NFL Football Offseason
2008 NFL Offseason Free Agent Moves
NFL offseason moves can play a major factor when building your fantasy football team. Thanks to free agency, backups can suddenly become starters, and veterans can improve their fantasy chances by switching to a better situation.
But keeping up with all these changes can be a real headache. That�s why we�ve listed all the latest 2008 NFL offseason moves in one convenient resource.
Keep this close during your fantasy football draft, and you�re sure to have a leg up on the competition.
Offseason Moves – Quarterbacks
Mark Brunell – The 37-year-old QB was released by the Redskins and signed by the Saints to back up Drew Brees. While he�ll be holding a clipboard for most of the season, an injury to Brees could give him the reins of Sean Payton�s high-powered offense. Still, don�t expect much from Brunell, as he�s just short of retirement.
David Carr – After failing to impress in both Houston and Carolina, Carr now gets a shot as a backup to the defending Super Bowl champs. Carr doesn�t have what it takes to succeed at the NFL level, so don�t expect a Manning injury to suddenly vault him to superstar status.
Brett Favre – As of this writing, the Brett Favre circus continues to tour Green Bay. The organization clearly doesn�t want him to return, but they also seem to have made the mistake of angering the future Hall of Famer. Telling a legend like Favre that he�ll be the backup to Aaron Rodgers is a sure-fire way to get his competitive juices flowing, and there�s no guarantee that we won�t see him in another team�s jersey by the start of the 2008 season.
Gus Frerotte – After two years of backing up Marc Bulger, Frerotte was released and signed with the Vikings. There�s little pressure on Frerotte, as the Vikings are looking to rely on a strong defense and running game to succeed. The inexperienced Tarvaris Jackson will be the starter, but Frerotte could get the nod if Jackson starts single-handedly losing games.
Trent Green – Concussions put him on the sidelines for the Dolphins last season, and new GM Bill Parcells decided to part way with the 38-year-old veteran. So Green heads back to St. Louis, a team where he was supposed to start years ago before a Rodney Harrison cheap shot gave Kurt Warner his storybook opportunity. The Rams have a strong offense, but it�s probably too much to ask for Green to stay upright through another season. Besides, Bulger proved surprisingly durable considering the pounding he took last year.
Brian Griese – After playing for the Buccaneers and having a strong season in 2004, Griese journeyed to Chicago and failed to replace the much-maligned Rex Grossman as quarterback. The Bucs got him back in an offseason trade, and he�ll now compete for time with the likes of Jeff Garcia. He�s still only 33, but Griese will probably serve as just a backup. If Garcia goes down, however, Griese has proven that he can put up numbers with a John Gruden offense.
Running Back Offseason Moves
Chris Brown – After being released from the Titans, Brown signed with the improving Houston Texans. Ahman Green struggled through injuries last season, and Brown will compete with him and rookie Steve Slaton. Still, Brown is no stranger to bumps and bruises, and it�s just a matter of time before he begins appearing on the team�s injury report.
T.J. Duckett – After a disappointing year in Detroit, Duckett bounced to yet another NFL team. This time, he�ll fight over carries with Maurice Morris and Julius Jones. Coach Mike Holmgren has expressed an interest in Duckett learning the fullback position, so his carries in 2008 may not be substantial. Besides, your fantasy team is probably in real trouble if you�re counting on a big game from T.J. Duckett.
Warrick Dunn – When the Falcons brought in Michael Turner to be the man, Dunn asked for his release. He�s now back in Tampa Bay where it all started, but so are Earnest Graham, Michael Bennett and (possibly) Cadillac Williams. Dunn is likely to be the odd man out, but at least Mike Alstott isn�t around to steal touchdowns.
DeShaun Foster – After blowing his opportunity in Carolina, Foster signed a two-year contract with the Niners. He�ll back up Frank Gore and provide an occasional change-of-pace, but don�t expect him to receive significant time unless Gore goes down to an injury.
Julius Jones – After departing from the Cowboys, Jones signed on for four years with the Seahawks. After the team cut Shaun Alexander, it left a vacant hole at the running back position, and Jones will compete for carries with Maurice Morris and T.J. Duckett. While he hasn�t played up to expectations, a change of scenery could greatly benefit the brother of Thomas Jones.
Kevin Jones – The Lions finally tired of waiting for Jones to break out, and now he�s in the mix with the Chicago Bears. While he�ll no doubt get some touches, chances are that he�ll have to play second fiddle to rookie runner Kevin Forte.
Tony Richardson – An excellent blocker, Richardson has opened holes for the likes of Adrian Peterson, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. Now he�ll be heading to New York and working his magic for Thomas Jones. He�s 36, but he�s still got enough in the tank to help elevate the play of his new team. While his own stats won�t be that impressive, expect Jones and starting QB Kellen Clemens (who Richardson will be watching out for in pass protection) to get a bump in numbers.
