Tracking Fantasy Relevant Free Agency News: Mitch Trubisky Signs with the Bills
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Mitchell Trubisky.
Top Remaining Free Agents
The following list is based on the consensus fantasy football rankings of Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon and Matthew Freedman.
Thursday Free Agency News
QB Mitch Trubisky Signs 1-Year Deal with Bills
Former Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is signing a one-year deal with the Bills, ESPN’s Mike Garafolo reported on Thursday.
Trubisky, 26, is a former No. 2 overall pick from the 2017 NFL Draft. The North Carolina product has spent the last four seasons as a member of the Bears
Trubisky’s best season came in 2018, where he completed 66.6% of his passes for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 421 yards and three touchdowns and earned a Pro Bowl nomination.
The Bears traded for former Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles ahead of the 2020 NFL season and held an open competition between Foles and Trubisky, who ultimately became the Week 1 starter. He was benched in Week 3 but took over again in Week 12 and finished with a 67% completion rate for 2,055 yards, 16 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 195 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
Trubisky will back up 2020 second-team All-Pro QB Josh Allen, who is coming off of a banner season. Allen, 24, completed 69.1% of his passes for 4,544 yards, 37 touchdowns, ten interceptions and rushed for 421 yards and eight touchdowns. He also helped the team advance to the AFC Championship round where they were defeated by the Chiefs.
TE Kyle Rudolph Joins Giants on 2-Year Deal
Former Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has agreed to a two-year contract with the Giants, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday.
The deal is expected to have a maximum value of $14 million, per ESPN’s Mike Garafolo.
Rudolph, 31, is a former second-round pick from the 2011 NFL Draft. He has spent all ten seasons in Minnesota and earned two Pro Bowl nominations.
Last season, Rudolph appeared in 12 games and caught 28 passes for 334 yards and one touchdown while sharing TE snaps with 25-year-old Ito Smith.
The Vikings released Rudolph in March and designated him as a post-June 1 cut to reduce his dead cap hit.
The Notre Dame product joins an oft-injured Evan Engram, as well as Kaden Smith, Levine Toilolo and Rysen John on the Giants’ TE depth chart.
TE Jared Cook Signs 1-Year Deal with Chargers
Former Saints tight end Jared Cook has agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday.
The 33-year-old was released in March from New Orleans, where he had spent the last two seasons. He will replace Hunter Henry on the Titans’ depth chart. Henry joined the Patriots on Tuesday via a three-year, $37.5 million contract with $25 million guaranteed.
Cook began his career as a member of the Titans as a third-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He later played for the Rams, Packers, Raiders and most recently the Saints.
The South Carolina product earned back-to-back Pro Bowl nominations in 2018 and 2019. He appeared in 15 games in 2020 for New Orleans and caught 37 passes for 504 yards and seven touchdowns.
Cook joins former undrafted free agents Donald Parham, 23, and Matt Sokol, 25. Parham briefly played for the XFL Dallas Renegades in 2020.
Wednesday Free Agency News
WR Rashard Higgins Returns To Browns
Rashard Higgins is staying in Cleveland.
ESPN’s Jake Trotter reported on Wednesday night that the wide receiver is signing a one-year deal for $2.38 million fully guaranteed.
With Odell Beckham Jr. out for half of the season after tearing an ACL in Week 7, Higgins finished 2020 as the Browns’ second-most productive receiver behind Jarvis Landry with 52 catches for 599 yards and four touchdowns.
WR Curtis Samuel Heads To Washington
Curtis Samuel is on the move.
The former Panthers receiver is expected to sign a three-year, $34.5 million contract with the Washington Football Team, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday.
Samuel, 24, had spent his first four seasons as a member of the Panthers. The speedy wideout — who ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the combine — was selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft from Ohio State, with whom he won a national championship in 2015.
Samuel will actually reunite with former Buckeyes teammate and fellow wide receiver Terry McLaurin in Washington.
Samuel is coming off his best season to date in which he caught 77 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns across 15 games. He finished as the team’s third-best receiver behind D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, both of whom eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2020.
His departure from Carolina should elevate Moore’s and Anderson’s fantasy values heading into 2021. Moore, 23, is a former first round pick and is under a rookie deal until 2022 (2023 if the Panthers pick up his fifth-year option) while Anderson, 27, is under contract until 2022.
