By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)
Hello Dynasty Owners and welcome to The Opening. Free Agency officially opened a couple of days ago. That means that in the time since last Friday, there have been an abundance of players who have been signed, re-signed, cut and traded. I’m not going to waste any time with an intro as we have a lot to talk about.
As I have been doing all off season, this article is going to be limited to players who I deem to be “rosterable” in Dynasty Owner leagues. This criteria is usually centered around the 50% ownership mark in Dynasty Owner, but I make exceptions one way or another sometimes. There are some players who I already talked about last week, and I will not repeat them today. Go and read last week’s article if you want a breakdown of the activity from last week that is not mentioned here.
Signings, Trades and Releases
Amari Cooper (Traded to Cleveland for a 5th round value)
I’m not surprised that a Cowboys player got traded, and I’m not even really shocked that it was Cooper, but I am surprised by the compensation. Cooper and a 2022 6th were traded to the Browns for a 2022 5th and 2022 6th. A 5th round value is much less than I expected Cooper to go for even though he is an aging wide receiver. I can’t expect anyone will be more optimistic about Cooper this year than they were last year. He’s not an Amnesty Provision candidate yet, but I could see him heading that way throughout the 2022 season.
Jakobi Meyers (Tendered by New England at 1 year – $3,986,000)
Jakobi Meyers was one of my most rostered players in Dynasty Owner last season. He wasn’t a player who lit up the box scores with fantasy goodness, but he was a very good value. Any above average wide receiver who makes less than $1,000,00 per year will usually be a good value. The Patriots have placed a tender on Meyers, and he will make nearly 4 million dollars in 2022. Obviously don’t expect the same efficiency from Meyers, but he will still be a hold for me.
Michael Gallup (Signed with Dallas at 5 years – $57,500,000)
Several weeks ago, I predicted that Gallup would make roughly 12 million dollars per year on his next contract. That ended up being nearly spot on. The final numbers work out to be 11.5 million dollars per year for the next five years. He goes from one of the biggest values in all of football to a middle-tier wide receiver value. While he should still be rostered in the majority of Dynasty Owner leagues, I also realize that a lot of Dynasty Owners who rostered him will not be able to afford this new contract. Do what you have to do, but I would be trying to hold Gallup myself. Gallup ranked 8th on my list of free agents who I was most excited about. We can officially cross him off the list.
Chase Edmonds (Signed with Miami at 2 years – $12,100,000)
I had a hard time containing my excitement when I heard that Edmonds was signing with the Dolphins. Selfishly, this had nothing to do with Edmonds, but I’ll get to that with the next player breakdown. As for Edmonds, he should immediately become the first string running back for the Dolphins. He also immediately becomes the most talented back on the team. This move essentially buries Duke Johnson and Phillip Lindsay on the depth chart, assuming they both are re-signed as well. The fact that Edmonds was signed makes me think that neither Johnson nor Lindsay will sign with Miami. After all, Myles Gaskin is still there, and he is a more than capable backup to Edmonds.
James Conner (Signed with Arizona at 3 years – $21,000,000)
Boy was I excited to hear this news. Not only does Conner re-sign with the team he scored 15 rushing touchdowns with the previous year, but he does so without the return of his teammate, Chase Edmonds. This, seemingly, puts Conner in line for an even bigger workload than he had in 2021. I can’t expect the touchdowns to increase, but I’m hopeful that his receptions will. This is about the best case scenario I could have imagined for both Conner and the Dynasty Owners with Conner on their roster. Scratch my #1 free agent off the list.
Jarvis Landry (Released from Cleveland)
Jarvis Landry has been released by the Cleveland Browns. This move came on the heels of Amari Cooper being traded to the Browns. There’s not much to speculate on for Landry. I’ll reserve my judgment on him until he signs with a new team (which I think will happen).
Zach Ertz (Signed with Arizona at 3 years – $31,650,000)
ach Ertz is the second large Cardinals’ free agent signing of this article. Ertz is poised to be a Top 5 tight end once again. Dynasty Owners who rostered him last year will not have to increase their cap expectations by much. At only $10,550,000, he costs less than a franchise tagged tight end (Mike Gesicki, David Njoku, Dalton Schultz). That’s kind of an odd occurrence, but it’s also sometimes better to give yourself a longer contract than just a single year.
D’Ernest Johnson (Tendered by Cleveland at 1 year – $2,443,000)
Here is one of those unique situations where a restricted free agent is offered a transition tag. Let me explain what this means…
D’Ernest Johnson has only accrued three years of service in the NFL. Because of that the Browns are able to offer him a conditional tender. If any other team gives him a better offer, the Browns are allowed to match this offer or refuse the tender. Essentially Johnson has very few choices and that was reflected in his tender of 1 year – $2,443,000. After this season, Johnson will be an unrestricted free agent, and he will have the full freedoms that come with it. Expect Johnson to be an extremely capable third string running back this season.