Michael Turner – After finally getting out from under the shadow of LT2, Turner signed with the Falcons to be their primary running back. Of course, with Chris Redman or Matt Ryan at quarterback, Turner may have a tough time in his inaugural year with the Falcons.
Wide Receiver Moves in the NFL Offseason
Marty Booker – After four seasons in Miami, Booker heads back to Chicago to start for the Bears. Unfortunately, he�ll have Rex Grossman throwing to him, so don�t expect a lot of production.
Isaac Bruce – Having departed from the Rams, Bruce will head to San Francisco and be reunited with former offensive coordinator Mike Martz. He�ll start across from Bryant Johnson, but Bruce is getting up in years and is not the receiver he once was. He�s also battled a series of injuries in recent years, so you shouldn�t look to him as anything more than a bye week or emergency fill-in.
Keary Colbert – After a promising rookie year, Kolbert failed to live up to expectations with the Panthers. After falling on the depth chart, he was finally free to move on to the Broncos. While anything is possible in fantasy football, it�s hard to imagine Colbert finally posting decent numbers.
D.J. Hackett – Hackett left Seattle via free agency and ended up in Carolina. While he�s prone to get injured, he�s also a talented receiver when healthy. He�ll battle it out with Muhsin Muhammad for the #2 wideout spot.
Darrell Jackson – After stinking it up with the Niners, the former Seahawks standout moves on the Denver. He�ll compete with Keary Colbert for a starting spot, and Jackson could still be productive if he can stay healthy.
Bryant Johnson – The former 1st-rounder never beat out Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin for playing time, so now he�ll give it another try in San Francisco. Expect him to start across from Isaac Bruce, and Johnson might be worth a late-round flyer in deeper drafts.
Muhsin Muhammad – Muhammad left the Panthers and spent three unproductive years with the Chicago Bears. He now returns to Carolina and is hoping to once again start across from Steve Smith. But he�ll have to beat out D.J. Hackett to do so.
Jerry Porter – Porter finally escaped from Oakland, and he now finds himself in Jacksonville. He got a bunch of money to be their go-to guy, but questions still abound as to whether he�ll finally be able to live up to his potential. I�m predicting that the answer will be �no.�
Donte Stallworth – The Browns signed Stallworth to play across from Braylon Edwards, and he�s at least got a chance for success in Cleveland�s suddenly-high-powered offense. Still, Stallworth was disappointed in the past, so keep that in mind before you add him to your fantasy football roster.
Javon Walker – Walker has been plagued with injury problems in recent years, but the Raiders decided to sign him to a big money contract anyway. While I fully expect this scenario to end in disaster (I�ve got Walker in a keeper league), there�s at least the possibility that he could stay healthy and be one of the league�s elite receivers.
Offseason Free Agent Moves – Tight Ends
Alge Crumpler – Cut by the Falcons in an effort to save money, Crumpler landed in Tennessee. With their underwhelming corps of receivers, the Titans (and Vince Young) may have to rely on Crumpler early and often. The biggest question is whether or not he can stay healthy.
Anthony Fasano – Dolphins� GM Bill Parcells must like Fasano, as he wasted no time in trading a fourth-round pick to the Cowboys in exchange for his services. He�ll compete against David Martin, and most expect him to win the job. Even if he doesn’t, Parcells and Spurano might implement the two tight end offense they had in Dallas. While the Dolphins will be going through some growing pains this year at QB, Fasano might become a nice safety valve.
Michael Gaines – Gaines signed a four-year deal in Detroit, and he�ll compete with Dan Campbell for playing time. He�s relatively unproven, but the potential is there for fantasy football owners looking for ultra-deep sleepers.
Ben Troupe – After catching 55 passes in 2005 with the Titans, Troupe fell off the map and winds up in Tampa Bay for the 2008 NFL season. He�ll compete with Alex Smith, a player who hasn�t exactly set the fantasy football world on fire. Keep an eye on Troupe.
Ben Utecht – The Colts chose not to match an offer sheet, so the Bengals added Utecht to their roster. Carson Palmer runs a high-powered offense, and there will be enough passes thrown to warrant taking a flyer on Utecht in the later rounds of your fantasy draft.
Field Goal Kicker – 2008 Offseason Moves
Josh Brown – With the retirement of Jeff Wilkins, the Rams signed Brown to a fat contract. The Rams can still put up points, so expect Brown to get plenty of opportunities.
Jason Elam – After many years in Denver, Elam departs for more money in Atlanta. He�ll bring a solid kicking game to the team, but the offense might not offer him many opportunities to showcase his skills.
