(Speculative) Rob Gronkowski
By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)
Hello all. Welcome to another Free Agent Friday. In keeping with the name of this series, today I will be talking about a player who has not yet signed a new contract. Rob Gronkowski is on the docket for today. I know that he has not signed with any team yet, but today we are going to pretend that he has or will sign one soon. First, let’s see if there has been any breaking news in the past week.
I want to mention that there are a great number of transactions occurring in the NFL each day. Most of these are from teams signing newly drafted players. Although these signings may seem like a given, there are many players who get drafted each year but get cut prior to the regular season.
Jarvis Landry (Signed by New Orleans at 1 year – $3,000,000)
Jarvis Landry has signed with the New Orleans Saints. I actually like this landing spot, and I like the salary even better. He will join the Saints, and he will be the assumed WR2 at least until Chris Olave gets up to speed. I like this move a lot for the following reasons.
First, we don’t know what is happening with the Michael Thomas situation. We hear that he should be fully healthy and ready for the start of the 2022 season. While I think that is likely, I’m also not willing to bet on it. Thomas has only played in seven regular season games in the past two seasons. It’s well known that he was unhappy with his situation in New Orleans. There is a non-zero percent chance that he misses a good chunk of the 2022 season due to injury or a hold out. The simple summary is that we just don’t know. There are a lot of variables, and I think Landry’s signing is a very solid depth move for the Saints.
Second, we also know how it’s normal for rookie wide receivers to take a little more time adjusting to the NFL when compared to running backs. Obviously Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase are the most recent exceptions to this rule. There is a likelihood that Olave is the WR3 for the Saints for the majority or entirety of the upcoming season. Landry’s roster percentage in Dynasty Owner has gradually risen since the news of his signing with New Orleans. He is currently rostered in 91 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues, and I expect that number to continue rising.
Bryan Edwards (Traded from Las Vegas to Atlanta; $1,173,113 for 2 years)
Bryan Edwards has been traded from the Raiders to the Falcons. This is a pretty big trade in terms of draft capital. Edwards was drafted by the Raiders in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The 3rd round isn’t the highest draft capital for a receiver, but Edwards was a sleeper pick that year due to his physicality and his size. He will join the Falcons who are in desperate need of receivers. I won’t go so far to say that Edwards will make a big fantasy impact. What I will say is that I could see Edwards emerge as the WR2 for the Falcons. He is a player who I would be happy to roster.
New Contract Spotlight
Rob Gronkowski has yet to sign a new contract. Despite that fact, today I’m going to pretend that he will. I’m doing this for two reasons. First, I believe that he will return for at least one more season with Tom Brady. Second, I think there is virtually no chance that he signs with a team other than Tampa Bay. I truly believe that the only two choices Gronk is considering are retirement or re-signing with the Bucs. If we go with that theory, let’s look at a plausible contract he would sign.
|Player||Age||Status||Current Salary||Estimated Value|
The expectation is that if Gronk re-signs, he will make at least as much as his previous salary ($8,000,000). I anticipate that number will be a little closer to $10,000,000, but we are in the ballpark at $8,000,000.
Gronk finished as TE7 in 2021. We also know that he will be the tied for 15th highest paid tight end with Will Dissly and C.J. Uzomah if he were to make $8,000,000 per year. On paper, this seems like a decent value. I don’t want to say that it isn’t, but what I will say is that the lower we drop with tight ends, the more skewed the fantasy points get. I’ve explained this in the past, but let me give another quick example…
So, let’s say that you draft who you think will be the TE5 on the season. Presumably, this would mean he is the fifth tight end taken in a draft. You’re happy, right? Why shouldn’t you be? You have just drafted a player who (you think) will be better at the tight end position than the majority of what your league mates will draft. For the 2022 season, the TE5 is projected to be George Kittle. So, you draft Kittle and you’re happy right? Maybe, maybe not. Here’s why…
You have just drafted George Kittle in the 8th round. According to ADP (Average Draft Position), you have also just drafted him over players like Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Tua Tagovailoa, T.J. Hockenson and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Maybe you are fine with that decision. Here’s why I argue that you shouldn’t be. You are drafting Kittle with the assumption that you can get roughly 200 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (198.6 to be exact) from him. Did you know that nine rounds later you could draft Gronkowski and take a chance that he doesn’t retire? Gronk is projected to get only 33.2 fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points than Kittle. This isn’t even taking into account the salary difference between the two.
Okay, so you don’t want to take a chance on a player retiring. That’s fine. Then why not draft Hunter Henry who you can likely get 10 rounds later than Kittle. Henry is cheaper than Kittle and is projected to score only 39.5 fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points less than Kittle. I get it. Henry is not a sexy name, and he won’t win anyone a championship, but he is a solid tight end who would provide good Bench tight end numbers.
My point of this Spotlight was to show that Gronk can be a great value this year especially because he is being forgotten about in startup drafts. If Gronk was dropped in my league, I would be doing everything I could to pick him up. If he does indeed officially retire, you will be able to drop him for free.
As always, thank you for reading. Next week I am going to continue with the New Contract Spotlight series, but I will also be talking about my initial dynasty rankings. 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.