NFL Free Agent Tracker 2021: Updates & Analysis

NFL Free Agency opens up on March 17th, 2021, which is set to include some big names like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Aaron Jones, Kenny Golladay, Joe Thuney, and Hunter Henry. Dak Prescott agreed to re-sign with Dallas, and both Allen Robinson and Chris Godwin will be with their teams for at least one more year after they were franchise tagged. The legal tampering period begins on March 15th. Keep tabs on where all the free agents go this offseason.

2021 Free Agent Signings

PlayerPositionPrior TeamNew TeamContract Details
Trent WilliamsOT49ers49ers6 years, $138M
Bud DupreeOLBSteelersTitans5 years, $82.5M
Joe ThuneyGPatriotsChiefs5 years, $80M
Corey LinsleyCBPackersChargers5 years, $62.5M
Kenny GolladayWRLionsGiants4 years, $72M
Shaquil BarrettLBBuccaneersBuccaneers4 years, $72M
Trey HendricksonDESaintsBengals4 years, $60M
Matthew JudonLBRavensPatriots4 years, $56M
Jonnu SmithTETitansPatriots4 years, $50M
Aaron JonesRBPackersPackers4 years, $48M
Carl LawsonDEBengalsJets3 years, $45M
Shaquill GriffinCBSeahawksJaguars3 years, $44.5M
Hunter HenryTEChargersPatriots3 years, $37.5M
Corey DavisWRTitansJets3 years, $37.5M
Rashawn JenkinsSChargersJaguars4 years, $35M
Curtis SamuelWRPanthersFootball Team3 years, $34.5M
Kendrick BourneWR49ersPatriots3 years, $22.5M
Jamaal WilliamsRBPackersLions2 years, $7.5M
Carlos HydeRBSeahawksJaguars2 years, $6M
Nelson AgholorWRRaidersPatriots2 years, $26M
Yannick NgakoueDERavensRaiders2 years, $26M
Marvin Jones Jr.WRLionsJaguars2 years, $14.5M
Kenyan DrakeRBCardinalsRaiders2 years, $11M
John BrownWRBillsRaiders1 years, $3.75M
John BrownWRBillsRaiders1 years, $3.75M
A.J. GreenWRBengalsCardinals1 year, $8.5M
Emmanuel SandersWRSaintsBills1 year, $6M
Gerald EverettTERamsSeahawks1 year, $6M
Breshad PerrimanWRJetsLions1 year, $3M
Marlon MackRBColtsColts1 year, $2M
John RossWRBengalsGiants1 year, $2.5M
Cam NewtonQBPatriotsPatriots1 year, $13.6M
Jameis WinstonQBSaintsSaints1 year, $12M
Andy DaltonQBCowboysBears1 year, $10M
Rob GronkowskiTEBuccaneersBuccaneers1 year, $10M
Ryan FitzpatrickQBDolphinsFootball Team1 year, $10M
Will Fuller VWRTexansDolphins1 year, $10M
Mike HiltonCBSteelersBengals4 years, $24M
Jalen MillsSEaglesPatriots4 years, $24M
Tyus BowserOLBRavensRavens4 years, $22M
Ronald DarbyCBFootball TeamBroncos3 years, $30M
Kevin ZeitlerGGiantsRavens3 years, $22.5M
Alex MackCBFalcons49ers3 years, $14.5M
Kyle RudolphTEVikingsGiants2 years, $12M
JuJu Smith-SchusterWRSteelersSteelers1 year, $8M
Kyle FullerCBBearsBroncos1 year, $9.5M
Patrick PetersonCBCardinalsVikings1 year, $8M
Xavier RhodesCBColtsColts1 year, $6.5M
T.Y. HiltonWRColtsColts1 year, $8M
Anthony HarrisSVikingsEagles1 year, $4M
Keanu NealSFalconsCowboys1 year, $4M
Malcolm ButlerCBTitansCardinals1 year, $6M
Adoree' JacksonCBTitansGiants3 year, $39M
Kareem JacksonSBroncosBroncos1 year, $7M

