By Brian Hawkes and Josh Johnson
Put yourself in the NFL General Manager’s shoes…If you have a player who has little guaranteed money and he hasn’t performed to expectations (whether due to on field performance, injury, or otherwise), what would you do? If we do this, it’s easy to see why rumors are spreading that the Buccaneers are willing to part ways with Doug Martin or the Broncos may draft a running back in 2017. A savvy dynasty owner looks at salary cap commitments before acquiring a player to assess the stability of the player’s situation. This article will do just that.
Here is the continuation of an in-depth look at all 32 depth charts. We will assess cap commitment for 2017 and beyond, and also the potential opportunity that may present itself if there is roster turnover/ depth chart changes. Today: the AFC EAST.
Buffalo Bills: Shady is six months away from turning 29 but Buffalo owes him many bills for three more seasons. He has respect & job security and that is a pretty big deal. Gillislee will likely try and parlay his 500 yard season by convincing teams he is the next Justin Forsett. He will likely walk. Williams is super young and playing for peanuts to McCoy’s pecans. He has a future and a potential yet to be achieved. He can be the Gillislee of 2017. Unless the mood is right and someone slips into the third round we don’t see the Bills making a meaningful RB pick.
Miami Dolphins: Ajayi is clearly top dog but his 35 targets lacked purpose. Drake was suppose to be this “diet Reggie Bush clone” but he needed time to simmer. His future third down duties will tell his true tale in 2017. Williams shocked many by scoring some meaningful TDs but we would not shocked to see him packing groceries this fall. Having drafted two RBs (albiet under two different regimes) in the last two drafts the Dolphins seem unlikely to invest draft capital in another. Rather they will sign a cheap veteran for emergency purposes.
New England Patriots: Oh yuck the ever-baffling Pats backfield. Belichick could run the wishbone with all three of these cats. Seriously though Blount is 30 and if the Pats want him for one more run they will not draft an RB early. White is clearly the Darren Sproles of the offense just younger. He has role and it is not an early down one. That leaves room for a true RB1. Lewis is a wild card if he was every healthy for a full season we would know he was a jack or a joker. His 4.6 career YPC is hard to ignore. His 56 receptions on 77 career targets suggests a Edgerrin James like floor but he is still a mystery. We cannot envision this team giving him sole lead back duties.
New York Jets: Forte has one last hurrah in him because the Jets gave a 31 year old RB six million in his second season with the team. Powell ended 2016 looking like Jamaal Charles in his heyday! Both will see action to show their fan base that 2017 is about surrendering for a higher pick. That opens a major door for a third or fourth round talent to develop under the wily vets. A scenario could also arise that has the Jets drafting a RB in 2017 and one even higher in 2018. Meanwhile Powell and Forte will be promoting Cialis and from a golf course near you.