Free agency is coming up and NFL teams will look to fill holes in their lineups for the 2019 season and beyond. Which quarterback will be overpaid? Who will not be courted at all? @ItsMickyD discusses potential landing spots for six available quarterbacks.
The quarterback position is the keystone of the offense. No other player touches the ball on every play. Team’s without a quality signal caller tend to watch the playoffs. As these top quarterbacks look for a new home, I will examine and discuss their potential new homes. I will also go over fantasy implications for both their old and new offense.
Unrestricted Free Agents
Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns:
With the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Browns drafted Baker Mayfield to be their franchise quarterback. This was an obvious move and one that guarantees that Tyrod will be signing elsewhere this offseason. His 2018 contract of $15.25 million will be exceeded by a team like the Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, or Jacksonville Jaguars who are in desperate need of a quality starter. The Jaguars have the pieces to be a “win now” team. I see them offering the 30-year-old mobile quarterback a three-year contract in the $45-$50 million range that is very incentive based.
My Favorite Landing Spot: Jacksonville Jaguars – 3 yr/$45-$50 million
Look for the running game to flourish with Taylor at quarterback. A healthy Leonard Fournette, if he is still with the team, will thrive with defenses not being able to key in on him with eight in the box. Taylor will use his legs to open up opportunities to chuck bombs, but his check downs to the tight end will spell big numbers for Austin Seferian-Jenkins. I am buying Marqise Lee in dynasty now while his injury-riddled past still has cautious owners skeptical.
Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints:
Teddy Bridgewater looked like he had some potential in 2015 for the Vikings. His injury in 2016 kept him out for what would result in two full years, derailing his progress. Backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans did not help his stock. Bridgewater is experienced, though, and there will be general managers out there who will give him the opportunity to live up to his first-round draft position. He will be affordable so a team like the Dolphins who still have money tied up in Ryan Tannehill will be able to sign a multi-year deal averaging $12-$17 million. Do not be surprised to see a five-year deal for $75 million for Teddy to bring his talents to South Beach.
My Favorite Landing Spot: Miami Dolphins – 5 yr/$60-$85 million
Bridgewater had Adrian Peterson in 2015 during his top year as a professional quarterback. Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage are no AP. Getting the running game going, however, will take pressure off of the receivers giving Bridgewater opportunities to feed tight end Mike Gesicki and wide receiver Albert Wilson. I am expecting a 50/50 timeshare for the running game and Gesicki to break out in his 2nd year. Wilson is a buy and wide receiver Kenny Stills will get his big play every fourth game or so.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Ryan FitzMAGIC made believers out of NFL fans while Jameis Winston served his three-game suspension to start the season. The 36-year-old Harvard man will most likely consider retirement this offseason. However, if he decides to make another go at the NFL, it will most likely be in a backup role. I see someone like the Tennessee Titans bringing him in to back up Marcus Mariota and light a little fire under him. Mariota has also been dealing with injuries for the entirety of his NFL career. The Titans signing Fitzpatrick a one year, $4 million contract with incentives as insurance is a very real possibility.
My Favorite Landing Spot: Tennessee Titans – 1 yr/$4 million
Fitzpatrick in a Titans uniform does not correlate to immediate fantasy relevance. Should Mariota go down at some point, however, I expect running back Derrick Henry to fall in value slightly while Dion Lewis will rise. Tight end Delanie Walker will be in the TE2 discussion. The wide receiver core will benefit from having a gunslinger behind center.
Trade / Waive Candidates
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens squeaked into the playoffs on the back of rookie quarterback, Lamar Jackson. The Ravens will free up $10.5 million ($26.5 million cap hit – $16 million dead money) in cap space if Flacco is sent packing. It would make sense to try to trade him for a mid-round draft pick, but waiving him is more likely. Once waived, a team looking for a veteran quarterback will have the opportunity to claim him. The Dolphins should make a run at him. However, I see John Elway bringing in a high profile veteran like Flacco to get the offense back on its feet after finding out why Case Keenum has been a backup his whole career. At 33 years old, I would not be surprised to see Denver overpay with a two-year, $35 million contract.
My Favorite Landing Spot: Denver Broncos – 2 yr/$35 million
As long as the game is not on the line, Flacco is a decent fantasy quarterback. He is not worth very much draft capital, but the starting quarterback in Denver has some fantasy relevance a few times each year. Flacco enjoys checking down to running backs, so Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman will benefit in PPR. They will also benefit running the ball through the open box when defenses have to worry about the deep ball. The trio of young wide receivers will have breakout opportunity as well. Get plenty of share of Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, and Tim Patrick.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles performed an incredibly classy move by paying Foles the incentive money that he almost actually deserved. However, it is incredibly unlikely they pay a backup quarterback $20 million in 2019. The New York Giants should be drafting a quarterback this year to replace Eli Manning. However, there is a world in which they are able to sign Nick Foles and move on from Eli this offseason. The $17 million cap space ($23.2 million – $6.2 million dead money) they will clear up can go straight to Foles for a shorter, three-year contract. This would be beneficial for a later round rookie can learn behind a veteran, ala Aaron Rodgers.
My Favorite Landing Spot: New York Giants – 3 yr/$60 million
It is hard to imagine an Eli Manning-less Giants. Nick Foles, however, has just enough mobility to upgrade the passing offense behind a pedestrian offensive line. By waiting on drafting a quarterback until later rounds (or even in 2020) and upgrading the offensive line early in the draft, Saquon Barkley will continue being amazing. The wide receivers, led by Odell Beckham Jr., will see better targets. Foles has experience feeding an elite tight end as well as his receivers so Evan Engram will be a TE1 even when OBJ is on the field.
Follow me on Twitter @ItsMickyD and follow the show @IDPGUYS. Tune in to the weekly IDPGuys podcast for critical information that will allow you to dominate your friends and enemies. Disagree with my take? Tweet me your projection. Prove me wrong and be entered to win a championship ring for your league in 2019 **1 projection per topic per person.**
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