RB Marlon Mack Staying In Indy
Running back Marlon Mack has agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract extension with the Colts, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday.
Mack, 25, was the Colts’ fourth-round pick in 2017 and has spent all four seasons in Indianapolis. His best season to date was in 2019 when he rushed for 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns over 14 games.
Mack was expected to compete for carries with 2020 second-rounder Jonathan Taylor last season, but the South Florida product suffered a torn Achilles in Week 1 and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Taylor, meanwhile, posted an impressive rookie year and rushed for 1,169 yards, 11 touchdowns and caught 36 passes for 299 yards and a touchdown over 15 games. He will presumably lead the Colts’ backfield ahead of Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins heading into 2021.
WR A.J. Green Reaches Deal with Cardinals
Former Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has agreed to terms with the Cardinals, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday.
Rapoport added he expects the deal to be in the vicinity of one-year, $8 million.
The 32-year-old wideout was selected No. 4 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Bengals. He had spent all 10 seasons in Cincinnati prior to this signing and posted six 1,000-yard seasons in his first seven years in the league. He has been named to seven Pro Bowls and has three second-team All-Pro nominations.
Green missed all of the 2019 season due to injury. He returned in 2020 and reeled in just 47-of-104 targets for 523 yards and two touchdowns.
Green’s lackluster 2020 performance was due in part to shaky quarterback play after 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow was injured. He could see an uptick in productivity opposite Cardinals’ quarterback Kyler Murray.
The Georgia product joins star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, as well as Christian Kirk, KeeSean Johnson, and Andy Isabella (among others) on the Arizona WR depth chart. It’s uncertain at this time if veteran Larry Fitzgerald plans to return to the Cardinals (or the NFL) with retirement questions looming. The 37-year-old played under a one-year deal last season.
Green’s departure from Cincinnati should marginally help Bengals 2020 second-rounder Tee Higgins’s and veteran Tyler Boyd’s fantasy value with fewer mouths to feed going into the 2021 NFL season.
John Brown Adds Depth To Raiders WR Corps
Former Bills wide receiver John Brown has agreed to a one-year, $3.75 million contract worth up to $5.5 million with the Las Vegas Raiders, as reported by SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Adam Caplan on Wednesday.
The free agent was released from the Bills two years into a three-year, $27 million contract in March. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Texans also made a push for the veteran wideout, but were unsuccessful.
Brown adds depth to the Raiders’ receiving corps following the departure of Nelson Agholor, who agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal with the Patriots on Monday. Brown joins 2020 first-rounder Henry Ruggs III, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones (among others).
Brown, 30, was selected in the third-round of the 2014 NFL Draft in 2014 by the Cardinals. He spent his first four seasons in Arizona and signed a one-year deal with the Ravens in 2018.
The Pittsburg State product has dealt with numerous injuries throughout his seven-year NFL career. His best season came in 2019 when he crested the 1,000-yard mark for the second time. In 2020, Brown dealt with calf and ankle issues and appeared in just nine games. He caught 33 passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns behind newly-acquired receiver Stefon Diggs, who led the league in receiving yards last season.
Tuesday Free Agency News
Lions Add RB Jamaal Williams
Jamaal Williams is headed to Detroit.
The former Packers running back has agreed to a two-year contract worth up to $7.5 million with the Lions, as reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Tuesday night.
Williams finished the 2020 NFL season with 505 rushing yards, two touchdowns and 31 catches for 236 yards and one receiving touchdown over 14 games. He joins 2020 second-round pick D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson on the Lions’ running back depth chart, which could negatively impact Swift’s long-term value for fantasy football.
Williams’ departure from Green Bay primarily benefits Jones, the Packers’ bell-cow running back who just signed a four-year, $48 million extension on Sunday. Jones, 26, should see additional touches — especially in the passing game, which is an area in which Williams was utilized frequently.
A.J. Dillon — the 22-year-old from Boston College selected in the second-round of the 2020 NFL Draft — should also reap benefits from this move and may see an increased workload heading into his sophomore season. He appeared in 11 games last season and rushed for 242 yards and two touchdowns.
Emmanuel Sanders Joins Bills’ Crowded WR Corps
Former Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal with an additional $500,000 in incentives with the Buffalo Bills, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday.
Sanders was released from New Orleans in March ahead of free agency.
