Monthly Archives: February 2015

Free Agency Update: 2015 NFL Free Agents

Written by : Posted on February 28, 2015 : No Comments
This post was originally published on this site

With access to NFL Players Association data, Rotoworld can generate the most accurate free agent list on the internet. The free agents below are ranked loosely in order of how we project them to be valued on the open market.

Keep in mind that franchise tags and re-signings will inevitably deplete the market. Things pick up quickly in the days preceding the March 7 negotiating period, and the market will largely evaporate one week after the official start of free agency on March 10.

Quarterbacks

1. Mark Sanchez
2. Jake Locker

3. Josh McCown (Signed 3-year, $14M deal with CLE)

4. Brian Hoyer
5. Matt Moore
6. Ryan Mallett
7. Christian Ponder
8. Tarvaris Jackson

9. Shaun Hill
10. Michael Vick
11. Matt Hasselbeck (Re-signed 1-year, $3M deal with IND)
12. Colt McCoy
13. Jimmy Clausen
14. Jason Campbell
15. Dan Orlovsky
16. Blaine Gabbert
17. Kellen Moore
18. T.J. Yates
19. Tyrod Taylor
20. Matt Flynn

Running Backs

1. DeMarco Murray
2. C.J. Spiller
3. Ryan Mathews
4. Mark Ingram
5. Justin Forsett
6. Frank Gore
7. Shane Vereen
8. Stevan Ridley
9. Roy Helu

10. Reggie Bush
11. Ahmad Bradshaw
12. Darren McFadden
13. Knowshon Moreno
14. Ray Rice
15. Ben Tate

16. DeAngelo Williams

17. Steven Jackson

18. Chris Johnson
19. Antone Smith
20. Jacquizz Rodgers

Fullbacks

1. Jerome Felton
2. Henry Hynoski
3. Jed Collins
4. John Kuhn
5. Tyler Clutts
6. John Conner
7. Will Tukuafu
8. Jackie Battle
9. Montell Owens

Wide Receivers

1. Dez Bryant
2. Demaryius Thomas
3. Randall Cobb
4. Jeremy Maclin
5. Torrey Smith
6. Michael Crabtree

7. Stevie Johnson
8. Kenny Britt
9. Cecil Shorts

10. Brian Hartline
11. Eddie Royal
12. Nate Washington
13. Wes Welker
14. Hakeem Nicks

15. Mike Williams
16. Reggie Wayne
17. Denarius Moore
18. Leonard Hankerson
19. Dwayne Harris

20. Ted Ginn

21. Jacoby Jones

22. Harry Douglas
23. Vincent Brown

24. Brandon Gibson
25. Miles Austin
26. Jerrel Jernigan

27. Donnie Avery
28. Marcus Easley
29. Derek Hagan
30. Robert Meachem

Tight Ends

1. Julius Thomas
2. Jordan Cameron
3. Charles Clay
4. Jermaine Gresham
5. Niles Paul
6. Rob Housler
7. Virgil Green
8. Owen Daniels
9. Lance Kendricks

10. James Casey
11. Tony Moeaki
12. Lee Smith

13. Anthony Fasano
14. Matt Spaeth
15. Dante Rosario
16. Jacob Tamme
17. Daniel Fells
18. Ed Dickson
19. David Ausberry
20. Luke Stocker

Offensive Tackles

1. Bryan Bulaga
2. Doug Free
3. Derek Newton
4. King Dunlap (Re-signed 4-year, $28M deal with SD)
5. Joe Barksdale
6. Byron Bell
7. Jason Fox
8. Jermey Parnell
9. Ryan Harris
10. Joe Reitz
11. Eric Winston
12. Tyler Polumbus
13. Corey Hilliard
14. Marshall Newhouse

15. Michael Oher
16. Erik Pears
17. Byron Stingily
18. Garry Williams
19. Ben Ijalana

Guards/Centers

1. Mike Iupati
2. Orlando Franklin
3. Rodney Hudson
4. Stefen Wisniewski
5. Clint Boling

6. Justin Blalock

7. Todd Herremans

8. James Carpenter

9. Brian De La Puente
10. Rob Sims

11. Will Montgomery
12. Dominic Raiola
13. Jonathan Goodwin
14. Willie Colon

15. Mike Pollak

16. Charlie Johnson
17. Joe Berger
18. Dan Connolly
19. Samson Satele
20. Daryn Colledge
21. Paul Fanaika
22. Gabe Carimi
23. John Jerry
24. Adam Snyder
25. Davin Joseph

With access to NFL Players Association data, Rotoworld can generate the most accurate free agent list on the internet. The free agents below are ranked loosely in order of how we project them to be valued on the open market.

Keep in mind that franchise tags and re-signings will inevitably deplete the market. Things pick up quickly in the days preceding the March 7 negotiating period, and the market will largely evaporate one week after the official start of free agency on March 10.

Quarterbacks

1. Mark Sanchez
2. Jake Locker

3. Josh McCown (Signed 3-year, $14M deal with CLE)

4. Brian Hoyer
5. Matt Moore
6. Ryan Mallett
7. Christian Ponder
8. Tarvaris Jackson

9. Shaun Hill
10. Michael Vick
11. Matt Hasselbeck (Re-signed 1-year, $3M deal with IND)
12. Colt McCoy
13. Jimmy Clausen
14. Jason Campbell
15. Dan Orlovsky
16. Blaine Gabbert
17. Kellen Moore
18. T.J. Yates
19. Tyrod Taylor
20. Matt Flynn

Running Backs

1. DeMarco Murray
2. C.J. Spiller
3. Ryan Mathews
4. Mark Ingram
5. Justin Forsett
6. Frank Gore
7. Shane Vereen
8. Stevan Ridley
9. Roy Helu

10. Reggie Bush
11. Ahmad Bradshaw
12. Darren McFadden
13. Knowshon Moreno
14. Ray Rice
15. Ben Tate

16. DeAngelo Williams

17. Steven Jackson

18. Chris Johnson
19. Antone Smith
20. Jacquizz Rodgers

Fullbacks

1. Jerome Felton
2. Henry Hynoski
3. Jed Collins
4. John Kuhn
5. Tyler Clutts
6. John Conner
7. Will Tukuafu
8. Jackie Battle
9. Montell Owens

Wide Receivers

1. Dez Bryant
2. Demaryius Thomas
3. Randall Cobb
4. Jeremy Maclin
5. Torrey Smith
6. Michael Crabtree

7. Stevie Johnson
8. Kenny Britt
9. Cecil Shorts

10. Brian Hartline
11. Eddie Royal
12. Nate Washington
13. Wes Welker
14. Hakeem Nicks

15. Mike Williams
16. Reggie Wayne
17. Denarius Moore
18. Leonard Hankerson
19. Dwayne Harris

20. Ted Ginn

21. Jacoby Jones

22. Harry Douglas
23. Vincent Brown

24. Brandon Gibson
25. Miles Austin
26. Jerrel Jernigan

27. Donnie Avery
28. Marcus Easley
29. Derek Hagan
30. Robert Meachem

Tight Ends

1. Julius Thomas
2. Jordan Cameron
3. Charles Clay
4. Jermaine Gresham
5. Niles Paul
6. Rob Housler
7. Virgil Green
8. Owen Daniels
9. Lance Kendricks

10. James Casey
11. Tony Moeaki
12. Lee Smith

13. Anthony Fasano
14. Matt Spaeth
15. Dante Rosario
16. Jacob Tamme
17. Daniel Fells
18. Ed Dickson
19. David Ausberry
20. Luke Stocker

Offensive Tackles

1. Bryan Bulaga
2. Doug Free
3. Derek Newton
4. King Dunlap (Re-signed 4-year, $28M deal with SD)
5. Joe Barksdale
6. Byron Bell
7. Jason Fox
8. Jermey Parnell
9. Ryan Harris
10. Joe Reitz
11. Eric Winston
12. Tyler Polumbus
13. Corey Hilliard
14. Marshall Newhouse

15. Michael Oher
16. Erik Pears
17. Byron Stingily
18. Garry Williams
19. Ben Ijalana

Guards/Centers

1. Mike Iupati
2. Orlando Franklin
3. Rodney Hudson
4. Stefen Wisniewski
5. Clint Boling

6. Justin Blalock

7. Todd Herremans

8. James Carpenter

9. Brian De La Puente
10. Rob Sims

11. Will Montgomery
12. Dominic Raiola
13. Jonathan Goodwin
14. Willie Colon

15. Mike Pollak

16. Charlie Johnson
17. Joe Berger
18. Dan Connolly
19. Samson Satele
20. Daryn Colledge
21. Paul Fanaika
22. Gabe Carimi
23. John Jerry
24. Adam Snyder
25. Davin Joseph

Edge Defenders

1. Justin Houston
2. Jerry Hughes
3. Jason Pierre-Paul
4. Greg Hardy
5. Brian Orakpo
6. Pernell McPhee
7. Jabaal Sheard
8. Jason Worilds
9. Brandon Graham
10. Derrick Morgan
11. Adrian Clayborn
12. Akeem Ayers
13. Brooks Reed
14. John Abraham
15. George Selvie
16. O’Brien Schofield
17. James Harrison
18. Dwight Freeney
19. Sam Acho
20. Corey Wootton
21. Anthony Spencer
22. Osi Umenyiora
23. Kroy Biermann

24. Mathias Kiwanuka
25. Da’Quan Bowers
26. Shaun Phillips
27. Parys Haralson (Re-signed 1-year deal with NO)
28. Jonathan Massaquoi
29. Larry English
30. Marcus Benard

Interior Defensive Linemen

1. Ndamukong Suh
2. Nick Fairley
3. Terrance Knighton
4. Dan Williams
5. Jared Odrick
6. Stephen Paea
7. C.J. Mosley
8. Henry Melton

9. Darnell Dockett
10. Cory Redding

11. Barry Cofield
12. Letroy Guion
13. Corey Peters
14. B.J. Raji
15. Kevin Williams
16. Kenrick Ellis
17. Ahtyba Rubin
18. Tom Johnson
19. Jarvis Jenkins
20. Alan Branch
21. Alex Carrington
22. Dwan Edwards
23. Pat Sims
24. Tommy Kelly
25. Mike Patterson

26. Ricky Jean-Francois (Signed 3-year, $9M deal with WAS)

27. Kendall Langford

28. Chris Canty
29. Leger Douzable
30. Karl Klug
31. Colin Cole
32. Kevin Vickerson
33. Tyson Alualu
34. Demarcus Dobbs
35. Brandon Deaderick
36. Andre Fluellen
37. Fili Moala
38. Nick Hayden
39. Chris Neild
40. Stephen Bowen

Inside Linebackers

1. Brandon Spikes
2. David Harris
3. Mason Foster
4. Rolando McClain

5. Nate Irving
6. Rey Maualuga

7. A.J. Hawk

8. Arthur Moats
9. Jamari Lattimore
10. Colin McCarthy

11. Brad Jones
12. Dane Fletcher
13. Darryl Sharpton
14. Kelvin Sheppard
15. Desmond Bishop
16. Mark Herzlich
17. Andrew Gachkar
19. Jasper Brinkley
20. Josh Bynes

4-3 Outside Linebackers

1. Sean Weatherspoon
2. Malcolm Smith
3. Lance Briggs
4. Justin Durant
5. Jonathan Casillas
6. Bruce Carter
7. Jacquian Williams
8. Spencer Paysinger

9. Keith Rivers
10. Ashlee Palmer
11. J.T. Thomas
12. Geno Hayes
13. Ramon Humber
14. Chase Blackburn
15. Chris White

Cornerbacks

1. Byron Maxwell
2. Brandon Flowers
3. Tramon Williams
4. Antonio Cromartie
5. Buster Skrine
6. Kareem Jackson

7. Davon House
8. Perrish Cox
9. Jimmy Wilson
10. Patrick Robinson
11. Chris Culliver
12. Rashean Mathis
13. Alan Ball
14. Walter Thurmond III
15. Terence Newman
16. Charles Tillman
17. Tarell Brown
18. Brice McCain
19. Darius Butler
20. Shareece Wright
21. Bradley Fletcher
22. Kyle Wilson
23. Josh Wilson
24. Robert McClain

25. Will Blackmon
26. Chris Cook
27. Ike Taylor
28. Brandon Harris
29. Carlos Rogers
30. Mike Jenkins
31. Antoine Cason
32. E.J. Biggers
33. Chykie Brown
34. Josh Gordy
35. Jarrett Bush

Safeties

1. Devin McCourty
2. Rahim Moore

3. Tyvon Branch
4. Antrel Rolle
5. Louis Delmas
6. Marcus Gilchrist
7. Stevie Brown
8. Dawan Landry
9. Nate Allen
10. Da’Norris Searcy
11. Mike Adams

12. LaRon Landry
13. Darian Stewart
14. Ron Parker
15. Danieal Manning
16. Jeron Johnson
17. George Wilson
18. Dwight Lowery
19. Major Wright
20. Brandon Meriweather
21. Kendrick Lewis
22. Kurt Coleman
23. Chris Conte
24. Jeromy Miles
25. C.J. Spillman
26. Quintin Demps
27. Sergio Brown
28. Thomas DeCoud
29. Quinton Carter
30. Taylor Mays

Kickers

1. Stephen Gostkowski
2. Matt Bryant (Re-signed 3-year, $8.5M deal with ATL)
3. Matt Prater
4. Mike Nugent
5. Shayne Graham (Re-signed 1-year deal with NO)
6. Ryan Succop
7. Jay Feely
8. Billy Cundiff

Punters

1. Brett Kern
2. Mat McBriar

Top Restricted Free Agents

1. Tashaun Gipson
2. Damon Harrison
3. Will Hill
4. Brandon Marshall
5. Derrick Shelby
6. Jerrell Freeman
7. Cedric Thornton

8. George Johnson (Tendered)
9. Justin Tucker
10. Andre Holmes
11. Emmanuel Lamur
12. Rodney McLeod
13. Greg Scruggs
14. Austin Davis
15. Chris Polk
16. A.Q. Shipley
17. Leonard Johnson
18. Bryce Harris
19. Chris Hairston
20. Lance Dunbar
21. Kamar Aiken
22. Jermaine Kearse
23. Sterling Moore
24. Matt Asiata
25. Travaris Cadet
26. Anthony Levine
27. Ishmaa’ily Kitchen
28. Bobby Rainey
29. Rod Streater
30. Lawrence Guy
31. Cole Beasley
32. Devon Still
33. Chris Jones
34. Bradley Sowell (Re-signed 1-year deal with ARZ)
35. Marquette King
36. Craig Robertson
37. Jarrett Boykin
38. Don Barclay
39. Alameda Ta’amu
40. Kai Forbath

Offseason Low Down: A Warning for Murray Buyers

Written by : Posted on February 28, 2015 : No Comments
This post was originally published on this site

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Many teams have DeMarco Murray on their free agent wish list. My advice to those teams? Be careful what you wish for.

First, let’s give Murray some credit. In a contract year, he went out and destroyed everything in his path. Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith (career-high of 1,773 rushing yards) never had a season as good as the one Murray just had (1,845). When a team inevitably breaks the bank for Murray this offseason, you can’t say he didn’t earn it.

But where many see a franchise running back, others see a tower of Jenga blocks waiting to tip over.  If the movie “Inception” is about a dream inside of a dream, Murray is a risk inside of a risk. He’s a ticking time bomb waiting to rip your poor franchise to shreds.

This is no knock on Murray’s ability. His size and skill set would translate to any team he chooses to play for. With Murray, it’s a matter of fatigue. He carried the ball a whopping 392 times last season. Dallas needed every one of those touches to make the playoffs, but by doing so, they may have endangered Murray’s long-term future.

This calls for a history lesson. Murray is one of 11 players (technically ten, since Eric Dickerson did it twice) to cross the 390-carry threshold. Only one of those players went on to rush for more yards the following season. Spoiler alert: it was Dickerson.

It gets worse. The ten previous players to reach 390 carries averaged 106.9 rushing yards per game and 4.27 yards per carry. The season after, those averages slipped to 83.3 yards per game and just 4.06 yards per carry.

Tack on another season and things get even bleaker. Two years removed from 390 carries, those ten running backs averaged 75.5 yards per game and a paltry 3.96 yards per carry.

That’s not what Murray buyers should be the most worried about. All ten of those rushers played 16 games the season they had their biggest workload. Only four did it the next season. On average, they played 11.1 games.

Aside from our outlier Dickerson, regression is a near certainty for players who carry the rock 390-plus times. Running backs already have a shorter shelf life than the average player. When teams like the Cowboys disregard moderation in pursuit of a championship, that window of opportunity shrinks even smaller. It’s no wonder players like Jamal Anderson and Terrell Davis were out of the league before they turned 30.

Murray was already wearing down at the end of last season. His second-half numbers in 2014, though still excellent (93.9 yards per game, 4.2 yards per carry), weren’t close to what he produced in his first eight games (131.8 yards per game, 5.1 yards per carry).

Murray, who recently turned 27, is tied for the oldest player to reach 390 carries. And before that, he wasn’t exactly Cal Ripken. Prior to his breakout 2014 campaign, Murray missed 11 games in his previous three seasons. All signs point to Murray hitting a brick wall in the near future.

Here’s a thought. Maybe the 390 carries have nothing to do with it. Perhaps this is just the natural rate of regression among running backs. To put this theory to the test, tracking the ten highest rushing totals from 2012 is an excellent place to start.

How did they fare in the long run? Not well. The ten players in question averaged 91.6 yards per game and 4.91 yards per carry in 2012. A year later, those totals dipped to 73.5 and 4.35. They appeared in 135 of a possible 160 games. Similar regression occurred in 2014, with those ten averaging a mere 64.2 yards per game in 119 contests.

Taken at face value, these statistics suggest running backs as a species are pretty much doomed. It seems front offices around the league think so too. No running backs have been drafted in the first round either of the last two seasons. The last running back to go in the top-ten was Trent Richardson in 2012. How’d that turn out for you, Cleveland?

Rest assured, our old pal DeMarco will get paid, either by Dallas or some other run-thirsty team with a fat checkbook (the Colts perhaps?). Just don’t be surprised when the Jenga blocks come tumbling down.

Player 390-carry season Next season Two years after
Larry Johnson 416 car, 1786 yds 158 car, 559 yds 193 car, 874 yds
Jamal Anderson 410 car, 1846 yds 19 car, 59 yds 282 car, 1024 yds
James Wilder 407 car, 1544 yds 365 car, 1300 yds 190 car, 704 yds
Eric Dickerson (’86) 404 car, 1821 yds 283 car, 1288 yds 388 car, 1659 yds
Eddie George 403 car, 1509 yds 315 car, 939 yds 343 car, 1165 yds
Gerald Riggs 397 car, 1719 yds 343 car, 1327 yds 203 car, 875 yds
Terrell Davis 392 car, 2008 yds 67 car, 211 yds 78 car, 282 yds
Ricky Williams* 392 car, 1372 yds 168 car, 743 yds 6 car, 15 yds
Eric Dickerson (’83) 390 car, 1808 yds 379 car, 2105 yds 292 car, 1234 yds
Barry Foster 390 car, 1690 yds 177 car, 711 yds 216 car, 851 yds

 *Williams retired in 2004 and was suspended for all of 2006

Don’t forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB and @JessePantuosco on Twitter.

Many teams have DeMarco Murray on their free agent wish list. My advice to those teams? Be careful what you wish for.

First, let’s give Murray some credit. In a contract year, he went out and destroyed everything in his path. Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith (career-high of 1,773 rushing yards) never had a season as good as the one Murray just had (1,845). When a team inevitably breaks the bank for Murray this offseason, you can’t say he didn’t earn it.

But where many see a franchise running back, others see a tower of Jenga blocks waiting to tip over.  If the movie “Inception” is about a dream inside of a dream, Murray is a risk inside of a risk. He’s a ticking time bomb waiting to rip your poor franchise to shreds.

This is no knock on Murray’s ability. His size and skill set would translate to any team he chooses to play for. With Murray, it’s a matter of fatigue. He carried the ball a whopping 392 times last season. Dallas needed every one of those touches to make the playoffs, but by doing so, they may have endangered Murray’s long-term future.

This calls for a history lesson. Murray is one of 11 players (technically ten, since Eric Dickerson did it twice) to cross the 390-carry threshold. Only one of those players went on to rush for more yards the following season. Spoiler alert: it was Dickerson.

It gets worse. The ten previous players to reach 390 carries averaged 106.9 rushing yards per game and 4.27 yards per carry. The season after, those averages slipped to 83.3 yards per game and just 4.06 yards per carry.

Tack on another season and things get even bleaker. Two years removed from 390 carries, those ten running backs averaged 75.5 yards per game and a paltry 3.96 yards per carry.

That’s not what Murray buyers should be the most worried about. All ten of those rushers played 16 games the season they had their biggest workload. Only four did it the next season. On average, they played 11.1 games.

Aside from our outlier Dickerson, regression is a near certainty for players who carry the rock 390-plus times. Running backs already have a shorter shelf life than the average player. When teams like the Cowboys disregard moderation in pursuit of a championship, that window of opportunity shrinks even smaller. It’s no wonder players like Jamal Anderson and Terrell Davis were out of the league before they turned 30.

Murray was already wearing down at the end of last season. His second-half numbers in 2014, though still excellent (93.9 yards per game, 4.2 yards per carry), weren’t close to what he produced in his first eight games (131.8 yards per game, 5.1 yards per carry).

Murray, who recently turned 27, is tied for the oldest player to reach 390 carries. And before that, he wasn’t exactly Cal Ripken. Prior to his breakout 2014 campaign, Murray missed 11 games in his previous three seasons. All signs point to Murray hitting a brick wall in the near future.

Here’s a thought. Maybe the 390 carries have nothing to do with it. Perhaps this is just the natural rate of regression among running backs. To put this theory to the test, tracking the ten highest rushing totals from 2012 is an excellent place to start.

How did they fare in the long run? Not well. The ten players in question averaged 91.6 yards per game and 4.91 yards per carry in 2012. A year later, those totals dipped to 73.5 and 4.35. They appeared in 135 of a possible 160 games. Similar regression occurred in 2014, with those ten averaging a mere 64.2 yards per game in 119 contests.

Taken at face value, these statistics suggest running backs as a species are pretty much doomed. It seems front offices around the league think so too. No running backs have been drafted in the first round either of the last two seasons. The last running back to go in the top-ten was Trent Richardson in 2012. How’d that turn out for you, Cleveland?

