Chatting Up Players of Interest
Just to dive deeper into players of interest, Upon Further Review drills down about the current and future value.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins
Robert Griffin III has occupied a lot of different places in the world of football – Heisman Trophy winner, Offensive Rookie of the Year, overzealous player sacrificing his knee for the good of nothing really, fantasy flop who came back too early from knee surgery, rejuvenated stud quarterback, injury prone quarterback and lately the flop who won’t learn a new system and who seems really, really uncomfortable with not being the exalted and respected leader. All this took about 30 months or so. Now that he has been benched for Colt McCoy, what to expect for the rest of the year or beyond? Chances are we will see him again this year. The Skins tied far too much money up in RG3 to walk away. Besides, Colt McCoy is no long term answer and likely not a short one either though he beat the Cowboys in Dallas which is apparently not as hard as it might seem.
But with a final schedule of the Rams, Giants, Eagles and Cowboys again there are no big time defenses to stand in the way of McCoy looking almost serviceable and besides – how much worse can the Skins look anyway? Best guess – might see RG3 once before the season ends. In the offseason, they have to decide if they want to keep the player that cost them three first round picks or start over yet again. At this point, as fun as it is to guess where he might end up, I would still expect he gets another year as the starter. He’ll work hard in the offseason and there will be word that he is getting it and buying into the new offense. We’ll all feel much better about RB3 by next September and then this mess starts all over again. At this point, it seems apparent that either the offense has to be designed around RG3 and what he does or it will not work. But you cannot go throwing Gruden away after just one season.
Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens
It would be much easier to explain why Justin Forsett remained in the background this year than to connect the dots on what he accomplished. What he has done is so rare to the point that ignoring him early this year would have made sense 99% of the time. Or more. This is his fourth NFL team and somehow the Seahawks, Texans and Jaguars missed what he could bring to the table. He was just another under-sized (5-8/196) back destined for some third down work. He was just a seventh round pick in Seattle. For six years, he’s been the same and it is not like he lacked opportunity in the past. He is signed on a one-year deal just like in Houston and Jacksonville. Now he has 903 yards and seven rushing touchdowns plus 210 more receiving yards. He scored twice for the last two games while topping 100 yards. Last week his 182 yards in New Orleans was a career best. He’ll be a strong play for the rest of the year while facing @MIA, JAC, @HOU and CLE. Then what? He turns THIRTY next October. He wants a long-term deal in Baltimore and has played the year at only $730k. My impression at this point? He will likely remain in Baltimore on a new contract. But how long can it be when he turns 30 and yes, he “doesn’t have many miles on him” but there is a reason why you never see any race cars that are ten years old. I think this is a case of the “Magic Year™”. A season where a player has an incredible year and it never happens again. Forsett will be drafted in the second round next summer because people are scared of him turning 30 and he still ends up much worse. Then again.. I have been wrong about him once already. And yet right the first six years.
Percy Harvin, WR, Jets
Once Harvin went to the talent-starved Jets, he only had three catches for 22 yards in his first game but then blew up in Kansas City with 11 catches for 129 yards. Suddenly all was well in the world of malcontents. And then he only had 23 yards on three catches versus the Steelers (whose secondary was injury-ravaged) and then just the one catch for two yards in Buffalo. To his advantage, he plays @MIN and @TEN before getting manhandled by the Pats and Dolphins. To his disadvantage, he is still on the Jets who are playing musical quarterbacks in an attempt to keep the coaching staff all employed until the end of the season. The same sort of thing that makes you keep a lemon car so long as they always try another fix “and let’s see what happens”. But Harvin has no reliable value this year and I would not expect much next year because the Jets are going to have to start over with a new offense and a new quarterback. The Jets fans are more than patient but nothing that has happened suggest a turnaround this year or even next that would make Harvin become worth his contract that has four more years.
Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers
Not sure I can think of any tight end that carried so much unrealized potential as Davis. He was a physical freak coming in at 6-3/250 and faster than almost any wide receiver. But that has just never translated to elite numbers like expected. Davis was as good as 965 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2009 but he has never had more than the 78 passes that year. He turned in 13 games over 100 yards and nine games with two or more TDs. But for every 180 yard game he had about a dozen sub-30 yard games. This year his best is only 44 yards and that was in the season opener. He is 30 years old now and while you could argue he has been misused and underused almost his entire career, you must accept that his productive days are in the past. He’ll still play next year and maybe more but he’s not only older now but seems unmotivated which has been said about him in the past. His days are over. He’ll have one more big game just to tease and then back to mediocrity.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
He is not coming back this year. The question is what happens in the off-season and next year? Reading between all the lines to me says he comes back as a Viking. It is not like he did anything to the franchise or fans or team mates. Time heals all wounds (no pun intended) and the only way that Peterson isn’t a Viking next year is if he wants to just start over somewhere else. But he turns 30 in March and this race car has a lot of miles on him. That depresses his value significantly on the open market. Michael Vick came back after killing dogs so Adrian Peterson will be back after spanking his kid. What we need to see is what Peterson says once his indefinite suspension is lifted because his 2015 season is going to be more up to him than anyone else. He’s been such a warrior, it is hard to imagine he doesn’t have at least one more good year left in him.