be the only time I will talk about each of these players.  In all likelihood, I will talk about each of these players at least two more times before the start of the regular season.

Dallas Cowboys

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Cedrick Wilson26UFA$2,183,000$5,000,000
Michael Gallup25UFA$880,995$12,000,000
Dalton Schultz25UFA$728,090$12,500,000

The Cowboys have three notable offensive free agents this year. Two are wide receivers and one is a tight end. All three are unrestricted free agents (UFA) in line for a major pay increase. Let’s talk about them…

Cedrick Wilson is actually the oldest of these three players. He has filled in nicely over the second half of the regular season as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup both missed multiple games. I anticipate a 5 – 6 million dollar salary per year, and I also think it’s likely the Cowboys bring Wilson back. Due to the cap hit, I think it’s more likely Wilson returns than Michael Gallup.

Speaking of Gallup, he had a very disappointing and emotional ending to his season. He tore his left ACL in Week 17, and that immediately ended his 2021 season. At first, it seemed to look hopeful that Gallup could return for the start of next season. It was a clean tear and one that was hoped to not have a large impact on his 2022 season. Since then, the news has become a little more grim. As of 1/19/22, Gallup has not had his knee surgery, presumably, because of the inflammation from the initial injury. I can’t help but think that this injury will somewhat affect his upcoming contract. There is little doubt that he will make over $8,000,000 per year, but teams will likely be wary of offering a long term, big contract to a player who is not guaranteed to start the 2022 season. I’ll keep monitoring and let you know if anything changes.

Dalton Schultz was one of the greatest values in Dynasty Owner last year. He finished as the TE3 with less than a $730,000 salary. Schultz is on track to receive a Hunter Henry type contract (3 years – $37,500,000). I’m not sure he’ll receive a three year guarantee, but he should be right on track for $12,500,000 per year.

Philadelphia Eagles

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Boston Scott26RFA$920,000$2,000,000

Boston Scott is the lone Eagle player who we will talk about for this segment. Boston Scott is definitely not the biggest name this off-season, but he will still be an interesting add for a team looking for a backup/receiving back. My gut tells me that Scott will re-sign with the Eagles especially since he is a restricted free agent (RFA) and if it would only cost them $2,000,000.  He will likely never become the number one back in Philly, but he is still worth rostering in all Dynasty Owner leagues.

Washington Football Team

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Ryan Fitzpatrick39UFA$10,000,000$5,000,000
J.D. McKissic28UFA$1,635,000$3,500,000

First up for the Football Team is Ryan Fitzpatrick. There are so many different paths that Fitz’s career could take in the next six months. Retirement is an option. Re-signing with Washington is an option. Finding a new team as a starter or a backup is also on the table. I have yet to hear any news or intentions from Fitzpatrick himself, but this is what I suspect. I think he will stay active in the league. I don’t think Washington will re-sign him, but that he will sign as a backup quarterback for a team that needs one. He won’t get a $10,000,000 contract again. Instead, he should be right around a $5,000,000 deal. The tough part with this prediction is that there really is not much precedent for a contract like this. Think about quarterbacks like Fitz and Andy Dalton. A one-year, $10,000,000 contract seems to be the going rate for aging, capable backup quarterbacks. However, I see his recent injury history and nearly 40 year old age making it tough for a team to pay north of 6 million dollars.

Much more interesting is J.D. McKissic. McKissic is two years removed from leading the entire NFL in running back targets. In 2020, he had a league leading 110 targets.

Trivia question:  Who led all running backs in 2021 in terms of targets?

The answers are Najee Harris and Austin Ekeler with 94 targets.

Anyway, returning to McKissic…He should easily see another contract in his career. Yes, 28 is a little old for a running back, but he has relatively low wear on his body, and was very efficient with his opportunities in 2021. Expect a contract increase to around 3.5 million dollars.

New York Giants

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Evan Engram27UFA$6,013,000$6,000,000

The only Giant worth talking about today is Evan Engram. Engram will likely make the same amount of money that he made in his last contract, at least per year. Given his relatively poor offensive performances over the past two years, it’s unlikely he will earn more than $8,000,000 in any year. I have to think the Giants will move on from Engram.

Conclusion

I promise you that I will speak on each of these players (in detail) as the off-season rolls on. In addition, I will be bringing you breaking contract news every time an important contract changes.

If there is any player that you want me to spend more time talking about, just message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Take care everyone and be safe.

TheJerk

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email