Free Agency In Review (Day 3)
By Sigmund Bloom
July 29th, 2011

Nothing too big today, just Reggie Bush, Kevin Kolb, Albert Haynesworth, and Chad Ochocinco getting traded (hat tip to Gregg Rosenthal)


Kolb to Arizona: Kevin Kolb goes to Arizona and promptly gets a new five year, 63 million dollar contract with 21.5 million guaranteed. Arizona also gives up a second-round pick and starting CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. That they could get that for a QB with mixed performances on film with no other teams seriously interested is magic.

Fantasy Fallout: As previously discussed here, Larry Fitzgerald's value is restored to top 5 WR, and likely #2 Andre Roberts has deep sleeper potential. The morose Cardinals running game should also benefit as long as Kolb isn't a complete failure.

Orton takes #1 snaps in first day of camp: The Broncos are trying to call Miami's bluff by having Kyle Orton take first-team snaps as training camp opened in Dove Valley. Only problem is that we've already seen how far Orton can take the team, and it's not far. His huge cap number is also keeping the Broncos from being players in free agency. The Broncos have something to lose by stringing this out, and the Dolphins are the only team still looking to acquire Orton. If they keep Orton, they will likely turn the reins over to Tim Tebow at some point, and then they will have lost a draft pick and whatever free agent(s) they could have gotten with Orton's salary. Miami is having preliminary talks with Matt Moore as a backup plan to getting Orton in a bluff of their own.

Fantasy Fallout: Miami's pass offense wouldn't really lose much if Chad Henne is the starter, but Denver's would certainly pick up a little if Orton stays, especially Brandon Lloyd, who is going in the late fourth, or even fifth round.

Young to Philadelphia: With the Eagles needing a QB to back up Michael Vick, Young made complete sense for the team that helped Vick get his game back after a stint in prison. Young has to clear waivers, so expect this to become official on Friday.

Fantasy Fallout: Just as Vick ended up being maybe the waiver wire add of the year in 2010, Young could have great value off the wire if Vick misses time again this year.

Running Back

Reggie Bush to Miami: The Saints traded Reggie Bush to Miami for backup safety/special teamer Jon Amaya. Bush restructured his deal down to 2 years, 9.75 million with five million guaranteed.

Fantasy Fallout: Bush is bench fodder with flex potential in PPR leagues, but that's about it. Daniel Thomas value as a low-end RB2 in the fifth round or so is preserved as the Dolphins did not get Ahmad Bradshaw as rumored earlier this week. The Saints backfield is basically unchanged because...

Darren Sproles to New Orleans: The Saints signed Darren Sproles to a four year, 14 million dollar deal with six million guaranteed. That is more than they paid Pierre Thomas earlier in the offseason. He'll assume the Bush role in the Saints offense. We also learned that Chris Ivory's lis franc injury has kept him from getting cleared to practice.

Fantasy Fallout: Pierre Thomas value is on life support and Sproles could have sneaky PPR value as Drew Brees has loved throwing to the running back in New Orleans. The Saints will stick with a multi-back approach, but don't let that keep you drafting Mark Ingram if he falls to the fourth-round.

Forte could join holdout club: News today that Matt Forte is "seriously considering" holding out for a new deal, after Frank Gore decided to hold out from San Francisco camp and Chris Johnson is almost sure to hold out from Tennessee camp when it opens. That DeAngelo Williams deal is making running backs say "I want mine!". These guys shouldn't worry about getting hurt this year though, because Williams got his big deal even after finishing the last two seasons on injured reserve.

Fantasy Fallout: None for any of the three backs unless their holdouts come dangerously close to the season's start, and even then they only fall to the bottom of their tier, not to a new tier.

DeMarco Murray hurt: Third-round pick DeMarco Murray reported to camp with a hamstring injury that could cost him two weeks of practices.

Fantasy Fallout: This gives Tashard Choice the opening to get out of Jason Garrett's doghouse and win a big piece of the work in the backfield. He's a great last RB on your roster pick as he has demonstrated upside from the Indy game last year and a terrific stretch against the murderer's row of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and the Giants back in 2008.

Ryan Grant gets bonus early: The Packers decided to give Ryan Grant his 1.75 million dollar roster bonus due on August 21 today instead of waiting for it to come due.

Fantasy Fallout: This show of confidence in Grant only bolsters the case for him to be the first Green Bay back off the board in fantasy drafts, and a value in the sixth round or later.

Wide Receiver

Crabtree foot injury could cost him all of preseason: Michael Crabtree has a foot injury that will cost him four-to-six weeks, which means that he could miss all of preseason for the third straight year. The injury probably occurred back in Alex Smith-led workouts. The 49ers were looking at Chad Ochocinco and have moved on to Malcom Floyd as they are preparing for the possibility of Crabtree not being ready for week 1. Crabtree didn't seem to be on the same page with Smith last year, and it is looking doubtful that it will happen this year.

Fantasy Fallout: Crabtree should be avoided before the 9th or 10th round at the very earliest in fantasy drafts. Vernon Davis is even more solid as one of the last elite fantasy tight ends. Josh Morgan becomes an intrigued last WR on your roster pending a 49er signing of a wide receiver.

Ochocinco a Patriot: The Patriots picked up two malcontents today, Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco, and for no picks higher than the fifth round. These are exactly the kind of low risk, high reward moves I would recommend for your fantasy team. The Pats have gotten the best out of problem children like Randy Moss and Corey Dillon in the past. The most important question here is what Aaron Hernandez will ask of Ochocinco in exchange for giving up the #85.

Fantasy Fallout: Deion Branch will likely share targets with Ochocinco now, making both bench wide receivers in fantasy leagues, but probably increasing Ochocinco's value while decreasing Branch's. Tom Brady's value ticks up with the addition of an established outside receiver to make three-wide sets potentially lethal again in New England. Brandon Tate and Taylor Price's dynasty league arrivals are likely delayed by at least a year.

Steve Smith staying in Carolina: Cam Newton's pleading worked as Steve Smith came out and said he'll retire as a Panther after requesting a trade in the offseason.

Fantasy Fallout: Smith could have gone somewhere like San Diego where his value would have spiked, but at least the Panthers have done a lot to be competitive this year, so Smith's value will bounce back. He's probably a value at his current 7th/8th round ADP.

Other news: Chicago is expected to sign Roy Williams, which would re-unite him with Mike Martz. Williams had a career year with Martz in Detroit back in 2006. The Titans are rumored to be interested in bringing back Derrick Mason for a second stint with the team, which would hurt Joe Flacco's value. The Vikings are looking at James Jones, Braylon Edwards, and Malcom Floyd to start opposite Percy Harvin. The Cardinals and 49ers were also rumored to be looking at Floyd.

Tight End

Gates says plantar fasciitis still an issue: Antonio Gates started camp on the PUP with lingering issues from the foot injury that cut short his 2010 season. He says it is still an issue, but you won't be able to tell by his play on the field this season.

Fantasy Fallout: I believe him. Gates was still a stud when he played on the bum wheel last year. Dynasty leagues should be worried about his long-term outlook, but Gates is still my #1 TE this year.

Olsen traded to Carolina: The Bears finally decided that Greg Olsen was unnecessary in the Mike Martz offense. They got a third-round pick for him, which is a fine return, and it also indicates that the Panthers could make him the second target in the pecking order of the pass offense. The Panthers might have just signed Jeremy Shockey early in the offseason, only to cut him before the season begins.

Fantasy Fallout: Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski was a tight end back at "The U" and he oversaw Kellen Winslow's career year in Cleveland. Olsen becomes a "what the heck" late-round TE to grab in PPR leagues.

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