2/14-2/20: Latest fantasy football news during the weeks of February 14th through February 20th.
Sam Darnold could be available for a team's second round pick.
The Jets are widely expected to use the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft on Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, making Darnold expendable after Adam Gase nearly destroyed his career. League sources told SportsNet New York's Ralph Vacchiano that the Eagles trading Carson Wentz to the Colts for a third rounder and a conditional second rounder wouldn't change the Jets' asking price for Darnold. Vacchiano reports the Jets' asking price for their QB "has long been projected to be a second-round pick, plus maybe another mid-to-late rounder." Incredibly just 23 years old, Darnold could be an enticing target for a QB-needy team like Washington, who is reportedly interested in dealing for Darnold. It would be stunning if a team -- Washington or otherwise -- offered anything more than a second round pick for Darnold. SOURCE: SNY.tv Feb 19, 2021, 9:13 AM ET
Colts acquired Carson Wentz from the Eagles in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and conditional 2022 second-round pick.
The conditional second-rounder becomes a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75 percent of the snaps or 70 percent and the team makes the playoffs. The Eagles will also take on $33.8 million in dead-money cap penalties, the largest number in league history for one player. It's a far cry from the "multiple firsts" GM Howie Roseman was in the market for, but clearly the organization's best offer on the table after the Bears reportedly lost interest. Fresh off a season in which he led the league in fumbles, interceptions, and sacks taken and benched accordingly after 12 games, Wentz, 28, will have an opportunity to start anew with a supporting cast that's already built to contend. Jalen Hurts meanwhile will likely open the fantasy year as a top-10 option at his position barring an insurgence of another quarterback with the No. 6 overall pick.
SOURCE: Adam Schefter on Twitter Feb 18, 2021, 11:47 AM ET
The NFL informed teams the salary cap for the 2021 season will be a minimum of $180 million.
The NFL and NFLPA initially agreed that the minimum salary cap would be no lower than $175 million for this upcoming season, increasing $5 million on that agreement. The league has increased its salary cap every year since having an uncapped season in 2010 but a significant increase doesn't appear to be in the cards for 2021. As it stands, the Jaguars are projected with the most cap space at $77.6 million.
SOURCE: Adam Schefter on Twitter Feb 18, 2021, 11:26 AM ET
NFL Network's James Palmer reports the Broncos aren't interested in Carson Wentz and other quarterbacks not in the "top group."
Denver is doing their research on every available quarterback and remains interested in elite quarterbacks. However, the Broncos aren't in the market for the second tier of quarterbacks available in free agency and via trade -- presumably Marcus Mariota, Cam Newton, and Teddy Bridgewater in addition to Wentz. Palmer believes the Broncos were internally optimistic with Drew Lock's finish in 2020 and would like to see him with a fully healthy receiving corps in 2021. Most of Denver's cap space will be spent on re-signed defensive players this offseason, so the most likely outcome at quarterback is Lock plus a cheap veteran like Andy Dalton or Nick Foles. Lock should have better numbers next year with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Noah Fant at his disposal, but he hasn't looked like a franchise quarterback in his first two seasons. If he busts in 2021, new GM George Patton will make quarterback the top priority next offseason.
SOURCE: James Palmer on Twitter Feb 17, 2021, 2:01 PM ET
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said he has to "look at this current [cap] situation" when asked about Ben Roethlisberger being the 2021 starting quarterback.
In a Wednesday press conference, Colbert had multiple chances to endorse Roethlisberger as his 2021 starting quarterback but repeatedly dodged questions. "As we sit here today, Ben is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers," Colbert continued. "What type of team can he anticipate being around him if we decide we can move forward together?” Roethlisberger comes with a $41.2 million cap hit if no contract adjustments are made this offseason. Teams don't like to end Hall of Fame careers with a sour taste, but Pittsburgh could cut Roethlisberger and save $19 million against the cap. Because the Steelers are $30 million over the cap, Colbert will have to make some very tough decisions in the next few weeks ahead of free agency. Roethlisberger tentatively remains the favorite to be the 2021 starter, but it's not a lock after the deliberate word choice by an experienced general manager.
SOURCE: Brooke Pryor on Twitter Feb 17, 2021, 1:06 PM ET
Titans general manager Jon Robison indicated Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis might sign elsewhere this offseason.
