Cheatsheet to the NFL’s 2010 offseason: Where your favorite studs wind up this year

Watching reruns of Punky Brewster while plucking my nosehairs with a pair of salad tongs would be more enjoyable than listening to sports radio lately.

That’s because I’m already tired of Favrewatch 2010. I’m tired of hearing who the Vikings might trade for if Favre does not come back.

If he’s wearing purple boxers, does that mean he’s considering a comeback? If he’s caught eating minestrone, is that some apocalyptic sign that he’ll return to Minnesota?

When did reporting rumors and guesstimates take place of reporting actual news? There’s this thing called a Super Bowl coming up. Why not talk about that?

Listening to the endless drone of what-ifs is enough to drive even the most disciplined chinstrap ninja insane. So, to help navigate through the minefield of NFL offseason, here is how some of the biggest storylines will play out between now and Week 1. Without the drama.

Brett Favre. The ultimate sports radio fodder-feeder, Favre listened to me last year and joined the Vikings in what turned out to be his most productive season ever. While some may argue, Favre cemented his position as best QB ever, despite falling a coin toss short of a Super Bowl appearance. In the loss to New Orleans, Favre was beaten, battered and bruised and it is no surprise that he would question whether a return in 2010 is a wise decision. Many football gurus, such as Len Pascarelli, have stated on sports radio that they feel Favre will hang up his cleats. I doubt it. Favre is arguably the most competitive QB to ever strap on a helmet. Do you think he can walk away from the game after coming so excrutiatingly close to a Super Bowl? I don’t. The offseason Favre saga may be long and twisted, but I am here to tell you that once the dust has settled, No. 4 will be in Minnesota for another Purple Reign in 2010.

Kurt Warner. It was a difficult season for Warner, who struggled during stretches in 2009. He has told certain members of the media that the game is no longer fun for him. He has little left to prove. Sources at rotoworld.com predict that Warner will officially retire at a press conference Friday. I agree. The Cardinals will be a much different team in 2010, as Ken Whisenhunt starts building around a Beanie Wells ground game to replace the void of a Kurt Warner-less passing attack.

Anquan Boldin. Rumors have announced that Boldin was leaving Arizona many times in the past, but Anquan continues to suit up in red. Arizona brass have grown tired of Boldin’s rollercoaster presence on the team, including his growing trend of spending time on the injured list more than on the field. The Cardinals don’t need Boldin with the emergence of Steve Breaston and Early Doucet, and the squad is likely to become more run-oriented moving forward. The Cardinals are willing to lower their trade expectations. There are plenty of teams that could use a big-time receiving threat, including the Ravens, Dolphins, Jets, Bears and Buccaneers. I personally believe that the Jets and Bears will try to make do with their current receivers. Baltimore will land Boldin for a second-round pick.

Brandon Marshall. Is there any doubt that Marshall won’t return to the Broncos considering how the 2009 season ended in Denver? The bigger question here is where Marshall will wind up. Bill Parcells seems drawn to racy situations and Marshall could be a big boost for a young but very talented offense. Here’s projecting Marshall in Miami this year.

Michael Vick. Officially back in the NFL, and not happy with a bit role with the Eagles, Vick will be playing elsewhere this season. The Eagles have just announced that they will not be picking up Vick’s option in 2010. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Rams are a team in need of a QB upgrade with Marc Bulger basically a nonfactor. The Rams have a ton of other needs, and securing Vick at a cheap rate (perhaps a mid- to late-round pick) would allow them to focus on other weaknesses during the draft. Vick has a relationship with Rams GM Billy Devaney from their days together in Atlanta. Michael will land in St. Louis this offseason.

Donovan McNabb. Another every-season drama fest fueled by Philly fans who have historically undervalued their potential Hall of Fame QB, McNabb has been rumored to be trade fodder to teams like Minnesota (if Favre retires, which he won’t). In a Philly-based survey, fans allegedly voted they’d rather have Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick as their 2010 starting QB. Nonsense. Sorry to burst the bubble, but McNabb will again be starting under center in Philadelphia this season.

LaDanian Tomlinson. Even before LT2 bad-mouthed Norv Turner and his role on the 2009 Chargers’ offense earlier this week, the writing was on the wall that Tomlinson had played his last season in San Diego. Many who cover the Chargers feel that Tomlinson won’t have much value on the trade market, but I can definitely see a team taking a chance on Tomlinson. Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has a history of getting involved in such futile causes, but he has a quickly declining older back already on the roster in Clinton Portis. There are plenty of teams that could use a boost at running back, but my gut says Tomlinson winds up in Houston with a committee-type role with Steve Slaton and Arian Foster. Another team that could take a leap of faith on him would be Detroit, which has plenty of its own RB questions at the moment. I’m still leaning towards the Texans, though.

