By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

The opening of NFL free agency is quickly approaching. The actual date is March 16 at 4 pm ET. We know that this date historically is the epicenter of major news and signings. I expect that this year will be no different. In addition to this date, there are several other important happenings around the NFL. As I did last year, allow me to give you some of the more important things that will be occurring over the next few months.

Franchise and Transition Tag Period:

February 22 – March 8

During this time, all teams must make a decision on whether or not they want to franchise, or transition tag a player. After this window has passed, we will know who has been “tagged” in any fashion.

NFL Scouting Combine:

March 1 – 7

The Scouting Combine was once one of my favorite events to watch when it comes to the NFL. COVID has taken a lot of that joy away because it’s not the consolidated, all-encompassing event that it once was. Many players opted out of the combine or participated in their hometowns with unofficial results. Thankfully, the NFL has relaxed some of the restrictions for this year, and it looks like it will be closer to a regular combine than the two years previously.

Free Agency Contact Begins:

March 14

There are strict rules in the NFL (like most sports) about how and when a player may be contacted about a possible contract. Up until this date, teams are prohibited from contacting free agents. Again, this may not mean much to us as Dynasty Owners other than the fact that we will probably be getting a heavy amount of rumors flying during this 48 hour period.

New NFL League Year and Free Agency Begins:

March 16

This is the date that all of us are waiting for…NFL free agency will open at 4 pm ET on March 16. Last year, we watched as free agents were signed very quickly. I anticipate this year will be the same. I will be sure to update you all every Friday with the newest info about all the free agents we have and will talk about in these articles.

These are all the events that are currently on my radar. It’s worth mentioning that the NFL Draft will take place from April 28 – 30.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Byron Pringle28UFA$2,133,000$4,000,000
Darrel Williams26UFA$1,600,000$3,000,000
Jerick McKinnon29UFA$990,000$1,500,000

The Chiefs have the majority of their offensive firepower returning for the 2022 season. Patrick Mahomes, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (CEH), Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will all be returning on the same contracts they had in 2021. Here are three lesser known players that played minor (but important) roles for the Chiefs in the past.

Byron Pringle actually had moderate success last season. He was quite inconsistent but did manage to have five games over 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. There is little room for additional playmakers for the Chiefs given that Hill and Kelce take so much of the production. Not only that, but it’s been hard to predict which secondary player will step up on any given day. I expect Pringle to resign with KC for roughly double his previous contract.

Speaking of inconsistent, Darrel Williams was just that in 2021. He filled in nicely for CEH when CEH missed five games in the middle of the season, but Williams’ upside is very much limited when Clyde is healthy and in the lineup. I don’t see any reason why Williams shouldn’t be re-signed, however. He will cost more than last year, but it’s a worthy price to pay for a very capable backup running back. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t expect him to be a high scoring running back for a 3 million dollar salary.

Jerick McKinnon is likely on his way out of Kansas City. He was largely a non-factor in 2021, and he is nearing age 30. Expect McKinnon to leave the Chiefs and possibly find his last contract as a backup running back for a team in need. If you want to continue to roster him, prepare for a one and a half million dollar salary per year.

Los Angeles Chargers

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Mike Williams27UFA$15,680,000$18,000,000
Jared Cook34UFA$4,500,000$5,000,000
Jalen Guyton24RFA$540,000$4,000,000

Mike Williams is one of the biggest free agents this off-season. He has been perennially undervalued, and it is mainly because of his injury history. Here at Dynasty Owner, an almost 16 million dollar salary is not great value when it comes to a WR2 and an inconsistent one at that. I like Williams to return to the Chargers in 2022 as it won’t cost much more to sign him. I think his going rate will be around 18 million dollars per year.

Jared Cook is a player who I feel like I talk about every off-season. He is likely to find another new home in 2022. While retirement may be a long shot this close to free agency, I think it’s still possible. He is 34 years old, but has shown the ability to be an above average tight end.

Jalen Guyton is a restricted free agent. All that means for our purposes is that he has less freedom when it comes to his free agency decisions. Guyton will be signed to a new contract, and I think it should be along the lines of 4 million dollars. However, it will likely be less as he has little leverage. 

Las Vegas Raiders

Well, this is a first. The Raiders have zero notable free agents this off-season. I won’t break down any players in full for this article, but here are a few players who may be worth keeping your eye on. However, none of these players are rostered in more than 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues.

  • Marcus Mariota
  • Jalen Richard
  • Zay Jones
  • DeSean Jackson
  • Payton Barber

Denver Broncos

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Melvin Gordon28UFA$8,000,000$6,000,000
Teddy Bridgewater29UFA$11,499,000$10,000,000

We have two hot free agents in Melvin Gordon and Teddy Bridgewater. I truly believe that Gordon has a lot left in his career and that he would be much better served in another offense.  It’s not that I don’t like Gordon. Quite the opposite. I think he could join at least five teams and become the starter on Day One. Instead, the issue is Javonte Williams. Williams, at this point in their careers, is a more explosive and better running back than Gordon. I think the Broncos have realized that, and I’m pretty sure Dynasty Owners have too. The hard truth is that it is logical for the Broncos to bring Gordon back in order to keep wear and tear off of Javonte. They were both very efficient in 2021, and there is no reason they can’t be in 2022 as well. This would obviously take fantasy production away from both players, but it would be the right “real football move” in my opinion. In the end, Gordon will command roughly $6,000,000 per year.

Teddy B is the final player I want to talk about today. He was the starter for the Broncos for the majority of the season, but I’m nearly positive that he isn’t the long term solution to their quarterback problems. That being said, he is an above average backup quarterback in the NFL, and he will be signed to a team at some point in this off-season. Expect him to receive something around 10 million dollars per year.

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

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