Recapping a wild Re-Signing Week
June 5, 2023
updated June 11, 2023
Over the weekend, we've seen over 100 more signings plus a few more trades come across the wire. As we head into the Free Agency Period Monday June 12 (6 pm ET, YouTube) let's set the stage for what we've seen thus far:
- Some new teams are on the board. Portland's got five signings, led by tight end Nelson Lozano Jr. ($1.480 million). So is San Diego - 16 signings in the last few days - featuring four cornerbacks, three linebackers and three on the defensive line. The backfield of Sudo Nakai and Matteo Pravado is pulling in more than 3.7 million combined.
- D.C. running back Kevin Seay becomes the second player to clock in at an over $3 million salary. He'll be the second-highest player behind Alamo City running back Brad Jones. By our estimations, quarterbacks will start to rake in more money once new attributes are fully progressed. Halfbacks are a little more developed from the last 20 seasons as do-it-all players.
- Tulsa and wide receiver Gabriel Manning did not disappoint, signing the largest wide receiver contract in the league at $2.169 million. The Desperados quietly have 19 back so far.
Some team are behind the eight ball, but others are nearing fully formed rosters. Here's the latest in roster construction:
- Portland has invested into its offensive line more than any other team, with over $2 million spread across three talented players. Pacific rival Vancouver has spent the second most amount of money up front (just north of $1.7 million).
- Vegas now has the highest paid corner (Merrick Itera) and the highest paid strong safety in Justin Reside. While the team needs more players in this defensive backfield, if they can score some high value talent, it could become one of the most talented secondaries in the league.
- One of the most underrated storylines of this re-signing period is Queen City's efforts to get 12 of their guys back after an 0-12 campaign. The Corsairs will be led by Kappa Jones (ILB) defensively at $1.451 million. Running back Jett Zero leads the offense at just short of $2 million as Queen City is once again on the hunt for a quarterback.
All anyone is talking about recently is attributes, attributes, attributes. But what matters within the chatter?
- 107 players last season had the max 90 tackle at the end of last season. But surprisingly, in a league with massive running back and full back contracts being dished out left and right, only 17 players have kept that mark. If you get run over this season, remember this deep dive.
- D.C. kicker Paw T. Pawtai is now the league's most accurate kicker, with a 94 rating. With wind being more of a factor in games than ever, the Dragons want to be sure it effects them the least. Wouldn't be surprised if he wants to throw a few completed passes this season either.
- Denver free safety Lucas Devore is the only defender in the league with 90 tackle and 90 coverage. He's also the second fastest player with high tackle and coverage at 87 speed. He ranks as the 4th-highest paid free safety, moving into a starting role from his slot position last season.
Trades, trades and more trades as team's continue their shuffling ahead of this season's draft July 8-9. We saw the No. 1 pick traded away earlier this week, and now the No. 2 pick has been shipped off:
- San Diego has traded for the No. 2 pick from the Jacksonville Kings, also getting a 3rd and 4th rounder from Jacksonville next season. The Kings in return will receive San Diego's first rounder this season (16th) plus San Diego's 1st and 2nd round picks next season.
- Louisiana has traded their 3rd (68th) and 4th (95th) round picks in this season's draft to Houston. In exchange, the HeadHunters are sending their second round pick previously acquired in the Arizona trade (53rd) to the Revs.
- The Revolution have also executed a trade with Motor City, getting yet another 2nd round pick (30th) in exchange for Louisiana's Season 22 3rd round pick and the Season 22 3rd round pick they previously acquired from Charleston.
Previous day coverages can be found below.
As is custom, late in re-signing week, things are slowing down as Free Agency approaches Monday. There's still some teams slow out of the blocks - Portland, Sioux Falls, Vancouver, Canton, Fort Worth - just to name a handful. Most will likely make a full recovery, but for now the league is moving on with headlines that concern movement. And we had a few gems today:
- Las Vegas signed cornerback Merrick Itera to the highest contract of any corner - $2.017 million. The Fury now have two of the top nine highest-paid players - only Motor City can also make that claim.
- As mentioned, Tulsa has gotten in the mix and they put nine signings on the board led by strong safety Marco Swift's $1.370 million. That makes him the third-highest strong safety thus far.