Top Remaining Free Agents

  1. Mitchell Schwartz
  2. Antonio Brown
  3. Richard Sherman
  4. Russell Okung
  5. Jadeveon Clowney
  6. Alejandro Villanueva
  7. Brian Poole
  8. Xavier Woods
  9. Melvin Ingram
  10. Rick Wagner
  11. KJ Wright
  12. Malik Hooker
  13. Sammy Watkins
  14. Quinton Dunbar
  15. Austin Reiter

Fantasy Corner

Mark Ingram – Houston Texans – RB

Houston is a team in turmoil at the moment, as Deshaun Watson’s status is up in the air moving forward, and the losses continue on both sides of the ball. David Johnson was the workhorse back in 2020 after a shock trade to Houston for DeAndre Hopkins and has restructured his deal to remain with the team. With Mark Ingram coming into Houston, we should see a split workload. With a team that is likely to be trailing more often than not, Ingram’s fantasy value is pretty limited.

Cam Newton – New England Patriots – QB

New England was a wasteland for fantasy players last season, and they have a lot of work to do over the offseason to get back to even an average offense for fantasy purposes. Newton’s days of being a starting fantasy quarterback are over. If he is indeed the starting quarterback for New England next season, I doubt the cast around him worthy of fantasy starters themselves. We will let the offseason play out before evaluating the Patriots’ offense.

Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – QB

Dak Prescott was on a tear before going down with the leg injury early in 2020. We saw the offense really fall off after as well. Prescott returning certainly gives a bump to the surrounding weapons. Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup will all be strong fantasy wide receivers in 2021. Of course, the big question is whether Prescott can return to being his old self before the injury. There doesn’t sound like there are too many concerns around the Dallas camp.

onnu Smith – New England Patriots – TE

The big gripe over the last few seasons in New England has been their lack of weapons. That changed with the addition of Jonnu Smith, who is one of the better tight ends in the league. However, I still doubt a Cam Newton-led offense in 2021 if that is what they will be doing. Smith could still be used heavily and in unique ways to give him decent fantasy value, but he doesn’t make a massive move up the tight end fantasy rankings.

Nelson Agholor  – New England Patriots – WR

Getting guys who can make plays after the catch is what the Patriots needed to do. They started with Smith and added Nelson Agholor later in the day. Agholor leaving Las Vegas will open up some targets, and we should see Henry Ruggs step into a larger role if he can stay healthy. The same goes for Bryan Edwards. Agholor gets a slight downgrade for fantasy, given he goes to a team that will still be run and defensive focused.

Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – RB

This was a bit of a surprise as Aaron Jones resigned with the Green Bay Packers. Jamaal Williams will be leaving Green Bay, leaving Jones and AJ Dillon as the two backs. Dillon’s stock was ready to rise, but now that has quickly diminished. Hopefully, the contract tells that the Packers will give Jones a bit more of a workload despite limiting him at times last season. Jones still is in a great spot and one of the top fantasy backs in 2021.

Corey Davis – New York Jets – WR

Corey Davis rebounded in 2020, which was timely given his free agency was looming. He will now head to New York to likely catch passes from Zach Wilson. While the offense will have to endure some rookie struggles at quarterback, Davis fantasy volume doesn’t change that much for me. He was a viable WR2 last year for fantasy and is in that borderline WR2 but strong WR3 range this year.

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Washington Football Team – QB

Washington signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to be the starter this year, and he will be a bridge quarterback as Washington still seeks a long-term answer. However, for fantasy, the real winner is Terry McLaurin. Fitzpatrick has been one to force his WR1s. McLaurin gets a tremendous upgrade and has been a solid wideout despite all the chaos at quarterback. Whoever comes in as a WR2 or TE option will also be sitting in a good spot.

Hunter Henry – New England Patriots – TE

Already not being thrilled with Jonnu Smith’s fantasy value after his signing, the addition of Hunter Henry really kills both of their fantasy values moving forward. Even if New England made a move at quarterback, teams supporting two tight-ends are pretty rare. Yes, New England has done it prior, but this isn’t even close to the same situation. The position sees two tight ends drop off quite a bit in value for next year, and it was already thin.

