Home / War Room / Early Look at 2018 NFL Free Agency – Part 1

Early Look at 2018 NFL Free Agency – Part 1

Every year I like to keep half an eye on the upcoming free agency at the end of the season. I don’t try to act on it too early, but it allows me to start scheming and thinking about potential changes to certain rosters in advance. I know we’re not even halfway through the 2017 season yet, but it can’t hurt to see just who will be a UFA and thus may be in a different territory going forward. Here are a few “bigger” names to keep an eye on at the QB and RB positions:

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  • QuarterbacksKirk Cousins, Drew Brees, Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garoppolo

Let me start off by saying I think Brees will re-sign. His play continues to be at a high level and it seems very unlikely that New Orleans let their city’s hero walk out the door. They may draft a replacement QB, but I think they’ll at least keep Brees around to mentor him.

Minnesota’s QB situation is intriguing. At the end of the season, they have to decide whether to move forward with Bradford or Bridgewater. Both of whom have presented injury troubles for the franchise. I highly doubt they re-sign both, which means one of them will be on the market at least. I’m sure a couple of teams would be very happy to take a risk on either.

Kirk Cousins entire contract saga has been a mess. After having the franchise tag applied a couple of times, the Redskins now need to decide if they are going to commit long term or not. There have been rumors of a reunion with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. Personally, I think Cousins could test the open market. Considering Washington hasn’t shown too much commitment to him, why should he provide the same courtesy? Perhaps we get a better idea of his plans as the year goes on.

Jimmy Garoppolo is again playing second fiddle to Brady as his career never ends. I suspect Brady will be back for at least 2018 and potentially further. It seems unlikely to me that they bring Garoppolo back on a franchise tag over $20million, just to hold a clipboard on Sundays. I also doubt he will want to take a backup role yet again when numerous teams will surely be looking to buy his services. Unless he is traded soon, I expect Garoppolo to sign elsewhere in 2018 and could be a good starting QB.

  • Running BacksLeVeon Bell, Carlos Hyde, Isaiah Crowell, LeGarrette Blount

I will preface this part by stating that Darren Sproles, Eddie Lacy, Frank Gore, Jamaal Charles, and numerous others are FAs. But I don’t necessarily think they have value beyond this year and some of them may even retire. At the least, they won’t be entering starting jobs anywhere.

LeVeon is by far the biggest name on the market. I’m sure the Steelers would love to bring him back, but seeing as he wants to be paid more than any RB ever has before and wants to reset the RB market….I doubt they will be able to. Considering Antonio Brown wants a pay rise and Martavis is a potential free agent, they may turn their attention to another strong 2018 RB class. Alternatively, they did take James Conner in the 3rd round this year.

Carlos Hyde has started 2017 with a boom. After receiving a substantial amount of hate in the offseason, he has proven many people wrong. He has thrived in Shanahan’s offense and if he can remain healthy, he could have a career year. I believe there’s a good chance he looks to stay in San Fran as he’s locked into his starting job there and they have cap space. He may also think that this is where he has the best chance to produce given the scheme. However, it’s no secret that the 49ers are rebuilding. As such, they may view an RB heading into his 5th season as someone that doesn’t match up to their timelines to compete.

Isaiah Crowell has had the opposite effect of Hyde. Crowell was hyped during the offseason with many in the community predicting a breakout season behind what figured to be a solid O-line. That has not happened in 2017 so far, and Crowell has looked like a turd ferg. Given how disappointing he has looked so far, I’m expecting him to hit the market at the end of the year and be replaced by a rookie RB in Cleveland. I’m not sure anyone will want to invest heavily in him or give him a starting role unless he turns it around in a big way. Crowell will be hoping his 2nd half of the season is significantly better than the 1st half.

Blount appears to be another RB that no one wants to spend money on. Blount was brought to New England on a small contract and had a big year in 2016. However, following that season they had no interest in re-signing him. As 2017 approached, he seemed to have very little interest on the market before signing another small deal with the Eagles. The way the Eagles have used him makes it very clear that they don’t view him as a feature back. I could see Blount ending up in the exact same situation again. He will likely sign a 1 year contract elsewhere while the Eagles target a stud RB in the draft.

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About Jon Diment

Dynasty has caused many fights with all my friends, and I'm totally okay with the fact that fantasy football is now consuming our lives. The thrill we get every Sunday is like no other and makes it all worth it. I hope that my advice helps make your dynasty teams good enough to take your mind off life's other troubles. Currently working in business operations for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Follow me on twitter: @DynastyJon

One comment

  1. J. Mckinnon is going to be a free agent and if he can shine with Cook out he’s someone to watch for.