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We scour the news around the NFL to bring you what matters most to you and your dynasty team: the most current news on players, both superstars and the relative unknowns, and analysis to decipher the respective situations. These are many of the major stories and not meant to be an exhaustive look at all the recent happenings around the league.
When Carson Wentz was replaced midgame by Jalen Hurts, tongues started wagging as to the starter’s long-term place in the Philadelphia Eagles organization. Former agent Joel Corry tweeted several key million-dollar reasons for Wentz staying in Philadelphia another year, “Unfortunately for Philly, Carson Wentz's $25.4M 2021 salary ($15.4M base salary & $10M 3rd day of league year roster bonus) is already fully guaranteed. $15M of his $22M 2022 base salary (guaranteed for injury), becomes fully guaranteed on the 3rd day of the 2021 league year.” He followed that up with, “If Carson Wentz is traded before the 3rd day of the 2021 league year (3/19) when his $10M roster bonus is due, the Eagles will have $33,820,611 of dead money. That's $852,925 less than Wentz's 2021 salary cap number of $34,673,536.” Lastly, Corry added, “The Eagles are paying Carson Wentz $39,301,647 in the 2020 calendar year. The bulk of it comes from the $30M Philly had to give Wentz in order to pick up his 2024 contract year. Wentz got the entire option bonus before the 1st regular-season game … An acquiring team would need $25.4M of salary cap space to absorb Carson Wentz's 2021 salary. There would 4 years left on his contract for $98.4M. Acquiring team could exit deal in 2023 without dead money after paying $47.4M for 2 years.” Ouch! There is no way Philadelphia can afford to release or trade Wentz. Andrew Brandt gave a sobering perspective on the situation, “Eagles commitment to Carson Wentz: 2016 1st, 4th round picks, 2017 1st, 2nd round picks, 2016 contract: $27M; $17M signing bonus. 2019 contract: $128M; full guarantees in 2020, 2021; partial guarantee in 2022. Earnings to date: $80M. Traded Bradford. Let Foles head to free agency.” Yes, Wentz did help the Eagles to the Super Bowl. That title needs to be added to the mix.
Last Wednesday, Cincinnati Bengals star rookie Joe Burrow "underwent successful surgery" on his injured knee, according to the team website. As you might expect, the team says Burrow is expected to make a full recovery from a torn ACL and MCL. Burrow had to wait until the swelling went down in the knee before having the surgery. Injuring both ligaments will inhibit a fast recovery. If we look for comparable injuries, Carson Wentz tore his ACL and LCL in December 2017 and went on to miss first the two regular-season games in 2018. While we believe in Burrow’s long-term outlook, do not be surprised if he misses a game or two to start the 2021 season.
As Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde are back on the field, the backfield is slated to get a little crowded. Beat reporter, Ben Arthur tweeted last Friday, “Pete Carroll says Rashaad Penny (PUP) is practicing next week. No ifs, ands or buts on that.” We know Carroll to be an optimist, but he seems sure this time. With the injuries this season to the two atop the depth chart, Penny will provide solid depth as the playoffs near. One reason Carroll might be pushing Penny is Carson’s health. After the loss to the Giants, beat reporter Gregg Bell tweeted, ‘Pete Carroll says Chris Carson "is not 100%. We are trying to bring him along.’ #Seahawks.” So, possibly, Carroll knows he needs a healthy running game down the stretch.
With the emergence of rookie Antonio Gibson and the pass-catch J.D. McKissic, it was of little surprise last week when Washington leaked that Bryce Love would not be activated from injured reserve this season. Love has not played in a football game for two years now, and it will be a while before he steps foot on the field for a game … if he ever does again. It was interesting that the team made Love a healthy scratch before re-injuring his and landing back on injured reserve.
There has been much ink spilled over Will Fuller’s suspension before he is to become a free agent. Last week, beat reporter John McClain wrote that he expects the Texans to re-sign the speedy Fuller. Brimming with upside, Fuller was finally able to stay healthy in 2020 so the end to his season was an unpleasant surprise. The next general manager for Houston will determine Fuller’s fate. Without early picks in the 2021 draft, locking up talent should be a priority.
Mike Garafolo tweeted a surprise move for the Detroit Lions, “#Lions are planning to waive veteran WR Marvin Hall, source says. Surprising, considering he’s only a few weeks removed from a 113-yard game. Detroit wants to give some of the younger guys a look. Hall could garner interest on waivers.” There must be more to the story as Hall was a productive depth receiver in Detroit, especially with Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola gimpy. He was claimed by the Cleveland Browns earlier this week and will be buried behind a pile of youngsters on the depth chart.
Last week, the Cincinnati Bengals placed receiver Auden Tate on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. His 2020 season ends with a paltry 14 catches for 150 yards. Next season is his last under contract and Tate should be in the WR4 mix for the Bengals.
Last Saturday, the New England Patriots released wide receiver Isaiah Ford, the player they traded for at the deadline. He was made expendable by the strong play of Donte Moncrief on the practice squad. Moncrief was activated for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. The Patriots also activated rookie tight end Dalton Keane off injured reserve. Fantasy managers should note that he got the call and not fellow-rookie Devin Asiasi. Keane makes a great dynasty waiver acquisition for the offseason.
Journeyman receiver Chris Hogan is now looking for his next team. Beat reporter Andy Ross tweeted, “The Jets have released Chris Hogan. He is healthy, in shape and looking forward to continuing his career.” His agent is putting out the word that Hogan is healthy and ready to return to the field. Hogan could provide valuable depth to a contender needing a veteran presence.
San Francisco tight end George Kittle told reporters that was "very optimistic" about returning this season. Kittle said, “They said eight weeks; I said six … And I’m excited. These last couple days have definitely progressed forward and made me very optimistic about returning to the field of play … If you’d ask me that six days ago, I would’ve been a little less optimistic. The last week has been really good for me.” He has a chance to play in a couple of weeks. Coach Kyle Shanahan chimed in, “I’m holding out hope for ... the last couple of weeks. They’re (Kittle and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo) just starting to get into where they get on the field and not with us but on their own to do some stuff.” With the 49ers pushing for a playoff berth, the quarterback-tight end combo might be rushed back for the last game or two.
Beat reporter Michael Gehlken tweeted an encouraging update on Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin last Friday, “Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin was working out with an athletic trainer on a side field. First time we’ve seen that since his Sept. 13 ACL tear. Jarwin’s recovery has gone well. Expected to be full go in 2021.” Jarwin is definitely on our “buy” list as he is the superior fantasy option to Dalton Schultz and has a strong rapport with quarterback Dak Prescott.
Beat reporter Pat Leonard tweeted some optimism for Seattle tight end Greg Olsen, “Meanwhile, on the football side, Greg Olsen told me ‘my season is by no means over’ even though the Seahawks TE is on I.R. right now. He said his rehab is going “really well” & he hopes to be back in the ‘next few weeks, before the end of the regular season.’ So there’s that.” This report came over the weekend. Olsen could provide a veteran presence in what could be his last NFL season. He might be worth picking up if available on waivers … just in case the recovery goes quickly, or he returns for 2021.
If you would like to review our most recent Dynasty rankings, here is a link.