2017 Free Agency: Martellus Bennett

Martellus Bennett was drafted in the second round (61st overall) by the Dallas Cowboys in 2008 and was the fourth tight end selected in that draft. In his four years in Dallas, Bennett’s season highs were 33 receptions, 47 targets, 283 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Unfortunately for Bennett, he was stuck behind Jason Witten during Witten’s run of excellence from 2007 to 2012. In that period, Witten never received less than 117 targets in a season and never caught fewer than 79 receptions for 942 yards.

When Bennett’s contract with the Cowboys expired, he signed a one year deal with the New York Giants for $2.5M. In his lone year with the Giants, Bennett set career highs in every receiving category.

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Extensions vs Free Agent Signings: Wide Receivers

Each year, teams across the NFL invest a large portion of their salary cap in Contract Extensions and Free Agent Deals for players who seemingly perform well. Once a team strikes a deal with a player, it is not only important to analyze the performance that justified the new deal, but it is also critical to monitor a team’s return on investment once the player has signed.  That being said, I have conducted a breakdown of the Wide Receiver Market to highlight some trends in relation to the performance of a WR before and after signing a deal and to present a risk analysis between a team signing a WR from the open market or via extension. Continue reading Extensions vs Free Agent Signings: Wide Receivers »

2017 Free Agents: Alshon Jeffery

We’ll be doing previews throughout the season on free agent and extension eligible players and today I wanted to touch on Alshon Jeffery of the Chicago Bears. Jeffery is an interesting player because he has a real chance to hit free agency next season which is very rare for a player of his skillset. Among wide receivers the only recent players to sign top tier contracts in free agency with another team are Vincent Jackson (2012), Mike Wallace (2013), and Jeremy Maclin (2015) and only Jackson statistically belonged in the top group when he signed his contract. Pretty much everyone else signed to a lucrative contract has re-signed with his team. While it is not impossible to see the Bears tagging Jeffery for a second time, that is a rare occurrence in the NFL. Continue reading 2017 Free Agents: Alshon Jeffery »

2017 Free Agents: Matt Kalil

Matt Kalil is a 27 year old veteran offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings who has started 66 of 66 career games, and is currently playing under his 5th year option. He was the #4 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2012. On September 21, 2016 the Vikings placed him on Injured Reserve. When looking for comparable players, I looked for recent signings, similar age, skill, draft status, and injury history. I evaluated skill by following the grading scale at www.ScoutingAcademy.com where I was taught to evaluate players on a trait by trait basis. With that premise, the players I chose for comparison are Eric Fisher, Russell Okung, and Kelvin Beachum. Continue reading 2017 Free Agents: Matt Kalil »

Free Agency Review: The Pass Rushers

There were some interesting trends in free agency this season, but I think the group I found most fascinating were the pass rushers, players generally considered as a 43 defensive end or a 34 outside linebacker.  Right out of the gate things exploded with Malik Jackson and Olivier Vernon signing for $14.25 million and $17 million a year respectively.  This was a big contrast from last season where free agents who were expected to make big money failed to do so. I wanted to look at the differences between the two seasons and see what drivers we can find to better understand the targeting process in free agency and what could happen in the future.

The player pool

Our top 10 signings last year and this year consisted of the following players: Continue reading Free Agency Review: The Pass Rushers »

Russell Okung to Denver

Josina Anderson tweeted that the Broncos are about to sign LT Russell Okung to a deal worth reportedly $10.6 million per season over the next five seasons and they re-signed CJ Anderson to a deal worth $18 million total over four seasons a few days ago. These are some of the moves you’re allowed to make to build up the rest of your roster when you let Brock Osweiler walk for $18 million per season.

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Podcast #7 of The Zack Moore Show Notes

Today’s podcast breaks down the quarterback market after the first few days of free agency where we saw Brock Osweiler get a four-year, $72 million contract with Houston and the Broncos trade for Mark Sanchez on a one-year, $4.5 million contract with only $1 million guaranteed to replace him for the time being and where the Jets allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to test the market and he found no takers.

We had both ends of the spectrum, teams overspending on unproven quarterbacks like the Texans and teams like the Broncos and Jets sticking to the kind of run-first, defensive formula that the 2000 Ravens and 2013 Seahawks provided the blueprint for from a salary cap perspective.

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