Well, you made it to Friday. You deserve to take a couple of minutes off to think about a few things. This is really more of a productivity tool to keep you sharp.
David Johnson – Every Johnson owner is wondering what happened and what to do? Keeping it brief, I’d say trade him. The reality with Johnson is that he’s never been as good as he was in 2016 before his knee injury. He lasted one game and missed 2017 with a wrist injury. He lasted 16 games in 2018 but only gained 3.6 yards-per-carry. The Cards have one of the worst O-lines. Now both Chase Edmonds (5.1 YPC) and Kenyan Drake (4.4) have looked much better. Johnson’s knock coming out of college was that he runs upright and invites injury and he had a fumbling problem. He hasn’t touched the ball since fumbling in Week 10. The Cards overpaid on his 2018 3-year contract extension for $39M. His base salary for 2020 is $10M with a $1M roster bonus and has a dead cap figure of $16.2M. No one else will want that contract so the Cards are likely stuck with him next year. This is a new coaching regime than the one that signed him to that ill-advised extension. Bottom line – Johnson looks clearly like the No. 3 running back for the Cards.
Robert Woods – His absence was deemed a “personal situation” and it later was said to be a family matter. He was a surprise inactive last week and while he hasn’t practiced or even been further explained, the good news is that he returned to the Rams on Thursday and joined their practice. The Rams play the Ravens this week and his status will be determined by Sunday. But the good news is that he’s back and at worst, we’ll be ready to play the Cardinals in Week 13.
Bo Scarbrough – The Alabama back was drafted by the Cowboys with their 7.18 pick last year but he never had a touch and was later cut. The Lions had him on their practice squad last Saturday when they opted to call him up and give him a shot. He responded with 55 yards and a score on 14 carries versus his original team. Disregarding the Lions identity as the RB Siberia of the NFL, does he have value for the rest of 2019? Well – this week for sure. Ty Johnson has proven that he is not the answer. J.D. McKissic sticks with third-down work so that leaves Scarbrough and Nick Bawden as the only options. Reality is that he did well as a surprise start at home versus his old team. But the committee approach remains in Detroit where his 14 carries last week was the third-highest by a Detriot back this year.
2020 Running Back Free Agents – Always interesting to see what teams do with their pending free agents. Are they going to re-sign them or just develop other players? Name (age)
Lamar Miller (29)
LeSean McCoy (32)
Carlos Hyde (28)
Melvin Gordon (27)
Peyton Barber (26)
Derrick Henry (26)
Kenyan Drake (26)
Jordan Howard (25)
Gordon and Henry are the biggest two. Gordon seems likely to discover that the market may not be as strong as he desires. Henry is doing himself a huge favor with his career-best year.
2020 Wide Receiver Free Agents – Some will be signed but a few want to become a free agent and try their luck somewhere else. Unlike running backs, their second contracts are often their most productive periods. Running backs usually play best on their rookie contracts.
A.J. Green (32)
Larry Fitzgerald (37)
Emmanuel Sanders (33)
Amari Cooper (26)
Robby Anderson (27)
Demaryius Thomas (32)
Phillip Dorsett (27)
The oft-injured Green will be interesting since he is already 32 years old. Sanders is likely going to force the 49ers to pay up since he’s the only wideout that’s done anything in their otherwise great season. Cooper will cost the Cowboys a ton even if he only shows up in home games. Robby Anderson has been much better than what he’s done this year. He’ll likely be gone.
Run-Pass Ratios of all 32 NFL teams – Interesting look at which teams are throwing the most and which ones prefer to run. The NFL is a passing league, right? These are through Week 11.
Not surprising, the worst teams are the ones that throw the most. The Chiefs are an outlier but no other team has Patrick Mahomes. The bottom five teams all look likely to reach the playoffs. The success of the 49ers and Ravens may just change a few teams in the copy-cat NFL.