Rest assured, our old pal DeMarco will get paid, either by Dallas or some other run-thirsty team with a fat checkbook (the Colts perhaps?). Just don’t be surprised when the Jenga blocks come tumbling down.

Player 390-carry season Next season Two years after
Larry Johnson 416 car, 1786 yds 158 car, 559 yds 193 car, 874 yds
Jamal Anderson 410 car, 1846 yds 19 car, 59 yds 282 car, 1024 yds
James Wilder 407 car, 1544 yds 365 car, 1300 yds 190 car, 704 yds
Eric Dickerson (’86) 404 car, 1821 yds 283 car, 1288 yds 388 car, 1659 yds
Eddie George 403 car, 1509 yds 315 car, 939 yds 343 car, 1165 yds
Gerald Riggs 397 car, 1719 yds 343 car, 1327 yds 203 car, 875 yds
Terrell Davis 392 car, 2008 yds 67 car, 211 yds 78 car, 282 yds
Ricky Williams* 392 car, 1372 yds 168 car, 743 yds 6 car, 15 yds
Eric Dickerson (’83) 390 car, 1808 yds 379 car, 2105 yds 292 car, 1234 yds
Barry Foster 390 car, 1690 yds 177 car, 711 yds 216 car, 851 yds

 *Williams retired in 2004 and was suspended for all of 2006

Don’t forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB and @JessePantuosco on Twitter.

Jesse Pantuosco is a football writer for Rotoworld. He is a three-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award-winner. Follow him on Twitter @JessePantuosco.
Email :Jesse Pantuosco

Offseason Low Down: Cut Candidates: NFC South

Written by : Posted on February 26, 2015 : No Comments
This post was originally published on this site

We’ve shifted into offseason mode here at Rotoworld. In a salary-cap league with non-guaranteed contracts like the NFL, the offseason is a time teams rid themselves of players not living up to their pay scale. Every year, handfuls among handfuls of players are asked to take pay cuts or simply released outright. Before free agency opens March 10, I’ll highlight names from each team who may be on the roster bubble. According to several reports, the salary cap is expected to rise to roughly $142 million in 2015. Terms to know are “cap number”, “cap savings”, “cash savings”, and “dead money”. Cap number is how much Player X will count against Team X’s salary cap. Cap savings is how much Team X will clear in salary-cap space by cutting Player X. Cash savings is how much Team X will save in terms of sheer cash, and it can be formulated by Player X’s base salary + bonuses. Dead money is how much Player X will count against Team X’s salary cap, even if he is released. I already took a look at the AFC East here, the AFC North here, the AFC South here, the AFC West here, the NFC East here, and the NFC North here.

Mensio’s Note: For detailed salary cap and contract information, go check out OverTheCap.com. Salary figures and cap numbers are from them. I’d also like to give a shout-out to self-proclaimed salary cap enthusiast Andrew Cohen for answering several questions for me. Follow him on Twitter here.

ATLANTA FALCONS

LG Justin Blalock
Cap number: $7.91M
Cap savings: $3.79M
Cash savings: $4.75M
Dead money: $4.12M
Blalock has two years left on a six-year, $38.4M deal. He’s arguably the Falcons’ best lineman, but doesn’t seem to be a fit for new OC Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. Blalock isn’t a great athlete and is more of a power blocker at 6-foot-4 and 326 pounds. The Falcons have some options to replace him between LT Jake Matthews and C Joe Hawley. Fourth-year C/G Peter Konz is entering the final year of his rookie deal and projects as a better fit in the new offense. Veteran LT Sam Baker is also coming back from knee injuries and may be forced to kick inside if he doesn’t win the right-tackle job. Blalock missed time with a back injury last year and just turned 31 in December.

RB Steven Jackson
Cap number: $4.917M
Cap savings: $3.75M
Cash savings: $3.75M
Dead money: $1.167M
Jackson is all but certain to be released in the very near future. Due a $3.75M base salary as a soon-to-be 32-year-old, Jackson is viewed as a poor fit for the new offense. There just isn’t much gas left in the tank for the longtime Ram, though I do think he can still help a team. If he’s going to stick around in the league, Jackson will have to take on a part-time role on 6-10 carries per game. Jackson had terrible blocking in Atlanta, but did manage to finish fifth in yards after contact per attempt (2.69) among 42 running backs with at least 100 carries last season. He keeps himself in peak physical condition, but Jackson took years of pounding in St. Louis. The Falcons will move forward with Devonta Freeman and add at least one running back through free agency and/or the draft. Freeman won’t be a workhorse; he’s more of a change-of-pace runner.

WR Harry Douglas
Cap number: $4.396M
Cap savings: $3.5M
Cash savings: $3.5M
Dead money: $896K
Douglas has been a productive wideout in this Matt Ryan-led offense when either Julio Jones or Roddy White has been injured, but he’s going to be 31 this season and the new offense is going to go through Jones even more than it has in the past. There’s no reason to pay all three of Jones, White, and Douglas. The Falcons can get Douglas’ production at a much cheaper rate. One of he or Devin Hester is likely to be cut. Hester brings more to the table as a return man. Atlanta can find a bargain No. 3 receiver in free agency or address it in a deep receiver class in the draft.

DT Jonathan Babineaux
Cap number: $3.620M
Cap savings: $2.286M
Cash savings: $3M
Dead money: $1.333M
Babineaux signed a new three-year, $9M deal last offseason and is the longest-tenured Falcon along with Roddy White, having spent the past 10 years in Atlanta. Babineaux has long been a steady pocket-pushing interior lineman with 25.5 career sacks, but the Falcons seem to have some depth on the inside with Paul Soliai, Tyson Jackson, and Ra’Shede Hageman. Those three aren’t going anywhere. Babineaux will turn 34 this season.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

RB DeAngelo Williams
Cap number: $6.333M
Cap savings: ($267K)
Cash savings: $2M
Dead money: $6.6M
Williams was already cut by the Panthers earlier this week. They almost certainly designated him as a post-June 1 release, saving them $2M against the cap for 2015 that will become available to them on June 2. The Panthers’ all-time leading rusher has been running on fumes for a couple seasons. Turning 32 in April, we’re not sure there’s much left in the tank as Williams’ blazing speed disappeared a while back. His days of being a starter are long gone. The move by GM Dave Gettleman locks Jonathan Stewart in as Carolina’s bellcow.

RB Mike Tolbert
Cap number: $3.425M
Cap savings: $2.425M
Cash savings: $2.425M
Dead money: $1M
With the release of DeAngelo Williams, it probably significantly improves Tolbert’s chances of sticking on the roster. He’s a quality short-yardage back and can even function as a lead blocker. Tolbert may not be worth the money he’s earning, but he’s a versatile player who can also catch the ball. He’s entering the final year of his contract as a 29-year-old. There’s no fantasy value here.

FS Thomas DeCoud
Cap number: $2.166M
Cap savings: $1.916M
Cash savings: $1.931M
Dead money: $250K
Like Williams above, DeCoud has already been let go by the Panthers. He was cut on February 17 after a one-year stint in Carolina. A surprise 2012 Pro Bowl nod was followed up by back-to-back disastrous seasons in Atlanta and Carolina, respectively. The soon-to-be 30-year-old is in extreme danger of falling out of the league. DeCoud has surrendered nine touchdowns in coverage the past two seasons. He also doesn’t play the run very well. The Panthers will move forward with 2014 fourth-rounder Tre Boston at free safety.

SS Roman Harper
Cap number: $1.8M
Cap savings: $600K
Cash savings: $1.5M
Dead money: $1.2M
Harper is another player Gettleman scooped up off the scrap heap last offseason after he was released by the division-rival Saints. Signed to a two-year, $4.5M deal, Harper, along with DeCoud, was a problem on the Panthers’ back end. At 32, he’s more of a “box” safety. The Panthers could stand to upgrade at strong safety, but don’t have a quality backup on the roster at the moment. It’ll likely be addressed early in free agency or the draft, so Harper could stick around a while and go to camp with the Panthers this summer as a veteran leader. If he sticks, Harper shouldn’t be a starter.

We’ve shifted into offseason mode here at Rotoworld. In a salary-cap league with non-guaranteed contracts like the NFL, the offseason is a time teams rid themselves of players not living up to their pay scale. Every year, handfuls among handfuls of players are asked to take pay cuts or simply released outright. Before free agency opens March 10, I’ll highlight names from each team who may be on the roster bubble. According to several reports, the salary cap is expected to rise to roughly $142 million in 2015. Terms to know are “cap number”, “cap savings”, “cash savings”, and “dead money”. Cap number is how much Player X will count against Team X’s salary cap. Cap savings is how much Team X will clear in salary-cap space by cutting Player X. Cash savings is how much Team X will save in terms of sheer cash, and it can be formulated by Player X’s base salary + bonuses. Dead money is how much Player X will count against Team X’s salary cap, even if he is released. I already took a look at the AFC East here, the AFC North here, the AFC South here, the AFC West here, the NFC East here, and the NFC North here.

Mensio’s Note: For detailed salary cap and contract information, go check out OverTheCap.com. Salary figures and cap numbers are from them. I’d also like to give a shout-out to self-proclaimed salary cap enthusiast Andrew Cohen for answering several questions for me. Follow him on Twitter here.

ATLANTA FALCONS

LG Justin Blalock
Cap number: $7.91M
Cap savings: $3.79M
Cash savings: $4.75M
Dead money: $4.12M
Blalock has two years left on a six-year, $38.4M deal. He’s arguably the Falcons’ best lineman, but doesn’t seem to be a fit for new OC Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. Blalock isn’t a great athlete and is more of a power blocker at 6-foot-4 and 326 pounds. The Falcons have some options to replace him between LT Jake Matthews and C Joe Hawley. Fourth-year C/G Peter Konz is entering the final year of his rookie deal and projects as a better fit in the new offense. Veteran LT Sam Baker is also coming back from knee injuries and may be forced to kick inside if he doesn’t win the right-tackle job. Blalock missed time with a back injury last year and just turned 31 in December.

RB Steven Jackson
Cap number: $4.917M
Cap savings: $3.75M
Cash savings: $3.75M
Dead money: $1.167M
Jackson is all but certain to be released in the very near future. Due a $3.75M base salary as a soon-to-be 32-year-old, Jackson is viewed as a poor fit for the new offense. There just isn’t much gas left in the tank for the longtime Ram, though I do think he can still help a team. If he’s going to stick around in the league, Jackson will have to take on a part-time role on 6-10 carries per game. Jackson had terrible blocking in Atlanta, but did manage to finish fifth in yards after contact per attempt (2.69) among 42 running backs with at least 100 carries last season. He keeps himself in peak physical condition, but Jackson took years of pounding in St. Louis. The Falcons will move forward with Devonta Freeman and add at least one running back through free agency and/or the draft. Freeman won’t be a workhorse; he’s more of a change-of-pace runner.

WR Harry Douglas
Cap number: $4.396M
Cap savings: $3.5M
Cash savings: $3.5M
Dead money: $896K
Douglas has been a productive wideout in this Matt Ryan-led offense when either Julio Jones or Roddy White has been injured, but he’s going to be 31 this season and the new offense is going to go through Jones even more than it has in the past. There’s no reason to pay all three of Jones, White, and Douglas. The Falcons can get Douglas’ production at a much cheaper rate. One of he or Devin Hester is likely to be cut. Hester brings more to the table as a return man. Atlanta can find a bargain No. 3 receiver in free agency or address it in a deep receiver class in the draft.

DT Jonathan Babineaux
Cap number: $3.620M
Cap savings: $2.286M
Cash savings: $3M
Dead money: $1.333M
Babineaux signed a new three-year, $9M deal last offseason and is the longest-tenured Falcon along with Roddy White, having spent the past 10 years in Atlanta. Babineaux has long been a steady pocket-pushing interior lineman with 25.5 career sacks, but the Falcons seem to have some depth on the inside with Paul Soliai, Tyson Jackson, and Ra’Shede Hageman. Those three aren’t going anywhere. Babineaux will turn 34 this season.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

RB DeAngelo Williams
Cap number: $6.333M
Cap savings: ($267K)
Cash savings: $2M
Dead money: $6.6M
Williams was already cut by the Panthers earlier this week. They almost certainly designated him as a post-June 1 release, saving them $2M against the cap for 2015 that will become available to them on June 2. The Panthers’ all-time leading rusher has been running on fumes for a couple seasons. Turning 32 in April, we’re not sure there’s much left in the tank as Williams’ blazing speed disappeared a while back. His days of being a starter are long gone. The move by GM Dave Gettleman locks Jonathan Stewart in as Carolina’s bellcow.

RB Mike Tolbert
Cap number: $3.425M
Cap savings: $2.425M
Cash savings: $2.425M
Dead money: $1M
With the release of DeAngelo Williams, it probably significantly improves Tolbert’s chances of sticking on the roster. He’s a quality short-yardage back and can even function as a lead blocker. Tolbert may not be worth the money he’s earning, but he’s a versatile player who can also catch the ball. He’s entering the final year of his contract as a 29-year-old. There’s no fantasy value here.

FS Thomas DeCoud
Cap number: $2.166M
Cap savings: $1.916M
Cash savings: $1.931M
Dead money: $250K
Like Williams above, DeCoud has already been let go by the Panthers. He was cut on February 17 after a one-year stint in Carolina. A surprise 2012 Pro Bowl nod was followed up by back-to-back disastrous seasons in Atlanta and Carolina, respectively. The soon-to-be 30-year-old is in extreme danger of falling out of the league. DeCoud has surrendered nine touchdowns in coverage the past two seasons. He also doesn’t play the run very well. The Panthers will move forward with 2014 fourth-rounder Tre Boston at free safety.

SS Roman Harper
Cap number: $1.8M
Cap savings: $600K
Cash savings: $1.5M
Dead money: $1.2M
Harper is another player Gettleman scooped up off the scrap heap last offseason after he was released by the division-rival Saints. Signed to a two-year, $4.5M deal, Harper, along with DeCoud, was a problem on the Panthers’ back end. At 32, he’s more of a “box” safety. The Panthers could stand to upgrade at strong safety, but don’t have a quality backup on the roster at the moment. It’ll likely be addressed early in free agency or the draft, so Harper could stick around a while and go to camp with the Panthers this summer as a veteran leader. If he sticks, Harper shouldn’t be a starter.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

RG Jahri Evans
Cap number: $11M
Cap savings: $6M
Cash savings: $7.5M
Dead money: $5M
The Saints have far-and-away the worst cap situation in the league. They’re close to $30M over the cap. GM Mickey Loomis is a proponent of kicking the can down the road and dealing with the repercussions later much like the Cowboys and Jerry Jones. Something has to be done before the new league year starts on March 10. The Saints will try to “restructure” some of these deals, but a couple players are going to get their walking papers. Evans has been the Saints’ right guard the past nine seasons and is a four-time first-team All-Pro. Like a lot of the Saints, Evans’ play fell off a cliff in 2014. He was Pro Football Focus’ 77th-ranked guard out of 78 qualifiers in pass protection. Evans may have an excuse, however. He battled a wrist injury all year long and needed surgery after the season. He’ll turn 32 in August. The Saints may choose to keep Evans and move on from LG Ben Grubbs.

WR Marques Colston
Cap number: $9.7M
Cap savings: $4.3M
Cash savings: $7M
Dead money: $5.4M
Colston posted career-low 16-game averages in catches, yards, and touchdowns last season and continues to see his athleticism decline. There’s no chance he’s back at his current $6.9M base salary. The Saints would like to bring Colston back for his age-32 season, and the veteran is reportedly open to a pay cut. Colston can still be an asset thanks to his size, but he needs to catch the ball better in 2015. He dropped eight of his 96 targets last year. Colston’s days of a WR2 production are over with Jimmy Graham as the No. 1 pass-game option and Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks ready for increased roles. The smart move would probably be to cut Colston.

LG Ben Grubbs
Cap number: $9.6M
Cap savings: $3.6M
Cash savings: $6.6M
Dead money: $6M
The Saints signed Grubbs to a five-year, $36M deal in the 2012 offseason when they let Carl Nicks walk as a free agent to Tampa Bay. He hasn’t missed a start in New Orleans and had outstanding 2012 and 2013 seasons before coming down to Earth last year. The Saints can’t keep everyone, and the feeling is they’d rather keep RG Evans over Grubbs. They still may choose to retain both on restructured contracts. Grubbs turns 31 next month and is the league’s third-highest paid left guard.

MLB Curtis Lofton
Cap number: $9.25M
Cap savings: $4.25M
Cash savings: $7.25M
Dead money: $5M
Lofton has been an iron man throughout his career; he’s yet to miss a game in seven seasons and has started all but one of those. He also plays every snap on defense. Lofton is DC Rob Ryan’s leader, but his play really fell off in 2014, per Pro Football Focus. He missed a league-worst 22 tackles among 60 qualifying inside linebackers and received poor marks across the board as a run defender and in coverage. We’re willing to give him a pass, as nobody played well for New Orleans last season. Lofton is still 29 (in June) and is a tackle machine who usually contributes in other areas on the stat sheet unlike overrated ILBs D’Qwell Jackson, Paul Posluszny, and James Laurinaitis. Fellow ILB David Hawthorne is far more likely to be released.

NT Brodrick Bunkley
Cap number: $6.113M
Cap savings: $2.888M
Cash savings: $4.5M
Dead money: $3.225M
Bunkley is as good as gone and should be one of the Saints’ easiest cuts. He’s missed 10 games in three seasons with New Orleans and is coming off a torn quad suffered in Week 12. Bunkley will be 32 this season and sees his salary skyrocket up to $4.4M. 2013 third-rounder John Jenkins is the Saints’ nose tackle of the present and future, while Akiem Hicks and Cameron Jordan anchor the edges of New Orleans’ defensive line.

WLB David Hawthorne
Cap number: $6.01M
Cap savings: $2.99M
Cash savings: $4.5M
Dead money: $3.02M
Hawthorne will have to take a pay cut to stick around with the Saints. He’s missed nine games in three seasons with New Orleans and has put below-average play on tape when he’s been on the field. Hawthorne is well overpaid. The Saints have a number of holes to fill on defense.

S Rafael Bush
Cap number: $1.95M
Cap savings: $1.95M
Cash savings: $1.95M
Dead money: $0
Bush was arguably the Saints’ best safety before a fractured tibia cut his season short in Week 11. But the team has a ton of money tied up in the safety position with FS Jairus Byrd and SS Kenny Vaccaro. DC Rob Ryan likes to roll out three safeties a lot of the time, but Bush is one of the lone players the Saints can cut without taking on any dead money. The Saints may deem him too expensive for a No. 3 safety.

TE Ben Watson
Cap number: $1.9M
Cap savings: $1.5M
Cash savings: $1.5M
Dead money: $400K
Watson is 34 and entering the final year of his contract. The Saints are also high on Josh Hill behind Jimmy Graham. New Orleans would prefer to keep Watson around as a veteran leader, but money is tight and the $1.5M is more valuable to them at this point. Watson is near the end of the line.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

FS Dashon Goldson
Cap number: $8M
Cap savings: $4M
Cash savings: $4M
Dead money: $4M
Former GM Mark Dominik handed Goldson a five-year, $41.25M deal that included $22M guaranteed prior to the 2013 season. Many were skeptical of the contract after Goldson flourished in the 49ers’ talent-laden defense, and those skeptics were proven right. Goldson has been arguably the worst safety in the league since landing in Tampa Bay and certainly isn’t worth his spot as the fourth-highest paid player at the position. The Bucs have talked up S Bradley McDougald this offseason, but they’re going to have to add players at the position with Major Wright set to be a free agent. Goldson, 30, should be joining Wright on the street.

LT Anthony Collins
Cap number: $6M
Cap savings: $3M
Cash savings: $3M
Dead money: $3M
Collins had a terrific 2013 season with the Bengals when he filled in on Andy Dalton’s blind side. He was conveniently playing for his next contract. The Bucs took the bait and inked Collins to a five-year, $30M deal. He started 10 games at left tackle last season before losing his job to RT Demar Dotson, who shifted over to the left side. Collins tumbled so far down the depth chart that he was a healthy scratch to close out the year. The Bucs have arguably the worst offensive line in the league, but that may not even save Collins. The Tampa Bay Times expects Collins to be cut.

QB Josh McCown
Cap number: $5.25M
Cap savings: $5.25M
Cash savings: $5.25M
Dead money: $0
McCown has already been released and has been on the free-agent tour for the past two weeks. Cutting him was a no-brainer move for the Bucs after McCown went 1-10 as a starter last season to go along with an abysmal 11:14 TD:INT ratio. The offensive line couldn’t protect him, and the Bucs deemed him unworthy of his $5.25M salary. McCown is a hot name once again this offseason thanks to an extremely weak quarterback class. He’s expected to net close to $5M from his new team. The Bucs will move forward with current QB Mike Glennon and use the No. 1 pick in the draft on either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. Signs point to Winston being the favorite at the moment.

P Michael Koenen
Cap number: $3.25M
Cap savings: $3.25M
Cash savings: $3.25M
Dead money: $0
Koenen finished dead-last in punting average last season and 29th in net average. A bad team like the Bucs dishing out $3M-plus to a punter makes zero sense. The easy business decision would be to send Koenen packing and find a punter for the league minimum.

TE Brandon Myers
Cap number: $1.167M
Cap savings: $833K
Cash savings: $1M
Dead money: $333K
Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a candidate for a monster sophomore leap this season. Myers is best suited for a reserve role, but teams typically prefer their backup tight ends to be able to block. Myers is annually one of the worst blocking tight ends in the league and is more of a finesse player. He’s not being paid much, though, and the Bucs are in fine shape money-wise, so Myers could stick.

CONTRACTION AND Enjoyment OF CARDIAC Fabric

Written by : Posted on February 26, 2015 : No Comments

CONTRACTION AND Enjoyment OF CARDIAC Fabric

Cardiovascular muscles has no counterpart in body: his structure include different well-designed properties that enables it to tolerate the hefty pressure of being in position to consistently, frequently and reliably contract well over 1 billion moments during an typical life time.Writing Help Service UK discount on your first custom writing order on Essays, Assignments, Thesis, Dissertation, Editing and Proofreading, case studies. Midway concerning skeletal (striated) muscular tissues and smooth types, the heart exhibits qualities that have to do with both equally kinds of fibres.