Curtis Samuel – Washington Football Team – WR

With Ryan Fitzpatrick at least slinging it next year, I love the Curtis Samuel signing. Samuel had a solid second half in Carolina and will jump into a Washington team with many targets up for grabs. They also use a lot of motion which will aid Samuel in this offense. This is going to be an entertaining fantasy team for next season.

Kyle Rudolph – New York Giants – TE

This is a bit odd for Rudolph to sign in a system that already has a tight end in place, especially for looking for targets. New York’s offense continues to look lackluster for fantasy, and Jason Garrett struggled to get Engram involved last season. If Rudolph cuts down some of Engram’s targets, his stock can’t fall much lower.

Kenyan Drake – Las Vegas Raiders – RB

If you needed another reason to lower Josh Jacobs in your rankings after the departure of most of the offensive line, Las Vegas went ahead and gave you one. Since entering the league, Jacobs has been a very productive back on the ground, but he has failed to evolve into a full workhorse with PPR work. That likely will not happen now with Kenyan Drake coming in. Jacobs’ workload will take a hit, and game scripts might also keep him from even reaching recent production. This signing took a knife to Jacobs’ fantasy stock.

JuJu Smith-Schuster – Pittsburgh Steelers – WR

Most of the top wide receivers have either not been signed or have taken a one-year deal. However, Smith-Schuster’s one-year deal is far different from Will Fuller’s. JuJu will head back to Pittsburgh right into a crowded wide receiver room and an over-the-hill quarterback throwing to him. The ceiling is limited for JuJu in fantasy next season, and I am not sure he will come back into free agency with anything different from this year.

A.J. Green – Arizona Cardinals – WR

The Cardinals needed another wide receiver, but I was hoping for someone more exciting than a 33-year-old A.J. Green. With Hopkins and Kirk as the other options, I am curious to see a drop-off in targets for both to accompany Green a bit. I would have preferred someone who can stretch the field a bit here. Green isn’t someone I am eyeing, but a late-round dart throw continues to be where you should take him.

Jamaal Williams – Detroit Lions – RB

Jamaal Williams will leave Green Bay for a division rival and a chance to establish himself as a decent fantasy value. Everything will depend on how they split the backfield. D’Andre Swift looked good when healthy, and when he finally got some more touches, it seems they don’t view him as a full-time guy. Williams is a solid pass-catcher, and with Detroit’s awful defense, there should be favorable scripts for him to get 10-12 touches each week.

Emmanuel Sanders – Buffalo Bills – WR

After the departure of John Brown, Buffalo filled this need quickly with Emmanuel Sanders. After the Achilles injury, he proved the doubters wrong. I like this add for Buffalo, and while Gabriel Davis will have a body to compete with for targets, this offense should remain pass-heavy to keep up the volume for everybody.

David Moore – Carolina Panthers – WR

Seemingly there is a backup skill position player in Seattle we would like to see more of. David Moore was the third option in a limited passing offense last season, and with Samuel leaving, Moore will jump into a WR3 role with an exciting Carolina team. He will need an injury to become a trusty fantasy guy, but this is a sneaky good add for Carolina.

John Brown – Las Vegas Raiders – WR

I was surprised to see John Brown sign for this amount and then even more surprised to see him choose the Raiders. Brown’s value would have been far better going somewhere else, like a Green Bay, Indy, or New Orleans. It is hard to get excited about the landing spot here, especially with Las Vegas’s offseason moves.

Kenny Golladay – New York Giants – WR

For fantasy purposes, Kenny Golladay will move from Matthew Stafford to Daniel Jones and also an offense with Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, Kyle Rudolph, and Darius Slayton. We add in lesser quarterback play and more targets to compete with, this isn’t an ideal situation when you also add in the face Jason Garrett is the offensive coordinator. I don’t love this spot for Golladay, because Jones and Garrett need to take a step forward.

T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts – WR

Between the injuries and quarterback play over the last few years, it has been tough for T.Y. Hilton to churn out his usual consistent fantasy seasons. He will stay in Indy another year and try it again with Carson Wentz. Hilton still has a chance to be a fantasy asset but has slipped into being a WR3 at best. Staying is probably the best fit for fantasy potential where he can still be a lead guy and play 9+ games on turf.

Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.

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