The 34-year-old wideout was selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Steelers. He spent four years in Pittsburgh before signing with the Broncos, with whom he was named to two Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl ring in 2016.
Sanders was traded from Denver midseason in 2019 to the 49ers and was most recently a member of the Saints. He inked a two-year, $16 million contract ahead of the 2020 NFL season and reeled in 61 passes for 726 yards and five touchdowns over 14 games.
The SMU product joins a crowded Bills’ receiving corps consisting of Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah McKenzie and Andre Roberts. Sanders’ addition could mean fewer targets to go around for the Buffalo pass-catchers including Diggs, who finished as the receiving yards leader in 2020.
Malcolm Brown Heads To Miami
Former Rams running back Malcolm Brown has agreed to a contract with the Miami Dolphins, a source revealed to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Tuesday. Further details of the contract were not yet made available in the initial report.
Brown, 27, is a former undrafted free agent from the University of Texas. He joined the then-St. Louis Rams in 2015 and has been with the organization for the last six seasons playing behind Todd Gurley, and later in a three-man committee.
Brown had previously signed a two-year, $3.3 million deal with the Rams in 2019 after the team tendered him as a restricted free agent. He appeared in all 16 games in 2020 and rushed for 419 yards, five touchdowns and caught 23 passes for 162 yards while splitting carries with Darrell Henderson and 2020 second-rounder Cam Akers.
Brown joins Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and Matt Breida on the Dolphins’ running back depth chart. Brown will presumably back up Gaskin, 24, who flashed moments of greatness last season in spite of dealing with a sprained MCL.
Brown’s departure mainly benefits Akers’ long-term value with one fewer mouth to feed out of the Los Angeles backfield. The 21-year-old is under a rookie contract until 2024 while 24-year-old Henderson is under contract until 2023.
Dolphins Add Backup QB Jacoby Brissett
Another backup quarterback has found a new home.
Former Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett has agreed to a one-year deal with the Dolphins, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday.
Further terms of the contract have not been revealed at this time.
Brissett, 28, began his career as a member of the Patriots after he was selected in the third-round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He stepped in during three games for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo, who was New England’s starter at the time while Tom Brady served out a suspension for his role in the “Deflategate” scandal, and earned a Super Bowl ring in 2017.
The NC State product was traded to the Colts ahead of the 2017 NFL season and started the majority of that year while quarterback Andrew Luck was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Brissett was named the Week 1 starter in 2019 after Luck’s surprising retirement announcement and started 15 of 16 games. He spent the 2020 season backing up Philip Rivers, whom the Colts signed during the offseason as a one-year stop-gap, and completed two of eight attempts for 17 yards and rushed for 19 yards and three touchdowns across 11 games.
Brissett joins 2020 No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa, as well as fellow backups Jake Rudock and Reid Sinnett on the Dolphins’ QB depth chart. Jacob Eason will presumably backup Colts signal-caller Carson Wentz barring another addition in Indianapolis.
Marvin Jones Joins Crowded Jaguars WR Corps
Jacksonville is finally making some noise in a quiet free agent wide receiver market.
Former Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones has agreed to a two-year, $14.5 million deal with $9.2 million fully guaranteed with the Jaguars, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday.
Jones joins a crowded Jacksonville receiving corps which consists of D.J. Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., Keelan Cole Sr., Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook and Phillip Dorsett II, who was acquired yesterday. » Read more
Texans Bring In QB Tyrod Taylor
The Texans have a Deshaun Watson backup plan.
Former Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor has agreed to a one-year contract with the Texans worth up to $12.5 million, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday.
Taylor, 31, was the Ravens’ sixth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Virginia Tech product spent four years backing up Joe Flacco in Baltimore and was later signed by the Bills, with whom he started for three seasons and earned a Pro Bowl nomination in 2015. He spent a short stint with the Browns and most recently, the Chargers, who signed him to a two-year, $11 million deal in 2019.
Taylor began the 2020 NFL season ahead of rookie Justin Herbert but suffered a punctured lung during the warmups before the Chargers’ Week 2 matchup against the Chiefs that required hospitalization. He appeared in just one game after that in relief of Herbert and finished the year completing 16-of-30 attempts (53.3 percent) for 208 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions.