- Some big names are back. Ike McBride returns to Carolina, D.R. Sim is a go in Houston, Ron Cockren laces 'em up again in Florida and SyrRon Yates IV gave Baltimore a full 23 returners.
With less signings today than the first three days of the period, let's look at some other news and notes off the wire that are of great interest:
- Louisiana's Liam Hammer is the league's highest-paid wide receiver right now, clocking in at $1.762 million. There's only two teams with a quarterback and WR/TE combo each making over $1.5 million: Baltimore and Las Vegas.
- Only Carolina's Phil Hall and Indianapolis' Derek Genco rank in the top 100 highest-paid players at defensive tackle.
- 14 quarterbacks have signed. Five have 90 pass accuracy, strength and read coverage. Vegas' Eric Price and Carolina's Matt South are the only ones with 80 speed. Eric Price is the only one with 80 agility. This dude could seriously stand out from the rest if put in positions to succeed.
A couple of draft trades on the books tonight sheds light on pick value:
- Arizona has traded up to the No. 11 pick in the draft taking Houston's place and will also receive their third round pick this season (65th). In exchange, Houston will pick up Arizona's 2nd (53rd) and 3rd (80th) rounders this season plus the Scorpions 2nd and 3rd rounders next season.
Arizona wasn't done. They've shipped their 4th round pick to Tulsa (107th) in exchange for the Desperados' 3rd rounder next season. With Tulsa needing to acquire further draft capital, the Scorpions may have upped the ante.
Signings climbed to 237 Wednesday evening as free agency next Monday quickly approaches. If you didn't have a chance to scour the wire throughout the day, here's what you missed:
- Alamo City running back Brad Jones signed the fattest contract in the league so far - a $3.069 million deal. But don't think the Artillery are going to have a small roster as a result. The team quickly re-signed 18 other players today
- Baltimore slipped running back Warren Murray in the two million club with a $2.035 million deal. He is the seventh player to sign for over 2 million, alongside four other players in the backfield
- The league's best record last season is on the board. Atlanta brought back seven vets Wednesday, led by quarterback Bryant Dynasty's $1.676 million contract
We learned a lot more about how some of these teams are being constructed. Here's what stood out to headquarters:
- It's well documented that Motor City is investing heavily in tight ends this season. But the second highest-paid tight end room so far is Carolina. Vets Vince DeSantis and Xavier Solomon total over $2 million. They also signed Shravan Prasad to the highest outside linebacker contract yet: $1.324 million. Carolina and Motor City play opening weekend in the Hall-of-Fame game.
- Jacksonville is betting on special teams security. They signed kicker Jordan Bradshaw to the league's top contract so far - $1.204 million. Who will return kicks for them this season? Kingston Ellington is the only eligible player with a secure ball over 40.
- Baltimore has 22 players signed, with SyrRon Yates IV the lone missing returner. The Vultures sit at $23.613 million. Murray and free safety Giovanni Bolt are the highest-paid players on offense and defense, respectively.
Who is expected to stand out this season from today's signings?
- Las Vegas receiver Doug Britton got a similar contract to speedster Chris Lee from Los Angeles yesterday, but Britton is the least likely to fumble of any receiver in the league right now, with 80 secure ball (max: 90) setting him up to be a potentially dangerous returner once again for the Fury
- Not a lot of teams are investing in run blocking on receivers, hoping the backs can do it themselves. Who is? Denver is the only team with two receivers over 45 run block (Jeremy Mosley & Logan Keel) and Florida's EJ Mincin tops the list at 50 run block (max: 69)
- On the flip side, defending the run is going to be an evolving and intriguing conversation in Season 21. With a max run coverage of 99 now on the table, Alamo City has invested the most at their second level, bringing on inside linebacker Jay Mart and outside linebacker Rob Foraker on at 80 (the previous allowed max). Overall, 10 of the 25 linebackers currently signed around the league kept all their coverage against the run. 41 carried an 80 rating last season.
All quiet on the trading front today, with no new draft trades to report.
The second day of re-signings took the list up to 184 total re-signings thus far with another major trade and plenty of contracts and styles to talk about. Let's jump right into it - here were the signing headlines of the day:
- Denver started to move the wire, with their biggest signing coming in the backfield for RB Baylee O'Shaughnessy: $2.620 million. It's the second highest contract of free agency, trailing only LA's Logan Jack ($2.835 million)
- Motor City's going to bully you up front whether you like it or not, led by fullback Christopher Dean, who overtook Baltimore's T-Roy Gaines as the league's highest-paid fullback at $2.054 million
- Las Vegas' Eric Price became the league's highest-paid quarterback so far, raking in a $1.987 million offer.
