NFL Free Agency: Thursday Report

NFL Free Agency: Thursday Report

This article is part of our NFL Free Agency series.

This article will break down all the free agency news from Thursday, but before you dive in make sure you're up to date and the events from earlier this week. Check out Jerry's breakdowns from Monday and Wednesday, as well as these other NFL offseason content offerings.

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-The biggest news from Thursday was arguably Will Fuller agreeing to a one-year contract with the Dolphins, giving the Miami offense some much-needed speed. Tua Tagovailoa, of course, is the main beneficiary. Unless the Dolphins trade for Deshaun Watson, though, it's an almost certain downgrade for Fuller. The Dolphins offensive line isn't built to hold up for deep drops, and as the only fast guy on offense Fuller is at high risk for decoy functions to keep DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki and Preston Williams in single coverage. If Tagovailoa can get his deep game going, though, Fuller is about as good as it gets. With Parker and Williams both over 6-foot-3, Fuller might be the team's main slot receiver in three-wide looks, but one with a higher average depth of target than most other slot receivers.

-If not Fuller, then the biggest news might have been Allen Robinson's decision to sign the franchise tag with Chicago. It locks in a one-year, $18 million deal with the Bears. Sad!

-Kenyan Drake agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal with the Raiders, which casts a cloud over Josh Jacobs' stock somewhat. The money is significantly more than your average backup running back, and Jon Gruden indicated that the Raiders plan to use Drake as a 'joker,' whatever he thinks he means by that. Perhaps there's a coherent vision in mind, or perhaps he just said what he thought would ward off further questioning. Drake is maybe average as a pass catcher, making him more like a second Tyrone Wheatley than a Charlie Garner. Jacobs' March ADP in BestBall10 drafts is 25.43 ADP, 16th among running backs. Miles Sanders (26.34), Joe Mixon (29.07), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (31.39) and David Montgomery (34.27) are next in line, and Jacobs might start sliding past all of them.

-Evan Engram is another established player who saw a potential setback Thursday, as the Giants somewhat confusingly agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal with Kyle Rudolph. The Giants are also in the hunt for Kenny Golladay, and if they sign Golladay it would seem to mean Engram is on the way out. Engram might be on the way out in either case, however. Particularly in the context of signing Golladay or some other wide receiver, there probably won't be much space for Rudolph to run routes even if he's the clear TE1 for the Giants. Perhaps Rudolph's superior blocking ability could prove a benefit for Saquon Barkley.

-It remains to be seen what the Jets do with Jamison Crowder, but if they move him they might have their slot replacement in Keelan Cole, who agreed to a one-year, $5.5 million deal with the Jets on Thursday. Cole can play inside or out, but Denzel Mims and Corey Davis are presumably the favorites to log outside snaps. Even if he's not necessarily an upgrade over Crowder in the slot, Cole does offer better versatility and durability.

-Those hoping for a breakout season from Donald Parham were dismayed to watch Jared Cook sign a one-year deal with the Chargers, making the veteran the favorite to start at tight end in the Justin Herbert offense. 

-Breshad Perriman agreed to a one-year deal with the Lions, placing him on the same team his father Brett played for in the 90s. Brett was a bit different of a player – 5-9, 180 rather than 6-2, 212 – so we shouldn't expect the younger Perriman to look anything like the older one in Detroit, including as far as productivity goes. Jared Goff is not a downfield passer, and Perriman isn't an underneath receiver. There's a pretty good chance Perriman plays little more than a decoy role to keep safeties off D'Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson. Tyrell Williams and Quintez Cephus are Perriman's main competition at receiver specifically.

-David Moore agreed to a two-year, $4.75 million contract with the Panthers, giving them a potential replacement for Curtis Samuel. Moore might be better suited to DJ Moore's outside position than the slot, where Samuel tended to play, so if David is the Carolina WR3 then it might entail more slot snaps for D.J. than during the 2020 season. Given DJ's uncommon ability after the catch, such a shift could be viewed as favorable for D.J.'s interests. 

-Mitchell Trubisky agreed to a one-year deal with Buffalo to serve as backup to Josh Allen. So there's that.

-Trubisky wasn't the only one fortunate enough to leave Chicago – the Bears also made the ill-advised decision to cut standout corner Kyle Fuller, who instantly becomes a coveted defender among the available free agents.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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