Marion Barber. Definitely showing signs of physical breakdown this season, and after a major breakout by Felix Jones during the playoffs, there have been major rumors surrounding the Cowboys that Barber has been put on the trade block by Dallas. However, owner Jerry Jones has stated emphatically that money will not be an issue with Barber coming back in 2010, even though he is owed an additional $4 million bonus in 2010 on top of his $3.8 million salary. I personally expect Marion to be a Cowboy yet this season, albeit in a reduced role as the ‘Boys try to keep Barber fresh for the stretch run.

Jason Campbell. The current Redskins quarterback has been the bane of Daniel Snyder for some time now, and was close to being upstaged during the last rookie draft by Mark Sanchez if the Redskins could have worked out a trade to land them an opportunity to draft the highly touted Mark Sanchez. Of course, the Jets beat them to the punch. It is pretty obvious that Campbell will be run out of town this season by some rookie QB, and will be looking for work. Meanwhile, as I mentioned earlier, Kurt Warner will retire, leaving just Matt Leinart as the heir apparent in Arizona. However, Leinart has done nothing to help his team feel confident that he can lead a championship-caliber team. I see the Cardinals adding a veteran QB to “compete” with Leinart for the starting gig. Since I already pointed out that McNabb will stay in Philly, I would expect Jason Campbell to suit up for the Cardinals in 2010 … regardless of comments out of Washington that the Skins will keep Campbell on even though he isn’t a “long-term option.”

What do you think will happen with some of the big names in the NFL this offseason? Is there someone not already on this list that you’d like to discuss? Let us know in the comments below.

18 Responses to “Cheatsheet to the NFL’s 2010 offseason: Where your favorite studs wind up this year”


  1. ep

    Great topic.
    My take:
    If LT ends up on the right team that runs the ball a lot (Jets, Ravens, Panthers) and is given touches, he could produce fantasy points. He can’t get 150 yards on 20 carries anymore, but he can get 70-90 and find the endzone.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Boldin stay in Arizona.
    Jason Campbell is as much of a turd as Trent Edwards.
    Speaking of the Bills, what of Terrell Owens? How much of his poor play can be attributed to Buffalo’s ineptitude? Where will TO, a free agent, end up in 2010? Should we care?

  2. jzak

    Good points. Was racing through my mind last night when this post was first published to make sure I hit the major players for this offseason. Remembered and added Jason Campbell this morning … although I think Campbell would be very un-turdish if in the right system with the right tools around him.

    Never even thought of Terrell Owens. How sad is that … that Owens has fallen so far from grace that he is so easy to overlook. Very hard to predict what will happen to him. News reports out of Buffalo state that it is a “virtual lock” that Owens will not be back as a Bill in 2010. The problem is that not many other teams will be jumping up and down for him, either. I see his skill set to be very similar to Marvin Harrison’s was when Indy parted ways with him … and Harrison didn’t have the character issues and baggage that TO brings. Could TO produce some stats as a No. 2 on a team with a huge No. 1 talent across from him? Maybe. However, my out-on-a-limb ninjasense is saying that TO will fade into the sunset ala Harrison last season. If he does somehow find his way onto a roster, I’m sure not going to count on him for any consistent fantasy output.

  3. ep

    @jzak: I couldn’t agree more on Owens’ skills. However, I never pictured a boisterous diva like Owens fading into the sunset.
    I have a feeling we haven’ heard the last of him — it’s gotta end more ugly than this for TO, right? — but I agree that we’ve probably experienced the last of him as a weekly fantasy option.

  4. Sockonfl

    Favre I agree will be back.

    Warner retired today which is what I expected. This makes the starting job all pretty boy Leinart’s.

    Boldin will definitely want out now that Warner is gone. I agree the Bears have nothing to offer for him. He has always wanted to play in Florida so I would see Jacksonville, Miami or Tampa making a play for him.

    Marshall I initially thought would be a Jet, however word in Jet land is that they are happy with Edwards and plan on keeping him around. I really can’t project a landing spot for him due to the dollars he will want.

    Vick I thought would be in Seattle until they fired Mora as the coach. Now it will probably be whoever needs a QB after the draft is over(which will be few if any). He may actually end up as a backup again somewhere.

    McNabb and Reid are like ebony and ivory. Maybe not quite but the 2 are inseperable. McNabb will be the starting QB for the Eagles week 1.

