Free Agency In Review (Day 2)
By Sigmund Bloom
July 28th, 2011

The biggest names at wide receiver and running back found homes today. Look for the rest of the dominos to fall at those positions now that the market has been set. We're waiting on two big quarterback trades before things wind up at the position, but Thursday could bring resolution.

Quarterback

Kolb to Arizona? - Most sources have the Kolb to Arizona close to done and probably consummated on Thursday. The Eagles website even had Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie merchandise listed for a short time. The reported price is DRC and a 2nd round pick, but whether Kolb would get a huge extension in the 20-30 million guaranteed range is disputed.

Fantasy Fallout: Welcome back, Larry Fitzgerald! He's a top 5 wide receiver with Kolb. Kolb is still nothing more than a low-end fantasy QB with no other proven weapons or running game to the heat off of him. Look for the Eagles to sign Vince Young to backup Michael Vick, making Young an instant fantasy starter if Vick misses time this year.


Hasselbeck to Tennessee - A storied stay in Seattle is over for Hasselbeck as he'll be the bridge to another QB who captured imaginations in the pacific northwest, Jake Locker. The Titans signed Hasselbeck, prompting at least a few talking heads to predict that the Titans will win the AFC South this season.

Fantasy Fallout: Hasselbeck is still just a mid-to-low value backup fantasy QB, but he will preserve or even boost the value of Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, Damian Williams, and Chris Johnson (that is, if Johnson ever shows up to camp). Seattle is contending with Washington for the worst QB situation in the league.


Orton to Miami? - There were many reports that Denver and Miami were working on a deal to send Orton to South Florida. Orton's 2011 compensation and the draft pick the Dolphins would give up could be sticking points, but this deal is much more likely to go through than it is to stall out, especially once Kolb goes to Arizona.

Fantasy Fallout: Orton, like Kolb and Hasselbeck, is nothing to get excited about, but he will keep Brandon Marshall happy and in that 100 catch zone.


McNabb to Minnesota - Donovan McNabb is a Viking after all, for the low low price of a sixth-round pick, and potentially a second sixth-round pick depending on McNabb's 2011 performance.

Fantasy Fallout: Percy Harvin is looking great in PPR leagues this year. McNabb could be worth picking up at some point this year because defenses should be pre-occupied with Adrian Peterson.


Matt Leinart stays in Houston: Instead of going to Seattle or Washington, where he would have had a chance to start, Leinart stayed in Houston, with established starter Matt Schaub, saying that he thought he had the best chance to start there. Really.


Kellen Clemens signs in Washington: Making the final tally at quarterback: John Beck, Rex Grossman, and Kellen Clemens. Perhaps the Dolphins and Jets really did give up on their second-round pick QBs too quickly, but its probably more likely that Mike Shanahan has lost his mind.


Tyler Thigpen signs in Buffalo: For some inexplicable reason, the Vikings were interested in Thigpen as a potential starter until McNabb become available for a low draft pick cost. It makes more sense for Thigpen to be reunited with Chan Gailey, who oversaw his mini-breakout with the Chiefs in 2008. If Thigpen gets a chance to start again this year, they might work their magic again, at least for a few games.


Bruce Gradkowski signs in Cincinnati: The Bengals have their fallback plan if Andy Dalton isn't ready to go for week 1. Gradkowski worked with Jay Gruden when he was on his brother's staff in Tampa Bay, so he should be able to get up to speed quickly. Gradkowski saved some of the value of his targets in Atlanta, so AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham are both made a little safer picks with this move.

Running Back

DeAngelo Williams stays in Carolina: Williams signed a five-year, 43 million dollar deal with 21 million guaranteed. Did the Panthers forget that Williams is 28 and he finished each of the last two seasons on injured reserve? The Broncos were in it down to the very end, but they couldn't top the offer from Jerry "Deep Pockets" Richardson.

Fantasy Fallout: Jonathan Stewart stays in a holding pattern as an upside RB3 that goes in the 5th or 6th round at the highest. Williams is a mid-to-low RB2 who should go in the fourth round. Mike Goodson's value evaporates for now, but he was behind these two backs when last season kicked off, and he still had good value during a very important part of the fantasy season. Knowshon Moreno owners are giddy as the reprieve he got is a great bounce in his value, although the team isn't going to sit still in free agency as the second wave of RBs is about to be let loose.


Giants alone in pursuit of Ahmad Bradshaw: The Dolphins apparently dropped out because Bradshaw's price went too high, even though earlier in the day they had been anointed as favorites to land Bradshaw by Jason La Canfora of NFL Network. Expect to hear that Bradshaw has re-signed with the Giants very soon after they made an offer to him today. It is possible that a third team gets into the mix (Cincinnati?), but there are no strong signs that that will happen.

Fantasy Fallout: Brandon Jacobs missed a big leap in value and Daniel Thomas a big torpedo to his value. ESPN's John Clayton thinks that the Dolphins could try to bring back Ronnie Brown now that they aren't pursuing Bradshaw, which is mediocre destination for him, but Brown could also put a big dent in Thomas' value because of his experience with the team and offense.