Both Smith and Davis are unrestricted free agents who should see interest from several teams in the coming weeks and months. The uber-athletic Smith made the most of his limited opportunity in the run-heavy Tennessee offense, turning in his most productive season in 2020 (41 receptions and eight touchdowns). In a more pass-happy offense, Smith could finally become an every-week fantasy starter rather than a strictly touchdown-dependent option. Davis disappointed down the stretch in 2020 after a hot start -- mostly due to A.J. Brown being sidelined with a knee injury. Davis did, however, post a career high in yards per reception (15.1) last year while missing two games. Davis in no way profiles as a team's WR1. "We’ll see what we can figure out," Robinson said. "But at the end of the day, if they choose to capitalize on free agency and the market, I wish them nothing but the best. They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do.” SOURCE: ProFootballTalk.com Feb 17, 2021, 8:40 AM ET
The Athletic's Michael-Shawn Dugar reports the Seahawks are unlikely to re-sign Chris Carson this offseason.
Dugar said the $8 million salary floor that the franchise tag unofficially sets means Carson "is unlikely to take a deal averaging less than that on a long-term extension." He predicts "Seattle is unlikely to spend any more than that on a long-term deal, meaning Carson will be running through defenders for another team in 2021." There's almost no chance the 26-year-old -- whose rookie deal expired after the 2020 season -- doesn't cash in with a team willing to pay him. Carson's departure could compel the run-establishing Pete Carroll to take a running back in this spring's NFL Draft. Dugar said it "would be surprising if Carroll spent big on a running back" in free agency. Rashaad Penny, entering his age-25 season and signed through 2021, could conceivably get a crack at the team's starting gig if Carson signs elsewhere. Second-year back DeeJay Dallas struggled mightily in a couple of 2020 spot starts and would probably profile as the team's RB2 or RB3 headed into 2021. SOURCE: The Athletic Feb 16, 2021, 11:32 AM ET
ESPN's Rich Cimini reports Jamison Crowder could be a cap casualty this offseason.
The Jets, per Cimini, could part ways with their best offensive player because his cap charge is a team-high $11.4 million, including a non-guaranteed $10 million base salary. Jarvis Landry and Tyler Lockett are the only slot receivers making more than Crowder, who has been among the NFL's most productive slot receivers. He's seventh in receptions (91) and eighth in yards (1,094) on plays from the slot over the past two seasons. New York could replace Crowder, 27, with free agents like JuJu Smith-Schuster or Chris Godwin if they get aggressive in free agency. Cimini noted that unrestricted free agent Kendrick Bourne -- who played in a Niners offense that will be similar to the Jets' new offense -- could be a candidate to replace Crowder as the team's slot guy in 2021 SOURCE: ESPN.com Feb 15, 2021, 9:35 AM ET
Kansas City general manager Brett Veach said the team would "try" to re-sign unrestricted free agent Sammy Watkins.
Watkins could be a casualty of the league's decreased salary cap after he made $15.8 million in 2020, struggling through a range of injuries that cost him five games and parts of others. "Sammy is a big part of this offense and when he's healthy, we're better," Veach said. "If there's a way we can make it work again, we'll certainly try to do that." ESPN's Adam Teicher said the Chiefs re-signing Watkins this offseason would be a clear indication that the team does not see Mecole Hardman as an every-down wideout. Even if the Chiefs let Watkins walk, Hardman -- who ran costly incorrect routes at least twice in the team's Super Bowl loss -- wouldn't be guaranteed an every-down spot in the KC offense. SOURCE: ESPN.com Feb 15, 2021, 9:15 AM ET
Sports Illustrated's Ed Kracz reports the Eagles have talked to Colts and Seahawks about a trade involving TE Zach Ertz.
Kracz added that the Eagles have been looking to trade Ertz for months and the expectation is that they find someone to make a deal with. He also said that the expectation is that Carson Wentz is traded before any move involving Ertz occurs. Ertz pushed for a contract extension prior to the 2020 season but the Eagles didn't play ball. He then posted his worst NFL season in eight years of play. Ertz caught 36 passes for 336 yards and scored just once. All three marks were career lows. Ertz is likely to get a new deal upon being traded but it won't be the massive payday he was looking for before his most recent season. If he's dealt to Indianapolis, it's possible that he is part of a package deal that also involves Wentz, who the Colts are reported to be pursuing.
SOURCE: Sports Illustrated Feb 14, 2021, 4:47 PM ET
NFL analyst Ron Jaworski reports the Colts have offered "two second-round draft picks" for Carson Wentz.
It's the best offer the Eagles have for Wentz. The Eagles are holding out for a Matthew Stafford type deal, but that's not going to happen. Teams have been unwilling to even offer a late first-round pick for Wentz. The Wentz market has cooled in recent weeks, with Chicago reportedly losing interest. Philly is going to have to come off its asking price to trade Wentz this offseason. SOURCE: WPVI Philadelphia Feb 13, 2021, 11:36 AM ET