While Taylor has spent the majority of his 10-year NFL career as a backup, he did help lead the Bills to their first playoff berth in 2017 completing 61.7% of his passes for 3,023 yards, 17 touchdowns, six interceptions and rushed for 580 yards and six touchdowns.
Taylor joins a Texans organization in turmoil amid fraying relations with 25-year-old Watson, who has stated on multiple occasions he wants to be traded. Prior to the signing, Houston’s only other QB on the depth chart was 30-year-old A.J. McCarron.
Bears Agree to Terms with Andy Dalton
The Red Rifle is on the move.
Former Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton has agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with the Bears, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday.
Schefter added that the deal comes with $3 million in incentives.
Dalton, 33, is a former second-round pick from the 2011 NFL Draft. He spent the first nine seasons of his career as a member of the Bengals, with whom he earned three Pro Bowl nominations, and was released in 2020 after Cincinnati drafted 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow.
Dalton later signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Cowboys to be Dak Prescott’s backup in 2020. Dalton stepped in for an injured Prescott, who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 5 of last season, and completed 64.9% of his passes for 2,169 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions over 12 appearances in 2020 (10 starts).
It remains unclear what role the TCU product will play with Mitch Trubisky’s and Nick Foles’ futures up-in-the-air. Trubisky, 26, is a free agent while Foles, 32, is under contract until 2023.
Patriots Add TE Hunter Henry to Join Jonnu Smith
New England has taken the two top free agent tight ends off the market.
Former Chargers tight end Hunter Henry has agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract with $25 million guaranteed with the Patriots, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday.
The news comes on the heels of a number of high-profile signings on Monday, including the addition of former Titans tight end Jonnu Smith, who agreed to a four-year deal worth $50 million.
Henry is coming off one of his best seasons to date. He reeled in a career-high 60 catches for 613 yards and four touchdowns through 14 games and finished as a top 12 tight end for fantasy. » Read more
Monday Free Agency News
After a quiet start, the first day of the negotiation period turned out to be quite eventful. Find a detailed rundown of all the fantasy-relevant deals as well as a quick snapshot of the top remaining free agents.
Top Remaining Free Agents
The following list is based on the consensus fantasy football rankings of Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon and Matthew Freedman.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Adds Ninth Team to Resume
The journeyman, former Dolphins’ quarterback has agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal worth up to $12 million with the Washington Football Team, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday night.
The NFL insider added that 38-year-old Fitzpatrick is expected to enter training camp as the starting quarterback ahead of Taylor Heinicke on the Football Team’s depth chart.
Fitzpatrick has played for numerous teams since entering the league as a seventh-round pick in 2005. The Harvard grad began his career as a member of the then-St. Louis Rams, and later joined the Bengals, Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets, Buccaneers and most recently, the Dolphins. He began the 2020 NFL season as Miami’s starter ahead of 2020 first-rounder Tua Tagovailoa and completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 2,091 yards, 13 touchdowns, eight interceptions and rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns over nine games (seven starts).
Saints Extend Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston is staying in New Orleans.
The 27-year-old quarterback has agreed to a one-year contract extension with the New Orleans Saints worth up to $12 million, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.
Winston’s news comes just one day after legendary Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced he was retiring from the NFL.
The Saints intend to hold a “quarterback competition at camp” with offensive gadget player Taysom Hill, as reported by ESPN’s Dianna Russini on Monday.» Read more
Giants Add RB Devontae Booker as Saquon Barkley Handcuff
Former Raiders running back Devontae Booker has agreed to a two-year contract worth up to $6 million, as reported by ESPN’s Jordan Raanan on Monday.
Booker, 28, had a lackluster run with the Broncos, who drafted him in the fourth-round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The Utah product signed a one-year, veteran-minimum deal with the Raiders ahead of the 2020 season. He rushed for 423 yards and three touchdowns and caught 17 passes for 84 yards over 16 games last year behind 2019 first-rounder Josh Jacobs.
Booker is expected to back up star RB Saquon Barkley. Wayne Gallman, 26, is an unrestricted free-agent and has not been re-signed by the Giants.
Jets Add WR Corey Davis in Free Agency Splash
Former Titans wide receiver Corey Davis has agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract with $27 million guaranteed with the New York Jets, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday.
