This is my last post before the cut to the 53 man roster cut. I feel very comfortable with my roster, even though I have a lot of cap space unused ($76mil). What factors into this are the big new contracts on the defense that will be signed starting next season, as well as the possibility of mid-season additions, some extra space for the PS and IR. I have decided that big money contracts ($10mil+), will only be handed out to real star players. Currently that is Hopkins and Wagner, next season Baker and Adams will join them, as well as Griffin (in all likelihood). So let’s take a look at the squad.
To complete my team there is one more trade that I would like to make before the season begins. Due to the injury of Thaddeus Moss I only have 2 TEs. I would, however, like to have three. There is one TE who I missed out on in the Draft and would therefore make a trade for:
Dalton Keene (TE, New England Patriots) for Genard Avery (DE).
The Patriots, as it happens, need help at DE and Avery is the right build to fit their scheme. On the other hand they have 6-7 TEs on the roster and would therefore probably open to the trade of an unproven rookie for a player who has proven he can be a multiple sack per season guy.
Offense (25); Salaries $42’603’452
My Offense is not built up in the usual way. The unit I have spent the most money on is the OL, with QB being the least. However, my game philosophy does not rely of the QB to lead the teams to a win. It should be a team effort with weapons coming from everywhere, so I have playmakers in the running and passing game. The unit with the most players are the RBs with 6, because I have everything from pounders to guys you can split into the receiving game. This is also why I am happy going into the season with only 4 receivers plus 3 TEs.
Skill: Moss, Gibson, Hopkins, Renfrow, Trautman/Keene
OL: Fant, Risner, Ruiz, Hernandez, Wilson
Drew Lock, Anthony Gordon
I really liked what Lock did at the back end of last season, he is the type of QB I like in my system. He is talented, mobile and I didnt have to break the bank to get him. Gordon is my backup, but I also have PJ Walker in my PS.
As I mentioned above, the biggest group of skill positions players on the O, because of the diverse range of skillsets driven from the backfield.
Zack Moss, JaMycal Hasty, Sewo Olonilua
All three are primarily between the tackles backs, who are hard hitters to grind a defence down. However, to add to the confusion for oppositions, they can all also receive (Olonilua a bit worse than the others) and cut ouside making them difficult to predict.
Antonio Gibson, Adrian Killins
These are my speed guys, both of whom have excellent hands and have spent some time as WRs and RBs. Starting with both one of these as well as one of my HBs in the backfield will be fun.
Special teamer and guy for the situations where the ball needs to pounded in and a foreblocker is needed.
Adam Trautman, Dalton Keene, Jace Sternberger
I was not 100% impressed with Sternberger last season, so this is a completely open competition. For now I have designated Trautman or Keene as my starters because they seem to be the complete package as a receiver and blocker.
I have simply split my receivers into ouside (where I see the need for bigger receivers) and slot (smaller more agile). The truth is, however, that I would be happy lining Hopkins up anywhere because he is elite.
DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Gandy-Golden
Hopkins is a phenomenon and in my opinion one of, if not the best WR in the league. I had to take the chance to draft him. Gandy-Golden is a 6’4″, super athletic and intelligent guy who would do well to learn behind Hopkins.
Hunter Renfrow, James Proche
Renfrow had a quietly solid first season and I would be happy to have him as my starting slot. James Proch has some similar traits, but isn’t as sudden as Renfrow. Nonetheless, Proche is a great addition because he can play outside in a pinch.
My OL is relying heavily on rookies, both as starters (2/5) and for depth (4/5), but somehow I am not worried at all. I know what I am getting from my starters in Fant, Risner and Hernandez, the later two have shown that I can draft starters. With Matt Peart and Nick Harris I also have two players who are 1b options, and I don’t believe that the other three guys are duds either.
George Fant, Matt Peart
I was a bit unsure about re-signing Fant prior to the season, but wanted to return at least 3 starters from last year. Depending on how he and Peart do, there may be a change during the season. Depending on performance I also have Fant earmarked as a potential player to trade next offseason.
Dalton Risner, Phil Haynes
Risner is a strong starter for the Broncos who only allowed one sack last season. He is also versatile and can cover every position on the line if needs be. Haynes is a decent backup who is still developing.
Cesar Ruiz, Nick Harris
My first all rookie position in the line. I really wanted both players so I am excited to see who ends up being the betterone in the NFL.
Will Hernandez, Kyle Hinton
Hernandez is also a reliable Guard who plays with a hard nose attitude. Hinton is an athletic and talented player who may become a starter once he perfects his technique.
Isaiah Wilson, Alex Taylor
My secon all rookie position in the line. Both Wilson and Taylor are huge and athletic, and while Taylor will take a while to develop I cant wait to see what Wilson does in his first season.
Defense (25); Salaries ($50’508’415)
My basic defense is a 4-3, which I have changed to a 4-2-5. I think it matches the up-tempo game of the modern NFL, as well as my squad best. In Hurst and Ford I have two big bodies in the middle as well as my power DEs (Jefferson and Epanesa) off the strongside and my speed (Burns) off the weakside. Then I have Wagner orchestrating from the center of the park with Chinn aligned primarily on the weakside, to mop out anyone who leaks out behind Burns and tries to cross the center. Chinn can also blitz.