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Dynasty Rankings: Dynasty Rookie Top 40

Written by : Posted on February 25, 2015 : No Comments
This post was originally published on this site

These are rough post-Combine, pre-draft Dynasty Rookie Rankings that will be shaken up once landing spots are established. I believe there is a pretty clear-cut Top 7 and it becomes a bit murky after that. Where in the real-life draft players are selected by NFL teams will also play a major role in determining how to slot them in Dynasty rookie drafts. Guys who get drafted higher tend to get more opportunities, and opportunity is obviously crucial in fantasy football.

1. West Virginia WR Kevin White — White only had one big statistical season in college, but knocked it out of the park (109-1,447-10) before doing the same in Indy. Measuring in at 6-foot-3, 215, White ran a 4.35 forty and showed adequate lower-body explosion with a 10-foot-3 broad jump. White isn’t as quick in short areas as Amari Cooper, but projects as more of an alpha-type No. 1 wideout who wins on the perimeter in similar ways to Julio Jones. I suspect White will be a top-five real-draft pick, and he should be a shoo-in top-three Dynasty rookie. I believe White offers the highest rookie wideout ceiling, while Cooper has the safest floor.

2. Alabama WR Amari Cooper — Cooper’s short-area quickness stands out both on tape and on the spreadsheet. His catching radius is limited and he lacks ideal size (6’1/211), but Cooper is going to be very difficult for defensive backs to cover. This shows up in Cooper’s 20-yard shuttle time (3.98), easily the best in this year’s wideout class. Cooper profiles similarly to Sammy Watkins, although I suspect he will be asked to handle more passing-game volume than Watkins did as a rookie. Cooper is a likely top-ten real-draft selection and — along with Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, and White — squarely in the hunt for the 1.01 spot in rookie drafts.

3. Georgia RB Todd Gurley — The lone red flag on Gurley is his 2014 ACL tear. The quintessential running back prospect on film, Gurley is a twitched-up tackle breaker with trucking power, home-run speed, and soft hands. He can break long runs in addition to keep the chains moving. Gurley is also one of the better pass-protecting backs in this class. Watch his games and you know he’s special. Remove the injury concerns and I think Gurley is a good-distance better than Melvin Gordon.

4. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon — I don’t think Gordon’s on-field skill is in the same tier as Gurley’s. More of a boom-or-bust back than consistent offense sustainer, Gordon has a tendency to stop moving his feet behind the line of scrimmage, which too frequently leads to stuffs and negative runs. He is not pro-ready in pass protection, and his tackle-breaking ability is limited. But Gordon is a smooth slasher with big-play ability and could dominate in an offense that frequently schemes him into space. Because of Gurley’s knee injury, I wouldn’t have a problem with anyone selecting Gordon as the No. 1 rookie Dynasty back.

5. Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong — There are mixed opinions on Strong’s college tape, but he certainly turned heads in Indy, blazing a 4.44 forty and demonstrating lower-body explosion in the vertical (42″) and broad (10’3″) jumps at over 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds. When combined with multiple years of big-time Pac 12 receiving production, Strong checks a lot of boxes as a high-floor, high-ceiling prospect. His Combine performance has vaulted Strong into the first-round real-draft discussion. He’s solidified himself as a mid-first-round rookie Dynasty pick.

6. Louisville WR DeVante Parker — White and Cooper stand atop the wideout class, but there is an argument at No. 3 between Strong, Parker, and Dorial Green-Beckham. Landing spot figures to differentiate them. Parker didn’t blow up the Combine like Strong, but has a much higher floor than DGB. Equipped with the best hands in the draft, Parker hardly disappointed in Indy, running 4.45 with a 36 1/2-inch vert and 10-foot-5 broad jump at just under 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds. Parker has longer arms (33 1/4″) than White and is a better winner of contested passes than Cooper. No matter where he ends up, Parker should be a Week 1 starter with plenty of growth potential. He projects as a low-end No. 1 real-life receiver or a high-end No. 2.

7. Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham — “DGB” is massive (6’5/237) with great speed (4.49) relative to his size. His jumps (9’11” broad, 33 1/2″ vertical) were rather pedestrian, and Green-Beckham failed to stand out in the shuttle runs. He clearly isn’t Megatron in terms of all-around athleticism, but Green-Beckham was put on Earth to score touchdowns, something he did on 47 percent of his college red-zone targets according to a recent study by Number Fire’s Graham Barfield. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has likened DGB to Vincent Jackson. If not for myriad off-field issues that render him a boom-or-bust prospect, DGB would be threatening for a top-five Dynasty rookie pick. As is, he’s more of a mid to late first-rounder.

8. Boise State RB Jay Ajayi — Built compactly (6’0/221) with light feet and plus quickness, Ajayi is an extremely determined and aggressive runner. He is also among the most natural pass-catching backs in this draft. One concern on Ajayi’s tape was a tendency to take a lot of big hits, although he was rarely injured in college. I thought Ajayi was more of a finesse than power runner, but in a good way. He shined in Indy, logging a 4.57 forty with a 39-inch vertical, 10-foot-1 broad jump, and outstanding marks in the shuttle runs. Ajayi must clean up his pass protection. When he does, I see Ayaji as a three-down NFL workhorse.

9. Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon — A gliding, exceptionally quick-footed prospect on tape, Yeldon’s running style reminds of Arian Foster. He is a downhill zone runner with NFL-ready passing-game skills. Yeldon had the same pre-draft weigh-in (6’1/226) as Foster with a superior vertical (36″ to 32″), broad jump (9’9″ to 9’7″), forty (4.61 to 4.69), and short shuttle (4.22 to 4.53). Foster did post a better three-cone time (7.09 to 7.19). Yeldon is a smooth pass catcher and has been pass protecting in Alabama’s pro-style offense since he was a true freshman. Yeldon offers three-down feature back potential and should see the field early in his NFL career.

10. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah — Although he failed to impress in the forty-yard dash (4.60), Abdullah crushed the explosion and agility drills so much that he earned the highest SPARQ score in this year’s running back class. Abdullah is a tougher version of C.J. Spiller on film, displaying explosive lateral moves and natural inside running ability despite limited size (5’8/205). Although his coaching staff may balk at employing Abdullah as a true workhorse early on, I personally believe he is capable of operating as a lead NFL back. When you watch Abdullah on college tape, you see a legitimately great football player.

These are rough post-Combine, pre-draft Dynasty Rookie Rankings that will be shaken up once landing spots are established. I believe there is a pretty clear-cut Top 7 and it becomes a bit murky after that. Where in the real-life draft players are selected by NFL teams will also play a major role in determining how to slot them in Dynasty rookie drafts. Guys who get drafted higher tend to get more opportunities, and opportunity is obviously crucial in fantasy football.

1. West Virginia WR Kevin White — White only had one big statistical season in college, but knocked it out of the park (109-1,447-10) before doing the same in Indy. Measuring in at 6-foot-3, 215, White ran a 4.35 forty and showed adequate lower-body explosion with a 10-foot-3 broad jump. White isn’t as quick in short areas as Amari Cooper, but projects as more of an alpha-type No. 1 wideout who wins on the perimeter in similar ways to Julio Jones. I suspect White will be a top-five real-draft pick, and he should be a shoo-in top-three Dynasty rookie. I believe White offers the highest rookie wideout ceiling, while Cooper has the safest floor.

2. Alabama WR Amari Cooper — Cooper’s short-area quickness stands out both on tape and on the spreadsheet. His catching radius is limited and he lacks ideal size (6’1/211), but Cooper is going to be very difficult for defensive backs to cover. This shows up in Cooper’s 20-yard shuttle time (3.98), easily the best in this year’s wideout class. Cooper profiles similarly to Sammy Watkins, although I suspect he will be asked to handle more passing-game volume than Watkins did as a rookie. Cooper is a likely top-ten real-draft selection and — along with Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, and White — squarely in the hunt for the 1.01 spot in rookie drafts.

3. Georgia RB Todd Gurley — The lone red flag on Gurley is his 2014 ACL tear. The quintessential running back prospect on film, Gurley is a twitched-up tackle breaker with trucking power, home-run speed, and soft hands. He can break long runs in addition to keep the chains moving. Gurley is also one of the better pass-protecting backs in this class. Watch his games and you know he’s special. Remove the injury concerns and I think Gurley is a good-distance better than Melvin Gordon.

4. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon — I don’t think Gordon’s on-field skill is in the same tier as Gurley’s. More of a boom-or-bust back than consistent offense sustainer, Gordon has a tendency to stop moving his feet behind the line of scrimmage, which too frequently leads to stuffs and negative runs. He is not pro-ready in pass protection, and his tackle-breaking ability is limited. But Gordon is a smooth slasher with big-play ability and could dominate in an offense that frequently schemes him into space. Because of Gurley’s knee injury, I wouldn’t have a problem with anyone selecting Gordon as the No. 1 rookie Dynasty back.

5. Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong — There are mixed opinions on Strong’s college tape, but he certainly turned heads in Indy, blazing a 4.44 forty and demonstrating lower-body explosion in the vertical (42″) and broad (10’3″) jumps at over 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds. When combined with multiple years of big-time Pac 12 receiving production, Strong checks a lot of boxes as a high-floor, high-ceiling prospect. His Combine performance has vaulted Strong into the first-round real-draft discussion. He’s solidified himself as a mid-first-round rookie Dynasty pick.

6. Louisville WR DeVante Parker — White and Cooper stand atop the wideout class, but there is an argument at No. 3 between Strong, Parker, and Dorial Green-Beckham. Landing spot figures to differentiate them. Parker didn’t blow up the Combine like Strong, but has a much higher floor than DGB. Equipped with the best hands in the draft, Parker hardly disappointed in Indy, running 4.45 with a 36 1/2-inch vert and 10-foot-5 broad jump at just under 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds. Parker has longer arms (33 1/4″) than White and is a better winner of contested passes than Cooper. No matter where he ends up, Parker should be a Week 1 starter with plenty of growth potential. He projects as a low-end No. 1 real-life receiver or a high-end No. 2.

7. Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham — “DGB” is massive (6’5/237) with great speed (4.49) relative to his size. His jumps (9’11” broad, 33 1/2″ vertical) were rather pedestrian, and Green-Beckham failed to stand out in the shuttle runs. He clearly isn’t Megatron in terms of all-around athleticism, but Green-Beckham was put on Earth to score touchdowns, something he did on 47 percent of his college red-zone targets according to a recent study by Number Fire’s Graham Barfield. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has likened DGB to Vincent Jackson. If not for myriad off-field issues that render him a boom-or-bust prospect, DGB would be threatening for a top-five Dynasty rookie pick. As is, he’s more of a mid to late first-rounder.

8. Boise State RB Jay Ajayi — Built compactly (6’0/221) with light feet and plus quickness, Ajayi is an extremely determined and aggressive runner. He is also among the most natural pass-catching backs in this draft. One concern on Ajayi’s tape was a tendency to take a lot of big hits, although he was rarely injured in college. I thought Ajayi was more of a finesse than power runner, but in a good way. He shined in Indy, logging a 4.57 forty with a 39-inch vertical, 10-foot-1 broad jump, and outstanding marks in the shuttle runs. Ajayi must clean up his pass protection. When he does, I see Ayaji as a three-down NFL workhorse.

9. Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon — A gliding, exceptionally quick-footed prospect on tape, Yeldon’s running style reminds of Arian Foster. He is a downhill zone runner with NFL-ready passing-game skills. Yeldon had the same pre-draft weigh-in (6’1/226) as Foster with a superior vertical (36″ to 32″), broad jump (9’9″ to 9’7″), forty (4.61 to 4.69), and short shuttle (4.22 to 4.53). Foster did post a better three-cone time (7.09 to 7.19). Yeldon is a smooth pass catcher and has been pass protecting in Alabama’s pro-style offense since he was a true freshman. Yeldon offers three-down feature back potential and should see the field early in his NFL career.

10. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah — Although he failed to impress in the forty-yard dash (4.60), Abdullah crushed the explosion and agility drills so much that he earned the highest SPARQ score in this year’s running back class. Abdullah is a tougher version of C.J. Spiller on film, displaying explosive lateral moves and natural inside running ability despite limited size (5’8/205). Although his coaching staff may balk at employing Abdullah as a true workhorse early on, I personally believe he is capable of operating as a lead NFL back. When you watch Abdullah on college tape, you see a legitimately great football player.

11. Minnesota TE Maxx Williams — Williams plays like a cross between Greg Olsen and Heath Miller, but tested out athletically along the lines of Brent Celek. While there’s little doubt Williams is a good player, it’s fair to question his fantasy ceiling. At the top-heavy tight end position, special physical tools (think Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, perhaps soon Travis Kelce) are required to ascend beyond the muddled mid-range/low-end TE1 pack. If you’re using a first-round rookie pick on Williams, you’re trusting your eyes over his measurables.

12. Auburn WR Sammie Coates — Coates’ college film reveals a receiver short on ball skills. He is an unnatural catcher of the football. That deficiency will make Coates a boom-or-bust prospect. He has fantasy WR1 potential if he booms. Coates is well-built wide receiver (6-foot-1, 213) with long arms (33 3/4″) and 4.43 speed. There’s a ton of explosion in his legs, quantifiable in his vertical (41″) and broad (10’11”) jumps, and verifiable on film. Coates also showed better-than-anticipated short-area movement skills in the shuttle and cone drills in Indianapolis. He’ll be a high-upside target on the first-round fringe of Dynasty rookie drafts.

13. UCF WR Breshad Perriman — Likened to Julio Jones in “size and movement” by NFL Films’ Greg Cosell, Perriman is 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds with NFL bloodlines (son of ex-Lions WR Brett Perriman) and big-play vertical skills. He had too many drops at Central Florida, however, and is seen as a raw route runner. Perriman did not work out at the Combine due to a hamstring strain. He’ll be someone to track closely on the Pro Day circuit.

14. Miami RB Duke Johnson — If Johnson can beat contact at the NFL level, he’s Frank Gore. If Johnson can’t, he’s Giovani Bernard. I found Johnson’s tape to be similar to an early-career Gore as a slippery, natural tackle breaker with excellent receiving chops. Johnson’s measurables are similar to both Gore and Bernard’s, however, at 5-foot-9, 207 with 4.54 speed and a 33 1/2-inch vertical. (Gore ran 4.58 with a 34-inch vert at 5’9/210; Gio was 5’8/202 with a 33 1/2-inch vertical and 4.53 speed.) To truly pay fantasy dividends, Duke investors will need the NFL team that drafts him to envision Johnson as a potential lead back. That’s a big question mark.

15. Florida State QB Jameis WinstonMarcus Mariota may offer a higher ceiling because of superior athleticism, but Winston has a better chance to be a day-one starter. A strong-armed and unflinchingly aggressive passer, Winston can throw with anticipation and place footballs into tight windows at the intermediate and vertical levels. Whereas Mariota spent his career in a shotgun offense with clean pockets throwing to wide-open receivers, Winston has proven his mettle in a pro-style environment, executing with bodies around him. If Chip Kelly gets his hands on Mariota, however, these quarterbacks’ rankings will likely change.

16. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota — Mariota took five snaps from under center during his final season at Oregon. His big passing plays were predominately thrown to schemed-open receivers from a clean pocket. The Oregon offense lacks a number of critical pro-style elements, likely necessitating a learning phase for Mariota. All that said, Mariota is a special athlete with above-average arm strength, and is known as a quick processor of information. It’s entirely possible he picks up the pro game immediately, particularly if Mariota reunites with his old college coach. For now, Mariota is just an intriguing ball of clay. His fantasy ceiling is higher than Winston’s, albeit with a lower floor.

17. USC WR Nelson Agholor — Agholor stands an unimposing 6-foot, 198, but runs 4.42 and is perhaps the draft’s most technically sound wideout north of Amari Cooper. Agholor is a superior prospect to ex-teammate Robert Woods, who was drafted with a top-50 pick in 2013. Agholor’s strengths suggest he is capable of being a high-volume Z-slot receiver who could catch 90-plus passes in the right system. In that regard, Agholor’s landing spot will be key.

18. Ohio State WR Devin Smith — Some were apparently disappointed in Smith’s forty time (4.42) at the Combine, but he oozes “game speed” on film and is an elite deep-ball tracker. Smith also has hops, registering a 39-inch vertical. A quick-footed and explosive separator, Smith’s vertical ability should translate smoothly to the NFL. Whether Smith becomes a high-volume pass catcher is the question, and renders him more of a second-round Dynasty rookie pick than potential first-rounder.

19. Indiana RB Tevin Coleman — Coleman didn’t work out at the Combine following toe surgery, so we only have tape and his weigh-in to evaluate. 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds, Coleman runs like a scatback with virtually zero tackle-breaking ability but a ton of straight-line speed. I’ve seen some compare Coleman to Darren McFadden, although DMC runs with more force and toughness. A better comparison would be Felix Jones, whose college calling card was winning open-field sprints. Although Coleman frequently outran Big Ten defenders, he is a mechanical, stiff mover around the line of scrimmage. Running backs with Coleman’s strengths and weaknesses rarely pan out as more than change-of-pace backs in the pros.

20. Minnesota RB David Cobb — Cobb got injured running the forty-yard dash in Indy, but showed explosion for a big man (5’11/229) with a 38 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. Cobb’s game tape reveals a one-speed runner who grinds out yards and runs with a lot of competitiveness, balance, and toughness. He also flashes power to push the pile. Cobb isn’t a flashy NFL or fantasy prospect, but that could change quickly depending on landing spot. Since he can block and catch and ran out of pro-style formations with the Gophers, Cobb is equipped to compete for playing time early in his pro career.

21. Michigan WR/TE Devin Funchess — Funchess has a big name because he played at Michigan, but he’s a wideout-tight end tweener with a passive on-field playing attitude that reminds of ex-Chiefs bust Jon Baldwin. Funchess runs 4.7 and too often loses contested balls, therefore failing to exploit mismatches derived from his size (6’5/230). Funchess isn’t yet 21, so it’s conceivable he’ll improve his game with a year or two of NFL seasoning. But barring dramatic development, it’s hard to imagine Funchess helping a pro offense anytime soon.

22. Penn State TE Jesse James — I need to watch more of James’ games after he out-tested ballyhooed Maxx Williams. A massive 6-foot-7 and 261 pounds, James ran a Kyle Rudolphian 4.83 forty despite being taller and heavier, and easily out-jumped Williams in both the vertical (37 1/2″) and broad (10’1″). Tight ends’ fantasy outlooks are heavily tied to the offense they enter, so this is another case where landing spot will be critical. But James is an exceptionally young prospect with a strong athletic profile. He won’t turn 21 until June.

23. William & Mary WR Tre McBride — A decorated receiver and return specialist in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), McBride put himself on everyone’s radar with a big Combine. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, McBride ran 4.41 with a 38-inch vertical, 10-foot-2 broad jump, and excellent shuttle and three-cone times. Expect McBride to make up ground as the pre-draft process moves along. He has the attributes of a top-100 NFL pick.

24. Northern Iowa RB David Johnson — Johnson crushed the Combine, running 4.50 and showing explosion in the broad (10’7″) and vertical (41 1/2″) jumps. On paper, the numbers are impressive for a 6-foot-1, 224-pound back. Johnson’s athleticism doesn’t show up on film, however, where he is tight hipped with sluggish feet and a robotic mover who generates very little power. Johnson also seemed to shy away from contact, often bracing himself at the point of attack and even turning his back to defenders. He does have nice passing-game tools. Neither feature back nor viable change-up runner, Johnson has a questionable NFL fit.

25. Nebraska WR Kenny Bell — Bell never put up top-shelf stats in the Cornhuskers’ run-first offense, but he was a steady contributor beginning as a 19-year-old freshman. He helped himself in Indy, clocking 4.42 with outstanding marks in the vertical (41 1/2″) and broad (10’9″) jumps. Only two wideouts had better three-cone times than Bell’s 6.66. Bell is not particularly big (6-foot-1, 197) and his arms are relatively short (31 5/8″), but he can pop the lid and shows traits consistent with high-volume targets. He’s someone to closely track.

26. South Carolina RB Mike Davis — 5-foot-9 and 217 pounds, Davis was seen as a top running back prospect entering his final year under Steve Spurrier. He battled a rib injury and was rumored to be out of shape in 2014. Davis didn’t help his cause in Indianapolis, running 4.61 with an explosion-lacking 9-foot-8 broad jump. Tight in the hips and short on burst, Davis will likely be a late second- or early third-round rookie pick, depending on NFL landing spot.

27. USC RB Javorius Allen — “Buck” Allen is a quick runner with some burst who showed solid pass-blocking chops and an ability to carry the mail for the Trojans, but overall has the physical skills of an NFL backup or replacement-level spot starter. He runs high and doesn’t compensate with a weak lower body, therefore lacking tackle-breaking ability. There is no real power element and only mild elusiveness to Allen’s game. Allen turned in a decent Combine, running 4.53 at 6-foot, 221 with a 35 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. Another flag on Allen is his age; he’ll turn 24 before his rookie season. I suspect he’ll be a mid- to late-round NFL pick. Allen could be a short-term fantasy asset if opportunity arises.

28. Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford — Langford turned heads by clocking the fastest forty time (4.42) by a running back in Indy, but the rest of his workouts were less impressive. On tape, he is contact averse with limited lateral moves. Langford’s calling cards will be his straight-line speed and versatility. His fantasy outlook is entirely tied to landing spot. Langford could become interesting if he’s drafted by a running back-needy team.

29. UNLV WR Devante Davis — Davis likely sealed his fate as a late-round pick at the Combine, managing a weak 9-foot-7 broad jump and flunking the three-cone drill (4.25). At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, however, Davis did post a strong forty time (4.57) and respectable 35 1/2-inch vertical. Davis is still a big receiver with adequate athleticism, and showed a knack for corraling deep passes in college. He could make some noise in the right NFL system.

30. Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett — Only 5-foot-10, 182 with tiny 8 3/8-inch hands, Lockett is a good-not-great athlete who made spectacular plays in college, but will likely struggle to do so consistently in the NFL. Unless Lockett lands in a situation where his offensive coordinator identifies him as a high-volume target, Lockett figures to be a better real-life than than fantasy player. He should contribute at slot receiver and on special teams.