Davis, 26, was selected No. 5 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft from Western Michigan in spite of dealing with an ankle injury that kept him out of the NFL Combine. The team declined Davis’ fifth-year option heading into the 2020 NFL season. He caught 60 passes for a career-high 945 yards and five touchdowns over 12 regular-season appearances.
Davis adds star power to an underwhelming and crowded Jets’ receiving corps which consists of Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims and Braxton Berrios (among others). » Read more
Jaguars Add RB Carlos Hyde & WR Phillip Dorsett
The Patriots aren’t the only ones making moves this Monday.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to terms with former Seahawks running back Carlos Hyde and former Seahawks receiver Phillip Dorsett, as reported by the NFL Network and ESPN.
Hyde’s deal is a two-year, $6 million contract, while the details of Dorsett’s have not yet been revealed.
Hyde, 30, was the 49ers’ second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Since then, the journeyman back has spent short stints with the Browns, Jaguars, Chiefs, Texans and most recently, the Seahawks. He appeared in 10 games for Seattle in 2020 and rushed for 356 yards and four touchdowns. He also reeled in 16 passes for 93 yards.
The Ohio State product reunites with former Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, who accepted the head coaching position in Jacksonville this offseason. He joins James Robinson and Chris Thompson on the Jaguars’ running back depth chart.
Dorsett, 28, is a former first-round pick from the 2015 NFL Draft by the Colts. He was dealt to the Patriots two years into his career and was most recently a member of the Seahawks under a one-year deal. The University of Miami product missed the entire 2020 season with a foot injury. He joins receivers D.J. Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., Keelan Cole Sr., Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley in a crowded WR room.
Neither addition should make a palpable impact on fantasy, though Hyde could be a viable handcuff for Robinson.
Patriots Add WR Kendrick Bourne
The Patriots have agreed to terms with wide receiver Kendrick Bourne for a three-year, $22.5 million contract, as reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Bourne, 25, is a former undrafted free agent from Eastern Washington. He has spent all four NFL seasons as a member of the 49ers and inked a one-year, $3.3 million contract ahead of last season. He appeared in 15 games in 2020 and reeled in 49 passes for a career-high 667 yards and two touchdowns.
Bourne joins fellow wide receiver Nelson Agholor and tight end Jonnu Smith among Patriots’ many acquisitions on Monday.» Read more
Rob Gronkowski Re-Signing With Buccaneers
Rob Gronkowski is staying in Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers have re-signed Gronkowski to a one-year, $10 million deal, agent Drew Rosenhaus informed NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Monday.
The 31-year-old former second-round pick from the 2010 NFL Draft spent nine seasons as a member of the New England Patriots. He briefly retired after the 2018 NFL season, then un-retired to reunite with longtime quarterback Tom Brady on the Buccaneers.
Gronkowski appeared in all 16 games in 2020 and caught 45 passes for 623 yards and seven touchdowns. He finished as TE8 for fantasy (half PPR, Weeks 1 through 16). He should continue to share targets with veteran TE Cameron Brate, who is under contract until 2024, as well as O.J. Howard, who is under contract until 2022.
Patriots Agree to Terms with WR Nelson Agholor
The Patriots’ spending spree continues.
Former Raiders wide receiver Nelson Agholor has agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal with the Patriots, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
Agholor, 27, is a former first-round pick from the 2015 NFL Draft. He began his career with the Eagles and most recently played for the Las Vegas Raiders on a one-year deal. He appeared in all 16 games in 2020 and caught 48 passes for 896 yards and eight touchdowns.
Agholor’s addition should help quarterback Cam Newton’s fantasy value: The USC product adds much-needed pass-catching depth to the Patriots’ lean receiving corps, which has been a pain point for multiple seasons.
The deal comes on the heels of major free agency moves for the Patriots on Monday which included adding former Titans tight end Jonnu Smith, former Ravens linebacker Matt Judon and former Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills..» Read more
Adrian Peterson Talking To Multiple Teams
Peterson, 35, is reportedly in conversations with multiple teams to continue his career for a 15th NFL season, according to Josina Anderson. The soon-to-be 36-year-old is best known for his tenure with the Vikings, who drafted him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent short stints with the Saints, Cardinals, Redskins and most recently, the Lions, with whom he signed a one-year deal in 2020. Peterson appeared in all 16 games last season while splitting carries with 2020 second-rounder D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson. Peterson rushed for 604 yards, seven touchdowns, and caught 12 passes for 101 yards.
