As a dynasty owner, one must think beyond the upcoming season and more into the future of their franchise.

One important area of focus for every dynasty owner should be which players are entering a “contract year”. The possibility of free agency not only impacts the player themselves, but their former and future team’s depth chart and the
players that currently make that up.

NFL Players who are entering a contract year have that extra incentive to showcase their ability to play in the NFL in hopes of earning that blockbuster contract and therefore should be strongly considered by dynasty owners when
making final roster decisions during the offseason.

This series begins with 4 quarterbacks who are entering the last year of their current contract and therefore should be under your watchful eye(s). So let’s get started with a player who has been on this list for a couple years now and is still without a contract………

 

 
Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins):

So once again Kirk Cousins begins the season on a one year contract playing under the teams’ franchise tag but don’t feel sorry for him as he is ok with making just sort of $24 million this year.

Kirk completed 67% of his pass attempts last year while netting just over 4900 yards through the air and 25 TD’s with just 12 Interceptions. He also scored another 4 TD’s on the ground after rushing for just under 100 yds. He had very similar stats the year prior.

Not a bad season for a guy on a team that is unwilling to commit to him.

 

Potential Team for 2018:

Don’t expect Cousins to be franchised again as this is truly a make or break year for him since that franchise tag price increases greatly next year and his patience is being tested to the greatest extent. With that said, Kirk’s future lies squarely on his shoulders just as it does with every other player.

The only difference is, for whatever reason the ‘skins have been hesitant to give him a long term deal even though he has produced on the field so I am not convinced he will be sporting a Washington uniform next year even if he likely will have earned that opportunity.

I’m not saying that he won’t but am saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if they let him test the market next year.

If that is the case then I would expect the San Francisco 49ers to be amongst the leaders looking to land the former Spartan from Michigan State and reunite with his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan whose father and then head coach, Mike Shanahan, convinced the team to draft Cousins in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft even though they had insisted on selecting Robert Griffith III with the 2nd overall pick in that same draft.

 

 

Matt Stafford (Detroit Lions):

Matt Stafford quietly had another solid season finishing the year completing 65% of his passes for over 4300 yards with 24 TD’s and 10 INT’s while adding another 200 yards on the ground and crossing the end zone twice.
And that was all done without the great Calvin Johnson (aka Megatron)who unexpectedly announced his retirement in March of 2016. It was his sixth year in a row of throwing for more than 4000 yards which began with his first year as a full-time NFL starter.

 
Potential Team for 2018:
The Lions seem to believe that they still have yet see the best of Matt Stafford so I fully expect them to get a done deal with Matt sooner than later. I see little chance that Stafford is not donning a Lions uniform next year but he will need to have another solid season to secure his place on the Lions roster.

 

 

 

Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints):

Brees was selected with the first selection in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers but ended up signing with the New Orleans Saints in 2006 after contract talks with the Chargers were not agreed upon. Eleven years later, Drew is once again facing a contract year after finishing an incredible season throwing for over 5200 yards and 37 Touchdown’s while completing 70% of his passes with just 15 Interceptions.

 

Potential Team for 2018:

Drew just turned 38 in January so he is getting a bit long in the tooth but has shown absolutely zero signs of slowing down. Considering his age and tenure with the team, I believe the Saints and Brees will come to a contract that favors both but his

The emergence of last years’ rookie WR Michael Thomas and the addition of veteran WR Tedd Ginn, Jr, will help make up for the loss of WR Brandin Cooks who was traded to the New England Patriots after finishing sixth in yards per target (10) last year. Oh, and did I mention the addition of the leading rusher in the NFL from a couple years ago? No one is really sure what impact he brings but I promise it won’t be a negative one!

There is no reason to think that Drew won’t be a top five QB again next year after leading the league in passing yards last year and amongst the top in passing TD’s with 37.

Considering all that, Brees does have a clause in his contract saying he cannot be franchise tagged and has stated that he feels he can play until he is 45 so nothing is secure in the Big Easy.

 

Sam Bradford (Minnesota Vikings):

The Minnesota Vikings General Manager (Rick Spielman) has apparently decided to let Sam play out his contract this year and address it after the season. Part of that decision may be because the Vikings have another QB who is in a contract year in Teddy Bridgewater who remarkably has been recovering from a horrific injury which many, including myself, did not believe he would recover from so consider this a two for one take on contract year QB’s.

It may come as a surprise but Bradford had a great season last year finishing 2016 with nearly 3900 yards passing with 20 TD’s and just 5 INT’s. But it’s his 71.6% completion rate that may be the most impressing considering he had over 550 pass attempts.

 

Potential Team for 2018:

This is a tricky situation for the Vikings which is why they have decided to see how it all plays out. First and foremost, they want to see how Bradford performs in his second year with the team. Next, they are curious to know if Bridgewater is able to be cleared by doctors to play again and if so, how he is able to react to the adversity and overcome the injury so a lot is up in the air as far as either one of these QB’s after the 2017 season.

 

In Summary:

With the QB market in the NFL in such high demand, I don’t see teams letting their stud QB’s move on but it’s those second and third tier QB’s which could be looking for a new gig next year! It could be an interesting off-season when it comes to teams looking for QB’s next year because there doesn’t appear to be many opportunities when it comes to veterans unless a trade is involved…….stay tuned!