Two Big Names Are Off The Market

Another day, another signing. This time, two (elite) vets warding off thoughts of retirement for another year, each with a chance for fantasy relevancy in 2020. 

Brees To Remain with the Saints

Mum’s the word in New Orleans when it comes to who’s under center in 2020. Well, it used to be, until Drew Brees broke the news on Instagram of his intentions to return to the Saints for yet another season. It’s exciting news for the NFC South champs, who managed yet another divisional title in 2019 despite a five-game absence from their franchise quarterback. 

Even though he’s heading into his 20th season, Brees remains efficient as ever. Among all quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks, Brees had the second-highest NFL passer rating and highest adjusted completion percentage (82.9%). His home-road splits continue, but as long as he’s playing in a dome, he’s worth an add in fantasy leagues.

As the dust settles with Brees’ announcement, we’re left with the task of figuring out what this means for restricted free agent Taysom Hill, who’s been the recent darling of head coach Sean Payton. Though he’s talked himself up as a franchise quarterback, it’s hard to indulge this chatter when Odell Beckham Jr has just two-fewer pass attempts than Hill in his career. Hill was a perfect gadget play and found success in the post-season, but all things considered, I think we can nearly put things to rest. It would be just as surprising to see Hill leave the Saints as it would be to see unrestricted-free agent Teddy Bridgewater stay.

Seahawks Nab Olsen

Greg Olsen has been teasing the idea that he would return to the NFL for the 2020 season on social media throughout this offseason. After visits with several NFL clubs, word came Tuesday that he and the Seahawks came to terms on a 1-year deal to reel in $5.5 million in guarantees.

Olsen is an extremely intriguing prospect in redraft leagues and contending dynasty leagues for 2020. Though the Seahawks are determined to run the ball, Russell Wilson has a clear preference to throw to a big-bodied tight end – especially in the end-zone. In his final two seasons in Seattle, Jimmy Graham ranked as the TE4 and TE6, respectively, despite his noticeable physical decline. He led the league in each of these seasons in end-zone targets, and the Seahawks continue to utilize a tight end-friendly scheme. Olsen is a lock as a TE1 in 2019 on touchdown upside alone.

Names We’re Still Watching 

  • Tom Brady (UFA) – Most recent rumors indicate that the Las Vegas Raiders are ready to offer Brady a 2-year/$30 million contract. It wouldn’t be the most lucrative deal on Brady’s end, but it would certainly be one way for the Raiders to make a splash as they take over a new city.

  • Teddy Bridgewater (UFA) – Until the announcement that Drew Brees would be returning, rumors swirled as to whether or not Bridgewater or Taysom Hill might be the next man up. Given the number of big-names on the QB market, it remains to be seen what he can manage in free agency.

  • Jameis Winston (UFA) – There have been plenty of names tied to the Bucs as Winston is about to hit free agency, perhaps most legitimately, Philip Rivers. Bruce Arians has indicated that the legal tampering period will be vital to understanding the market.

  • Dak Prescott (UFA) – Ian Rapoport indicated that the team would like to sign Prescott to a long-term deal before free agency hits on March 10, but it doesn’t look like there’s been a lot of headway there. There’s been plenty of disputed reporting on exactly what kind of payday he’s looking for, but the most recent rumor says that he turned down a deal worth $33 million per year.

  • Amari Cooper (UFA) – Though there have yet to be talks between the two parties, it would be mind-blowing to think of them parting ways so soon. Dallas invested a first-round pick in trading for Cooper, and he thanked them with 1,189 yards in his first full season with the team. The trick here will be finding the money. There are some wide-receiver-needy teams, and since showing signs life outside of Oakland, Cooper should be in for a decent payday.

  • Kareem Hunt (RFA) – Despite a recent troublesome traffic stop, Hunt has indicated that he feels he’ll likely remain with the Cleveland Browns in 2020. The Vikings ranked fourth in rushing attempts under Kevin Stefanski as OC in 2019, so having a three-down back like Hunt at the helm doesn’t hurt. Despite sharing a backfield with Nick Chubb, he was on pace for 928 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns through the second half of 2019. It would be best for fantasy owners for the Browns to let him go, but if they don’t, it may be a nice buy-low opportunity for dynasty owners.

  • Derrick Henry (UFA) – It’s difficult to imagine Henry in anything other than powder blue after his 2019 season, but he’s made it clear that he’s expecting a well-deserved payday regardless. During super bowl week, Henry commented that the 2019 Zeke-Mega-Deal is «the floor.»

  • Eric Ebron (UFA) – The Colts have indicated that they do not have intentions to bring Ebron back for a return in 2020.

  • A.J. Green (UFA)

  • Melvin Gordon (UFA) 

  • Hunter Henry (UFA)

  • Austin Hooper (UFA)

In Other News

It would appear that TE Jason Witten isn’t ready to head back into the broadcasting booth. A 2020 free agent, Witten is hoping for a return to Dallas, but he’d be open to a move if circumstances called for it. In 2019, he managed a career-low 8.4 yards per reception, career-low 529 receiving yards and near career-low yards after the catch (178). Despite all of that, he ranked 13th in first downs and was able to move the chains when asked. Whatever team lands him will get some veteran locker room presence. … QB Joe Flacco has said that he’s open to playing as a backup, but it will be up to his health to decide that in 2020. Coming off a neck injury late last season, a recent MRI was encouraging, but his agent states that he won’t play if there’s a risk of aggravating this injury long-term. Flacco has made an estimated $166 million through the 2019 season, so if it’s time to hang up the cleats, he could likely afford it.