Donovan McNabb to the Redskins
Philly fans, you finally got your wish: no more Donovan McNabb to kick around any more.
With Kevin Kolb warming in the bullpen and McNabb in the final year of his contract, the Eagles shopped their veteran quarterback in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft. The Cardinals and Vikings were rumored to be possible destinations, along with quarterback-needy teams like the Rams, Raiders, and Bills. Ultimately, however, the Eagles kept McNabb within the NFC East, sending him to the Redskins for a second-round pick in this year’s draft (which ended up being safety Nate Allen) and a conditional third- or fourth-round selection in 2011. Read the full McNabb analysis »
Jason Campbell to the Raiders
There was plenty of blame to go around in Washington last season. Jim Zorn was first up on the chopping block, and once the new regime arrived in town it was just a matter of time until Jason Campbell got the hook as well. The Redskins’ trade for Donovan McNabb highlighted the writing on the wall, and shortly after the NFL draft wrapped up the Raiders acquired the former first-round pick for a 2012 fourth-rounder.
Campbell enters a crowded situation in Oakland, which has a failed first-rounder of its own in JaMarcus Russell as well as former Ravens first-rounder Kyle Boller, Bruce Gradkowski, and Charlie Frye. Campbell was quickly placed at the fore of that group and barring something unusual he should enter the season as Oakland’s starting quarterback. Read the full Campbell analysis »
Chester Taylor to the Bears
One of the more curious free agency signings this offseason was the Bears throwing $12.5 million at Chester Taylor.
Curious because the Bears would seem to already have a talented back in place in Matt Forte; with no first- or second-round draft pick, that money might have been better spent filling other, more critical areas of need in Chicago.
Curious because Taylor is a veteran back on the wrong side of 30 whose touches and productivity have been in steady decline the last three seasons, culminating with 332 rushing yards and two total touchdowns last year.
And curious because with so much invested in Jay Cutler and the passing game, and now the addition of Mike Martz as offensive coordinator, a high priced second back on a sub-.500 pass-first team seems superfluous. Read the full Taylor analysis »
LaDainian Tomlinson to the Jets
It all boils down to this: what’s left in the tank?
A good share of fantasy owners were off the LaDainian Tomlinson bandwagon last year; while they missed out on a dozen touchdowns, they weren’t forced to endure career lows across the board in games played, attempts, yards, yards per carry, and receptions. The cumulative total of more than 3,500 NFL touches, regular and postseason combined, seem to be catching up with LT. Further evidence of the toll the mileage is taking can be found by looking at this stat courtesy of Pro Football Focus: among regular running backs, Tomlinson ranked dead-dog last in yards after contact. Read the full Tomlinson analysis »
LenDale White and Leon Washington to the Seahawks
Seattle running backs finished in the middle of the pack in fantasy scoring, ranking 18th overall. However, in yardage-heavy leagues it’s worth noting that only 10 teams produced more running back combo yards than the Seahawks. As you might expect, then, Seattle’s RB TD production was putrid; only 10 teams scored fewer running back touchdowns.
With a new coach in town, a total revamp of the Seattle running back depth chart on draft day wasn’t entirely unexpected. The method by which Pete Carroll went about the facelift, however, was a bit unusual. Rather than draft a back, Seattle picked up a pair of young veterans who are expected to come in and immediately contend for playing time. Read the full White/Washington analysis »
Nate Burleson to the Lions
The Lions’ search for a complementary receiver to alleviate some of the pressure from Calvin Johnson led them to wave $25 million ($11 million guaranteed) in front of Nate Burleson to woo him from Seattle. And while it may be easy to be gunshy after watching last year’s next big thing, Bryant Johnson, slog his way to a pedestrian 35-417-3, there are certainly reasons for guarded optimism.
Let’s start with the reunion between Burleson and Scott Linehan, Detroit’s offensive coordinator. Linehan held the same position with the Vikings in 2004, when Burleson put up career numbers of 68 catches, 1,006 yards, and nine touchdowns—opposite Randy Moss, who posted 49-767-13 in 13 games. Linehan obviously knows Burleson’s skill set, and knows that he can be counted on as the wingman to an elite receiver. Read the full Burleson analysis »
Anquan Boldin to the Ravens
It was only a matter of time before the Cardinals and Anquan Boldin parted ways; Kurt Warner’s retirement—coupled with the impending transition to a more run-focused offense—helped lower the price to something the Ravens could justify paying for a 30-year-old receiver who’s played a full 16-game slate just once in the past six seasons.
Boldin goes from being a WR1A to Larry Fitzgerald to... well, that’s actually a pretty good question. Boldin’s 85-1,029-5 in 15 games last year was pretty similar to the 73-1,028-7 Derrick Mason put up as Baltimore’s only wideout of note. And while Mason is six years older than Boldin, he’s not going away completely. The plan is for Mason and Boldin to complement each other, joining Todd Heap and Ray Rice in a multifaceted passing attack that will prevent defenses from loading up on the Ravens’ beloved ground game. Read the full Boldin analysis »
Santonio Holmes to the Jets
How much personal baggage do you need to be carrying to go from Super Bowl hero to nearly being released, while still in the prime of your playing years? Santonio Holmes attempted to answer that question this offseason; the 26-year-old receiver was dealt to the New York Jets for a mere fifth-round draft pick, shortly after his involvement in an alleged assault at an Orlando nightclub was revealed and days before a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy was announced.
Holmes’ 79-1,248-5 last year ranked him 15th among fantasy wideouts, building on his strong 2008 postseason after a somewhat disappointing regular slate. It was the second time in the past three years he ranked in the top 20 at his position—great news for Ben Roethlisberger, as with Hines Ward aging and Limas Sweed perpetually injured it wasn’t like the Steelers were overflowing with receivers. Read the full Holmes analysis »
Antonio Bryant to the Bengals
Antonio Bryant hoped to parlay his big 2008 campaign (83-1,248-7) into an equally large contract; instead, he got a $9.9 million franchise tag and produced pedestrian 39-600-4 numbers in an injury-marred 2009 season in Tampa.
Unshackled this offseason, Bryant secured a four-year, $28 million deal with the Bengals. In Cincinnati, home to Chad Ochocinco, Bryant will return to the role of wingman, or at least WR1A to #85. That shouldn’t be an issue; Bryant started his career playing a similar role to Joey Galloway in Dallas and rolled up a solid 44-733-6 as a rookie. Read the full Bryant analysis »
Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins
Last year, only Cleveland Brown wide receivers caught fewer touchdowns than the paltry half-dozen Miami Dolphins wideouts produced. The lineup of Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Greg Camarillo, and Ted Ginn struck fear into the hearts of absolutely no one.
With a wide receiver planted firmly atop the Dolphins’ offseason wish list, Miami didn’t wait around for draft day; they pulled the trigger on a deal that sent second-round picks in the 2010 and 2011 drafts to the Denver Broncos in exchange for the über-talented yet enigmatic Brandon Marshall. Read the full Marshall analysis »