It’s the fantasy championships, and it’s time for Saturday football. And I don’t mean college. That’s right, NFL on a Saturday. We get it once this year before the postseason kicks off in two weeks. At 4:30 P.M., the Eagles will play the Redskins in Washington, and San Francisco will host the Chargers at 8:25 P.M. CBS will air the primetime game, while NFL Network will be required for the Washington Philadelphia game that means everything. The Eagles are playing for their playoff lives, and need to keep pace with the Cowboys. Dallas will have a tough final home game against the Colts on Sunday. The Cowboys are 3-4 at Jerry’s World this year, and a head-scratching 7-0 on the road. Since they won’t likely earn more than one home game, that’s a good thing for Jason Garrett and Tony Romo’s boys. Dallas has already lost four conference games, and will lose tiebreaks to Arizona and Detroit.
An interesting week, it’s been for sure in the NFL. University of Michigan offered Jim Harbaugh $48 million for six years, and NFL rumors abound. As if that wasn’t enticing enough to whet your midweek football appetite, Marc Trestman made the decision to bench Jay Cutler for Jimmy Clausen. Cutler signed a $126.7 million contract from this past January, with $54 million guaranteed. After the $18.5 million he’s paid this year, Cutler is still due $38 million in dead money.
Clausen is a fourth-year veteran with 10 career starts and a career 51.9 completion percentage. All 10 starts came in his 2010 rookie season with Carolina, when Clausen threw three touchdowns and nine interceptions. Since that year, the former Notre Dame passer has thrown nine more NFL passes than this writer. Clausen has connected on three of nine passes this year, playing mop-up duty during Cutler’s blowout losses. As Mike Florio points out, the Bears may actually need to send a draft pick along with Cutler in order to unload his contract. This is all starting to sound more bizarre than a Major League Baseball deal.
What makes this even wilder, Cutler actually owns the highest base salary of any professional football player in 2014. His $18.5 million is also the sixth-highest cap hit, and $38 million the sixth-most dead money remaining of any player. There are going to be plenty of free agent passers this offseason, including Jake Locker, Michael Vick, Matt Hasslebeck, Christian Ponder, Mark Sanchez, Brian Hoyer, Matt Flynn, Thad Lewis, Case Keenum, Jason Campbell, Tarvaris Jackson, Blaine Gabbert, Matt Moore, Colt McCoy, and Ryan Mallett. Don’t forget the likes of Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles, Geno Smith, Kirk Cousins, and Sam Bradford, all who are under contract, but any of who could find a new team. Whatever General Manager takes on the Jay Cutler contract should trade in his job to complete the deal.
Now for the stats and deets that matter most for your fantasy football team. Be wise with all your start and sit lineup decisions.
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Stats and data courtesy of pro-football-reference.com, footballguys, espn, spotrac.com, and profootballfocus.com.