Weekly Rundown – DJax Trade?
Jeff Ratcliffe breaks down the happenings from around the league this past week, including a possible DeSean Jackson trade, Jared Allen's free agency, and Friday's quarterback movement.
Weekly Rundown – DJax Trade?
One name dominated NFL newsfeeds this week – DeSean Jackson. Talk of the Eagles trading Jackson initially surfaced back in January when he unceremoniously discussed re-negotiating his contract with CSN Philly.
Earlier this month, it was reported that some of the Eagles brass don’t believe Jackson is a good fit with the team culture Chip Kelly has instilled over the last year. Then the Eagles went and re-signed Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin along with adding offensive weapon Darren Sproles.
While a trade isn’t necessarily imminent, the writing sure does seem to be on the wall for Jackson. There have been multiple reports this past week of teams inquiring on Jackson, including the 49ers, Panthers, Jets, Raiders, and Patriots.
At this point Jackson believes he won’t be in Philly in 2014, and it sure seems there’s enough smoke here to suggest he’s right. The question is ultimately where he lands. In the right system, he can be a high-ceiling WR2. In the wrong system, he’s a barely playable WR4.
Cross your fingers if Jackson’s on your dynasty squad.
Jared Allen’s Wild Ride
Well, not so wild. But the free agent defensive end has yet to find a landing spot in large part because he’s not willing to settle. Allen visited Seattle for a second time this past week.
Allen is reportedly looking to make somewhere in the $10 million per year range. This number seems high for an aging veteran, but we saw similar money go to DeMarcus Ware and Julius Peppers.
It’s rare that a player makes a second visit with a team and does not end up signing. However, Allen did leave Seattle without a deal to think things over.
With the market all but dried up, this may be Allen’s last chance to land a deal with a competitive team. It’s expected he signs with the Seahawks.
This signing would give Seattle an upgrade on the departed Chris Clemons, while allowing Allen to not have to play every snap. Seattle uses a heavy rotation on the defensive line, so they’d likely cater to Allen’s strength, using him in passing situations.
And Finally, Some Quarterback Movement
There was almost no quarterback movement in the first week of free agency, with only Josh McCown signing. Finally, on Friday afternoon some sparks started to fly.
The Raiders got things started, dealing a sixth-round pick to Houston for Matt Schaub. While he’s not an elite player, Oakland at least now has a starting caliber player at the helm. Still, Schaub isn’t the ultimate answer, and one would expect the Raiders will try to address the position with the No. 5 pick in May’s draft. That being said, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen views Schaub as a long-term starter.
This move leaves the Texans with Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick as the only quarterbacks on the roster. When asked if Houston selects a quarterback with the first pick in the draft, the Magic 8 Ball says “signs point to yes.”
From there, we saw the Jets finally cut ties with Mark Sanchez, and minutes later signed Michael Vick. He’s not the player he appeared to be in 2011, but Vick is still capable of starting. At this point, he has to be considered the favorite to open the season as the Jets’ starter.
What this means for Geno Smith has yet to be determined. It’s likely Vick is more of a stopgap, and with his injury history, it’s very likely we’ll see Smith start his share of games this season. As for Sanchez, he should end up in a backup role in 2014.
Despite bringing in RB Donald Brown, Chargers GM Tom Telesco maintained that Ryan Mathews remains San Diego’s bell-cow. … Detroit plans to use more 2-back sets this season, which means a downgrade to Reggie Bush’s fantasy value. … Maurice Jones-Drew visited with the Steelers, but left without a contract. His $3.5 million per year asking price is awfully steep for an aging running back in a weak market. … Dwayne Allen claims to be back to 100 percent. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with Allen, who is a high ceiling TE2 when healthy. … Sean Lee has been cleared for offseason activities. The oft-injury stud linebacker could be moved to the weak side in an effort to keep him on the field for all 16 games this season. … Robert Griffin III says he’s shedding the knee brace this season. This should help Griffin’s mobility, and we like him for a bounce-back season under pass-happy head coach Jay Gruden. … Taking a page out of Pete Carroll’s book, Bill Belichick will use Brandon Browner at corner, opposite Darrelle Revis. A big bruiser and a shutdown seems to be the model right now. … Speaking of the Pats, ESPN Boston’s Field Yates said WR Brandon LaFell has the tools to possibly start at X-receiver. LaFell will have to battle Aaron Dobson for that spot, and we tend to like Dobson to win the job.
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Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out our new Mock and Companion Draft Tool! Utilizing our updated player projections, run a quick mock draft and see where this year’s crop of free agents are coming off the board in early fantasy football drafts.
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy.
Jeff Ratcliffe | Director of Fantasy
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.