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Volume 22, #18 -- Tuesday Night, May 5th, 2020
Who'll Be The Best Rookie QB?, Dynasty Startup Tips, News and Notes and MORE

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Howdy Folks,

Good Wednesday to you.

And a quick note to open - Apologies yesterday for an error I made failing to note the passing of legendary NFL coach Don Shula. He and Tom Landry were the first pro coaches I remember looking up to as a boy. They seemed bigger than life then. And that never really changed.

I saw the stat today that seems amazing. Shula's teams had losing records in only two of his 33 seasons. Bum Philips famously said of Shula (and Bear Bryant) "He can take his'n and beat your'n and take your'n and beat his'n." That's some country wisdom there. And high praise for a coach.

Rock on, Coach.

We've got some News and Notes for you plus some awesome new content for you.

Let's do this.

J

SITE NEWS

A. The Top Rookie QB for 2020
We asked some of our Footballguys Staff the question, "Who will be the top rookie QB this year?". See what they said here.

B. Dynasty Startup Draft Strategy
Our Jordan McNamara takes a look at strategies for a Dynasty Startup Draft.


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1. SEA - RB Marshawn Lynch talking with SEA

Source: ESPN.com - Brady Henderson

Free-agent RB Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks) said his agent has been in talks with the Seattle Seahawks recently.

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Lynch has been doing some acting, playing the character 'Giggles' in Westworld season three on HBO, but he still might not be done playing football. Seattle added to the backfield in the draft, selecting DeeJay Dallas in the fourth round out of the University of Miami. They have Chris Carson as the starter if healthy and Rashaad Penny as a talented backup but he will begin the season on the PUP list. Perhaps Lynch will be an option for them -- again -- once we get to training camp or into the regular season.

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2. NYJ - RB Frank Gore joins NYJ

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Free-agent RB Frank Gore (Bills) is signing a one-year deal with the New York Jets, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN Tuesday, May 5. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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We're pretty sure Gore is never going to retire... He's reunited with former Dolphins coach Adam Gase who Gore played for back in 2018. This will be year 16 for the veteran back and future Hall of Famer. He'll work in as a depth player behind starter Le'Veon Bell.

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3. NFL - Travel bans hurting QB Cam Newton?

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Free-agent QB Cam Newton (Panthers) remains unsigned, in part, because he was released after travel restrictions were put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to former teammate TE Greg Olsen Tuesday, May 5. Olsen thinks it's hurting Newton that he can't answer questions interested teams may have about his health.

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The travel restrictions certainly aren't helping the situation but how much it's hurting Newton's case is up for debate. Reports seem to indicate that Newton is going to be patient in waiting for the right opportunity. The travel restrictions have not hurt other QBs like Jameis Winston or Andy Dalton this offseason. Newton may wait for someone to get hurt before he signs with the chance to start.

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4. PHI - Jalen Hurts a Lamar Jackson clone?

Source: NFL Beat Writers

Philadelphia Eagles second-round draft pick QB Jalen Hurts 'was drafted as a quarterback and is a quarterback first,' according to head coach Doug Pederson, who added that senior offensive consultant Marty Mornhinweg 'felt very similar to Jalen as he did Lamar (Jackson).'

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Here's a thought. Let's slow the roll a bit on the whole 'Lamar Jackson clone' thing. Our very own Matt Waldman has a much better comparison and that's former Jaguars starter David Garrard. Hurts should be considered a quarterback first but he's got some developing to do if he's ever going to be a consistent passer at the pro level. In the meantime, the Eagles could use Hurts like Taysom Hill is used for the Saints.

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5. NE - New England officially signs eight others

Source: NFLCommunications.com

Updating previous stories, undrafted free-agent TE Jake Burt (Boston College), WR Will Hastings (Auburn), QB Brian Lewerke (Michigan State), WR Sean Riley (Syracuse), QB J'Mar Smith (Louisiana Tech), RB J.J. Taylor, WR Jeff Thomas (Miami) and WR Isaiah Zuber officially signed three-year deals with the New England Patriots Tuesday, May 5. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

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Lewerke is a strong-armed passer with mobility. Because of the Patriots quarterback situation he'll have a chance to make the 53-man roster but seems more destined for the practice squad. Lewerke has some stubborn traits and will force passes that aren't there, trusting in his arm to make the completion. If he wants to be an effective pro quarterback that's the biggest part of his game he'll need to improve.

