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Los Angeles Rams Send Star Cornerback to Miami Dolphins



The Miami Dolphins‘ secondary is about to get a whole lot better. The Dolphins are trading for six-time Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey, giving new coordinator Vic Fangio a true running mate to Xavien Howard.

Let’s grade the trade, which gives the Rams needed cap relief and gives the Dolphins a more-than-suitable replacement for Byron Jones, who will be cut next week.

Grading the Jalen Ramsey Trade

The Ramsey-to-Miami deal cannot become official until the league year begins Wednesday, but if it falls apart, Ramsey will apparently be heartbroken. He sent out a series of tweets Sunday expressing his approval, including the following:


“Can’t ever tell me prayer don’t work! 🙏🏾

Y’all have a blessed & happy Sunday! Ikno I am!”

“I prayed for this specifically for about a month & now it’s happening! 🙏🏾 @MiamiDolphins LETSGO! 🧡

And …

“Thank you 🐐 @DavidMulugheta🙏🏾… not the first time you’ve helped my dream come true!”

Miami Dolphins Get a Ferrari in the Secondary

The terms of the deal were incredibly favorable to a Dolphins team that spent the past week creating cap space to absorb such a contract. NFL Media reports that the Dolphins get Ramsey on an adjusted contract for a package of tight end Hunter Long and a third-round pick (77th overall).

The terms? Two fully-guaranteed years with an AAV of $20 million. As part of the team, Ramsey shaved a year off his contract but got an additional $25 million in guarantees over his previous contract, per NFL Media.

That’s a steep price, particularly since the Dolphins only had roughly $30 million in projected cap space this free agency. But by shedding Long and the draft pick, it does free up nearly $2 million of other 2023 obligations.

MORE: Who Are the Highest-Paid Cornerbacks in the NFL in 2023?

This move signals the Dolphins — who ranked 27th in pass defense (234.8 yards per game) and 30th in interception rate (1.3%) last year — are all-in in 2023.

Ramsey, who allowed 62.6% of passes thrown in his completion area last year with four interceptions recorded and five touchdowns surrendered, arguably becomes the best player on a defense loaded with stars. A secondary that includes Ramsey, Howard, and Jevon Holland is as talented as any (assuming Howard bounces back after a 2022 season that was below his standards).

The only reason this deal isn’t an A? It leaves Miami with limited cap space to improve an offensive line that also needs help.

Grade: A-

Did Los Angeles Rams Wave White Flag on 2023?

The Rams hinted last week that they were open for business, but trading Ramsey in the prime of his career for spare parts suggests that the teardown/rebuild might be a painful transition.

Ramsey’s departure leaves Los Angeles with just three cornerbacks under contract in 2023: Robert Rochell, Decobie Durant, and Derion Kendrick.

MORE: Are the Rams Admitting to a Rebuild After Jalen Ramsey Trade?

It also got Ramsey’s contract off their books going forward. While the cap hit the Rams took in the deal is unclear based on his redone contract, it does take his $17 million base salary off their books.

The Rams — who are cap-strapped — now have four Day 2 picks to begin rebuilding a once-formidable defense. It will probably take more than that, though. LA’s defense in 2023 looks like it’s going to be Aaron Donald and a bunch of obscure names on a roster. Good luck, Raheem Morris.

Grade: C

Jalen Ramsey Gets What He Wants

We’ll learn in the coming days why Ramsey was so determined to get to Miami. But it was obviously his preferred destination. While he, like Howard, wasn’t at his best in 2022, Ramsey was still darn good — and has put together a consistently excellent career.

MORE: Best NFL Cornerbacks in 2023

Since Pro Football Reference began reporting advanced stats in 2018, Ramsey has not allowed 10 yards per target or a passer rating of 90 or higher in any season. Pairing him with Howard and Fangio on a defense that also features Bradley Chubb, Jaelan Phillips, and Christian Wilkins could turn back the clock.

Grade: A

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What Robert Saleh Said at NFL Owners Meetings




Nearly two weeks after Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told the NFL world that his intention in 2023 is to play for the New York Jets, there has seemingly been no visible progress toward a trade. On Monday, Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh sat down with the media at the NFL League Owners Meeting in Arizona and, of course, was asked for an update on the current situation.

Robert Saleh Dropped Hints About the Potential Aaron Rodgers Trade

It would always be an interesting situation for Saleh when he faced the media on Monday. Straight off the bat, Saleh made it clear he would have “nothing” to say about a player who was under contract on another team. However, while Saleh did not address Rodgers by name, we can read some interesting things into his comments to subsequent questions.

When asked about the urgency of the situation, Saleh told reporters, that if a veteran QB “has great rapport with the coordinator, there’s no urgency.” The Jets recently hired former Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their OC for 2023. Rodgers also made it abundantly clear that he has a lot of respect for Hackett during his appearance on the Pat McAfee show.

Saleh continued along that line, referencing that there was no “panic” to get the deal done, and that get was “sure eventually they will figure something out.” He did say that if it was up to him, things would have been done a while ago because, as a coach, that is what he would like.

