The eve of free agency carries with it the promise of new fortune. When the annual spending spree launches in earnest tomorrow, it will bring life-changing pay raises to dozens of younger players. A number of other fourth-year players, meanwhile, will enjoy more modest pay increases in the coming season due to an aspect of the collective bargaining agreement called the Proven Performance Escalator.
With free agency just a few days away I thought it made sense to see just what teams need to replace and how far their cap space might get them this year. There are a number of teams with excessive amounts of cap room to spend while others may have a difficult time finding ways to keep their rosters together. So for each team we will look at how many snaps they currently need to replace based on free agent status, either unrestricted or street, and just how much space they have to make that happen. Continue reading The Most Snaps to Replace in Free Agency »
This new series will go through each division and look at how each NFL team tends to structure and negotiate their contracts. This is particularly relevant as we near free agency, and fans can begin to understand the general approach that their team will take to the marketplace come March. We start with the NFC North.
GM: Ryan Pace (early 2015)
Director of Football Administration: Joey Laine (mid 2015)
The Bears brought GM Ryan Pace and head cap exec Joey Laine into the building together in 2015. They are one of the youngest front office duos in the league, and this new leadership in Chicago makes it difficult to pinpoint their current cap strategy, but there are certainly some early tendencies.
Terrance Williams is set to hit free agency once the 2017 league year begins. Will teams pay him as a #1 receiver or has he already defined himself as a secondary option?
The answer depends on what data set you choose to favor. Williams has played 10 games in his career without Dez Bryant in the lineup. In those 10 games, his statistics are noticeably better than the 54 games with Bryant:
Today I wanted to look at the teams that face the most roster turnover in free agency. To do this I looked at potential snaps that can be lost in free agency by the entire roster and by the prime contributors. This quick study should give an idea of the way that certain teams may be forced to approach free agency this year and whether they are targeting their own talent or outside of the organization. Continue reading Tough Free Agent Decisions in 2017 »
The Atlanta Falcons have rebounded quite nicely from a disappointing 2015 season, with the Super Bowl within reach. While the offense has led the charge for the turnaround, the Falcons’ secondary has served as the backbone of the defensive effort. As to the leader of this unit, look no further than fourth year cornerback Desmond Trufant. While Trufant suffered a season ending torn pectoral muscle, the standout player from the University of Washington has been the Falcons’ best player in the secondary over the past four years. As such, the team needs to lock this core member up for the long haul, and will look to do so this offseason with a lucrative contract extension. Continue reading Desmond Trufant’s Potential Contract Extension »
This week I wanted to take a quick look at the free agent running backs and it is certainly slim pickings this year. Outside of a handful of players it is likely that most running backs land in the minimum or close to minimum category. There may be some talented players who are released during the offseason to spruce the list up a little, but this has to be one of the weakest free agent groups in recent memory.
1. Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
Running backs can be a very tricky group to figure out and Bell is no exception. Since coming into the league there has been no more dominant player at the position than Bell, but we have seen dominant players in the past erode pretty quickly. Bell has also had multiple injuries and a 4 game suspension so there are clearly questions as to how many games you can expect him to play. Continue reading 2017 Free Agency Preview: Running Backs »