Olindo Mare – Olindo hopes to fill the vacancy left by Josh Brown, but he�ll have to beat out rookie Brandon Coutu. Mare also had hip surgery in recent times, so this might not be an ideal fantasy situation.
Defensive Line Offseason Moves
Currently the highest-paid defender in the NFL, Allen is entering his prime and is a terror when it comes to pass rushing. He�s had some problems with substance abuse in the pass, and one more violation could cost him a year. However, all reports indicate that those days are behind him. Expect Allen to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks in 2008.
Antwan Odom – After playing defensive end for the Titans for four years, Odom moves to Cincinnati to help a team which recorded only 22 sacks last season. Early indications have him taking over DE duties on the right side of the line.
Shaun Rogers – The Browns gave the Lions a third round pick and CB Leigh Bodden to get the services of Rogers. With his massive body and deceptive quickness, the defensive tackle should excel in Cleveland�s 3-4 scheme.
Justin Smith – Considered the best defensive end on the free agent market, Smith ended up with the Niners after several years of playing for the Bengals. He should get decent opportunities to rush the passer, and he and LB Patrick Willis could be a lethal IDP combo for years to come.
Jason Taylor – After quickly getting in the Bill Parcells� doghouse for daring to dance on television, Taylor trade rumors have been swirling for months. It finally happened in late July, as the Redskins traded for the veteran defensive end following a season-ending injury at that position. The Redskins have immediately upgraded their defense.
Corey Williams – Traded from the Packers for a second round pick, Williams will now make his home in the Browns� 3-4 defense. He has a combined 14 sacks in the previous two seasons, so he certainly has the credentials to make a difference.
NFL Linebacker Offseason Moves
Kawika Mitchell – Moving from the Giants to the Bills, Mitchell will help the team against the run. He will most likely take over for Keith Ellison on the weakside.
Calvin Pace – Following a big year with the Cardinals, Pace goes to the Jets as their new starting right outside linebacker. He should make an immediate impact in the pass rush.
Zach Thomas – He�s 35, but Thomas can still play at a high level when healthy. He moves from the Dolphins to the Cowboys, and he can be counted on to provide leadership and a strong work ethic. The Patriots have been making moves like this for years, and it�s worked out pretty well for them.
Jonathan Vilma – He led the league in tackles, but the Jets switch to the 3-4 really messed up his numbers. He now moves to the Saints and back to a 4-3. He�s only 26, so Vilma still has his best years ahead of him.
Demorrio Williams – Moving from Atlanta to Kansas City, Williams is a player who excels in pass coverage. Since Donnie Edwards still playing the weakside linebacker position, Williams may struggle to get adequate playing time.
Defensive Back Offseason Moves
Leigh Bodden – The Browns packaged Bodden as part of a trade to get Shaun Rogers, and he now finds himself in Detroit. The Lions need a lot of help on defense, and this elite cornerback could provide a major shot in the arm.
DeAngelo Hall – The Raiders (as usual) overpaid for Hall, but he�s still a talented cornerback. He�ll team up with the Raiders� other corner, Nnamdi Asomugha, who is perhaps the NFL’s most underrated or unknown star-quality players.
Asante Samuel – After departing the Patriots, Samuel signed with the Eagles on the first day of free agency. Expect his IDP numbers to rise, as this cornerback is a skilled tackler playing for an aggressive defense.
Madieu Williams – One of the Bengals� best defensive players, Williams now moves to the powerhouse defense of Minnesota. He may very well get a trip to the Super Bowl in 2009, and fantasy owners searching for IDPs could do a lot worse than this free safety.
Gibril Wilson – One of the best safeties in the league, Wilson won a Super Bowl ring with the Giants and then signed a big deal with the Raiders. He gets lots of tackles, and his interception totals are also pretty impressive. This was money well-spent for the Raiders.
Offseason Coaching Changes
John Harbaugh – After studying at the feet of Andy Reid, Harbaugh found himself promoted to the top position with the Ravens. He replaces Brian Billick, who led the team to a Super Bowl title during his nine-year tenure. Respected play-caller Cam Cameron also comes on board as the team�s new Offensive Coordinator.
Mike Smith – After Bobby Petrino abandoned ship like a little bitch, the Falcons brought in Mike Smith, the man who had coached the feared Jaguars� defense over the last five years. Mike Mularkey also replaces Hue Jackson as Offensive Coordinator.
Tony Sparano – Parcells took a liking to Sparano during his time with the Cowboys, and the former running backs coach was brought in to lead the Dolphins in 2008. While the team will certainly struggle in 2008, expect significant improvement by the 2009 season.
Jim Zorn – Following the retirement of Joe Gibbs, Zorn takes over as the team�s head coach. Prior to the retirement, Zorn had been hired to be the club�s new Offensive Coordinator. The team will be running a version of the West Coast offense this season.
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