31. Georgia WR Chris Conley — On the heels of a nondescript college career, Conley made a name for himself by equaling Calvin Johnson in the broad jump (11’7″), registering an insane 45-inch vertical, and running 4.35 at 6-foot-2, 213. The shuttle and cone drills exposed Conley as a straight-linish athlete, but he’s still someone to monitor. He’s big, fast, and can jump, and Conley scored 20 receiving TDs in college while averaging 16.6 yards per catch.

32. Miami WR Phillip Dorsett — Dorsett blazed a 4.33 forty in Indianapolis, but stands 5-foot-9, 185 with short arms and projects best as a slot receiver and return specialist in the pros. He only caught 36 passes as a senior. An NFL team should be able to find ways to utilize Dorsett’s strengths, but he’s probably a long shot to make much of a fantasy impact.

33. UCLA QB Brett Hundley — Hundley is an elite athlete for the quarterback position and possesses ideal size (6’3/226), but there are serious questions about Hundley’s ability to become an NFL starter. His pocket management is poor and Hundley has a tendency to drop his eyes at the slightest hint of pressure. He absorbed 125 sacks in three college seasons, fumbling 29 times. Hundley could become a fantasy asset if he became a first-string NFL signal caller, but there’s a long way for him to go. He’ll be a purely speculative QB3/4 Dynasty pick.

34. Georgia Tech WR Darren Waller — Widely projected as a late-round pick or UDFA after a 26-442-6 final college season, Waller shined in Indianapolis, running 4.46 with a 37-inch vertical and 10-foot-5 broad jump at a gargantuan 6-foot-6, 238. Waller is a build-up speed receiver with limited quickness, but profiles as a touchdown scorer once he learns to run NFL routes. He’s a project who could turn into something, but also might be nothing.

35. Miami TE Clive Walford — Mike Mayock’s No. 2 tight end behind only Maxx Williams, Walford clocked a respectable 4.79 forty at the Combine after weighing in at 6-foot-4, 251. His broad jump (10′) was solid, although his vertical (30 1/2″) and short shuttle (4.57) left something to be desired. Walford’s blocking prowess should increase his chances of getting on an NFL field. His outlook benefits from the overall weakness of this tight end class.

36. Florida State RB Karlos Williams — The one reason Williams might be worth a Dynasty flier is his Speed Score, a Football Outsiders metric that adjusts speed for a running back’s weight. With 4.48 wheels at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Williams has the best Speed Score (114.2) in the 2015 draft class. Unfortunately, Williams’ Speed Score isn’t a strong indication of his on-field skill set, which reminds of a poor man’s LeGarrette Blount. Williams lost his starting job to freshman Dalvin Cook in 2014, lacks elusiveness, isn’t as powerful as his body type suggests due to poor pad level, and has off-field baggage. A former defensive back, Williams’ best NFL fit may ultimately be running down kicks on special teams.

37. Baylor QB Bryce Petty — Quietly one of the top athletes in this quarterback class, Petty ran 4.87 at the Combine, but had a 10-foot-1 broad jump and fared well in the shuttles and cone drills. He offers plus size (6’3/230) and adequate arm strength. Baylor’s one-read offense is working against Petty, but he has some developmental upside as a Dynasty QB4.

38. Arizona WR Austin Hill — Hill looked like a future first-round NFL pick after an 81-1,364-11 sophomore season, but missed all of 2013 with a knee injury and returned with a pedestrian 49-635-4 line last year. Hill was essentially used as a tight end as a senior, indicating Arizona’s coaching staff believed he had lost the ability to win on the perimeter. Hill wasn’t invited to the Combine, but is a prospect to track on the Pro Day circuit. He’s 6-foot-2, 210 with sure hands and reportedly stood out during East-West Shrine practices.

39. Florida State TE Nick O’Leary — If O’Leary didn’t catch everything, he would be a non-prospect. An H-back type, O’Leary is 6-foot-3, 252 with T-Rex arms (29 3/4″), 4.93 speed, and no real lower-body explosion. O’Leary has great hands and was a trusted college target for Jameis Winston, registering junior and senior stat lines of 33-557-7 and 48-618-6, respectively. Perhaps O’Leary could grow into a Chris Cooley type in the right offense.

40. Ohio State TE Jeff Heuerman — After a college career marred by foot and ankle injuries, Heuerman didn’t participate in speed or agility drills at the Combine. He repped 225 pounds 26 times and weighed in at 6-foot-5, 254. Heuerman has plus arm length (33 1/4″) and big hands (10 1/8″), and flashed speed to stretch the seam at Ohio State. Heuerman’s stock could rise with an impressive Pro Day. He is currently seen as a middle-round prospect.

Other Prospects To Monitor: South Dakota State RB Zach Zenner, Oklahoma TE Blake Bell, Maryland WR Stefon Diggs, Duke WR Jamison Crowder, Texas RB Malcolm Brown, Fresno State WR Josh Harper, Georgia Tech WR DeAndre Smelter, Auburn RB Cameron Artis-Payne, Florida RB Matt Jones, South Alabama TE Wes Saxton, Stanford WR Ty Montgomery, Michigan State WR Tony Lippett, Southern Illinois TE MyCole Pruitt, Florida State WR Rashad Greene, Rutgers TE Tyler Kroft, Houston WR Deontay Greenberry, Colorado State QB Garrett Grayson, Central Michigan RB Thomas Rawls, Notre Dame TE Ben Koyack, Utah WR Dres Anderson, Louisville RB Michael Dyer, Texas A&M RB Trey Williams, Washington State WR Vince Mayle, East Carolina WR Justin Hardy, TCU RB B.J. Catalon, Yale RB Tyler Varga, Baylor WR Antwan Goodley

By the Numbers: Applying Fantasy Efficiency

Written by : Posted on February 24, 2015 : No Comments
This post was originally published on this site

For the context of this article, it’s important to note that these efficiency stats are not 2015 rankings and should not serve as a review of 2014. Instead, we can use these metrics to provide an overall measurement for how effective a player is on the field and, in turn, how productive they can be for your fantasy football team.

Also, these metrics are not projections or a direct indication of how many raw fantasy points a player will or can score. These metrics can indicate how productive a player was in 2014 on a per-drop back, per-touch, or per-route-run basis.

Considering this is a forward-thinking piece, let’s say a running back saw a limited workload and is going to be in line for more touches. It may be useful to know how many fantasy points he averaged on every touch. Was he effective or was he inefficient with his touches? Was he more efficient on a per-touch basis than the other backs on his team? Using analysis like this could help substantiate how well a player could perform in a bigger role. Let’s get to it.

Quarterbacks

(Note: In this section the statistic used is fantasy points per drop back (FPs/DB) and all scoring is 4 points per passing touchdown.)

Efficient: Russell Wilson

Wilson scored 0.61 fantasy points per drop back (FPs/DB) in 2014, finishing second among qualified signal callers behind Aaron Rodgers (0.63). Wilson has easily been one of the most efficient quarterbacks on a per-drop back basis, finishing 4th, 4th and 2nd overall in FPs/DB since he entered the league in 2012. What makes Wilson’s 2014 efficiency different from the average fantasy quarterback is that 36.4% of his output came via rushing yards and rushing touchdowns while only 24% of his production came from passing touchdowns. This is a remarkable difference from his 2013 season, where 35.9% of his output came from passing touchdowns and he still managed to score 0.58 fantasy points per drop back.

Forward thinkers: Imagine the upside if Wilson has a season where he can combine his 2014 rushing efficiency with his 2013 passing output.

Inefficient: Drew Brees

Brees has been one of the most productive fantasy quarterbacks over the past six years, and that is always baked in to his average draft position. Fantasy drafting theology aside, Brees simply did not return value in 2014. He scored 0.46 FPs/DB, his lowest per-drop back efficiency since 2010. To put Brees’ 2014 inefficiency in perspective, he finished 15th among all quarterbacks in FPs/DB and he had previously finished no worse than 8th in his three prior seasons. The Saints’ 2014 offense was still very effective, scoring the 5th most points per drive (2.35), but Brees’ fantasy production likely suffered due to a banged-up Jimmy Graham, the loss of Brandin Cooks to a mid-November wrist injury and an aging Marques Colston. Getting a healthy Graham and Cooks back could certainly be beneficial to a future Brees rebound.

Inefficient: Derek Carr

Rookie quarterbacks are tricky. This is certainly not the nail in the coffin for the Raiders’ 23-year-old signal caller, but Carr was horribly inefficient on a per-drop back basis. His 0.33 FPs/DB ranked dead last among 39 qualified quarterbacks, managed to be worse than fellow rookie Blake Bortles (0.34 FPs/DB), and were well off of Teddy Bridgewater’s 0.40 mark. Some of Carr’s fantasy points-per-drop back comparisons include past seasons of Brandon Weeden, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Cassel, which is frightening company. One hopeful sign is that Carr did score a healthy 39.6% of his fantasy output via passing touchdowns, which was above the league average of 35.5%. Maybe with a more up-tempo offense installed by new OC Bill Musgrave, Carr’s per-drop back efficiency will improve. Of course, it can’t really get much worse.

Running Backs

(Note: In this section the statistic used is fantasy points per touch (FPs/touch). Running backs must have touched the ball 60 times to qualify and all scoring is point per reception.)

Inefficient: Bishop Sankey

The rookie from Washington did not really get a fair shake in 2014. The Titans’ coaching staff inexplicably kept going back to Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster, even late in the year when the season was clearly lost. But Sankey did see more work than all of the Titans’ running backs, touching the ball 170 times yet averaging a mere 0.59 fantasy points per touch (FPs/touch). That low per-touch efficiency mark ranked 59th out of 61 qualified running backs, pitting Sankey below some of the league’s least efficient backs like: Toby Gerhart (0.68 FPs/touch), Trent Richardson (0.64) and Chris Johnson (0.63). Perhaps with more positive game scripts and a healthier workload earlier in games Sankey can improve upon his rookie year, but his NFL career did not start exceptionally well.

Efficient: Carlos Hyde

Frank Gore’s contract is up and if he’s not back in San Francisco this year, Hyde is in line to inherit a starting role. Hyde (0.80 FPs/touch) out-matched Gore (0.61 FPs/touch) in per-touch efficiency, which is ultimately a good sign. Although 57.8% of Hyde’s carries came on first down in a change-of-pace role, he probably should have touched the ball more in his rookie year based on sheer effectiveness. If Hyde gets more opportunity and the 49ers re-dedicate to running the football, Hyde checks the box of a potentially efficient fantasy back.

Efficient (but Unlucky): Jerick McKinnon

An athletic freak from Georgia Southern, McKinnon got unlucky in 2014. 44 running backs carried the ball 100+ times and McKinnon was the only back that failed to score a rushing touchdown. Even though he could not find the end zone, McKinnon still managed 0.67 FPs/touch, finishing 47th out of 61 qualified backs. McKinnon was not incredibly efficient but he was clearly the more talented RB in the Vikings’ backfield over Matt Asiata, and McKinnon even looked like he was taking over the starting role before he was shut down with an early-December back injury. If the Vikings commit to McKinnon, he has a little more luck getting in the end zone, and Adrian Peterson forces his way out of Minnesota, McKinnon has the potential to be a very solid fantasy producer in a young, up-and-coming offense.

Efficient: Roy Helu

26-year-old Helu is an impending free agent and will likely not be re-signed in Washington. Keeping in mind that Helu saw a lot of his work last year in garbage time, in a change-of-pace role and in positive late-game scripts, he still led all running backs in fantasy points per touch (1.56). Helu’s uber efficiency won’t be repeated if his touch count rises from its 2014 level of 82, but it’s certainly a great sign for Helu’s potential if he lands in a favorable spot that utilizes his catching ability. Helu will be squarely on mid-to-late round fantasy radars if he winds up in a pass-heavy, up-tempo offense like Indianapolis and can use his efficiency in his favor.

Efficient: Devonta Freeman

Steven Jackson (0.67 FPs/touch) is likely to be released, leaving Freeman atop Atlanta’s running back depth chart. Freeman was the most efficient Falcons back last year, scoring 0.94 FPs/touch, good for 14th out of 61 qualified backs. Unless the team adds a veteran free agent or another running back in the 2015 draft, Freeman’s overall efficiency could bode well in new OC Kyle Shanahan’s offense. However, Freeman is a bit undersized and lacks an ideal athletic profile, so perhaps his efficiency will decline when given more touches. But Freeman is an asset catching balls out of the backfield, so he may have low-RB2 viability in PPR even if the team adds a lead back.

Don’t forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB and @GrahamBarfield on Twitter.

For the context of this article, it’s important to note that these efficiency stats are not 2015 rankings and should not serve as a review of 2014. Instead, we can use these metrics to provide an overall measurement for how effective a player is on the field and, in turn, how productive they can be for your fantasy football team.

Also, these metrics are not projections or a direct indication of how many raw fantasy points a player will or can score. These metrics can indicate how productive a player was in 2014 on a per-drop back, per-touch, or per-route-run basis.

Considering this is a forward-thinking piece, let’s say a running back saw a limited workload and is going to be in line for more touches. It may be useful to know how many fantasy points he averaged on every touch. Was he effective or was he inefficient with his touches? Was he more efficient on a per-touch basis than the other backs on his team? Using analysis like this could help substantiate how well a player could perform in a bigger role. Let’s get to it.

Quarterbacks

(Note: In this section the statistic used is fantasy points per drop back (FPs/DB) and all scoring is 4 points per passing touchdown.)

Efficient: Russell Wilson

Wilson scored 0.61 fantasy points per drop back (FPs/DB) in 2014, finishing second among qualified signal callers behind Aaron Rodgers (0.63). Wilson has easily been one of the most efficient quarterbacks on a per-drop back basis, finishing 4th, 4th and 2nd overall in FPs/DB since he entered the league in 2012. What makes Wilson’s 2014 efficiency different from the average fantasy quarterback is that 36.4% of his output came via rushing yards and rushing touchdowns while only 24% of his production came from passing touchdowns. This is a remarkable difference from his 2013 season, where 35.9% of his output came from passing touchdowns and he still managed to score 0.58 fantasy points per drop back.

Forward thinkers: Imagine the upside if Wilson has a season where he can combine his 2014 rushing efficiency with his 2013 passing output.

Inefficient: Drew Brees

Brees has been one of the most productive fantasy quarterbacks over the past six years, and that is always baked in to his average draft position. Fantasy drafting theology aside, Brees simply did not return value in 2014. He scored 0.46 FPs/DB, his lowest per-drop back efficiency since 2010. To put Brees’ 2014 inefficiency in perspective, he finished 15th among all quarterbacks in FPs/DB and he had previously finished no worse than 8th in his three prior seasons. The Saints’ 2014 offense was still very effective, scoring the 5th most points per drive (2.35), but Brees’ fantasy production likely suffered due to a banged-up Jimmy Graham, the loss of Brandin Cooks to a mid-November wrist injury and an aging Marques Colston. Getting a healthy Graham and Cooks back could certainly be beneficial to a future Brees rebound.

Inefficient: Derek Carr

Rookie quarterbacks are tricky. This is certainly not the nail in the coffin for the Raiders’ 23-year-old signal caller, but Carr was horribly inefficient on a per-drop back basis. His 0.33 FPs/DB ranked dead last among 39 qualified quarterbacks, managed to be worse than fellow rookie Blake Bortles (0.34 FPs/DB), and were well off of Teddy Bridgewater’s 0.40 mark. Some of Carr’s fantasy points-per-drop back comparisons include past seasons of Brandon Weeden, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Cassel, which is frightening company. One hopeful sign is that Carr did score a healthy 39.6% of his fantasy output via passing touchdowns, which was above the league average of 35.5%. Maybe with a more up-tempo offense installed by new OC Bill Musgrave, Carr’s per-drop back efficiency will improve. Of course, it can’t really get much worse.

Running Backs

(Note: In this section the statistic used is fantasy points per touch (FPs/touch). Running backs must have touched the ball 60 times to qualify and all scoring is point per reception.)

Inefficient: Bishop Sankey

The rookie from Washington did not really get a fair shake in 2014. The Titans’ coaching staff inexplicably kept going back to Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster, even late in the year when the season was clearly lost. But Sankey did see more work than all of the Titans’ running backs, touching the ball 170 times yet averaging a mere 0.59 fantasy points per touch (FPs/touch). That low per-touch efficiency mark ranked 59th out of 61 qualified running backs, pitting Sankey below some of the league’s least efficient backs like: Toby Gerhart (0.68 FPs/touch), Trent Richardson (0.64) and Chris Johnson (0.63). Perhaps with more positive game scripts and a healthier workload earlier in games Sankey can improve upon his rookie year, but his NFL career did not start exceptionally well.

Efficient: Carlos Hyde

Frank Gore’s contract is up and if he’s not back in San Francisco this year, Hyde is in line to inherit a starting role. Hyde (0.80 FPs/touch) out-matched Gore (0.61 FPs/touch) in per-touch efficiency, which is ultimately a good sign. Although 57.8% of Hyde’s carries came on first down in a change-of-pace role, he probably should have touched the ball more in his rookie year based on sheer effectiveness. If Hyde gets more opportunity and the 49ers re-dedicate to running the football, Hyde checks the box of a potentially efficient fantasy back.

Efficient (but Unlucky): Jerick McKinnon

An athletic freak from Georgia Southern, McKinnon got unlucky in 2014. 44 running backs carried the ball 100+ times and McKinnon was the only back that failed to score a rushing touchdown. Even though he could not find the end zone, McKinnon still managed 0.67 FPs/touch, finishing 47th out of 61 qualified backs. McKinnon was not incredibly efficient but he was clearly the more talented RB in the Vikings’ backfield over Matt Asiata, and McKinnon even looked like he was taking over the starting role before he was shut down with an early-December back injury. If the Vikings commit to McKinnon, he has a little more luck getting in the end zone, and Adrian Peterson forces his way out of Minnesota, McKinnon has the potential to be a very solid fantasy producer in a young, up-and-coming offense.

Efficient: Roy Helu

26-year-old Helu is an impending free agent and will likely not be re-signed in Washington. Keeping in mind that Helu saw a lot of his work last year in garbage time, in a change-of-pace role and in positive late-game scripts, he still led all running backs in fantasy points per touch (1.56). Helu’s uber efficiency won’t be repeated if his touch count rises from its 2014 level of 82, but it’s certainly a great sign for Helu’s potential if he lands in a favorable spot that utilizes his catching ability. Helu will be squarely on mid-to-late round fantasy radars if he winds up in a pass-heavy, up-tempo offense like Indianapolis and can use his efficiency in his favor.

Efficient: Devonta Freeman

Steven Jackson (0.67 FPs/touch) is likely to be released, leaving Freeman atop Atlanta’s running back depth chart. Freeman was the most efficient Falcons back last year, scoring 0.94 FPs/touch, good for 14th out of 61 qualified backs. Unless the team adds a veteran free agent or another running back in the 2015 draft, Freeman’s overall efficiency could bode well in new OC Kyle Shanahan’s offense. However, Freeman is a bit undersized and lacks an ideal athletic profile, so perhaps his efficiency will decline when given more touches. But Freeman is an asset catching balls out of the backfield, so he may have low-RB2 viability in PPR even if the team adds a lead back.

Don’t forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB and @GrahamBarfield on Twitter.

Wide Receivers

(Note: In this section the statistic is fantasy points per route run (FPs/RR). Wide receivers must have ran at least 191 routes in 2014 to qualify and all scoring is points per reception.)

Efficient: Martavis Bryant

The 6-foot-4, 211-pound deep threat led all 90 qualified wide receivers in 2014 fantasy efficiency, scoring 0.64 points per route run (FPs/RR) in his rookie campaign. Bryant showed he could be a potentially dominant touchdown-maker in Pittsburgh, providing a red-zone and vertical threat opposite of Antonio Brown (0.59 FPs/RR). It’s worth noting that Bryant first saw real game action in early October and was only active for 10 regular season games, seeing a combined four targets in the last two weeks of the season. But if Bryant continues to improve and sees more than last year’s 44.1% regular season snap share, he could be a valuable fantasy asset based on his insane efficiency numbers.

Efficient: Randall Cobb

Cobb is Aaron Rodgers‘ 1B to Jordy Nelson’s 1A, but the 24-year-old is an impending free agent and is currently looking for roughly $9 million per year. If Cobb is re-signed by the Packers it obviously bodes well for his fantasy stock, but regardless he was one of the most efficient wide receivers in 2014. He finished 9th in FPs/RR (0.51) and led all wide receivers in fantasy points per slot route run with a score of 0.51. A lot of Cobb’s success is due to Rodgers and the Packers’ overall offensive efficiency, but if he is not re-upped in Green Bay, it may not be completely detrimental to his fantasy future. Cobb is easily one of the most efficient wide receivers in the NFL, is quietly crafty in the red zone despite his small frame and is arguably the best slot receiver in the league.

Inefficient: Michael Crabtree

It seems unlikely that Crabtree is back in San Francisco and the 27-year-old could re-emerge as a viable wide receiver on the right team. But multiple injuries including an Achilles’ tear may have zapped Crabtree’s downfield ability, as the 49ers turned him into more of a possession receiver in 2014. Crabtree scored 0.34 FPs/RR, just below the league average of 0.36, and he finished 45th out of 90 qualified WRs. Colin Kaepernick’s inability to come off of his first read and anticipate throws certainly hurt Crabtree’s production. Landing spot will be huge for Crabtree, but he was disappointing in 2014 on his own.

Inefficient: Sammy Watkins

Don’t get me wrong: this is not necessarily an indictment of Watkins’ talent. But he was pretty inefficient in 2014. Granted this was his first NFL season, but his score of 0.32 FPs/RR did not hold water in the 2014 rookie class. The aforementioned Bryant (0.64), Odell Beckham (0.62), Mike Evans (0.48), Kelvin Benjamin (0.42) and Jordan Matthews (0.41) were all more efficient than Watkins on a per-route basis. Watkins was barely the most efficient wide receiver on his own team as Chris Hogan scored 0.31 FPs/RR and Robert Woods scored 0.28 FPs/RR. Now that Kyle Orton is retired and the team is currently left with E.J. Manuel as its only viable quarterback, it may be time to re-think Watkins’ fantasy outlook.

Tight Ends

(Note: In this section the statistic used is fantasy points per route run. Tight ends must have run 207 routes to qualify and all scoring is point per reception.)