Mitchell Trubisky (Signed by Pittsburgh at 2 years – $14,200,000)
Here is a signing that I am surprisingly optimistic about. Of course, there are numerous ways that this could go wrong for Mitchell, but I prefer to be hopeful. Trubisky is far and away better than the other possible options for Pittsburgh this season. He won’t be a MVP contender. He probably won’t lead the league in any statistic. Here is what I think he will be…
Better than Ben Roethlisberger.
That’s right, I’m saying that Trubisky will overall be a better real life and fantasy quarterback than Ben was in 2021. Odds are that this signing will only be a single year bridge until Pittsburgh can find their “quarterback of the future”.
Christian Kirk (Signed by Jacksonville at 4 years – $72,000,000)
This signing received the biggest amount of backlash on Twitter (at least that I saw). I had Kirk projected at 8 million dollars per year and possibly up to 10 million per year. What I didn’t expect was a Top 10 wide receiver contract. Don’t get me wrong, I like Kirk as a player, but there is no way that I can see anyone rostering him with an 18 million dollar cap hit. He will be one of the most dropped players over the next few weeks, and I don’t blame any Dynasty Owner for doing that. He has the talent and opportunity to be a Top 20 wide receiver, but with his salary, he would need to break into the Top 5 for the value to be there. Pass on Kirk…
D.J. Chark (Signed by Detroit at 1 year – $10,000,000)
D.J. Chark signed a single year contract with the Detroit Lions. I don’t hate the signing or the dollar amount. I had him slotted at $11,000,000 per year, and that ended up being pretty spot on. Chark should immediately step into the WR1 spot for the Lions. I can’t promise that spot will be very valuable, but I would hold Chark for now if I currently had him on my Dynasty Owner roster.
J.D. McKissic (Committed to Buffalo at 2 years – $7,000,000)
(Changed his mind and signed with Washington at 2 years – $7,000,000)
News broke that McKissic intended to sign with the Buffalo Bills. Less than a day later, it was reported that he had changed his mind and would now remain with the Commanders for the 2022 season at least. The deal is 2 years – $7,000,000, and we will continue to see McKissic taking valuable touches away from Antonio Gibson.
James White (Signed by New England at 2 years – $5,000,000)
James White will return to the only NFL team that he has ever played for. Barring another catastrophic injury, White will once again be the most reliable check down running back for the Patriots.
Russell Gage (Signed by Tampa Bay at 3 years – $30,000,000)
I believed that Gage had the potential to be a top wide receiver free agent for quite a few teams. I can’t think of a better landing spot for Gage than Tampa Bay. He will get to work with the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history. Yes, he will be the third wide receiver for the Buccaneers on the depth chart, but we have seen that can still be a valuable position in Dynasty Owner.
Chris Godwin (Signed by Tampa Bay at 3 years – $60,000,000)
Godwin had previously been offered a franchise tag by the Buccaneers. This was offered exactly eight days before this long term deal was worked out. I had projected that this franchise tag was just a placeholder until a new deal could be worked out. In all, Godwin’s salary barely increases per year. Dynasty Owners should be prepared to pay 20 million dollars for him in 2022.
Allen Robinson (Signed by Los Angeles Rams at 3 years – $46,500,000)
The 28-year old pass catcher has finally found his new team. He also has found the most talented team he has ever played for. At this point, the Rams are starting to seem like an embarrassment of riches. This has to be good for Robinson, but I don’t see how he could be a high volume receiver with Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and possibly Odell Beckham, Jr. still on the team.
Davante Adams (Traded to Raiders and signed at 5 years – $141,250,000)
I was just about ready to call it a week with this article, but then news of Adams being traded to the Raiders broke Thursday night. This works out to be over 28 million dollars per year, and it makes Adams the highest-paid non quarterback player in the NFL. Adams will still be rostered in the majority of Dynasty Owner leagues, but I cannot say the same for his teammate Aaron Rodgers. This move by Adams makes dropping Rodgers one of the easiest decisions you could make.
There are several free agents who deserve to be talked about and mentioned here, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need a full breakdown. These are those players. I call them…Quick Hitters.
Signed by New York Jets at 3 years – $24,000,000
Signed by Miami at 1 year – $6,500,000
Signed by Miami at 3 years – $22,050,000
Signed by Indianapolis at 3 years – $17,550,000
Signed by Jacksonville at 1 year – $9,000,000
Signed by Chicago at 1 year – $6,000,000
I can almost guarantee you that I missed someone in this article. If you noticed that I missed someone egregious, let me know on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and I’ll talk about them in the next article. This was a lengthy article, but it was also a necessary one. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Hopefully we have just as much to talk about next week. Until then, take care and be safe.