During the past few years, rising caps and carryovers from previous eras have mostly mitigated the problem of the NFL team that spends too much in free agency. Just ask how the Jaguars are feeling about springing for corner A.J. Bouye and end Calais Campbell, or how happy the Rams were with tackle Andrew Whitworth.
Teams are more apt than ever to get what they pay for, as long as they aren’t wishcasting their tall, big-armed quarterback fantasies on mediocrity.
I’ve tried to hang with Pietrangelo during his extended slump, but it’s time to start letting him slide down the rankings. After an electric start to the campaign with 13 points in 13 games during the month of October, Pietrangelo has struggled to maintain fantasy relevance. He has only two power-play points since Dec. 1 and has even ceded power-play position to Vince Dunn on the first unit. Perhaps an injection of a new winger at the trade deadline can reinvigorate the Blues’ offense, but I won’t be holding my breath.
He originally joined the Panthers as a free agent in 2015, leading the team with seven interceptions. He had only four interceptions in 2016 and none last season when he was named a team captain for the first time.
Saquon Barkley is living up to high expectations at the combine. Here are the top prospects with the type of athleticism to turn heads during this week’s workouts.
Cardinals RB David Johnson. It’s not an accident that Johnson led the NFL with 2,118 total yards and 20 touchdowns in 2016, before missing almost all of last season with a wrist injury. Johnson’s lower-body power was on full display during the 2015 combine, when he posted a 41.5-inch vert, tied for third best among running backs since 2012.
Georgia RB Sony Michel. There are exceptions to explosive athletes at running back having good vertical jumps (Leonard Fournette posted only a 28-inch vertical jump last year), but Alvin Kamara (39.5), Kareem Hunt (36.5) and Christian McCaffrey (37.5) had three of the best verts of all the RBs at the 2017 combine. I’m interested to see if Michel’s workout results match his terrific tape.