How did we see teams further solidify their identity on Day 2?
- The Nightwings are going to win some games up front, offering Hugo Reynosa the highest defensive lineman contract at $1.542 million. They, along with Mexico City and Jacksonville, are the only teams to contract at least two defensive lineman over $1 million.
- Speaking of Jacksonville, the Kings are the first team to sign four star lineman defensively, led by veteran Taqwuan Hale's $1.144 million.
- Indianapolis is going all cornerback, signing four to this point, led by Blake Prine's $1.781 million. He is the highest-paid corner so far.
More players on the board, did anyone's updated abilities make a statement?
- Los Angeles Guard Vladimir Dunham's run block is far and away the best in the league thus far - 90 (max: 98). He's seven points better than any offensive lineman signed thus far.
- It may be tough to run on Louisiana up the middle. Their two defensive tackles are two of three players at the top of the run coverage rankings, 88 (max: 94).
- Eight receivers of the 25 signed so far managed to hang on to 90 catch and 90 run route. But only Los Angeles' Chris Lee snagged 92 speed and 92 agility, too. By the end of Season 20, a whopping 104 players had 90 run route and 119 players had 90 catch. 190 total players had the same exact 92 max speed (29%). That number is only 24 today (13.0%).
One trade went down today, and it was a doozy:
- Denver has shipped their first round pick this season (8th) to Baltimore and in return will receive: Baltimore's 2nd (54th), 3rd (81st) and 4th (108th) round picks this season plus Baltimore's 3rd and 4th round selections in Season 22.
Another step in the direction of more football, the Simulation Football League presented by APM Music opened re-signings up today and many teams got involved. Behind the scenes, draft pick trades went down too. Let's break down the signing headlines first:
- Los Angeles Running Back Logan Jack scored the day's top contract, a $2.835 million deal
- Mexico City Free Safety Jeffrey Daggs is the league's highest paid defender from day one, a $2.036 million deal.
- The top quarterback? Jacksonville's OJ Bruin, who scored a $1.943 million contract offer and acceptance.
Across the league, teams made moves that point to specific strategy they may be taking.
- Baltimore signed fullback T-Roy Gaines to a $1.833 million deal, making him the highest paid fullback and the highest-paid player on the Vultures thus far. No one sunk more of their $25 million salary cap into opening day signing than Baltimore - $15.610 million gone.
- Charleston invested heavily into it's backfield - $1.515 to HB Nick Hoagland, $1.352 to HB Seren Storm and $721,000 plus into fullback Terrell Sutherland, the most money in backs in the league so far.
- Motor City is the opposite, dumping over $5 million into their receiving/tight end core, giving weapons to quarterback Ibrahim Kreita in the hopes the V8s unique coaching strategy will finally find success in a new era.
With players more unique than ever, who's abilities stood out on Day 1? Gone are the days where everyone is a max superstar across the board.
- Indianapolis linebacker Adam Wiseman clocked in as the strongest - 82 strength (max: 85).
- Charleston's Seren Storm clocked in as the toughest to tackle - 82 break tackle (max: 85).
- Minnesota kicker Mickey Melillo should stand out from the competition with 92 kick accuracy (max: 97)
- Jacksonville's Bruin should be much better under duress, possessing 88 scramble (max: 98)
We also saw some draft trades go down today. The new draft rules allow teams to trade their four current season picks, and the four picks in the following draft (Season 22).
- The Seattle Nemesis will receive the No. 1 overall pick from Queen City. In return, the Corsairs will receive Seattle's Season 21 first round pick (6th), Season 21 second round pick (33rd) and Seattle's first and third round picks next season.
- Denver will receive 3rd and 4th round picks this season from Indianapolis (72nd and 99th) in exchange for a second-round pick from Denver next season.
- Louisiana has moved up to Charleston's No. 5 pick in the first round this season and also will receive the Predators 3rd round pick in Season 22 in exchange, Charleston moves back to Louisiana's first round position this season (14th) and their first round pick next season.