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6. LVR - QB DeShone Kizer leaving Las Vegas

Source: ESPN.com - Field Yates

Las Vegas Raiders QB DeShone Kizer was waived Tuesday, May 5, according to a source.

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The Raiders have Nathan Peterman, who they really like, as the No.3 quarterback on the roster. They'll have Derek Carr compete with Marcus Mariota for a starting job in training camp. Kizer might latch on with a team as a camp arm somewhere.

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7. MIA - WR Albert Wilson restructures

Source: ESPN.com - Field Yates

Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson restructured his contract Tuesday, May 5, which is now worth a base value of $3 million with $1 million more in potential incentives.

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Wilson was in the final year of his contract and was due $9.5 million with $1.3 million in dead money. Rather than pay that dead money and release him, the team decided to keep Wilson around on a better contract. He'll compete with Allen Hurns for the starting slot job for the Dolphins. DeVante Parker and Preston Williams start on the outside once again in 2020.

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8. WAS - Antonio Gibson primed for early playing time?

Source: NFL Beat Writers

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins RB/WR Antonio Gibson is expected to be utilized more as a running back than a receiver in the NFL. However, offensive coordinator Scott Turner told reporters, 'That's what he showed through the draft process (the ability to operate as a running back and operate as a slot receiver as well). That's what we are going to try to do with him. ... If he can handle it, he'll get more and more action.''This is a very versatile, young football player that we really think is going to be a guy that can get on the field for us early and contribute,' head coach Ron Rivera said.

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We love Gibson and his ability but wonder about his landing spot. Washington has Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson already at the running back position, and it might be difficult for Gibson to see the field consistently. He's got a three-down skill set and could be the lead back but we see more of a RBBC forming for Ron Rivera and company.

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9. CLE - Cleveland stunned Harrison Bryant fell

Source: NFL Beat Writers

Cleveland Browns fourth-round draft pick TE Harrison Bryant 'was a player that we wouldn't have expected to be necessarily available at (pick No.) 115,' according to general manager Andrew Berry.'Knowing how important tight end is to the offensive system, and given how talented of a pass-catcher that we think Harrison is, he really was the person on the board,' Berry said.

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Bryant was considered a third-round graded player before the draft so he fell but not that far. It wasn't a great tight end class this year, but what makes Bryant an interesting prospect is his ability as an 'F' tight end. He's basically a super-sized receiver who rarely lined up inside. Bryant can make plays on slants and knows how to use his frame to keep defenders away from the ball. He's buried on the depth chart right now behind Austin Hooper and David Njoku, but we certainly are monitoring him in dynasty formats.

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10. BAL - Baltimore embracing Devin Duvernay's "anger"

Source: 1 No Source

Baltimore Ravens third-round draft pick WR Devin Duvernay is an 'angry football player,' according to general manager Eric DeCosta.'Players in general, if you watch enough tape, you get a vibe about them. ... I would say with Devin, he's an angry football player. I like his style play, I like his energy, I like his competitive spirit. I like his toughness, and I like his speed. I think those things translate to Baltimore very well,' DeCosta said.

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Coach Patches O'Houlihan always said 'You gotta get angry, you gotta get mean!' and it sounds like Ravens coach John Harbaugh is going to follow that philosophy. Duvernay was known more for his incredible speed in college and that's going to help too. We like him in dynasty formats but want to see how the pecking order is established with the Ravens receivers before we get too excited about him in re-draft leagues.

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11. BUF - QB Josh Allen struggled deep in 2019

Source: Pro Football Focus

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen completed a mere 17.1 percent of his throws that traveled at least 20 yards downfield, according to Pro Football Focus. It tied Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph for the worst mark in the league.

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Allen was also the No.4 quarterback in the league when it came to attempted passes at such distance. He's got a big arm and the Bills are going to use that to go deep more often than other quarterbacks. Allen needs to get better at placing the ball when throwing that far. His off-target percentage (23 percent) for all throws was worst in the league. The Bills have better weapons around him this year, it's up to Allen to improve his game.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of Footballguys.

We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J