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2022 NFL Free Agent Frenzy: Christian Kirk, Mitchell Trubisky, Evan Engram (3/14)

by Mike Maher | @mikeMaher | Featured Writer
Mar 14, 2022
2022 NFL Free Agent Frenzy

On Sunday night, shortly after the NCAA announced the 2022 March Madness Bracket and less than 24 hours before the NFL’s “legal tampering period” opened, Tom Brady announced he was unretiring and returning to play for the Bucs in 2022. That news sent shockwaves around the NFL, and it’s hard to believe, after Monday’s flurry of agreements, that Brady’s surprising announcement only just happened. NFL free agency doesn’t officially begin until 4 pm ET on March 16, but that didn’t stop teams from agreeing to several deals as soon as the legal tampering period opened on Monday at 12 pm ET.

How do these moves impact the fantasy football landscape? Our analysts are here to answer those questions and provide detailed breakdowns of every major move.

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NFL Free Agent Signings, Trades, and News: March 14

Christian Kirk To Sign With Jaguars

Christian Kirk lands in Jacksonville as the team upgrades the offensive weapons around their second-year franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Kirk lands a sizable payday coming off a career-high 77 receptions and 982 receiving yards. With DeAndre Hopkins out last year, Kirk soaked up a 20.2% target share and saw 28.7% of the team’s air yards. Over those seven games, he averaged 13.1 fantasy points per game which would have been WR33 on the season overall.

This move likely spells the end of Shenault hope in redraft and dynasty. With a depth chart screaming for a wide receiver to step up last year, Shenault could not capitalize on his opportunities. Kirk will fight with Marvin Jones for the team lead in targets in 2022.
– Derek Brown

Mitchell Trubisky Signs With Steelers

Mitchell Trubisky to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m not enthralled by the move, but Pittsburgh didn’t have many alternatives with Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins available on the roster.

Trubisky isn’t perfect, but he’s a helluva lot better in real life and in fantasy football than both Rudolph and Haskins. The ex-Chicago Bears quarterback finished as the fantasy QB11 in points per game back in 2018 after averaging 30 rushing yards per contest. He subsequently fell off two following seasons, but the skill set for fantasy goodness is there with Trubisky.
– Andrew Erickson

The Steelers have been rumored to be looking at quarterback upgrades from their previously penciled-in starter Mason Rudolph all offseason. Rumors of Mike Tomlin’s love for Malik Willis have been reverberating since the Senior Bowl, but it looks like Willis will be off the board before the Steelers are on the clock. With Mitch Trubisky under contract for two years, the Steelers will look to him as their short-term answer.
– Derek Brown

Cedrick Wilson To Sign With Dolphins

Cedrick Wilson inked a three-year $22.8 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, putting him in a position to man the slot in South Beach until 2024.

The former Dallas Cowboys wideout was an absolute monster filling in for an injured Michael Gallup last season, commanding at least five targets in each of his last seven starts. He capped off his stellar 2021 season with five catches for 62 receiving yards on 10 targets during wild-card weekend. The Boise State product finished 20th in yards per route run (1.95) dating back to Week 8.
– Andrew Erickson

Evan Engram To Sign With Jaguars

Evan Engram arrives in Jacksonville on a one-year deal as the front office layers skill players around Trevor Lawrence. At first glance, this move makes some sense on paper. In Doug Pederson’s final three seasons in Philadelphia, he led the league each year in 12 personnel usage (35-52% of snaps). With a tight end depth chart featuring Dan Arnold, James O’Shaughnessy, Chris Manhertz, Luke Farrell, and Kahale Warring, the team needed an injection of talent at the position. The problem is Evan Engram doesn’t accomplish the goal as a redundant and inefficient asset.
– Derek Brown

James Conner Signs Extension with Cardinals

James Conner is coming home. The Arizona Cardinals re-signed their RB1 from a season ago to a three-year, $21 million dollar extension, locking him in as their guy for the foreseeable future.

It’s an awesome signing for fantasy football because it puts Conner firmly in the top-12 running back conversation, especially with Edmonds no longer in the picture. The ex-Steelers running back finished the 2021 season tied for second in goal-line carries and third in touchdowns (18).
– Andrew Erickson

Chase Edmonds Signs With Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins were in dire need of upgrading the running back position, and they got their guy in Chase Edmonds. The ex-Arizona Cardinals RB inked a two-year deal worth $12.6 million that includes $6.1 million guaranteed, per his agent.

Edmonds should see plenty of work in a backfield shared by Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed, two running backs that ranked outside the top-60 in PFF rushing grades a season ago. Part of that is because the Miami Dolphins pass-blocking unit has been dreadful – 30th in PFF run-blocking – but poor run-blocking did not stop Edmonds from being uber-efficient in 2021.
– Andrew Erickson

Other Newsworthy Transactions

And don’t miss the rest of our takeaways from all of the recent news:

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Welcome to the latest episode of the FantasyPros Football Podcast. The show is hosted by Joe Pisapia (@JoePisapia17) and Andrew Erickson (@AndrewErickson_). Together, they offer insight to help your squads.

Joe Pisapia and Andrew Erickson breakdown the return of James Conner, the new destinations for Mitch Trubisky, Chase Edmonds, Christain Kirk and more!

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