Efficient: Travis Kelce

It would be remiss of me not to discuss how efficient Kelce was in 2014 and how dominant he could be if he is heavily targeted in 2015. Kelce finished third in FPs/RR (0.48), just fractionally behind Julius Thomas (0.48), and well off the golden boy of fantasy TEs, Rob Gronkowski (0.60). Kelce’s per-route efficiency was hard earned as he finished 10th among tight ends in targets per route run (21.2%) and was only targeted 5.06 times per game. For whatever reason, Kelce only averaged a 52.6% snap share in Weeks 1-10 until his snap percentage jumped to 86.9% in the final seven weeks. Kelce was hamstrung by a quarterback who finished with the lowest average depth of target among qualified QBs in Alex Smith, was just inside of the top 10 of TE target share and only saw a shade over 50% of snaps in the first nine weeks of the season. And yet, Kelce still finished as the third most efficient TE on a per-route basis. Imagine what he could do with a Gronk-level workload near 7 or 8 targets per game.

Efficient: Jordan Cameron

Cameron isn’t expected back in Cleveland in 2015 and will draw interest from TE-needy teams like Atlanta, Seattle, Green Bay and possibly Houston. Cameron missed seven games in 2014 due to myriad concussion problems, and despite Cleveland’s inept offense, he still posted a respectable 0.36 FPs/RR, finishing 15th out of 38 qualified tight ends. This goes without saying, but if Cameron can stay on the field at his next destination he could easily reenter the top-five tight end discussion. Granted — he needs to land in the right spot as well – but given his injury issues and the Browns’ poor offense overall, Cameron is a decently efficient player and that could certainly trend upward in the future.

Efficient (with a Peyton Asterisk): Julius Thomas

Thomas’ production was certainly inflated by Peyton Manning. Couple this with the fact Thomas has had a litany of ankle injuries and other lower-extremity issues in the past, and you get a bit of a murky picture for his impending free agency. Thomas is a big threat in the red zone and that helped his efficiency last year, as he scored 0.48 FPs/RR. However, Julius gained just 1.44 yards/route run and has failed to have a season of 800+ yards. This makes Thomas a bit one-dimensional: He is very good in the red zone but doesn’t do much extremely well beyond that. He could certainly be back in Denver and continue to be very efficient in Gary Kubiak’s TE-friendly system, but smart teams outside of Colorado may seek to avoid Thomas in free agency.

Inefficient: Austin Seferian-Jenkins

New Bucs OC Dirk Koetter used his TEs a lot in Atlanta, but it also helped that he had an effective QB in Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez two out of his three years there. Even though Gonzalez retired and the team went to Levine Toilolo last year, Koetter’s TEs have averaged 545 routes run over the last three years, which is easily in the top 5 of NFL teams in sheer route quantity. This bodes well for Washington product Seferian-Jenkins as he comes off a disappointing, injury-riddled season finishing 32nd in FPs/RR (0.23). Rookie tight ends typically struggle, so some of Seferian-Jenkins’ inefficiency can be excused. But there is no doubt the 6-foot-6, 262-pounder with 4.56 speed could see a major uptick in overall effectiveness and efficiency in a TE-friendly offense that will likely feature a new starting quarterback via the 2015 draft.

Goal Line Stand: NFL’s Best Coaches 2015

Written by : Posted on February 22, 2015 : No Comments
This post was originally published on this site

If you had to win a game tomorrow, who do you want coaching your team? Not five years from now, not five years ago. Tomorrow. That’s the guiding principle behind my second annual coach rankings. This is not an exact science. No good coach has ever won without good players. No bad coach has ever gone 2-14 all by himself. Coaches are overpraised and underappreciated in equal measure. But time sorts coaches the way it does anything else. Patterns emerge. The passing years reveal who is lucky and who makes their own luck. Of course, the briefer the career, the more projection is required. That’s where “inexact” comes back in. What effect does Chip Kelly seem to have made in two years? Are Gus Bradley’s losses all his roster’s fault, or is there something it appears he could be doing better? We’re not positive, so we have to make an educated guess. With that settled, here’s my stab at the league’s 25 best coaches. This year’s seven new hires are ranked separately.  

Editor’s Note: 2014’s rankings can be found here.

1. Bill Belichick

Career Record: 211-109 (.659)

With The Patriots Since: 2000

Last Year’s Ranking: 1  

Three Super Bowls were easy for the best coach of his generation. It was the fourth that proved elusive. Bill Belichick spent nine years in the championship wilderness, nine years where his reputation never stopped being questioned. Was he a cheat? A product of Tom Brady? An occultist whose talismanic tuck rules and last-second field goals could no longer be conjured? Fate, after all, seemed to torture Belichick at every turn (see Manningham, Mario and Tyree, David).

The answer is Belichick never stopped being the game’s best coach. In reality, he only got better. If you’re not going to win a Super Bowl, you might as well mix in a 16-0 campaign and 11-5 season where your generational quarterback plays only one quarter. Still, however silly, the “questions” could only be answered with a Lombardi. They have been, and in pure Belichick fashion. Super Bowl XLIX could scarcely have been more Belichick-ian had a hoodie been draped over University of Phoenix’s retractable roof. There was controversy (Deflategate), a narrow victory (four points) and unmatched preparation. Because where you might see a stroke of luck in Seattle’s unfathomable decision to pass from the one-yard line, Belichick’s Patriots saw a second chance they weren’t going to waste. Malcolm Butler’s interception was not an accident. He knew what play Russell Wilson was running better than Ricardo Lockette did. Thanks to good coaching, Butler made his own luck, and Belichick a four-time Super Bowl champion. Butler’s pick was not one fateful play. It was simply one more brilliant setup from a coach who has provided 15 years of them in New England.      

2. Pete Carroll

Career Record: 83-61 (.576)

With The Seahawks Since: 2010

Last Year’s Ranking: 2

The league’s second best coach also made its worst decision of the 2014 season. With 26 seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLIX, Pete Carroll was one yard away from one of the most unassailable résumés in football history. The hammer (Marshawn Lynch) needed only one more shot at the nail. Except Carroll didn’t use his best tool, and now he has the rest of his life to wonder why. Only that’s not the kind of coach Carroll is. In the face of the worst moment of his career, Carroll showed why he’s ascended to such heights. There was no pity sought, no public second guessing. Carroll didn’t blame his assistants. He simply marched forward with the kind of relentless positivity that landed him in back-to-back Super Bowls in the first place. Carroll can only be himself, and it’s an attitude he insists on in his players. Richard Sherman is allowed to talk to his heart’s content. Lynch is made to feel comfortable in his mafia silence. Carroll doesn’t need to mold men because he makes their current form their best form. The few who can’t shape up are shipped out (Percy Harvin). The result is an all-for-one, one-for-all brotherhood that Schiano disciplinarians can only dream of. The result is the baddest, best team of the decade.        

3. John Harbaugh  

Career Record: 72-40 (.643)

With The Ravens Since: 2008

Last Year’s Ranking: 5

John Harbaugh is a game manager. He coordinates neither his offense nor his defense. Harbaugh is a big-picture coach, and the portrait he’s painted is one of the most sustained excellence this side of Foxborough. Harbaugh has been the Ravens’ coach for seven seasons. He’s led his team to at least one playoff victory in six of them. Not even Bill Belichick can claim as many postseason wins (seven) as Harbaugh since 2008 (10). How mentally tough are Harbaugh’s teams? They have more road playoff victories over the past three years (three) than the Raiders do total road victories (two). With Baltimore, it’s never one thing. The defense has ebbed and flowed while Joe Flacco has oscillated between “elite!!!” and Rex Grossman. Harbaugh’s Ravens, more than any other team, just get it done, even if you’re not sure how they’re doing it. Hall-of-Famers come and go, coordinators come and go. The only thing that stays the same is the winning.  

4. Bruce Arians

Career Record: 21-11 (.656)

With The Cardinals Since: 2013

Last Year’s Ranking: 8

Bruce Arians can be a bit of a horse’s ass. When Carson Palmer went down in November, Arians refused to change his offense, dialing up deep bomb after deep bomb for Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley. But therein lies part of Arians’ magic. His No. 2 and 3 quarterbacks combined to start 10 games and he still managed to rack up 11 wins in football’s toughest division. Under previous coach Ken Whisenhunt, losing the quarterback would have started a Max Hall-death spiral. Arians made sure that didn’t happen. He didn’t moan, he didn’t whine. (He did gloat a little.) He didn’t change a damn thing, and the reward was an 11-5 campaign in the face of tremendous on-field adversity. Arians’ philosophy is simple. Run enough to keep ‘em honest, go deep enough to maximize your odds of big plays and blitz enough to keep ‘em on their toes. It’s meat-and-potatoes football he knows how to turn into wins. It took Arians 60 years to become an NFL head coach. It’s taken him two to show he was born for the job.    

5. Sean Payton

Career Record: 80-48 (.625)

With The Saints Since: 2006

Last Year’s Ranking: 4

Saints football is Sean Payton. Few coaches in the history of the league have made a bigger impact on their franchise. The former “Aints” have gone from annual also rans to perennial contenders, and they’ve done it on Payton’s watch. If there’s a problem, it’s that Payton can forget to set said watch. Nevermind Bountygate, a reckless, dangerous scandal that cost Payton all of 2012 — a season where his leaderless team went 7-9 and fielded the worst defense the NFL has ever seen. How about 2014, a year that was a cakewalk on paper, but Chinese water torture in practice. Playing in football’s most winnable division, the Saints turned in one disappointing performance after another, limping to a 7-9 record only made possible by the Bucs flagrantly tanking in Week 17. The sub-.500 campaign was just the second in Payton’s eight years in New Orleans, but an uninspired, undisciplined mess where Payton was rarely on the same page with DC Rob Ryan. From Bountygate on, lack of discipline has become a theme for Payton’s teams. Payton has earned enough benefit of the doubt to last a lifetime in the Crescent City, but he’s now had to tap into it two times in three years. Three in four will have people asking questions that seemed unthinkable in 2011.      

6. Chip Kelly

Career Record: 20-12 (.625)

With The Eagles Since: 2013

Last Year’s Ranking: 6

For Chip Kelly’s detractors — of which there are legion — 2014 was another brick in the wall of his ongoing exposure. “Forget a national title at Oregon — the guy who’s ‘revolutionizing football’ can’t even win the NFC East?” It’s simplistic pablum, the kind Billy Beane has stared down for years in baseball. You don’t have to dig deep to find Kelly’s impact. Let’s just ignore all the things happening outside of public view, like the way Kelly is changing everything from how the league practices to how it sleeps. Let’s focus on something really basic. In two years as an NFL head coach, Kelly has amassed 20 wins and a .625 winning percentage. He’s done so with Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez making 81 percent of the starts at quarterback. That would be lead-footed Nick Foles and 56.3 percent career passer Mark Sanchez. The two most important physical traits for a Kelly quarterback are repetitive accuracy and fleet feet. Foles and Sanchez have neither, and yet here Kelly is, 2-for-2 in 10-win seasons. No, they don’t hang banners for 10-win campaigns, but two years in, Kelly’s plan remains right on schedule. Maybe Kelly will never win a title, but he’s already changed the game.       

7. Mike McCarthy

Career Record: 94-49-1 (.656)

With The Packers Since: 2006  

Last Year’s Ranking: 10

Mike McCarthy backs into parking spaces. He pays with exact change. If he’s told you once, he’s told you twice, kids: No PG-13 movies until you’re 13. McCarthy is a conservative, unimaginative man. He’s also a Super Bowl winning, conservative, unimaginative man. It’s impossible to separate McCarthy from his superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers, so we won’t try. McCarthy has averaged 10 wins per season in Green Bay, and made the playoffs seven out of nine years. That includes 2013, where Rodgers started only nine games. You may argue that the quarterback has made the man, but give the man this: He’s known what to do with the quarterback. You don’t have to like McCarthy. You definitely don’t have to sign off on the shell game he played in the NFC Championship Game. You just have to admit that for however much you curse the guy, he always seems to be coaching his team in big games.  

8. Bill O’Brien

Career Record: 9-7 (.563)

With The Texans Since: 2014

Last Year’s Ranking: — —

Bill O’Brien is the tale of two Week 17s. Week 17 2013: The Texans were in the midst of a 13-game losing streak, and on track for the No. 1 overall pick. Week 17 2014: The Texans entered with a 4-2 record since their bye (8-7 overall), and an outside shot at a playoff berth. That’s the level to which the Texans’ fortunes changed under O’Brien. Not that O’Brien walked into a hopeless situation. Any rookie coach should be lucky enough to have the best defensive player on the planet (J.J. Watt), and two All-Pros on offense (Arian Foster and Andre Johnson). It wasn’t just that O’Brien whipped a talented roster into 9-7, however, but how he did it. How did O’Brien land on the coaching radar in the first place? Via Tom Brady’s golden arm. What did he do his final year at Penn State? Dial up 32.6 passes per game with true freshman Christian Hackenberg. So what was his plan in Houston? Lead the league in rushing attempts. O’Brien maximized his roster in every which way, tapping DeAndre Hopkins’ superstar potential while making JaDeveon Clowney‘s lost rookie year a footnote. The Colts have had free rein of the AFC South since landing Andrew Luck. O’Brien has ensured that’s about to change.   

9. Tom Coughlin

Career Record: 164-140 (.539)

With The Giants Since: 2004

Last Year’s Ranking: 9

For as disciplined and traditional as Tom Coughlin may seem, he is a high-wire act. When Coughlin isn’t in disbelief on the sideline, he’s in a volcanic fury. Coughlin belies his grandfatherly image at every turn, and it’s that contradiction that keeps him and the New York Giants going. Coughlin is an elder statesman. He is old school. But he’s also as passionate as any man in football, and still willing to reinvent at age 68. Maybe you can call it self preservation, but how many head coaches with 19 years of experience and two Super Bowl titles would be willing to completely remake their offense? That’s what Coughlin did in 2014, “retiring” longtime confidant Kevin Gilbride. Out were Gilbride’s deep drops and long-developing plays, and in was Ben McAdoo’s quick-hitting attack. The result was a revitalized Eli Manning, and genuine hope for 2015. Coughlin’s teams can be frustrating and inconsistent, but the highs are Super Bowl titles, while the lows are just three sub-.500 seasons in 11 years in New York.  

10. Andy Reid

Career Record: 150-105-1 (.588)

With The Chiefs Since: 2013

Last Year’s Ranking: 7

In 16 years as an NFL head coach, Andy Reid has mastered many arts. He’s gotten no science so exact as apologizing for the misuse of his best players. From Brian Westbrook to LeSean McCoy to Jamaal Charles, Reid has never met a star he couldn’t inexplicably mothball. It was a constant theme for Charles in 2014, at one point prompting Reid to call his own play-calling “negligence.” But if Reid’s play-calling can sometimes be negligent, his clock management can be downright criminal. It’s these glaring flaws that highlight just how good of a coach Reid can be. For despite weaknesses as plain as day, Reid never stops winning. He has 20 Ws in two years in Kansas City, and averaged 9.3 across 13 seasons in Philadelphia. That’s why his continual issues with player use and telling time can almost feel like a personal affront. Reid is so close to greatness, if only he’d get out of his own way. At this point, Reid is an old dog we can’t hope to teach new tricks. But somewhere out there, that championship bone is buried. Stranger things have happened than Reid finally finding it.

Don’t forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB or @RotoPat on Twitter.

        

If you had to win a game tomorrow, who do you want coaching your team? Not five years from now, not five years ago. Tomorrow. That’s the guiding principle behind my second annual coach rankings. This is not an exact science. No good coach has ever won without good players. No bad coach has ever gone 2-14 all by himself. Coaches are overpraised and underappreciated in equal measure. But time sorts coaches the way it does anything else. Patterns emerge. The passing years reveal who is lucky and who makes their own luck. Of course, the briefer the career, the more projection is required. That’s where “inexact” comes back in. What effect does Chip Kelly seem to have made in two years? Are Gus Bradley’s losses all his roster’s fault, or is there something it appears he could be doing better? We’re not positive, so we have to make an educated guess. With that settled, here’s my stab at the league’s 25 best coaches. This year’s seven new hires are ranked separately.  

Editor’s Note: 2014’s rankings can be found here.

1. Bill Belichick

Career Record: 211-109 (.659)

With The Patriots Since: 2000

Last Year’s Ranking: 1  

Three Super Bowls were easy for the best coach of his generation. It was the fourth that proved elusive. Bill Belichick spent nine years in the championship wilderness, nine years where his reputation never stopped being questioned. Was he a cheat? A product of Tom Brady? An occultist whose talismanic tuck rules and last-second field goals could no longer be conjured? Fate, after all, seemed to torture Belichick at every turn (see Manningham, Mario and Tyree, David).

The answer is Belichick never stopped being the game’s best coach. In reality, he only got better. If you’re not going to win a Super Bowl, you might as well mix in a 16-0 campaign and 11-5 season where your generational quarterback plays only one quarter. Still, however silly, the “questions” could only be answered with a Lombardi. They have been, and in pure Belichick fashion. Super Bowl XLIX could scarcely have been more Belichick-ian had a hoodie been draped over University of Phoenix’s retractable roof. There was controversy (Deflategate), a narrow victory (four points) and unmatched preparation. Because where you might see a stroke of luck in Seattle’s unfathomable decision to pass from the one-yard line, Belichick’s Patriots saw a second chance they weren’t going to waste. Malcolm Butler’s interception was not an accident. He knew what play Russell Wilson was running better than Ricardo Lockette did. Thanks to good coaching, Butler made his own luck, and Belichick a four-time Super Bowl champion. Butler’s pick was not one fateful play. It was simply one more brilliant setup from a coach who has provided 15 years of them in New England.      

2. Pete Carroll

Career Record: 83-61 (.576)

With The Seahawks Since: 2010

Last Year’s Ranking: 2

The league’s second best coach also made its worst decision of the 2014 season. With 26 seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLIX, Pete Carroll was one yard away from one of the most unassailable résumés in football history. The hammer (Marshawn Lynch) needed only one more shot at the nail. Except Carroll didn’t use his best tool, and now he has the rest of his life to wonder why. Only that’s not the kind of coach Carroll is. In the face of the worst moment of his career, Carroll showed why he’s ascended to such heights. There was no pity sought, no public second guessing. Carroll didn’t blame his assistants. He simply marched forward with the kind of relentless positivity that landed him in back-to-back Super Bowls in the first place. Carroll can only be himself, and it’s an attitude he insists on in his players. Richard Sherman is allowed to talk to his heart’s content. Lynch is made to feel comfortable in his mafia silence. Carroll doesn’t need to mold men because he makes their current form their best form. The few who can’t shape up are shipped out (Percy Harvin). The result is an all-for-one, one-for-all brotherhood that Schiano disciplinarians can only dream of. The result is the baddest, best team of the decade.        

3. John Harbaugh  

Career Record: 72-40 (.643)

With The Ravens Since: 2008

Last Year’s Ranking: 5

John Harbaugh is a game manager. He coordinates neither his offense nor his defense. Harbaugh is a big-picture coach, and the portrait he’s painted is one of the most sustained excellence this side of Foxborough. Harbaugh has been the Ravens’ coach for seven seasons. He’s led his team to at least one playoff victory in six of them. Not even Bill Belichick can claim as many postseason wins (seven) as Harbaugh since 2008 (10). How mentally tough are Harbaugh’s teams? They have more road playoff victories over the past three years (three) than the Raiders do total road victories (two). With Baltimore, it’s never one thing. The defense has ebbed and flowed while Joe Flacco has oscillated between “elite!!!” and Rex Grossman. Harbaugh’s Ravens, more than any other team, just get it done, even if you’re not sure how they’re doing it. Hall-of-Famers come and go, coordinators come and go. The only thing that stays the same is the winning.  

4. Bruce Arians

Career Record: 21-11 (.656)

With The Cardinals Since: 2013

Last Year’s Ranking: 8

Bruce Arians can be a bit of a horse’s ass. When Carson Palmer went down in November, Arians refused to change his offense, dialing up deep bomb after deep bomb for Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley. But therein lies part of Arians’ magic. His No. 2 and 3 quarterbacks combined to start 10 games and he still managed to rack up 11 wins in football’s toughest division. Under previous coach Ken Whisenhunt, losing the quarterback would have started a Max Hall-death spiral. Arians made sure that didn’t happen. He didn’t moan, he didn’t whine. (He did gloat a little.) He didn’t change a damn thing, and the reward was an 11-5 campaign in the face of tremendous on-field adversity. Arians’ philosophy is simple. Run enough to keep ‘em honest, go deep enough to maximize your odds of big plays and blitz enough to keep ‘em on their toes. It’s meat-and-potatoes football he knows how to turn into wins. It took Arians 60 years to become an NFL head coach. It’s taken him two to show he was born for the job.    

5. Sean Payton

Career Record: 80-48 (.625)

With The Saints Since: 2006

Last Year’s Ranking: 4

Saints football is Sean Payton. Few coaches in the history of the league have made a bigger impact on their franchise. The former “Aints” have gone from annual also rans to perennial contenders, and they’ve done it on Payton’s watch. If there’s a problem, it’s that Payton can forget to set said watch. Nevermind Bountygate, a reckless, dangerous scandal that cost Payton all of 2012 — a season where his leaderless team went 7-9 and fielded the worst defense the NFL has ever seen. How about 2014, a year that was a cakewalk on paper, but Chinese water torture in practice. Playing in football’s most winnable division, the Saints turned in one disappointing performance after another, limping to a 7-9 record only made possible by the Bucs flagrantly tanking in Week 17. The sub-.500 campaign was just the second in Payton’s eight years in New Orleans, but an uninspired, undisciplined mess where Payton was rarely on the same page with DC Rob Ryan. From Bountygate on, lack of discipline has become a theme for Payton’s teams. Payton has earned enough benefit of the doubt to last a lifetime in the Crescent City, but he’s now had to tap into it two times in three years. Three in four will have people asking questions that seemed unthinkable in 2011.      