    LT wants to get more carries and I think the only possible place for that to happen for him is in Detroit as he can fill in for a season until Kevin Smith gets healthy again. Otherwise he will be looking at being a committee back at best anywhere else.

    Barber stays in Dallas.

    I think Campbell remains the QB at Washington as he reminds me a lot of Jake Plummer. Course maybe Shanahan doesn’t want a repeat of how well he did in his offense.

    Owens may need to be bagging groceries at the local store this year. Not sure too many teams are interested in his services. That was a good comparison to Marvin Harrison jzak.

    Ronnie Brown could also be on the move this offseason, though I think the Dolphins will find what it takes to retain his services.

  5. jzak

    sockonfl:

    Thanks for the comments. I also think Ronnie is staying where he is. He fits that team’s needs very well and who knows how long Ricky Williams will be a true factor. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to officially rely on him.

  6. Jay-Mo

    Because of the collective bargaining situation, Brown is locked in for another season in Miami. He is a quiet, soft-spoken player and wouldn’t want to go somewhere else anyway. Plus, he knows Miami is the best situation. He hasn’t proven to be healthy in the long-term. so he has virtually no market value anyway. Call Brown the Ryan Grant of the AFC. One more solid year before fading into fantasy oblivion.

    Miami will move away from the Wildcat as it focuses on developing Henne, taking a key edge from Brown’s fantasy value. Brown is still good for 1,1000 yards and 8 TDs next year but that’s it. Williams has already said he plans to retire after next year, and I believe he is done. This was definitely his last year of any effectiveness. He was a waste in the last few weeks of the season.

    Miami will draft a RB in the draft somewhere to be Brown’s eventual replacement and Williams’ replacement in 2010.

  7. Jay-Mo

    I wish to go on record saying we should stop mentioning Vick. It’s a waste of four characters of type in a blog post. He has no value and won’t have value for the next two to three years he hangs on in the league.

    It’s a passing league, and (that guy) has no accuracy, even in his hey day.

  8. Jay-Mo

    Jason Campbell.
    It’s shame this guy has never had a chance to develop. I’ve lost count of how many different offensive systems he has had to play in dating back to his freshmen year of college. He has the arm and decent mobility but is just always lost, because he is always in Year One of learning a system.

    How good would’ve Joe Montana have been if he had to change systems every other year?

    Most draft projections have Washington picking a QB at No. 4 – most being Sam Bradford. To me, Bradford is the same player as Campbell, just younger and of course, would be Shanahan’s pick. I’m thinking the Skins’ go after Clausen because of his “pro ready” resume and better marketing value. Either way, Campbell is on his way out.

  9. Jay-Mo

    LaDanian Tomlinson – insert Edgerrin James or Shawn Alexander. Your pick … same result.

  10. ep

    @Jay-Mo:
    I could see LT getting 900 yards and six or seven TDs in 2010 and that would easily make him a viable No. 3 fantasy back.

  11. ep

    @Jay-Mo: Maybe calling Campbell a turd was harsh, but if you ever had to start him on one of your fantasy teams you might change your mind.

  12. Letter from the editors 1.31.09: We give thanks at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] articles have been commented on 11 times this month, jzak’s 2010 offseason football cheatsheet and his list of 2010 early fantasy football [...]

  13. The most extensive 2010 dynasty quarterback rankings on the net at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] those in dynasty leagues. It’s a shame, because when the Ravens land their next elite WR (Brandon Marshall, Anquan Boldin, someone else?), everyone will wonder where this Flacco kid came [...]

  14. Overview of NFL free agent notables and what might happen with each at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] let me state that this post was oodles harder to write than my 2010 predictions post, where I included my opinions on where some big-named players may be traded this [...]

  15. 6:15 p.m. EST update from a wild day of NFL free agency … and how it affects fantasy football at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] course, I predicted that Boldin would wind up in Baltimore in my quite a while ago in this early predictions [...]

  16. Fantasy Football: Early 2010 composite dynasty receiver rankings and commentary at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] about Rice is his long-term value in terms of who will be quarterbacking in 2010 and beyond. I’m predicting that Favre will return in 2010, and Rice is too talented to overlook on draft day or via a trade. In fact, he may be a good guy to [...]

  17. NFL offseason predictions report card, and talk about other potential moves at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] to have a map or GPS or something to help navigate. Our first attempt at helping with this was my cheatsheet to the 2010 offseason, complete with a slew of predictions of what would [...]

  18. Titanium Solutions

    Titanium Solutions…

    [...]Cheatsheet to the NFL’s 2010 offseason: Where your favorite studs wind up this year at Chinstrap Ninjas — Fantasy Football and Fantasy Baseball Assassins[...]…