Early round pick have a nice first season? Good job! Big money off season acquisition pay off? Excellent, so you’d hope! A 53 man roster can’t all be splashy free-agents or high round picks, it’s the cheaper, under the radar deals that can often make or break a team. Ninety-Nine Yards takes a look back through 2019 at the bargain acquisitions, trades and free agents, to make up our own bargain team…
Ryan Tannehill: The Titans swapped a 6th round pick for Tannehill in
for competition for ailing Marcus Mariota after Tannehill was deemed
expendable for the pick hungry Dolphins. Mariota’s struggles continued
and up stepped Tannehill who won 7 of his 10 starts ending the season
averaging over 70% completion rate on his passes
and a QB rating of 117.5 and most importantly lead the Titans into the
Kenyon Drake: Another trade away from the Dolphins (they best make the
out of these picks!), this time to the Arizona Cardinals who thoroughly
enjoyed having Drake in their backfield: in his 8 games with the Cards
Drake averaged over 80 yards, 3 times gaining over 110 yards and picking
up 8TDs in the process. Drake should remain
the Cards starter for 2020 and beyond, not bad for a 3rd round pick.
Mark Ingram II: Signed by the Ravens on a 3 year $15m contract to help
their formidable running attack this past offseason and finished 7th
for running backs with 10 touchdowns and 13th for yards with 1018.
Ingram and the run heavy Ravens have home field advantage throughout the
playoffs and will be eyeing up a spot in the Superbowl
Emmanuel Sanders: The Broncos sent Sanders and a 5th to San Fran for
3rd and 4th picks in the 2020 Draft hoping to cash in on the 32 year
old receiver. In the 49ers charge to the playoffs Sanders chipped in
with 500 yards and 3 touchdowns, granted not hair raising stats but
Sanders number one status helped Grappollo and his
other receivers out. Take rookie Deebo Samuel who previous to Sanders
arrival had no touchdowns and averaged only 26 yards, with Sanders
taking some of the coverage Deebo’s average hit 63.4 yards a game and he
grabbed 3 TDs in the process.
John Brown: Signed for the Bills for 3 years $29 million this off
Brown lead the Bills in receiving yards and receptions, both career
highs of 1060 and 72 respectively. Brown will be an important weapon as
the Bills head into the playoffs and figures to feature as their no.1
receiver for some time. Brown’s 3year $29m contract
may sound steep compared to the rest of this list, but that’s a bargain
for a WR1.
Darren Waller: The Raiders nabbed Waller from the Ravens practice squad
originally signed a 2 year $1.35m deal, he went on to easily win the
Raiders starting job and easily finished 2nd in both yards (1145) and
receptions (90) for TEs. His play has been rewarded with a 4 year $29.8m
contract – he figures to be a key part of Oakland’s
offense for the foreseeable future.
Sweeney: The Cardinals needed to protect first overall pick Kyler
and struck gold with Sweeney. He signed a 2 year $9m contract with the
Cardinals following a one year stint with the Buccs. Sweeney started all
16 games and according to the folk at PFF he only allowed one sack!
Quinton Spain: 1 year $2m contract with the Bills and started every game, missing only four snaps all season and chipped in with two fumble recoveries. A bargain for just $2m.
Incognito: Despite his troubled past the Raiders took a gamble on
signing him to a 1 year $1m deal, he missed the first two games due to a
suspension following a fight at a funeral, seriously, but started the
following 12, missing the last two to injury, and was a key part of the
Raiders line that allowed only 29 sacks all
year – the leagues 8th lowest.
Feliciano: Hats off to you Bills GM Brandon Beane, another Bills player
this list; Feliciano started every game and of the Bills 40 allowed
sacks, Feliciano was only responsible for 4, not bad for someone on a 2
year $7.5m deal.
Mike Remmers: Signed for the Giants for a year at a cost of only $2.5m after departing from Minnesota. Remmers helped the long suffering Giants O Line, only allowing 3 of their much improved 43 sacks.