6. Chip Kelly

Career Record: 20-12 (.625)

With The Eagles Since: 2013

Last Year’s Ranking: 6

For Chip Kelly’s detractors — of which there are legion — 2014 was another brick in the wall of his ongoing exposure. “Forget a national title at Oregon — the guy who’s ‘revolutionizing football’ can’t even win the NFC East?” It’s simplistic pablum, the kind Billy Beane has stared down for years in baseball. You don’t have to dig deep to find Kelly’s impact. Let’s just ignore all the things happening outside of public view, like the way Kelly is changing everything from how the league practices to how it sleeps. Let’s focus on something really basic. In two years as an NFL head coach, Kelly has amassed 20 wins and a .625 winning percentage. He’s done so with Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez making 81 percent of the starts at quarterback. That would be lead-footed Nick Foles and 56.3 percent career passer Mark Sanchez. The two most important physical traits for a Kelly quarterback are repetitive accuracy and fleet feet. Foles and Sanchez have neither, and yet here Kelly is, 2-for-2 in 10-win seasons. No, they don’t hang banners for 10-win campaigns, but two years in, Kelly’s plan remains right on schedule. Maybe Kelly will never win a title, but he’s already changed the game.       

7. Mike McCarthy

Career Record: 94-49-1 (.656)

With The Packers Since: 2006  

Last Year’s Ranking: 10

Mike McCarthy backs into parking spaces. He pays with exact change. If he’s told you once, he’s told you twice, kids: No PG-13 movies until you’re 13. McCarthy is a conservative, unimaginative man. He’s also a Super Bowl winning, conservative, unimaginative man. It’s impossible to separate McCarthy from his superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers, so we won’t try. McCarthy has averaged 10 wins per season in Green Bay, and made the playoffs seven out of nine years. That includes 2013, where Rodgers started only nine games. You may argue that the quarterback has made the man, but give the man this: He’s known what to do with the quarterback. You don’t have to like McCarthy. You definitely don’t have to sign off on the shell game he played in the NFC Championship Game. You just have to admit that for however much you curse the guy, he always seems to be coaching his team in big games.  

8. Bill O’Brien

Career Record: 9-7 (.563)

With The Texans Since: 2014

Last Year’s Ranking: — —

Bill O’Brien is the tale of two Week 17s. Week 17 2013: The Texans were in the midst of a 13-game losing streak, and on track for the No. 1 overall pick. Week 17 2014: The Texans entered with a 4-2 record since their bye (8-7 overall), and an outside shot at a playoff berth. That’s the level to which the Texans’ fortunes changed under O’Brien. Not that O’Brien walked into a hopeless situation. Any rookie coach should be lucky enough to have the best defensive player on the planet (J.J. Watt), and two All-Pros on offense (Arian Foster and Andre Johnson). It wasn’t just that O’Brien whipped a talented roster into 9-7, however, but how he did it. How did O’Brien land on the coaching radar in the first place? Via Tom Brady’s golden arm. What did he do his final year at Penn State? Dial up 32.6 passes per game with true freshman Christian Hackenberg. So what was his plan in Houston? Lead the league in rushing attempts. O’Brien maximized his roster in every which way, tapping DeAndre Hopkins’ superstar potential while making JaDeveon Clowney‘s lost rookie year a footnote. The Colts have had free rein of the AFC South since landing Andrew Luck. O’Brien has ensured that’s about to change.   

9. Tom Coughlin

Career Record: 164-140 (.539)

With The Giants Since: 2004

Last Year’s Ranking: 9

For as disciplined and traditional as Tom Coughlin may seem, he is a high-wire act. When Coughlin isn’t in disbelief on the sideline, he’s in a volcanic fury. Coughlin belies his grandfatherly image at every turn, and it’s that contradiction that keeps him and the New York Giants going. Coughlin is an elder statesman. He is old school. But he’s also as passionate as any man in football, and still willing to reinvent at age 68. Maybe you can call it self preservation, but how many head coaches with 19 years of experience and two Super Bowl titles would be willing to completely remake their offense? That’s what Coughlin did in 2014, “retiring” longtime confidant Kevin Gilbride. Out were Gilbride’s deep drops and long-developing plays, and in was Ben McAdoo’s quick-hitting attack. The result was a revitalized Eli Manning, and genuine hope for 2015. Coughlin’s teams can be frustrating and inconsistent, but the highs are Super Bowl titles, while the lows are just three sub-.500 seasons in 11 years in New York.  

10. Andy Reid

Career Record: 150-105-1 (.588)

With The Chiefs Since: 2013

Last Year’s Ranking: 7

In 16 years as an NFL head coach, Andy Reid has mastered many arts. He’s gotten no science so exact as apologizing for the misuse of his best players. From Brian Westbrook to LeSean McCoy to Jamaal Charles, Reid has never met a star he couldn’t inexplicably mothball. It was a constant theme for Charles in 2014, at one point prompting Reid to call his own play-calling “negligence.” But if Reid’s play-calling can sometimes be negligent, his clock management can be downright criminal. It’s these glaring flaws that highlight just how good of a coach Reid can be. For despite weaknesses as plain as day, Reid never stops winning. He has 20 Ws in two years in Kansas City, and averaged 9.3 across 13 seasons in Philadelphia. That’s why his continual issues with player use and telling time can almost feel like a personal affront. Reid is so close to greatness, if only he’d get out of his own way. At this point, Reid is an old dog we can’t hope to teach new tricks. But somewhere out there, that championship bone is buried. Stranger things have happened than Reid finally finding it.

Don’t forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB or @RotoPat on Twitter.

        

11. Marvin Lewis  

Career Record: 100-90-2 (.526)

With The Bengals Since: 2003

Last Year’s Ranking: 12

Your first clue as to Lewis’ long, strange trip as Bengals head coach lies in his record. Two ties. That’s a remarkable feat for a man who has coached all of his football in the 21st century. Another remarkable feat? A winning record over 12 seasons with one of the losingest, cheapest franchises in NFL history. By now you know the defining statistic of Lewis’ career. Six playoff appearances, zero playoff victories. .000 in the postseason is hard to figure for a man who is .526 during the regular campaign. Another way to look at it? You try making the playoffs four-straight seasons with Andy Dalton. You try going 10-5-1 one year after both coordinators departed to become head coaches. Should Lewis be judged by his postseason eggs, or all the impressive seasons that have gotten him there? 0-for-6 is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is ignoring the job Lewis has done to pull Cincinnati from the depths of the NFL, making them an annual contender in the league’s most consistently-competitive division.   

12. Mike Tomlin

Career Record: 82-46 (.641)

With The Steelers Since: 2007

Last Year’s Ranking: 16

Is Mike Tomlin overrated, underrated or both? Like rival John Harbaugh, Tomlin is an overseer, coordinating neither his offense nor defense. Unlike Harbaugh, his teams can be rather inconsistent. Tomlin has produced a playoff victory in just three of eight seasons, and whereas Harbaugh’s fierce defense has ebbed and flowed, Tomlin’s has seemed in a perpetual downward state. Tomlin has lost to Tim Tebow in the playoffs. That’s a humiliation shared by no other man. So why is Tomlin’s career winning percentage .641? He knows what he’s doing. What do you do if you don’t call the shots on offense or defense? You lead. Tomlin’s players will follow him through the proverbial brick wall, while few coaches deflect more praise or accept more criticism. Has Tomlin been helped along by greats like Ben Roethlisberger and Dick LeBeau? Yes. Do we hold that against every other coach with great supporting casts? No. The Steelers would still be competitive without Mike Tomlin. That’s not the point. The point is a coach with a keen understanding of his duties, and execution of them year in and year out.   

13. Jason Garrett

Career Record: 41-31 (.561)

With The Cowboys Since: 2010

Last Year’s Ranking: 24

Jason Garrett is a lackey, a puppet. So the thinking went as owner/GM Jerry Jones refused to fire Garrett whilst simultaneously stripping him of all obvious power. Garrett entered 2014 with his “passing-game coordinator” calling the plays, and without any years remaining on his contract. It was to be a 16-game (if he was lucky) funeral. Instead, it was a rethink. Of Garrett’s role, of the Cowboys’ offensive philosophy and of Garrett’s reputation. Garrett was tasked with one job: Lead. He did, to 12-4, and within one Calvin Johnson Rule of the NFC Championship Game. With Garrett overseeing, Scott Linehan’s commitment to the run never wavered, and the other shoe never dropped. For the first four years of Garrett’s rule, every triumph was followed by an embarrassment of equal or greater measure. 2014 kicked the embarrassments to the curb, and berthed a new style of Cowboys football. Maybe it will prove to be a one off, but at least for one year, the rest of the world saw the Garrett ol’ Jer has always talked about.    

14. Mike McCoy

Career Record: 18-14 (.563)

With The Chargers Since: 2013

Last Year’s Ranking: 15

Mike McCoy’s two seasons as an NFL head coach have produced the same result: 9-7. The difference between the two? Philip Rivers’ ribs and back. McCoy’s sophomore campaign likely could have been a greater success had his star player not been plagued by a pair of lingering ailments. Injuries in the backfield and along the offensive line were detriments, as well. As it is, 9-7 was an accomplishment, and went a long way toward proving it was McCoy — and not former OC Ken Whisenhunt — who was responsible for Rivers’ revival and the Chargers’ renewed status as a competitive football team. Health will remain a concern for San Diego’s aging core in 2015, but the coach will not.  

15. Mike Zimmer

Career Record: 7-9 (.438)

With The Vikings Since: 2014

Last Year’s Ranking: — —

When people say “fire and brimstone,” they’re talking about Mike Zimmer. The longtime coordinator — 14 years — was every tough-coach cliché you could think of as a rookie. As Greg Schiano and Eric Mangini will tell you, that doesn’t always translate in today’s game. For Zimmer, it did. Not only did he give the Vikings a badly-needed identity, but a surprising 7-9 record in a year where his best player (Adrian Peterson) played only 45 snaps, and a rookie suited up at quarterback. The trick for Zimmer will be repeating the feat in 2015, and not wearing his players out like hundreds of disciplinarians before him. We’d bet on Zimmer finding the right chord to strike. For all the evidence that he’s tough, there’s little to suggest he isn’t fair. That’s the kind of leadership that translates in any era.     

16. Chuck Pagano

Career Record: 33-15 (.688)

With The Colts Since: 2012

Last Year’s Ranking: 21

Slowly but surely — emphasis on slowly — Chuck Pagano’s team is taking on his identity. Andrew Luck continued to carry the Colts on his back in 2014, but for the second-straight season, an undermanned defense overachieved. GM Ryan Grigson has made a habit of giving Pagano shaky personnel, but Pagano has made a habit of coaching ‘em up. Some have been beyond save. 2013 first-rounder Bjoern Werner was a healthy scratch for the AFC Championship Game, for instance. But by and large, Pagano has held up his end of the bargain. He’s been an inspiring leader, and solid defensive boss. He’s even gotten a clue on offense. Of all the adjustments made league-wide in 2014, none was more important than Indy finally letting Luck cut loose. Luck’s attempts skyrocketed to a career-high 616, but his efficiency only improved. Indy’s reward was 458 points, its most since Peyton Manning was calling the shots in 2004. Pagano is still far from perfect. It would be nice if he stopped getting blown out of the building by Bill Belichick. The improvement has been undeniable, however, lessening the sting of losing secret weapon Bruce Arians. Pagano is never going to be a top-five coach, but paired with an elite quarterback like Luck, he’s somebody you can win with.  

17. Ron Rivera

Career Record: 32-31-1 (.508)

With The Panthers Since: 2011

Last Year’s Ranking: 17

Where did we come from? Are we alone in the universe? Is Ron Rivera a good head coach? Some questions are unanswerable. Rivera was as good as fired after getting off to a 1-3 start in 2013. Then he started riding the Riverboat, rallying his team to an 11-1 finish and first-round bye. Carolina lost at home in the Divisional Round, but Rivera’s walk on the wild side saved his job, and set high expectations for 2014. Of course, they weren’t realistic. Salary-cap issues left behind a depleted roster, while franchise player Greg Hardy played only one game before drawing an indefinite suspension. Cam Newton was forced to make do with a receiver corps led by stone-handed rookie Kelvin Benjamin and … Jerricho Cotchery. The result was another rocky start (3-8-1), and more questions about Rivera’s job security. Then something even more unlikely than 11-1 happened. The Panthers finished in a 4-0 flourish, stealing the division with a 7-8-1 record before winning a Wild Card game against the Cardinals. What have the Panthers’ back-to-back hot finishes taught us about Rivera’s coaching? Not a lot. Rivera’s offense remains unimaginative, while his defense foundered more than it excelled in 2014. Despite his “Riverboat” moniker, Rivera remains one of the league’s most vanilla shot callers. That’s fine if he can start putting together complete seasons. Until then, he’s a coach who’s gotten by on temporary guile and a laughable division.   

18. Jeff Fisher

Career Record: 162-147-1 (.524)

With The Rams Since: 2012

Last Year’s Ranking: 14

Insanity is doing the same Jeff Fisher routine over and over and expecting a different result. One hallmark of a Fisher team? There is no one they can’t beat. Peyton Manning and the NFC Champion Seahawks can attest to that. The problem is all the Sundays Fisher’s teams aren’t AnyGiven™. For though Fisher can beat anybody, he can lose to everybody. Fisher’s teams live on the edge. They bully now and ask “should we really have called that Tavon Austin bubble screen?” later. Occasionally, this will produce the odd 13-3 record (1999, 2000, 2008). More often it results in stunningly inconsistent football that has long since trademarked seven followed by a dash followed by a nine. Fisher has been a full-time NFL coach for 19 seasons. Nine of them have produced 7-9 or 8-8 records. Fisher has finished better than .500 just 31.5 percent of the time, and zero times since 2008. You can argue this hasn’t all been his fault. Fisher didn’t ask for Vince Young or Sam Bradford’s defective ACL. But if the proof is in the pudding, Fisher’s is served as a store bought Snack Pack that looks good before you open it, but underwhelms by the time you finish it.    

19. Jim Caldwell

Career Record: 37-27 (.578)

With The Lions Since: 2014

Last Year’s Ranking: — —

Jim Caldwell is why this exercise can be so inexact. In most ways, Caldwell did exactly what the Lions paid him to do in 2014. He whipped a soft, undisciplined roster of perennial underachievers into an 11-5 playoff club. The 11 wins were Detroit’s most since 1991. The man clearly did his job in the locker room. On the sideline? In Week 12, the Lions headed to New England. No place has been harder to win during the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era. So what does Caldwell do? He punts from the Patriots’ 39-yard line. He kicks a field goal down 21. Flash forward six weeks, with the Lions trying to close out a playoff game in Dallas. The Lions needed one yard to make life infinitely more difficult for a Cowboys team trailing 20-17. Caldwell doesn’t go for it, the Cowboys get the ball back at their own 41 and complete their comeback from a 20-7 deficit. Those decisions were Caldwell’s season in a nutshell, and part of the reason the Lions scored just 321 points, the 10th fewest in the league despite having all the weapons you could ever dream of. None of that is to even mention Caldwell’s debacle in London, perhaps the worst-coached game of all time. Caldwell can lead. Coaching is another matter.          

20. Lovie Smith

Career Record: 83-77 (.519)

With The Bucs Since: 2014

Last Year’s Ranking: — —

When the Bucs recycled Lovie Smith, they fancied themselves a reloading club, not a rebuilding one. That questionably-laid plan took its last-gasping breath just 11 days into the season, where Smith’s team got disemboweled 56-14 in the Georgia Dome. Atlanta led 56-0 with 16:47 remaining. From that moment on, a new course was set: The No. 1 overall pick. Smith’s 2-14 team got out-scored by 133 points, with its lone accomplishment coming in Week 17, where it snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Along the way was some truly wretched football, and a coach who was maybe more with the times than Monte Kiffin, but not that much more. Smith’s résumé is such that he can’t yet be considered the next Wade Phillips, an aging retread who can no longer hack it as a head coach. But if 2015 goes even half as poorly as 2014, forced retirement will deservedly be in Smith’s future.   

21. Gus Bradley

Career Record: 7-25 (.219)

With The Jaguars Since: 2013

Last Year’s Ranking: 18

Gus Bradley is not a miracle worker. St. Francis of Assisi himself could not have made the 2014 Jaguars a contender. But this bad? As a rookie head coach in 2013, Bradley began his NFL career by limping into the Jags’ bye week at 0-8. Then he turned water into wine, coaxing a 4-4 finish out of one of the most talent-barren rosters in the league, and setting the stage for a step forward in 2014. What Jags fans got instead was two steps back. There would be no 4-4 stretch. That’s because there wouldn’t be four wins all season. Thanks to a league-low 249 points, the Jags got out-scored by 163 en route to a dismal 3-13. Bradley was again playing without a full deck. He had a rookie quarterback (Blake Bortles) doing his best Jake Locker impression, and a No. 1 playmaker (Justin Blackmon) who never played a snap. Bradley’s secondary picked off a league-low six passes even though the pass rush actually generated some heat. But no matter how valid, Bradley won’t be afforded any more excuses in 2015. An imprint must be made. That’s not necessarily fair, but it is life in a league where you are what your record says you are. Right now, Bradley is 7-25.   

22. Jay Gruden

Career Record: 4-12 (.250)

With The Redskins Since: 2014

Last Year’s Ranking: — —

Jay Gruden was a middle-of-the-road offensive coordinator. As a head coach, he’s just trying to keep his team on the road. Gruden has perhaps the most thankless job in sports. For owner Daniel Snyder, the Redskins are a play thing. FedEx Field is Snyder’s sandbox, and “Jerry Jones without the charm or football background” is his mission statement. Snyder manufactures more needless drama than any man on the planet. That’s the hornet’s nest Gruden has stepped into. Despite his undistinguished career as a play-caller, Gruden managed the undermanned 2014 Redskins about as well as any man could have. There was no fake happy talk for an ineffective Robert Griffin III, and no mystery as to who was calling the shots. Gruden was his own man for a team where that can get you fired. Of course, some of Gruden’s decisions left much to be desired. Colt McCoy shouldn’t be playing quarterback and Jim Haslett shouldn’t be coordinating defense, let alone on the same team. But if Gruden didn’t bat 1.000, he still laid the groundwork for success in a dysfunctional organization. There’s just no guarantee Snyder lets him see it through.  

23. Mike Pettine

Career Record: 7-9 (.438)

With The Browns Since: 2014

Last Year’s Ranking: — —

Mike Pettine was the Browns’ safety school after they decided to set their sights higher than Rob Chudzinski University. Turned down by all other bastions of higher football learning, owner Jimmy Haslam eventually packed his bags and backed into Pettine College. At first, the backdoor maneuver appeared as brilliant as firing Chudzinski was rash. 7-4 at Thanksgiving, the Browns found themselves in their first playoff race since 2007. That’s when things went Full Cleveland. The GM meddled, the quarterback unraveled, the backup imploded. In the middle was Pettine, who could never find the tourniquet for a postseason dream gushing blood. How much of this was actually Pettine’s fault is up for debate, but the evidence doesn’t suggest clean hands. First-rounders Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel were entitled messes who showed no signs of development. Josh Gordon regressed, the running backs never knew who would be starting. Thrust into chaos, Pettine didn’t calm, he exacerbated. With the situation only darkening in the offseason — OC Kyle Shanahan has departed for Atlanta, and Manziel is in rehab — the deck is stacked against a sophomore surge for Cleveland’s fall-back coach.       

24. Ken Whisenhunt  

Career Record: 47-65 (.420)

With The Titans Since: 2014

Last Year’s Ranking: — —

Ken Whisenhunt’s final year in Arizona: Five wins, four quarterbacks. Ken Whisenhunt’s first year in Tennessee: Two wins, three quarterbacks. Whisenhunt has coached 64 games since Kurt Warner retired. They’ve been quarterbacked by nine different signal callers, with no one starting more than 17 games (John Skelton). Whiz has had great success with veteran QBs, from his time with Warner to his year coordinating Philip Rivers in San Diego. Without them, he’s been sub-Lovie Smith. There’s no veteran quarterback walking through that door in Tennessee. GM Ruston Webster is out of his depth, while the team is seemingly sold on 2014 sixth-rounder Zach Mettenberger. Mett has some nice tools, but is a statue waiting to be felled and injured on any given play. Even if Mett stays healthy, there is nothing in Whiz’s history to suggest he’ll develop him. Whiz struck while his Rivers iron was hot. It’s Tennessee that’s going to get burned.     

25. Joe Philbin

Career Record: 23-25 (.479)

With The Dolphins Since: 2012

Last Year’s Ranking: 25

The grandest of mediocrities, Joe Philbin is not an NFL coach. He is a shrinking violet garbed in an aqua polo and adorned with a headset. He is a man unloved by his players, outwitted by his rivals and overwhelmed by his duties. An “offensive mind,” Philbin does not call his own plays. That leaves his primary function as “leading.” This is not good because Philbin’s primary failing is leadership. Not every NFL coach is going to be Pete Carroll or Mike Ditka. Loud does not equal “lead.” But if you’re going to be the quiet type, you better have a firm grasp on the pulse of your team. This is something Philbin insisted he didn’t have when he pled ignorance again and again in the Dolphins’ “Bullygate” scandal. Philbin’s locker room was fracturing into factions, and whether it was willful or intentional, he had no idea. Once Philbin finally does discover his problems, he ships them out instead of coaching them up. Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis have both thrived since Philbin sent them packing, while the Dolphins have spent millions and many draft picks trying to replace them.

Not that Philbin’s failures all come behind closed doors. As a game manager, his top innovation has been calling late timeouts on defense in one-score games. This brilliant tactic helped produce two wins in 2014 … for the Packers and Lions. Philbin’s other speciality is dialing up field goals. Unfortunately for Dolphins fans, only five teams had worse field-goal percentages last season. Philbin is John Harbaugh if he never won. He’s Mike Tomlin if he never showed fire. He’s Jason Garrett if he never smiled. He is the worst coach in the NFL.   

New Hires

1. Rex Ryan, Bills 

Career Record: 46-50 (.479)

When it comes to developing quarterbacks, Rex Ryan finds himself along the same longitudinal lines as Lovie Smith. Ryan coaches up signal callers somewhere between Greenland and Baffin Island. He is an outpost of quarterback learning. When it comes to defense, however, Ryan is arguably without peer. Nemesis to Bill Belichick, Ryan schemes to overachieve like no other. When he does have the horses, no unit is more imposing. Ryan has the defensive horses in Buffalo. The problem is, he still doesn’t have the quarterback. E.J. Manuel is arguably worse than any situation Ryan found himself in down state. But if we’re talking the strengths of 2015’s seven new hires, Ryan’s defensive prowess is the strongest. Maybe he’ll run into the same quarterback dead end he did in New Jersey. At least he’ll give Buffalo the defense it deserves, and the leadership it lacked under egomaniac Doug Marrone.     