MORE: FREE Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

An interesting wrinkle to the whole process is that Saleh and Packers’ head coach Matt LaFleur are good friends from their time in San Francisco. However, Saleh told reporters that he and LaFleur have “respected the process” and kept their conversations to their personal life.

All told, Saleh did not tell us very much in terms of new information when he spoke to the media at the AFC coaches’ breakfast. Perhaps the biggest update was Saleh saying Zach Wilson will be the Jets’ number two quarterback in 2023. Again, nothing groundbreaking, but a pretty clear indication that the Jets’ head coach is planning to have Rodgers on his roster next season.

The Jets Appear in No Hurry To Trade for Rodgers

While there was a lack of revolutionary updates from Saleh, his message toed the line that is widely expected. The Jets are willing to wait out the Packers and will not overpay what they see as the right value for Rodgers. On Friday, Adam Schefter reported that talks have stalled between the two sides.

“There’s been a standoff with Green Bay wanting more than the Jets are offering,” Schefter said. “The Jets feel like they’re offering a lot. The Packers feel like they’re not offering enough, and the two sides are left at a standstill.”

The problem for the Packers is that they have no leverage right now. No other team appears to be interested in adding Rodgers, and the Jets are not under any kind of pressure, as Saleh reinforced. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on Rodgers’ contract and a fully guaranteed $58.3 million option bonus that has to be paid before Week 1.

MORE: 2023 NFL Mock Draft — Lamar Jackson, Tua Tagovailoa, and Others Traded, Vikings and Dolphins Nab New QB1

When that option bonus is paid, the Packers will take on another $58.3 million in dead money commitments. They could try to negotiate with Rodgers, but if his intention is to be with the Jets, why would he help the Packers with the ultimatum his contract structure provides?

What the Packers could be waiting out is the June 1 deadline. From June 2 onwards, the Packers’ dead money situation looks very different. If they trade Rodgers before June 1, the Packers are left holding the bill for around $36 million in dead money. In contrast, if they trade him on June 2 or later, Green Bay will carry just under $13 million in dead money in 2023 and then the remaining $24.5 million in 2024.

With that in mind and the Jets’ seeming lack of urgency, it would not be a surprise if this process drags out into June or July. However, it seems very unlikely the Packers will enter the season with Rodgers on their roster. The question is more a matter of when than anything at this point.

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Fantasy Outlook, Value, Projections, and Rankings




As we close in toward the new NFL season, the ever-changing league landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move, with key events like free agency continuing to roll on and the 2023 NFL Draft still to come.

Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the dynasty rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty fantasy football value of San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance.

Trey Lance’s Dynasty Outlook and Value

You deserve a medal for riding this roller coaster if you have been on the Trey Lance bandwagon since his freshman year at North Dakota State. Yet here we are, entering year three, and not a single person knows who was right or wrong about Lance — not even Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch, or the rest of the 49ers’ top brass.

That’s what makes things so hard when evaluating Lance’s dynasty value. We have such a small sample size. Lance started only two games as a rookie, but he averaged 22.4 PPR points and 60 rushing yards per game in those wins, subbing in for Jimmy Garoppolo. Those are QB1 numbers.

Lance eventually won the starting job, which, to be honest, was expected, but we learned nothing in 2022. Week 1 was a complete washout, as Chicago was in the middle of a deluge. Lance threw for 164 yards with a 46.4% completion percentage and an interception but ran 13 times for 54 yards. Then in Week 2 against Seattle, Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury, which paused his already tumultuous career.

MORE: Dynasty Rankings 2023 – Top Fantasy Options at Quarterback

The 49ers mortgaged the farm, including multiple future first-round picks, to acquire Lance, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Lance was raw, and the idea of him developing behind Garoppolo made a ton of sense to me and many others. That’s why 2022 saw Lance on nearly everyone’s breakout list at quarterback. But here we are eight months later, still with no answers.

You can’t even blame Lance. You can’t knock a guy for an injury or a coach’s decisions. Lance has stated that he will be ready and fully cleared by the time OTAs and training camp roll around.

In terms of timing, that couldn’t be better, as he’ll be one of the only healthy QBs on the roster after the team let Garoppolo leave for Las Vegas in free agency. Lance will begin ahead of teammate Brock Purdy in their QB battle, as Purdy’s recovery timeline following a torn UCL places Lance in the driver’s seat for the starting job in 2023.

Trey Lance Fantasy Ranking

I still believe in Lance’s skill set and have him as a fringe QB1 in dynasty despite seeing, well, not much at all. Currently, he is the QB13 in our dynasty QB rankings, just ahead of Daniel Jones, but this is before any of the 2023 draft class has been added. The rookies will likely push Lance to at least QB16 after C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, and Anthony Richardson are included.

When it comes to Superflex rankings, where quarterbacks see an increase in value due to positional scarcity, Lance is our 60th-ranked player.

As we saw with Purdy last season, especially after the addition of Christian McCaffrey, this is an offense you want a piece of in dynasty, particularly at quarterback. Passers in this offense benefit from the sheer amount of talent on the 49ers’ depth chart.