Coming down from the secondary (primarily on the strongside) I have my SS Adams, but all three of my safeties have played SS, FS and Dime so they can interchange depending on the look from the O. Baker starts at FS and CDJ, who can take on both WRs and TEs is my Dime guy. Griffin and Wallace/Dunbar will primarily work on an island, knowing that the have a FS over the top if needed.
DL: Jefferson/Epanesa, Ford, Hurst, Burns
LB: Wagner, Chinn
Safety: Adams, Baker, Gardner-Jonson
CB: Griffin, Wallace/Dunbar
My DLine is deep. That’s because I see it as one of the places where rotation is the most essential.
At DE I have a mix of speed and power as well as hybrid players who can either drop inside to DT or back to LB. I believe in maximising the talents of your teams and not trying to force players into a scheme.
Brian Burns, Shaquem Griffin, Bradlee Anae, Derrek Tuszka
This is my speed burner division. The problem is that that you can’t play with your hair on fire for 4 quaters, so a steady rotation is essential. Burns and Griffin have proven that they can get to the QB in the NFL and I am sure Anae and Tuszka will do the same. Besides Burns the three will also have the chance to show their skills on ST.
With Jefferson, Epanesa builds my power division, but whereas Jefferson has proven he can split inside to DT, A.J. will be purely DE for now.
One of the few players who are bringing continuity to the DE position. Very reliable and flexible, plus he has shown that he can get to the QB.
Tyshun Render, Chauncey Rivers
Both have played some LB in College, but I have put them down as bigger DEs, who have the speed to chase down more mobile QBs, RBs and work against TEs if necessary. They are flexible, developmental pieces and I am excited to see their development.
Maurice Hurst, Poona Ford, Trysten Hill, Khalen Saunders
No change here from last season, I was pretty happy with my starters, hope to see more out of HIll and Saunders this season though.
Bobby Wagner, Ben Burr-Kirven
Little needs to be said about the skills of Bobby Wagner. BBK is still learning behind him, but can also play WLB and will contribute big hits on ST.
Jeremy Chinn, Troy Dye
I was so excited that I got Chinn, I think he has the potential to be a great in this era of new hybrid defenders. He brings all of the size, speed and leadership you could ask for. Troy Dye is also a leader and can play both MLB and WLB. He will, however, have to be patient and work his way through special teams.
Shaquill Griffin, Harrison Hand
I am trusting in Griffin to have an outstanding season, which will warrant me giving him a contract extention by the end of it. 2019 already saw him improve from his sophmore slump in 2018 and I want to see him take it up another notch in 2020. Harrison Hand will be an interesting developmental player, with starter potential.
Levi Wallace, Quinton Dunbar
This is an open battle to see who is better by the start of the season. Both are legitimate starters and I will simply go on performance, perhaps even week to week.
Robertson is a Hybrid piece who is listed as a CB, but can just as well play SS and the Slot. He is agressive and driven and will be the kind of backup who will make the most out of any opportunity he gets.
Jamal Adams, JR Reed
Adams is perhaps the best safety in the League right now. Him and Wagner are going to be an awesome combo IRL. Reed is a more experienced rookie coming into the league and will be a solid backup.
Baker has just signed a contract to make him the highest paid S in the league, which tells you something about his abilities. That contract doesn’t kick in until next year though, so I am leaving some Cap Space ready for that.
After a great rookie season at the position, he will look to carry on right where he left off.
Special Teams (3); Salaries ($5’457’538)
I am a bit disappointed that I am spending so much on a kicker, but I will try to draft someone next season. In the meantime Myers will hopefully be a reliable kicker.
Dickson is a legend and I am happy I made the offseason trade to bring him on my team.
Ott is a longsnapper and earns more than half the players on my squad…
Practice Squad (11); Salaries ($7’296’139)
This is my current PS comprising of experienced players and rookies. I still have 5 slots open and will keep a lookout for players that I missed out on in previous drafts.
|Jamal Davis II||LB/DE||titans||675’000|
|Total Practice Squad||$7’296’139|
IR (2); Salaries ($1’228’332)
I currently have two injured players, the injury of Moss resulted in me trading for Keene, but I have enough depth at DE for Kamara not to be an issue.
Covid-19 (1); Salary ($610’000)
I also currently have one player with the Covid-19 designation, when he comes back he will join my PS.
I am very happy with my team. I believe the talent and depth are there to make it a competetive side, even if there are a lot of rookies. The players who are not rookies are the most talented from my draft years or absolute studs. I don’t have a bunch of “experienced” but not talented guys on my roster. I only have 8-9 non-starters who are not rookies, and potentially all of them are still on rookie contracts. I also have 26 rookies on my roster, just under 50%. If you are confident in your drafting ability, I don’t see anything wrong with that.
I cant wait to see what the new season brings and how my crop of players do with their respective teams!