2a. Dan Quinn, Falcons

Career Record: — —  

In a hiring season almost entirely devoid of new faces, Quinn’s is the freshest. He is a defensive-minded hire for a team that desperately needed one. The question is, was he a key cog in the Seahawks’ defensive machine, or just a product of it? Machine hires are a notoriously mixed bag. Ex-Ravens defensive assistants? Typically doing pretty well. Ex-Patriots coordinators? Not so much. Quinn need look only 350 miles down the road to see what he’s up against. Quinn’s predecessor in Seattle, Gus Bradley, was hired by the Jaguars to much fanfare in 2013. Two years later, he has seven wins. The good news for Quinn is, he has a talent base in place on offense. That’s a luxury Bradley wasn’t afforded. Quinn can devote his full attention to a defense that’s somewhere between shambles and mockery. If he can get it in something resembling order, Quinn will be on the fast track to “best hire of 2015” status.  

2b. Todd Bowles, Jets  

Career Record: — —

Todd Bowles was the league’s best assistant coach in 2014. His undermanned defense didn’t just overachieve, it suffocated its opponents. Bowles’ Red Curtain allowed just 299 points, the fewest surrendered by Arizona since 1994. Bowles is a maximizer of talent, and Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson give him two fierce building blocks in New York. But he’s also inherited a rookie coach’s worst nightmare: No quarterback. Will he work around this like Bill O’Brien, or be sunk by it, a la Mike Pettine? Bowles is a brilliant football mind, one who will succeed if given the right tools. There’s just no guarantee he’ll get them from the Jets, an organization on its third general manager in four seasons. If Bowles fails, it won’t be because he wasn’t the right man for the job. It will be because the job didn’t give him the right men.    

4. Gary Kubiak, Broncos  

Career Record: 61-64 (.488)

Kubiak has a pretty simple job in Denver — keep the car running. Peyton Manning’s machine began to sputter down the stretch of 2014, but Kubiak should inject new fuel. Kubiak’s time in Houston ended in humiliating fashion, but he rebounded nicely by coordinating the best offense in Ravens history last season. A Mike Shanahan disciple through and through, he’ll install a run-heavy offense in Denver, the kind Manning began to rely on in November and December. Fresh off coaxing an elite campaign out of Justin Forsett, Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme should mesh well with C.J. Anderson, a one-cut runner who loves to get downhill. Kubiak will have to make a few adjustments. Famously loath to let Matt Schaub audible, Kubiak will have to deal with the changes Manning makes at the line. But these are two brilliant offensive minds, ones who should find a middle ground. Kubiak will be the brain to pick for Manning that John Fox never was. Retread or not, Kubiak is the right man at the right time for the win-now Broncos.    

5. John Fox, Bears

Career Record: 119-89 (.572)

John Fox chews gum like no other coach. He also claps quite well. When it comes to everything else, he’s indistinguishable from “Create A Coach 1.” Fox is extremely conservative, but that hardly makes him unique amongst NFL head men. He’s also extremely cagey with the media, but again, that is not a differentiating factor. Fox is just there, overseeing, clapping and chewing gum. His Plain Jane skill-set isn’t necessarily a liability. His copy-and-paste coaching comes with a floor of 6-8 wins. It’s just that his ceiling is not that of a champion, even if he came within three points of a Super Bowl title in 2004. Broncos GM John Elway admitted as much when he fired Fox in January. Elway didn’t think Fox could get the Broncos to the next level. It was a conclusion he drew after four years of watching Fox prove it on the field. Year 1: Fox treats Tim Tebow as alien being. Year 2: Despite having one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, Fox kneels out the final 0:31 of regulation in the AFC Divisional Round. The Broncos lose in double overtime. Year 3: The Broncos are dismantled in the Super Bowl. Year 4: The Broncos are dismantled in the Divisional Round. In Chicago, Fox will be on time. He will be on task. He will not be an above-average NFL coach.        

6. Jack Del Rio, Raiders

Career Record: 68-71 (.479)

If you’re looking to inspire, you don’t hire Jack Del Rio. But inspiration is pretty low on the Raiders’ to-do list. The Silver and Black have 56 wins in 12 seasons since appearing in Super Bowl XXXVII. That’s an average of 4.6. Reggie McKenzie’s teams have gone 2-22 on the road since he took over as general manager in 2012. So, no, Del Rio is not being brought in as a savior who can win hearts and minds. He’s being brought in as a competent coach who can win a few damn games. It’s a task he should be up to. Del Rio won fewer than eight contests just three times in eight full seasons as Jacksonville’s head coach. He was a fine guiding hand until Blaine Gabbert came along. Del Rio’s ceiling is not the Sears Tower, or even the Eiffel Tower. He is not a championship hire. He’s an order restorer, one who should make the Raiders watchable every couple of Sundays. Even a baby step like that is a big step for the second-worst organization in football.     

7. Jim Tomsula, 49ers

Career Record: – –

Jim Tomsula is an interesting story. He is not an interesting interview. Will he be an interesting hire? The man Tomsula is replacing, Jim Harbaugh, was ranked No. 3 on this list last year. Harbaugh is one of the brightest minds in all of football. He is not the kind of coach typically forced out of his job, let alone replaced by a man with no head-coaching experience in America. Tomsula’s lone HC experience anywhere came with the Rhein Fire. He is a shot in the dark for an organization that had grown tired of Harbaugh’s attitude (and salary), but wants to somehow sustain his winning. The 49ers are basically hoping they’re doing something so crazy — and cheap — it works. That’s an easy way for the front office to take control of the bottom line and the locker room, but a curious approach to competing with the Seattle Seahawks. Maybe brain trust Jed York and Trent Baalke have found a diamond in the rough. More likely, they’ve found their Jim Zorn.  

Free Agency Update: Futures Deals

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

This is the time of year we see the term “reserve/future contract” tossed around. Not everyone is entirely clear on what that means or how a player is signed to a reserve/future contract. That’s why we’re here. When a player is signed to a reserve/future contract that means they are being signed for the upcoming season. It’s typically a one- or two-year deal at the league minimum based on number of years of experience in the NFL. Only players who were not on any team’s active roster at the end of the season are eligible to sign reserve/future contracts. Players who typically sign these deals were on practice squads, but we’ll also see a few veterans sprinkled into the mix. These players that sign reserve/future deals are added to their respective teams’ “active” rosters on the first day of the new league year, which happens to be March 10, 2015 this season. Most players who sign reserve/future contracts end up getting cut during the summer, but we’ve seen a few players survive into the regular season. Chargers WR Dontrelle Inman, Patriots RB Jonas Gray, Giants TE Daniel Fells, and Giants WR Preston Parker were a few players who inked futures deals last offseason and ended up contributing in 2014. Below is where we’ll track all of these signings.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

RB Zach Bauman, TE Ted Bolser, OT Cameron Bradfield, S D.J. Campbell, CB Roc Carmichael, OG John Fullington, WR Travis Harvey, CB Jimmy Legree, OG Antoine McClain, OT Kelvin Palmer, OT Tavon Rooks, WR Ryan Spadola, CB Ross Weaver, CB Darren Woodard

ATLANTA FALCONS

S Brandan Bishop, LB Allen Bradford, OT Reid Fragel, NT Ricky Heimuli, CB Jordan Mabin, WR Freddie Martino, TE Kyle Miller, WR Bernard Reedy, OG Adam Replogle, TE Mickey Shuler, LB Jacques Smith, WR Nick Williams, RB Ronnie Wingo

BALTIMORE RAVENS

CB Victor Hampton, OT Marcel Jones, CB Quinton Pointer, TE Allen Reisner, QB Bryn Renner, TE Konrad Reuland, WR Aldrick Robinson, RB Kiero Small, DE Zach Thompson, QB Keith Wenning

BUFFALO BILLS

S Deon Broomfield, OG William Campbell, LB James Gaines, CB Jonte Green, WR Caleb Holley, OG Richie Incognito, DE Bryan Johnson, OG D.J. Johnson, RB Corey Knox, OG Alex Kupper, TE Chris Manhertz, OG D.J. Morrell, WR Tobais Palmer, CB Rod Sweeting, DT Jeremy Towns, QB Jeff Tuel

CAROLINA PANTHERS

WR Mike Brown, OG Derek Dennis, OG Tyronne Green, TE Kevin Greene, WR Stephen Hill, WR Marcus Lucas, S Kimario McFadden, TE Mike McNeill, LB Horace Miller, RB Darrin Reaves, DT Micanor Regis, OT Martin Wallace, CB Louis Young

CHICAGO BEARS

OG Conor Boffeli, LB Jonathan Brown, WR John Chiles, WR Rashad Lawrence, TE Jacob Maxwell, DE Jamil Merrell, K Carey Spear, OT Jason Weaver

CINCINNATI BENGALS

LB L.J. Fort, OT Dan France, DT Kwame Geathers, S Shiloh Keo, CB Onterio McCalebb, DE Sam Montgomery, TE Jake Murphy, OT Matthew O’Donnell, WR Tevin Reese, WR Eric Ward, RB James Wilder Jr.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

DT Calvin Barnett, OG Karim Barton, WR Kevin Cone, K Travis Coons, CB Kendall James, DT Jacobbi McDaniel, CB Micah Pellerin, LB Keith Pough, CB Varmah Sonie, DT Christian Tupou

DALLAS COWBOYS

LB Mister Alexander, WR Chris Boyd, DT Davon Coleman, LB Troy Davis, OT R.J. Dill, WR Reggie Dunn, DE Lavar Edwards, P Tom Hornsey, S Keelan Johnson, OT Ryan Miller, LB Will Smith, CB Robert Steeples, OT John Wetzel, RB Ryan Williams

DENVER BRONCOS

RB Kapri Bibbs, CB Tevrin Brandon, WR Isaiah Burse, QB Zac Dysert, WR Bennie Fowler, OG Jon Halapio, WR Jeremy Kelley, S Ross Madison, CB Curtis Marsh, LB Danny Mason, WR Nathan Palmer, C Matt Paradis, DE Gerald Rivers, WR Kerry Taylor, DE Chase Vaughn, WR Kyle Williams

DETROIT LIONS

C Taylor Boggs, CB Crezdon Butler, C Braxston Cave, DT Jermelle Cudjo, WR Skye Dawson, LB Jerrell Harris, DT Kerry Hyder, FB Emil Igwenagu, C Darren Keyton, CB Nate Ness, WR Andrew Peacock, DT Roy Philon, DT Xavier Proctor, TE Jordan Thompson, OT Michael Williams

GREEN BAY PACKERS

S Jean Fanor, CB Devonta Glover-Wright, LB Adrian Hubbard, C Joe Madsen, P Cody Mandell, RB Rajion Neal, LB Joe Thomas, OT Jeremy Vujnovich, OG Josh Walker, WR Myles White

HOUSTON TEXANS

LB Kourtnei Brown, WR Jace Davis, OT Matt Feiler, C James Ferentz, DE Tevita Finau, CB Charles James, WR Travis Labhart, RB Ben Malena, WR Uzoma Nwachukwu, S Terrance Parks

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

WR Kadron Boone, WR Duron Carter, DE Gannon Conway, RB Jeff Demps, LB Carlos Fields, S Winston Guy, OG Ben Heenan, OT Tyler Hoover, WR Ryan Lankford, WR Josh Lenz, DT Kelcy Quarles, TE Erik Swoope

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

WR Arrelious Benn, OT Cody Booth, S Jeremy Deering, K Derek Dimke, DE Ikponmwosa Igbinosun, TE Marcel Jensen, P Kasey Redfern, CB Peyton Thompson, WR Tony Washington, OT Brennan Williams

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

TE Brandon Barden, WR Armon Binns, LB JoJo Dickson, DT Hebron Fangupo, OT Curtis Feigt, LS Brandon Hartson, OG Ricky Henry, CB Aaron Hester, LS Jorgen Hus, WR Corbin Louks, DE Vaughn Martin, CB Ayodeji Olatoye, QB Terrelle Pryor, OG Jarrod Pughsley, CB Shaquille Richardson, WR Da’Rick Rogers, TE Adam Schiltz, OT Derek Sherrod, RB Spencer Ware, WR Fred Williams, DE Jerel Worthy

MIAMI DOLPHINS

OT Mark Asper, QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, DE Emmanuel Dieke, S Shamiel Gary, K Zach Hocker, LB Jake Knott, WR Tyler McDonald, WR Michael Preston, CB Lowell Rose, TE Jake Stoneburner, TE Ryan Taylor

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

LB Justin Anderson, DT Chigbo Anunoby, S Jalil Carter, WR Kain Colter, QB Pat Devlin, DT Isame Faciane, WR Donte Foster, C Zac Kerin, DE Leon Mackey, OG Jordan McCray, TE Ryan Otten, LB Brian Peters, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, RB Dominique Williams

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

OG Chris Barker, DE Jake Bequette, QB Garrett Gilbert, CB Justin Green, OT Caylin Hauptmann, DT Antonio Johnson, LB Rufus Johnson, WR Jonathan Krause, RB Dion Lewis, LB Eric Martin, LB Deontae Skinner, S Dax Swanson

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

RB Edwin Baker, CB Delvin Breaux, C Mike Brewster, TE Orson Charles, RB Tim Hightower, K Dustin Hopkins, OG Andrew Miller, FB Toben Opurum, S Kenny Phillips, WR Willie Snead

NEW YORK GIANTS

OT Michael Bamiro, K Chris Boswell, LB Victor Butler, OT Emmett Cleary, WR Juron Criner, S Thomas Gordon, WR Chris Harper, CB Bennett Jackson, OT Brett Jones, P Robert Malone, DE Jordan Stanton, QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Julian Talley, LB Uani’ Unga, CB Josh Victorian, CB Trevin Wade, FB Nikita Whitlock

NEW YORK JETS

CB Curtis Brown, K Andrew Furney, LB Mario Harvey, OT Sean Hooey, CB Keith Lewis, CB Dashaun Phillips, OT Brent Qvale, RB Daryl Richardson, P Jake Schum, LB Chris Young

OAKLAND RAIDERS

RB Terrance Cobb, WR Jeremy Gallon, LB Justin Jackson, CB Vernon Kearney, OT Dan Kistler, OG Lamar Mady, WR Seth Roberts, DT Kona Schwenke, K Giorgio Tavecchio, CB Jansen Watson

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

OG Josh Andrews, RB Kenjon Barner, OT Kevin Graf, LB Brandon Hepburn, DT Wade Keliikipi, QB G.J. Kinne, WR Will Murphy, WR Quron Pratt, S Ed Reynolds, RB Matthew Tucker

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

TE Rob Blanchflower, WR Brelan Chancellor, DE Matt Conrath, S Jordan Dangerfield, S Alden Darby, TE Michael Egnew, CB Kevin Fogg, WR C.J. Goodwin, DE Ethan Hemer, LB Howard Jones, DE Joe Kruger, LB Shawn Lemon, P Richie Leone, S Isaiah Lewis, FB Roosevelt Nix, OT Mitchell Van Dyk, OT Alejandro Villanueva, WR L’Damian Washington, S Ian Wild

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

DT Chas Alecxih, WR Torrence Allen, CB Richard Crawford, WR Javontee Herndon, TE David Paulson, WR Austin Pettis, S Adrian Phillips, OT Bryce Quigley, QB Brad Sorensen, LB Colton Underwood, OG Craig Watts

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

RB Kendall Gaskins, TE Xavier Grimble, WR Lance Lewis, OT Chris Martin, DE Lawrence Okoye, LB Shayne Skov, DT Garrison Smith

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

TE Rashaun Allen, QB R.J. Archer, S Dion Bailey, RB Demitrius Bronson, OG C.J. Davis, LS Luke Ingram, OG Nate Isles, LB Brendan Kelly, WR Douglas McNeil, OG Drew Nowak, DE Will Pericak, OT Justin Renfrow, DE Ryan Robinson, WR Kevin Smith, DT Jimmy Staten, DE Julius Warmsley, C Jared Wheeler, LB Michael Zimmer

ST. LOUIS RAMS

OT Steven Baker, WR Emory Blake, OG Travis Bond, S Christian Bryant, LB Marshall McFadden, P Michael Palardy, TE Brad Smelley, WR Damian Williams, DT Doug Worthington, WR Devon Wylie

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

S M.D. Jennings, S Shelton Johnson, WR Chandler Jones, QB Seth Lobato, DT Matthew Masifilo, OT Matt Patchan, S Jocquel Skinner, TE Taylor Sloat, P Chase Tenpenny, C Jeremiah Warren

TENNESSEE TITANS

CB Ri’Shard Anderson, LB Nate Askew, TE Dorin Dickerson, WR Jacoby Ford, WR Clyde Gates, OG Justin McCray, OT William Poehls, RB Lache Seastrunk, LB Yawin Smallwood, LB Chaz Sutton, QB Alex Tanney

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

DT Isaako Aaitui, WR Braylon Bell, FB Jordan Campbell, OT Edawn Coughman, S Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith, TE Chase Dixon, LB James Gayle, TE Je’Ron Hamm, DT Kenny Horsley, C Tyler Larsen, WR Colin Lockett, OT Ty Nsekhe, DT Lakendrick Ross, WR Rashad Ross, LB Ricky Sapp, LB Austin Spitler, NT Robert Thomas, CB Thomas Wolfe

This is the time of year we see the term “reserve/future contract” tossed around. Not everyone is entirely clear on what that means or how a player is signed to a reserve/future contract. That’s why we’re here. When a player is signed to a reserve/future contract that means they are being signed for the upcoming season. It’s typically a one- or two-year deal at the league minimum based on number of years of experience in the NFL. Only players who were not on any team’s active roster at the end of the season are eligible to sign reserve/future contracts. Players who typically sign these deals were on practice squads, but we’ll also see a few veterans sprinkled into the mix. These players that sign reserve/future deals are added to their respective teams’ “active” rosters on the first day of the new league year, which happens to be March 10, 2015 this season. Most players who sign reserve/future contracts end up getting cut during the summer, but we’ve seen a few players survive into the regular season. Chargers WR Dontrelle Inman, Patriots RB Jonas Gray, Giants TE Daniel Fells, and Giants WR Preston Parker were a few players who inked futures deals last offseason and ended up contributing in 2014. Below is where we’ll track all of these signings.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

RB Zach Bauman, TE Ted Bolser, OT Cameron Bradfield, S D.J. Campbell, CB Roc Carmichael, OG John Fullington, WR Travis Harvey, CB Jimmy Legree, OG Antoine McClain, OT Kelvin Palmer, OT Tavon Rooks, WR Ryan Spadola, CB Ross Weaver, CB Darren Woodard

ATLANTA FALCONS

S Brandan Bishop, LB Allen Bradford, OT Reid Fragel, NT Ricky Heimuli, CB Jordan Mabin, WR Freddie Martino, TE Kyle Miller, WR Bernard Reedy, OG Adam Replogle, TE Mickey Shuler, LB Jacques Smith, WR Nick Williams, RB Ronnie Wingo

BALTIMORE RAVENS

CB Victor Hampton, OT Marcel Jones, CB Quinton Pointer, TE Allen Reisner, QB Bryn Renner, TE Konrad Reuland, WR Aldrick Robinson, RB Kiero Small, DE Zach Thompson, QB Keith Wenning

BUFFALO BILLS

S Deon Broomfield, OG William Campbell, LB James Gaines, CB Jonte Green, WR Caleb Holley, OG Richie Incognito, DE Bryan Johnson, OG D.J. Johnson, RB Corey Knox, OG Alex Kupper, TE Chris Manhertz, OG D.J. Morrell, WR Tobais Palmer, CB Rod Sweeting, DT Jeremy Towns, QB Jeff Tuel

CAROLINA PANTHERS

WR Mike Brown, OG Derek Dennis, OG Tyronne Green, TE Kevin Greene, WR Stephen Hill, WR Marcus Lucas, S Kimario McFadden, TE Mike McNeill, LB Horace Miller, RB Darrin Reaves, DT Micanor Regis, OT Martin Wallace, CB Louis Young

CHICAGO BEARS

OG Conor Boffeli, LB Jonathan Brown, WR John Chiles, WR Rashad Lawrence, TE Jacob Maxwell, DE Jamil Merrell, K Carey Spear, OT Jason Weaver

CINCINNATI BENGALS

LB L.J. Fort, OT Dan France, DT Kwame Geathers, S Shiloh Keo, CB Onterio McCalebb, DE Sam Montgomery, TE Jake Murphy, OT Matthew O’Donnell, WR Tevin Reese, WR Eric Ward, RB James Wilder Jr.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

DT Calvin Barnett, OG Karim Barton, WR Kevin Cone, K Travis Coons, CB Kendall James, DT Jacobbi McDaniel, CB Micah Pellerin, LB Keith Pough, CB Varmah Sonie, DT Christian Tupou

DALLAS COWBOYS

LB Mister Alexander, WR Chris Boyd, DT Davon Coleman, LB Troy Davis, OT R.J. Dill, WR Reggie Dunn, DE Lavar Edwards, P Tom Hornsey, S Keelan Johnson, OT Ryan Miller, LB Will Smith, CB Robert Steeples, OT John Wetzel, RB Ryan Williams

DENVER BRONCOS

RB Kapri Bibbs, CB Tevrin Brandon, WR Isaiah Burse, QB Zac Dysert, WR Bennie Fowler, OG Jon Halapio, WR Jeremy Kelley, S Ross Madison, CB Curtis Marsh, LB Danny Mason, WR Nathan Palmer, C Matt Paradis, DE Gerald Rivers, WR Kerry Taylor, DE Chase Vaughn, WR Kyle Williams

DETROIT LIONS

C Taylor Boggs, CB Crezdon Butler, C Braxston Cave, DT Jermelle Cudjo, WR Skye Dawson, LB Jerrell Harris, DT Kerry Hyder, FB Emil Igwenagu, C Darren Keyton, CB Nate Ness, WR Andrew Peacock, DT Roy Philon, DT Xavier Proctor, TE Jordan Thompson, OT Michael Williams

GREEN BAY PACKERS

S Jean Fanor, CB Devonta Glover-Wright, LB Adrian Hubbard, C Joe Madsen, P Cody Mandell, RB Rajion Neal, LB Joe Thomas, OT Jeremy Vujnovich, OG Josh Walker, WR Myles White

