Monday was the biggest NFL news day of the offseason, which was reflected in our posts and traffic. It’s only going to get crazier in the coming days, with free agency set to kick off a week from Tuesday. Let’s look at some winners and losers from a fantasy perspective.
1. Vincent Jackson: San Diego let him free. DeSean Jackson, Stevie Johnson, Wes Welker, and Dwayne Bowe are staying put, which will help Jackson make a ton of money on the open market. Chicago seems like the strongest candidate for Jackson. He would be a great fit for Jay Cutler’s deep ball.
Returning to San Diego might ultimately be best for Vincent Jackson’s fantasy value, but Chicago (or New England) could work.
2. Wes Welker: He’ll catch around 100 passes a year as long as he’s with Tom Brady. Any other scenario would have been trouble for his fantasy value.
3. Colts defense: Long-term, the Robert Mathis signing doesn’t make sense. That’s a lot of money for an aging pass rusher that has to learn a new scheme. For 2012, new Colts coach Chuck Pagano just kept a valuable weapon to play with.
4. Cortland Finnegan: I reported on Twitter via a league source that the Cowboys, Bucs, Bears, and Vikings are the favorites to land Finnegan. Dallas and Tampa look like the strongest two candidates. The Cowboys also have interest in Brandon Carr. St. Louis and Denver will also likely get involved, but it doesn’t look like they’ll extend enough financially.
5. Stevie Johnson: Beware the free agent receiver that changes teams. (Unless the receiver has truly exceptional skills. Johnson doesn’t qualify.)
6. Arian Foster: Say hello to your No. 1 overall pick in 2012 fantasy drafts. It is outstanding news for Foster’s keeper league owners that he’ll stay with the Texans throughout the prime of his career.
1. Ben Tate, Texans: See above. Tate is going to be one of the league’s most valuable backups, but he’ll still be a backup.
2. Marques Colston: It looks more and more that Colston will leave the Saints. One of the most consistent fantasy wideouts of his era, there’s simply no way Colston will find a better situation outside of Nola.
3. Hines Ward: If the Cardinals aren’t interested in Ward, there’s a strong chance no one will be.
The Saints bounty scandal reminded me of a passage from The Best Game Ever by Mark Bowden.
Colts coach Weeb Ewbanks prized physical play. Other teams thought the Colts overstepped unwritten rules of playing, but Ewbank rewarded vicious hits with a self-policed scoring system.
49ers fullback Joe Perry was running a decoy pattern in 1954 nowhere near the ball when he was clubbed to the ground by a Colts tackle named Tom Finnin.
“Hey Finny, what the hell are you doing?” Perry complained.
“I get points for that,” he said.