Addai leaving Indy?: Beat writer Philip B Wilson said that it was looking doubtful that Joseph Addai would return to Indianapolis because of salary cap issues.

Fantasy Fallout: The Colts would have to sign a veteran to lead in the backfield as rookie Delone Carter won't be ready to have Peyton Manning's back (and neck) that quickly. This still increases the chances that we see Carter start at some point this year. The team doesn't trust Donald Brown, so don't think that this would him much. Dominic Rhodes could be brought back, but the team could also aim higher, such as for Ronnie Brown.


Frank Gore holdout: Frank Gore is holding out for a new contract. I would be asking for more money after seeing the contract fellow 28-year old DeAngelo Williams got today.

Fantasy Fallout: This makes it a little easier to break ties between Gore and guys like Steven Jackson and Matt Forte if this gets ugly and threatens to go into September. Historically, backs that hold out aren't quite themselves early in the season.


Wide Receiver

Sidney Rice to Seattle: The Seahawks signed Rice to a five-year, 41 million dollar deal with 18.5 million guaranteed. The fun history between the Vikings and Seahawks in free agency gets a new chapter, but no poison pills were used this time.

Fantasy Fallout: Rice's value takes a big hit even though he follows Tarvaris Jackson, who hit Rice ten times for 165 yards and two touchdowns during their two games together last year. Jackson also barely threw for 300 yards total in the two contests and threw it to the other team four times. Percy Harvin will be a clear #1 target in Minnesota for Donovan McNabb and Mike Williams becomes a second fiddle in Seattle. If the Seahawks can get any kind consistent play from a quarterback, they could have some fantasy relevance with two big sure-handed wide receivers to throw to.


Holmes to New York: Santonio Holmes signed a five-year, 50 million dollar deal with 24 million dollars guaranteed. A huge turnaround for a player who was traded for a fifth-round pick last year. This move was expected all offseason.

Fantasy Fallout: I'll keep beating the drum, Holmes is a potential WR1 that you can get after the 15+ wide receivers are off the board. Take advantage of the lag in the fantasy world to catch up to this reality.


Lance Moore stays in New Orleans: Lance Moore signed a five-year deal with the Saints. He suffered a torn labrum in his restricted free agent offseason last year, so it's good to see him get his big deal, even though it was delayed by a year.

Fantasy Fallout: Moore has been a quality WR2/WR3 in two of the last three years, and he should be on the forefront of the Saints passing attack again. He's a steal at his current 11th round ADP. Reserve a ninth or tenth round pick for him in leagues of all formats.


Steve Breaston signs in Kansas City: Steve Breaston signed a five-year deal with nine million dollars guaranteed to join up with the Chiefs. He is reunited with head coach Todd Haley, who was his offensive coordinator back in Arizona.

Fantasy Fallout: Breaston might be rosterable in deep leagues, but he won't surpass Dwayne Bowe in the pecking order and there's talk that he'll line up in the slot a lot even though he is getting starter money. Andre Roberts and Early Doucet will fight it out for the #2 job in Arizona if they don't sign anyone, but that role will be modest for fantasy and they are only relevant in very deep leagues.


Floyd second-place prize in Rice derby? : San Diego beat writer Kevin Acee thinks Malcom FLoyd will likely be signed by one of the teams that lost Sidney Rice (St Louis, Minnesota).

Fantasy Fallout: Floyd owners should root for the Rams to land him.


Edwards says Jets dont wan't him: After getting sentenced for his DWI, Braylon Edwards shared on Twitter that the Jets have not reciprocated his interest in free agency.

Fantasy Fallout: The market for Edwards has been cool, roughly drawing the same amount of interest as Malcom Floyd, who doesn't have Edwards pedigree or past production. The Jets were rumored to be interested in Randy Moss, but a few sources have denied that is true, leaving Jerricho Cotchery as the possible #2 there. There are no clear leads as to where Edwards will land, but his overall profile around the league seems to be lower than expected.


Pack will try to keep Jones? : The Packers may have been swayed by Aaron Rodgers going to bat for Jones, and they are trying to keep him, according to Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee. Jones has to still be mulling over the possibility of starting elsewhere and getting more money.

Fantasy Fallout: This could put a damper on Jordy Nelson's potential breakout season portended by his big Super Bowl performance.


In other news, Plaxico Burress is supposedly getting interest from his two former teams, the Giants and Steelers, and the Redskins added no fewer than three more veteran wide receivers - Donte Stallworth and Brandon Stokley via free agency, and Jabar Gaffney via trade from Denver for Jeremy Jarmon, further strengthening the case that Mike Shanahan has lost his mind.

Tight End

Lewis will hold out: News out of Jacksonville that Marcedes Lewis will indeed hold out after getting slapped with the franchise tag. He could drop of the top 10 tight ends in my rankings if this holdout lasts until week 3 of the preseason.

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