Contract

 

As a dynasty owner, one must think beyond the season and more about the future of their franchise. One important area that every dynasty owner must focus on are players who are in a “contract year”. The possibility of free agency not only impacts the player themselves, but their former and future team’s depth charts.

Here are 5 wide receivers who are entering a contract year and therefore should be under your watchful eye(s).

Alshon Jeffery 

Alshon Jeffery was supposed to be the focal point of the Bears passing game in 2015 after they lost WR Brandon Marshall to the Jets. However, Jeffery missed all four preseason games due to a calf injury and has been a disappointing scratch in all but one week thus far. All that aside, Jeffery is still “the man” in Chi Town and was back with vengeance in week 6!

Potential team for 2016:   I can only imagine the Bears will find a way to keep this guy around for another 5 years. The fact that he has been injured all season may give the Bears some leverage in negotiating a slightly cheaper contract. That said, John Fox and OC Adam Gase are openly big fans of this kid and the addition of Kevin White and Eddie Royal as a threat across the middle will keep defenses honest and will only help Jeffery’s big play ability. There are many other teams that would be willing to pay top dollar for his services –  If Chicago wants him, they will need to pony up and I believe they will.

 

Michael Crabtree

Crabtree signed a one year, $3 million contract (plus incentives) with the Oakland Raiders this past spring and is on pace to produce a respectable 80 catch, 1000 yd season. His receiving numbers (27-318-1) are second only to rookie phenom Amari Cooper, who has 28 catches for 386 yards and 2 through week 6. Crabtree is developing into a key player in this offense and there are reports that the Raiders are planning on extending his role after the bye week.

Potential team for 2016:  The Raiders have already let one proven wide receiver (James Jones) slip through their fingers this past year so they should strongly consider keeping Crabtree. He is only 28 years old, and he is just 3 years removed from his career best 2012 season where he posted 85 catches for 1,105 yards and 9 TDs. If the Raiders do not resign Crabtree, division rivals San Diego and Kansas City may show interest in him. The Saints, Browns and Ravens could also use a proven possession receiver so they may be suiters as well.

 

Rueben Randle

The Giants have landed some decent receivers over the past few years, but they have had some bad luck with injuries. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and even Odell Beckham, Jr missed the entire preseason and start of the 2014 season. Randle battled tendinitis in his knee earlier this year, but he now claims that is behind him and he is ready to take his game to the next level.  I am a big fan of Randle and believe that if he can maintain his health and his starting role in the Giants offense, he will have some value on a fantasy roster. So far this season, Randle has been consistently inconsistent and he has a lot to prove if he wishes to land a big pay raise and remain a Giant.

Potential team for 2016: The Giants may want to think twice about letting Randle walk because their Division rival, the Washington Redskins, could be a team looking for help at the position. The Panthers, Chargers and Chiefs are also possible landing spots for Randle.

 

Brian Quick 

It is hard to believe that the Rams have not been able to develop any quality starting WRs over the past 15 years despite their numerous early draft selections. The glory days of the greatest show on turf ended in 1999 and must seem like a lifetime ago to their loyal fans.

Brian Quick is a small school product (Appalachian State) who was drafted as a developmental prospect in 2012 (pick 2.1). He started to show flashes of breaking out early last season before he seriously injured his shoulder in week 8. Prior to the injury, he was on pace for a 65 catch, 975 yard, 8 TD season and that was with atrocious QB play. So far this season he has been slowly getting back up to speed and the Rams need to get him involved in their weekly game plan going forward if he is truly 100% recovered. Quick made his 2015 debut in week 5, but he seemed to be on a snap count playing a total of 20 snaps (28% of their plays). He caught one of his 3 targets for 10 yards and he came out of the game healthy so we will have to see if Quick’s snap count, role and production continue to grow as the season progresses. If he does not show signs of further development, he may be playing for a new team in 2016.

Potential team for 2016:  The Kansas City Chiefs have been trying to improve their WR depth chart for years, but outside of Jermey Maclin they have not been successful. At nearly 6’4” and 220 lbs, Brian Quick would be a great complement to Maclin in the Chiefs offense. The last producing big bodied WR that played for the Chiefs was Dwayne Bowe who finished as the 3rd best receiver in KC history.

 

Pierre Garcon

Garcon is not technically a free agent until 2017 as he signed a 5 year, $42.5 million back in 2012, but I am going to include him since he will reportedly count for over $10+ million against the Redskins salary cap next year.

Garcon had a career best season playing for the Redskins in 2013 (113-1,346-5) but he followed that up with a disappointing 2014 season where he only caught 68 passes for 752 yards and 3 TDs. The addition of DeSean Jackson was partly to blame, however head coach Jay Gruden acknowledged the fact that he underused Garcon and he was going to make a point to get him more involved in their weekly game plans this year. So far that has proven to be true, although DeSean Jackson has been out since week 1. Garcon is currently on pace for an 85 catch, 785 yard, 8 TD season. If he does produce at that level the Redskins may considered biting the bullet and let him play out his contract or sign him to an extension that is more friendly to the team’s salary cap.

Potential team for 2016:  I believe the New England Patriots would be a great fit for Garcon. If that is the case he would be a nice complement to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski in the passing game and will likely come at a reasonable price.