HOUSTON TEXANS

LB Kourtnei Brown, WR Jace Davis, OT Matt Feiler, C James Ferentz, DE Tevita Finau, CB Charles James, WR Travis Labhart, RB Ben Malena, WR Uzoma Nwachukwu, S Terrance Parks

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

WR Kadron Boone, WR Duron Carter, DE Gannon Conway, RB Jeff Demps, LB Carlos Fields, S Winston Guy, OG Ben Heenan, OT Tyler Hoover, WR Ryan Lankford, WR Josh Lenz, DT Kelcy Quarles, TE Erik Swoope

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

WR Arrelious Benn, OT Cody Booth, S Jeremy Deering, K Derek Dimke, DE Ikponmwosa Igbinosun, TE Marcel Jensen, P Kasey Redfern, CB Peyton Thompson, WR Tony Washington, OT Brennan Williams

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

TE Brandon Barden, WR Armon Binns, LB JoJo Dickson, DT Hebron Fangupo, OT Curtis Feigt, LS Brandon Hartson, OG Ricky Henry, CB Aaron Hester, LS Jorgen Hus, WR Corbin Louks, DE Vaughn Martin, CB Ayodeji Olatoye, QB Terrelle Pryor, OG Jarrod Pughsley, CB Shaquille Richardson, WR Da’Rick Rogers, TE Adam Schiltz, OT Derek Sherrod, RB Spencer Ware, WR Fred Williams, DE Jerel Worthy

MIAMI DOLPHINS

OT Mark Asper, QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, DE Emmanuel Dieke, S Shamiel Gary, K Zach Hocker, LB Jake Knott, WR Tyler McDonald, WR Michael Preston, CB Lowell Rose, TE Jake Stoneburner, TE Ryan Taylor

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

LB Justin Anderson, DT Chigbo Anunoby, S Jalil Carter, WR Kain Colter, QB Pat Devlin, DT Isame Faciane, WR Donte Foster, C Zac Kerin, DE Leon Mackey, OG Jordan McCray, TE Ryan Otten, LB Brian Peters, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, RB Dominique Williams

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

OG Chris Barker, DE Jake Bequette, QB Garrett Gilbert, CB Justin Green, OT Caylin Hauptmann, DT Antonio Johnson, LB Rufus Johnson, WR Jonathan Krause, RB Dion Lewis, LB Eric Martin, LB Deontae Skinner, S Dax Swanson

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

RB Edwin Baker, CB Delvin Breaux, C Mike Brewster, TE Orson Charles, RB Tim Hightower, K Dustin Hopkins, OG Andrew Miller, FB Toben Opurum, S Kenny Phillips, WR Willie Snead

NEW YORK GIANTS

OT Michael Bamiro, K Chris Boswell, LB Victor Butler, OT Emmett Cleary, WR Juron Criner, S Thomas Gordon, WR Chris Harper, CB Bennett Jackson, OT Brett Jones, P Robert Malone, DE Jordan Stanton, QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Julian Talley, LB Uani’ Unga, CB Josh Victorian, CB Trevin Wade, FB Nikita Whitlock

NEW YORK JETS

CB Curtis Brown, K Andrew Furney, LB Mario Harvey, OT Sean Hooey, CB Keith Lewis, CB Dashaun Phillips, OT Brent Qvale, RB Daryl Richardson, P Jake Schum, LB Chris Young

OAKLAND RAIDERS

RB Terrance Cobb, WR Jeremy Gallon, LB Justin Jackson, CB Vernon Kearney, OT Dan Kistler, OG Lamar Mady, WR Seth Roberts, DT Kona Schwenke, K Giorgio Tavecchio, CB Jansen Watson

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

OG Josh Andrews, RB Kenjon Barner, OT Kevin Graf, LB Brandon Hepburn, DT Wade Keliikipi, QB G.J. Kinne, WR Will Murphy, WR Quron Pratt, S Ed Reynolds, RB Matthew Tucker

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

TE Rob Blanchflower, WR Brelan Chancellor, DE Matt Conrath, S Jordan Dangerfield, S Alden Darby, TE Michael Egnew, CB Kevin Fogg, WR C.J. Goodwin, DE Ethan Hemer, LB Howard Jones, DE Joe Kruger, LB Shawn Lemon, P Richie Leone, S Isaiah Lewis, FB Roosevelt Nix, OT Mitchell Van Dyk, OT Alejandro Villanueva, WR L’Damian Washington, S Ian Wild

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

DT Chas Alecxih, WR Torrence Allen, CB Richard Crawford, WR Javontee Herndon, TE David Paulson, WR Austin Pettis, S Adrian Phillips, OT Bryce Quigley, QB Brad Sorensen, LB Colton Underwood, OG Craig Watts

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

RB Kendall Gaskins, TE Xavier Grimble, WR Lance Lewis, OT Chris Martin, DE Lawrence Okoye, LB Shayne Skov, DT Garrison Smith

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

TE Rashaun Allen, QB R.J. Archer, S Dion Bailey, RB Demitrius Bronson, OG C.J. Davis, LS Luke Ingram, OG Nate Isles, LB Brendan Kelly, WR Douglas McNeil, OG Drew Nowak, DE Will Pericak, OT Justin Renfrow, DE Ryan Robinson, WR Kevin Smith, DT Jimmy Staten, DE Julius Warmsley, C Jared Wheeler, LB Michael Zimmer

ST. LOUIS RAMS

OT Steven Baker, WR Emory Blake, OG Travis Bond, S Christian Bryant, LB Marshall McFadden, P Michael Palardy, TE Brad Smelley, WR Damian Williams, DT Doug Worthington, WR Devon Wylie

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

S M.D. Jennings, S Shelton Johnson, WR Chandler Jones, QB Seth Lobato, DT Matthew Masifilo, OT Matt Patchan, S Jocquel Skinner, TE Taylor Sloat, P Chase Tenpenny, C Jeremiah Warren

TENNESSEE TITANS

CB Ri’Shard Anderson, LB Nate Askew, TE Dorin Dickerson, WR Jacoby Ford, WR Clyde Gates, OG Justin McCray, OT William Poehls, RB Lache Seastrunk, LB Yawin Smallwood, LB Chaz Sutton, QB Alex Tanney

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

DT Isaako Aaitui, WR Braylon Bell, FB Jordan Campbell, OT Edawn Coughman, S Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith, TE Chase Dixon, LB James Gayle, TE Je’Ron Hamm, DT Kenny Horsley, C Tyler Larsen, WR Colin Lockett, OT Ty Nsekhe, DT Lakendrick Ross, WR Rashad Ross, LB Ricky Sapp, LB Austin Spitler, NT Robert Thomas, CB Thomas Wolfe

Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
Email :Nick Mensio

Offseason Low Down: Cut Candidates: NFC North

Written by : Posted on February 20, 2015 : No Comments
This post was originally published on this site

We’ve shifted into offseason mode here at Rotoworld. In a salary-cap league with non-guaranteed contracts like the NFL, the offseason is a time teams rid themselves of players not living up to their pay scale. Every year, handfuls among handfuls of players are asked to take pay cuts or simply released outright. Before free agency opens March 10, I’ll highlight names from each team who may be on the roster bubble. According to several reports, the salary cap is expected to rise to roughly $142 million in 2015. Terms to know are “cap number”, “cap savings”, “cash savings”, and “dead money”. Cap number is how much Player X will count against Team X’s salary cap. Cap savings is how much Team X will clear in salary-cap space by cutting Player X. Cash savings is how much Team X will save in terms of sheer cash, and it can be formulated by Player X’s base salary + bonuses. Dead money is how much Player X will count against Team X’s salary cap, even if he is released. I already took a look at the AFC East here, the AFC North here, the AFC South here, the AFC West here, and the NFC East here.

Mensio’s Note: For detailed salary cap and contract information, go check out OverTheCap.com. Salary figures and cap numbers are from them. I’d also like to give a shout-out to self-proclaimed salary cap enthusiast Andrew Cohen for answering several questions for me. Follow him on Twitter here.

CHICAGO BEARS

WR Brandon Marshall
Cap number: $9.575M
Cap savings: $3.95M
Cash savings: $7.7M
Dead money: $5.625M
Jay Cutler doesn’t make this list because the Bears have nothing to gain money-wise by cutting him, as it’d result in a $3M dead-money hit. But Cutler’s longtime pal, Marshall, seems to at least be in some danger after his worst statistical season since his rookie year. Marshall may be in decline at 31 (next month), but an early-season ankle injury and extremely poor quarterback play are the main culprits here. Marshall has a ton of good football left in the tank. And cutting him would be a mistake. There’s some belief that Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are too similar and the Bears need to get a speed complement to Jeffery, their No. 1 receiver of the future. New coach John Fox also doesn’t seem too thrilled about the prospect of Marshall doing Showtime’s Inside the NFL every Tuesday in-season like he did in 2014 under ex-coach Marc Trestman. That could rub Marshall the wrong way. At the NFL Combine, Fox was noncommittal when asked about Marshall’s status. The Bears need to make a call on Marshall before March 12, when his $7.5M salary becomes guaranteed.

LT Jermon Bushrod
Cap number: $8.05M
Cap savings: $1.45M
Cash savings: $5.875M
Dead money: $6.6M
The Bears signed Bushrod to a five-year, $36M deal in March of 2013. He’s started 30-of-32 games in Chicago, but has received extremely poor marks from Pro Football Focus each of the two seasons, giving up nine sacks and 73 QB hurries. That’s a TON of pressure. Bushrod is scheduled to be the 12th-highest-paid left tackle in the league this season, so his compensation falls in line with his level of play. Don’t expect the Bears to cut Bushrod, but I’d bet there are conversations in the Bears front office. New GM Ryan Pace was in New Orleans with Bushrod from 2007-2012. That would seem to be working in Bushrod’s favor.

Editor’s Note: For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @NickMensio on Twitter.

DETROIT LIONS

RB Reggie Bush
Cap number: $5.278M
Cap savings: $1.722M
Cash savings: $3.5M
Dead money: $3.556M
Bush will turn 30 next month and is coming off a disappointing, injury-plagued season that saw him produce just 550 total yards and two touchdowns after three-straight 1,000-yard campaigns. Joique Bell is locked in as the Lions’ early-down, between-the-tackles runner, and Bush was outplayed by electric “space” RB Theo Riddick in 2014. The Lions want to get Riddick more touches this season, leaving Bush’s roster spot in serious jeopardy. If he wants to remain in Detroit, Bush will have to take a pay cut. More likely, the Lions will release him, as they need every dollar in their effort to lock up free agent Ndamukong Suh on a long-term mega-deal.

LE Jason Jones
Cap number: $3.983M
Cap savings: $3.15M
Cash savings: $3.15M
Dead money: $833K
Jones ruptured his patellar tendon in Week 3 of 2013, but he returned to start all 17 games last season. He didn’t have the same explosion, as patellar tendon injuries are more grueling rehabs than torn ACLs. Jones turns 29 in May. He has versatility with the ability to set the edge against the run and kick inside on passing downs, but, as mentioned above, GM Martin Mayhew needs to clear some money off the books. The Lions have a capable in-house replacement in 2013 fourth-rounder Devin Taylor.

WR Ryan Broyles
Cap number: $1.170M
Cap savings: $892K
Cash savings: $892K
Dead money: $279K
Broyles is one of the most injury-prone players in the league. He tore his ACL in his final season at Oklahoma before tearing his other ACL as a rookie. The 54th pick in the 2012 draft then ruptured his Achilles’ in 2013. Broyles was active just five times last season, catching two passes for 25 yards. He turns 27 in April. After showing signs of being a contributor in the slot early in his career when healthy, Broyles is in danger of falling out of the league. His Dynasty stock is at an all-time low.

We’ve shifted into offseason mode here at Rotoworld. In a salary-cap league with non-guaranteed contracts like the NFL, the offseason is a time teams rid themselves of players not living up to their pay scale. Every year, handfuls among handfuls of players are asked to take pay cuts or simply released outright. Before free agency opens March 10, I’ll highlight names from each team who may be on the roster bubble. According to several reports, the salary cap is expected to rise to roughly $142 million in 2015. Terms to know are “cap number”, “cap savings”, “cash savings”, and “dead money”. Cap number is how much Player X will count against Team X’s salary cap. Cap savings is how much Team X will clear in salary-cap space by cutting Player X. Cash savings is how much Team X will save in terms of sheer cash, and it can be formulated by Player X’s base salary + bonuses. Dead money is how much Player X will count against Team X’s salary cap, even if he is released. I already took a look at the AFC East here, the AFC North here, the AFC South here, the AFC West here, and the NFC East here.

Mensio’s Note: For detailed salary cap and contract information, go check out OverTheCap.com. Salary figures and cap numbers are from them. I’d also like to give a shout-out to self-proclaimed salary cap enthusiast Andrew Cohen for answering several questions for me. Follow him on Twitter here.

CHICAGO BEARS

WR Brandon Marshall
Cap number: $9.575M
Cap savings: $3.95M
Cash savings: $7.7M
Dead money: $5.625M
Jay Cutler doesn’t make this list because the Bears have nothing to gain money-wise by cutting him, as it’d result in a $3M dead-money hit. But Cutler’s longtime pal, Marshall, seems to at least be in some danger after his worst statistical season since his rookie year. Marshall may be in decline at 31 (next month), but an early-season ankle injury and extremely poor quarterback play are the main culprits here. Marshall has a ton of good football left in the tank. And cutting him would be a mistake. There’s some belief that Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are too similar and the Bears need to get a speed complement to Jeffery, their No. 1 receiver of the future. New coach John Fox also doesn’t seem too thrilled about the prospect of Marshall doing Showtime’s Inside the NFL every Tuesday in-season like he did in 2014 under ex-coach Marc Trestman. That could rub Marshall the wrong way. At the NFL Combine, Fox was noncommittal when asked about Marshall’s status. The Bears need to make a call on Marshall before March 12, when his $7.5M salary becomes guaranteed.

LT Jermon Bushrod
Cap number: $8.05M
Cap savings: $1.45M
Cash savings: $5.875M
Dead money: $6.6M
The Bears signed Bushrod to a five-year, $36M deal in March of 2013. He’s started 30-of-32 games in Chicago, but has received extremely poor marks from Pro Football Focus each of the two seasons, giving up nine sacks and 73 QB hurries. That’s a TON of pressure. Bushrod is scheduled to be the 12th-highest-paid left tackle in the league this season, so his compensation falls in line with his level of play. Don’t expect the Bears to cut Bushrod, but I’d bet there are conversations in the Bears front office. New GM Ryan Pace was in New Orleans with Bushrod from 2007-2012. That would seem to be working in Bushrod’s favor.

Editor’s Note: For everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_FB and @NickMensio on Twitter.

DETROIT LIONS

RB Reggie Bush
Cap number: $5.278M
Cap savings: $1.722M
Cash savings: $3.5M
Dead money: $3.556M
Bush will turn 30 next month and is coming off a disappointing, injury-plagued season that saw him produce just 550 total yards and two touchdowns after three-straight 1,000-yard campaigns. Joique Bell is locked in as the Lions’ early-down, between-the-tackles runner, and Bush was outplayed by electric “space” RB Theo Riddick in 2014. The Lions want to get Riddick more touches this season, leaving Bush’s roster spot in serious jeopardy. If he wants to remain in Detroit, Bush will have to take a pay cut. More likely, the Lions will release him, as they need every dollar in their effort to lock up free agent Ndamukong Suh on a long-term mega-deal.

LE Jason Jones
Cap number: $3.983M
Cap savings: $3.15M
Cash savings: $3.15M
Dead money: $833K
Jones ruptured his patellar tendon in Week 3 of 2013, but he returned to start all 17 games last season. He didn’t have the same explosion, as patellar tendon injuries are more grueling rehabs than torn ACLs. Jones turns 29 in May. He has versatility with the ability to set the edge against the run and kick inside on passing downs, but, as mentioned above, GM Martin Mayhew needs to clear some money off the books. The Lions have a capable in-house replacement in 2013 fourth-rounder Devin Taylor.

WR Ryan Broyles
Cap number: $1.170M
Cap savings: $892K
Cash savings: $892K
Dead money: $279K
Broyles is one of the most injury-prone players in the league. He tore his ACL in his final season at Oklahoma before tearing his other ACL as a rookie. The 54th pick in the 2012 draft then ruptured his Achilles’ in 2013. Broyles was active just five times last season, catching two passes for 25 yards. He turns 27 in April. After showing signs of being a contributor in the slot early in his career when healthy, Broyles is in danger of falling out of the league. His Dynasty stock is at an all-time low.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

OLB Julius Peppers
Cap number: $12M
Cap savings: $7M
Cash savings: $9.5M
Dead money: $5M
Peppers was a huge get for the Packers last offseason when he signed a three-year, $26M deal. Playing as a stand-up edge rusher opposite Clay Matthews for much of the season, Peppers recorded seven sacks and batted down 11 passes to go along with two pick-sixes. He was a monster upgrade on first-round bust OLB Nick Perry. The Packers would obviously love to keep the 35-year-old, but GM Ted Thompson is going to have to clear some room if he’s to re-sign free agents Randall Cobb, RT Bryan Bulaga, and CBs Tramon Williams and/or Davon House.

ILB A.J. Hawk
Cap number: $5.1M
Cap savings: $3.5M
Cash savings: $3.5M
Dead money: $1.6M
Hawk has been in Green Bay since he was selected with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2006 draft. The past couple years, he’s re-worked his deal to help the Packers free up cap space. But his time finally may be running out. Hawk played just over 30 percent of the snaps over the second half of last season and doesn’t do anything particularly well at 31 years old. The Packers are high on 2013 seventh-round ILB Sam Barrington and used a 2014 fourth-rounder on ILB Carl Bradford. GM Ted Thompson will be looking to upgrade the position this offseason.

ILB Brad Jones
Cap number: $4.694M
Cap savings: $3.694M
Cash savings: $3.75M
Dead money: $1M
Jones should be joining Hawk on the streets. He earned a three-year, $11.75M extension in March of 2013 after a strong finish to the 2012 season. Jones proceeded to face-plant in 2013 as a 13-game started and was yanked out of the starting lineup altogether last year. He turns 29 in April.

OLB Nick Perry
Cap number: $2.386M
Cap savings: $1.413M
Cash savings: $1.413M
Dead money: $974K
The former No. 28 overall pick is entering the final year of his rookie deal and has just nine career sacks across 32 games. He’s yet to play a full 16-game season. Perry underwent wrist surgery as a rookie and broke his foot as a sophomore before missing all of last spring with an undisclosed injury and failing his pre-camp physical. If not for being a former first-round pick, Perry likely wouldn’t have lasted this long in Green Bay. Perry drew some pre-draft comparisons to former mega-bust Vernon Gholston.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

RB Adrian Peterson
Cap number: $15.4M
Cap savings: $13M
Cash savings: $13M
Dead money: $2.4M
All Day’s 2014 child-abuse issue is well-documented. He missed all but one game last season and remains suspended, though he’s expected to be reinstated by April 15 at the very latest. The NFLPA has filed a lawsuit to have Peterson’s suspension overturned by March 10. The entire Vikings organization has come out to voice its support for Peterson’s return to the club in 2015, but GM Rick Spielman declined to comment on A.D.’s contract status when asked at the NFL Combine. Most are assuming Peterson will be back in Minnesota this season, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter continues to insist the money remains a large issue. Peterson is a freak athlete and should be fresh as ever, but he’ll turn 30 next month. If we’re to have any confidence in a 30-year-old running back, it’s going to be Peterson. It remains to be seen if Peterson will be open to a pay cut. The Vikings have a ton of cap room, but they’re likely going to want to reduce the former MVP’s salary.

WR Greg Jennings
Cap number: $11M
Cap savings: $5M
Cash savings: $9M
Dead money: $6M
Nobody liked the deal the Vikings gave Jennings two offseasons ago when they signed him to a five-year, $45M deal. He’ll be 32 next season and is set to count $11M against the cap each of the next thee seasons as arguably one of the most-overpaid players in the league. Jennings doesn’t stretch the field anymore and predictably has seen a sharp statistical decline since leaving Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings found themselves a new No. 1 receiver in Charles Johnson last season and may use the No. 11 pick in April on a receiver. Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright are also in the fold in Minnesota. Jennings will likely be asked to take a pay cut. If he declines, the Vikings could designate Jennings a post-June 1 cut and save $9M against the 2015 cap.

WLB Chad Greenway
Cap number: $8.8M
Cap savings: $7.1M
Cash savings: $7.1M
Dead money: $1.7M
Greenway has been an iron man for the Vikings; he didn’t miss a game from 2007-2013 before sitting out four contests last season with a broken hand, broken ribs, and a sprained MCL. He just turned 32 in January and is starting to slow down big time. Due $8.8M in salary and bonuses, Greenway will have to take a sizable pay cut to return to Minnesota. He acknowledged that reality after the season and seems open to the idea. Greenway is entering the final year of his $40.6M deal.

QB Matt Cassel
Cap number: $4.75M
Cap savings: $4.75M
Cash savings: $4.75M
Dead money: $0
Cassel opened the season as the Vikings’ starter before suffering a broken foot in Week 3. He broke several bones and may not be ready for the start of OTAs. During Cassel’s absence, Teddy Bridgewater took over at quarterback and steadily improved throughout his rookie season. He’s locked in as the starter, so the Vikings will have to decide if they want to pay Cassel close to $5M to be the backup. They’ll likely make a call on Cassel before he’s due a $500K roster bonus next month.

LG Charlie Johnson
Cap number: $2.5M
Cap savings: $2.5M
Cash savings: $2.5M
Dead money: $0
Johnson, 31 in May, has started 61-of-64 games for the Vikings the past four seasons, but he’s nothing more than a replacement-level player. The left side of the Minnesota offensive line with Johnson and LT Matt Kalil is sure to be shored up this offseason. Johnson should be an easy cut.

Troubles undermining democracy

Written by : Posted on February 13, 2015 : No Comments

Troubles undermining democracy

Democracy is a kind of administration in which supreme force is vested on your residents and used by them perhaps precisely or indirectly via the structure of counsel commonly involved with every so often used elections .buy a essay Also Abraham Lincoln identified democracy as “The federal of the people, by the many people, for anyone.” Numerous scholars and philosophers have stated that the democratic federal is definitely the only form of governance that ensures the protection for the hobbies and interests of people. Nevertheless, Winston Churchill boldly opined that democracy stands out as the worst form of government, except for for all those other styles tried using every once in awhile.

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