TE Jonnu Smith Reaches 4-Year Deal with Patriots
Smith has become the first major tight end free agency domino to fall. The former Titans’ tight end has agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract — $31.25 million fully guaranteed — with the Patriots, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN. He’s a much-needed addition for the Patriots. » Read more
Everything beyond this point was written before the negotiation period opened on Monday, March 15.
2021 NFL Free Agency Rankings
With the franchise tag deadline in the rearview mirror, the stage is set for what should be an eventful 2021 NFL free agency.
Free agency officially kicks off when the new league year opens on March 17, but the legal tampering period begins on March 15. This means teams can begin to speak to players starting on Monday, though no contracts can be signed until 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
The league announced last week that the 2021 NFL salary cap will be $182.5 million — a $15.7 million (8%) decrease year-over-year — which could mean some teams may not be well-positioned to make splashy offers during this iteration of free agency.
Below are The Action Network’s top free agents by position — accompanied by their most recent teams, current ages, last season’s performance (half PPR in Weeks 1-16) and any relevant news — that all savvy fantasy managers should keep an eye on.
Note: Players are listed in order of their positional rankings in our way-too-early edition of 2021 fantasy football rankings.
Top Free Agent Running Backs
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
2020 fantasy performance: RB16 (14.6 points per game)
The Seahawks did not exercise the franchise tag on Carson and did not attempt to extend the injury-prone running back last offseason.
Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals
2020 fantasy performance: RB14 (12.4 points per game)
The Cardinals did not exercise the franchise tag on Drake after playing under the transition tag in 2020.
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 fantasy performance: RB37 (9.2 points per game)
James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 fantasy performance: RB25 (11.5 points per game)
Todd Gurley II, Atlanta Falcons
2020 fantasy performance: RB22 (10.5 points per game)
Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs
2020 fantasy performance: RB61 (6.1 points per game)
Duke Johnson, Houston Texans
2020 fantasy performance: RB56 (6.4 points per game)
Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers
2020 fantasy performance: RB12 (11.8 points per game)
Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
2020 fantasy performance: RB128 (7.1 points per game)
Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers
2020 fantasy performance: RB38 (8.4 points per game)
James White, New England Patriots
2020 fantasy performance: RB51 (6.2 points per game)
Mark Ingram Jr., Baltimore Ravens
2020 fantasy performance: RB75 (4.6 points per game)
Top Free Agent Wide Receivers
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
2020 fantasy performance: WR100 (11.2 points per game)
The Lions did not exercise the franchise tag on Golladay and will likely part ways with the receiver.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 fantasy performance: WR18 (11.3 points per game)
Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers
2020 fantasy performance: WR27 (11.3 points per game)
Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 fantasy performance: WR96 (9.0 points per game)
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
2020 fantasy performance: WR32 (11.7 points per game)
Will Fuller V, Houston Texans
2020 fantasy performance: WR25 (14.8 points per game)
Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions
2020 fantasy performance: WR29 (10.4 points per game)
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
2020 fantasy performance: WR43 (8.9 points per game)
John Brown, Buffalo Bills
2020 fantasy performance: WR90 (8.1 points per game)
Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders
2020 fantasy performance: WR30 (10.4 points per game)
Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs
2020 fantasy performance: WR84 (7.0 points per game)
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns
2020 fantasy performance: WR62 (8.0 points per game)
Breshad Perriman, New York Jets
2020 fantasy performance: WR81 (6.8 points per game)
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
2020 fantasy performance: WR67 (5.9 points per game)
Top Free Agent Tight Ends
Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
2020 fantasy performance: TE11 (8.2 points per game)
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans
2020 fantasy performance: TE9 (9.1 points per game)
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 fantasy performance: TE8 (8.2 points per game)
Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams
2020 fantasy performance: TE25 (4.6 points per game)
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
2020 fantasy performance: TE18 (8.5 points per game)
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
2020 fantasy performance: TE37 (4.3 points per game)
Top Free Agent Quarterbacks
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
2020 fantasy performance: QB65 (1.3 points per game)
Winston is likely the only free agent signal-caller who could land in a starting role after Dak Prescott’s mega deal was announced last week. Winston served as an understudy for veteran Drew Brees, who announced his retirement over the weekend, and could be a productive fantasy QB in spite of turnover and consistency issues.
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