Lance is a buy for me during the 2023 offseason. We saw last year how quickly the QB landscape could change, especially with much of the old guard passing the torch to the league’s younger passers. While I’m not entirely sure what the future holds for Lance, the gamble is worth taking, as I believe he will be the starting quarterback in San Francisco.

Given his time in the league (even if the reps haven’t been in games), Lance has to hit the ground running in 2023 because Purdy, when healthy, will be ready to take over should Lance stumble.

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Best Bets for DC Defenders vs. Houston Roughnecks Includes Abram Smith, Max Borghi, and Deontay Burnett




If you’re looking for Week 6 XFL DC Defenders vs. Houston Roughnecks odds, picks, and predictions for this thrilling Monday night matchup, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.

Defenders vs. Roughnecks Week 6 Odds and Betting Lines

The following odds and betting lines for the Defenders vs. Roughnecks are as of the evening of Thursday, March 23, and come from DraftKings Sportsbook. Clearly, they’re subject to change prior to kickoff. That said, barring an unforeseen injury to a significant starter, we should assume that these lines will remain largely intact.

  • Point Spread: Defenders (-2.5)
  • Moneyline: Defenders (-145), Roughnecks (+125)
  • Over/Under: 42 (-110)

Defenders vs. Roughnecks Picks and Predictions

Full disclosure as always: After going 13-3 on a combined point spread and moneyline of XFL picks in Weeks 3 and 4, I settled into a middling 2-2 performance in Week 5. Fortunately, my struggles with over/unders reversed course, as I finished 3-1.

This Monday night matchup should be thrilling for all the right reasons. Great offenses. Great defenses. Great coaching. Objectively, this is a prime example of what the XFL can offer.

And if Jontre Kirklin weren’t out for the rest of the season with a chest injury, I would have picked Houston in a minor road upset. Or, if Kirklin had been healthy, perhaps the Roughnecks would have been narrow favorites.

I don’t want to overstate Kirklin’s importance to the Roughnecks’ dynamic offense. But yeah, his loss is potentially devastating for this championship-caliber squad. In just four full games, he was among the league leaders with 253 receiving yards and four receiving scores.

MORE: 100% Free Mock Draft Simulator!

Most teams have a big-play receiver. Kirklin was that guy for Houston. He had five 20+ yard receptions. That’s still only one off from the league lead. That’s how much he meant to this offense.

We cannot speak fully about Brandon Silvers’ impressive QB play without highlighting Kirklin. Silvers connected on only one reception of more than 17 yards last week, when Kirklin was knocked out early. Those are back-breaking plays for defenses. Now that DC doesn’t have to worry about Kirklin, they can focus more on Deontay Burnett and Houston’s secondary options.

No doubt, those options might be good enough to topple the Defenders, which somehow have yielded the third-most passing yards per game. Burnett, Cedric Byrd, Travell Harris, Justin Smith, and Ben Putnam will be among those trying to carve out yards. It’s doable. But it’ll be harder with their top guy out.

Speaking of “top guy,” not long ago, Max Borghi was regarded as the top XFL running back. An injury crushed his momentum, and last week, he struggled on the ground (although, in fairness, Borghi excelled in the air, just like he did in college).

While Brycen Alleyne has stepped up, I believe Borghi is the X-factor for the Roughnecks, who need to establish the run against a defense yielding the second-fewest rushing yards. But one reason so few teams have run successfully on the Defenders is because of game script. DC is 5-0. Opponents frequently have been forced to play catch-up through the air.

DC’s run defense isn’t actually elite by XFL standards. They’ve surrendered 3.8 yards per carry. In the NFL, that would be outstanding. In the XFL, it’s barely middling.

I expect Silvers to operate more conservatively than usual, at least at the start, as his team tries to control the tempo on the ground while wearing down DC’s defense.

Will they be successful? That depends largely on what DC can do on offense. We already know how dominant their run game is. Jordan Ta’amu at QB and Abram Smith at RB are crushingly efficient. Whether or not Ryquell Armstead returns might be moot.

Now, Houston’s yielding a slightly better 3.7 yards per carry. However, aside from Seattle, they’ve faced four subpar backfields: Orlando twice, Arlington, and San Antonio.

So let’s not pick apart the starts too much. Big picture: DC has beaten St. Louis twice and Seattle once. That’s three games versus high-end offenses on the ground and through the air.

MORE: Betting Markets for C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, and Others in Latest Mock Draft

The Defenders have weathered every tough storm. They don’t need a capable passing attack — at least, not until/unless a team figures out how to stop their run. And DC doesn’t necessarily need to hold the Roughnecks to less than 20 points, although that would help.

The keys here are Ta’amu and Smith. Collectively, they’re averaging exactly 5.0 yards per carry on 25.6 rushing attempts per game.

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The Roughnecks will do everything in their power to slow them down. However, I’m betting on DC to continue breaking through. Houston has won primarily through the air, and now they’re missing their top target. DC, meanwhile, has won primarily on the ground, and they seem to be getting better every week.

  • Recommended Point-Spread Bet: Defenders (-2,5)
  • Recommended Moneyline Bet: Defenders (-145)
  • Over/Under: Under 42 (-110)

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