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Free Agency Roundup; Chark Lands In Detroit, Gage In Tampa & More
Day 2 of the 2021 "legal tampering" phase of NFL free agent process is over and we had more moves -- albeit not as many as Day 1 and with big names like Leonard Fournette, Allen Robinson and Cordarrelle Patterson remaining unsigned.

We'll see if that changes when we move into the official signing phase on Wednesday.

As for today, let's get the ball rolling in Detroit, where the Lions added another weapon to a deprived offense.

With the Jaguars choosing to spend big on outside talent to rebuild their receiving corps, D.J. Chark Jr. was no longer in their plans. So the Lions jumped in and agreed to terms with the young wideout on a one-year deal worth a reported $10 million fully guaranteed.

A one-year deal seems wise after Chark was limited to just four games in 2021 due to a fractured ankle. He's missed 16 regular-season games the past two years combined.

But a healthy Chark has proven to be a play-making threat. He's got great hands. He can separate from defenders and at 6-4, he's capable of making contested catches when he doesn't get that separation. All of that makes Chark a great compliment to Amon-Ra St. Brown.

While St. Brown and T.J. Hockenson will continue to get their fair share of the workload, Chark is in position to garner a target share that keeps him fantasy relevant. And if he gets that, it'll be on him to show the upside that's intrigued fantasy managers in the past.

Remember: Chark earned a Pro Bowl bid in 2019 when he went for a career-high 1,008 yards and eight TDs on 73 catches.

He's more than just a flier here. Chark is a value pick who could easily outperform expectations. ...

In addition, the Lions are retaining receiver/returner Kalif Raymond. He returns after a career-best 48 catches and four TDs last season. ...

In Tampa Bay. ... After an initial focus on retaining their own free agents, the Buccaneers are making their first move on an outside player with receiver Russell Gage expected to sign with the club.

Gage, who spent the last four seasons with the Falcons, joins a Tampa Bay offense that needs an experienced upgrade at the No. 3 wide receiver spot behind Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

After Tampa watched Gage go off for career highs in catches (11) and yards (130) versus their defense in Week 13, they decided they scooped him up in free agency.

Can Gage fill the Antonio Brown-sized hole in this receiving corps?

He had 72 catches in 2020 working behind Calvin Ridley and with Julio Jones limited to nine games due to injury. Gage had 66 catches in 14 games last season when he was forced into the lead role after Ridley left the team.

So while Gage will never be mistaken for an alpha receiver, he won't have to be that in Tampa and playing in an offense with Tom Brady back at the helm is an obvious plus.

Conversely, it's not a great sign for youngsters Tyler Johnson and Jaelon Darden's prospects of seeing more snaps in 2022.

Beyond that. ... Adding Gage not only strengthens the Bucs receiver corps, but it could also cripple the Falcons' wideout room.

With Ridley suspended for the 2022 season and Gage signing in Tampa, the current top of Falcons receiving corps is restricted free agent Olamide Zaccheaus (who was tendered at the right-of-first-refusal figure) and Christian Blake. Clearly, it's a position Atlanta will need to address in the coming weeks.

In Buffalo. ... According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, former Washington running back J.D. McKissic intends to sign a two-year, $7 million deal with upside to $8 million with the Buffalo Bills.

As SBNation recently noted, McKissic spent his first three years as a pro in Seattle, and then one season in Detroit before joining Washington in 2020. He appeared in 16 regular season games in his first season in Washington, playing with four different quarterbacks, and he had more receiving yards (589) than he'd accumulated in his first 4 seasons in the NFL combined.

In addition, his rushing total (365 yards) was just 37 fewer yards than he'd gotten from 2016 to 2019 combined.

In short, McKissic had a career year, and it came out of nowhere.

McKissic picked up 57 first-downs for the league's 31st ranked offense in 2020. He was explosive with the ball in his hands; he could pass block, and he was not just a pass-receiving third down back; he was able to run the ball effectively at 4.3 yards per carry.

Last year, McKissic's season was cut short by a Week 12 concussion that he didn't come back from, finishing the final six weeks on IR. But in just 11 games, he was on track to pretty much match his 2020 yards from scrimmage and the Bills, looking for a compliment to Devin Singletary, have found it.

The addition could make Zack Moss expendable. ...

Meanwhile, the Commanders "hoped to involve Antonio Gibson more in the passing game next season" even before letting McKissic walk in free agency, according to Ben Standig of The Athletic.

Standig adds that the Commanders hope to add a back "capable of handling early-down duties with Gibson."

In Carolina. ... Just when you thought you had your best-ball handcuffing strategy down, somebody puts a stick in your spokes.

In this case, the stick is Carolina signing D'Onta Foreman.

Signed to Titans practice squad after Derrick Henry went down, Foreman emerged as a very productive replacement down the stretch.

Over the final six weeks of the regular season, Foreman rushed for 482 yards on 113 attempts. Overall, he carried the ball 133 times for 566 yards with three touchdowns and he crossed the 100-yard mark three times.

Foreman went from not having much of a future in the NFL to becoming a prime fantasy football handcuff.

Now it's not so clear.

While it's true that Christian McCaffrey has struggled to avoid injury the last two seasons, appearing in just 10 of 33 games, the path to workload is muddied here by Chuba Hubbard.

Or is Hubbard's path to workload muddied by Foreman?

As of today, we can land Hubbard at a super-reasonable price, In fact, he was coming off the board as RB60 in early best balls. That's a 16th round price tag. Foreman was in the same range, ranking as RB57 and coming going a round before Hubbard.


You're going to have to roll the dice until we get some clarity. ...

In New England. .... The Patriots have re-signed another team captain, reaching terms on a 2-year, $5 million contract with James White on Tuesday, per the NFL Network.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler talked to White, who said the Raiders and Patriots showed most interest.

"(New England) wanted me back, that's all that matters," the veteran running back said.

White, 30, returns after suffering a hip injury that cut short a promising start to his 2021 season. He finished with 12 catches for 94 yards and 10 carries for 38 yards and one touchdown last year. White is the third team captain to re-sign after Devin McCourty and Matthew Slater.

He rejoins Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and J.J. Taylor in the team's backfield. Another veteran back, Brandon Bolden, remains a free agent. White has re-signed with the Patriots for two consecutive offseasons, after playing on a fully guaranteed 1-year, $2.5 million deal last year.

White's new deal includes only $500,000 guaranteed, per the NFL Network.

In Atlanta. ... Falcons’ kicker Younghoe Koo was set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, but he is set to sign for a lot longer than the 2022 season.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media first reported that Koo and the Falcons have agreed on a five-year extension. The deal includes $11.5 million in guaranteed money and a total value of $24.25 million.

Koo joined the Falcons during the 2019 season and held onto the kicking job into 2020. He made the Pro Bowl that year while leading the league in field goals made and turned in another strong year in 2021.

Koo is 90-of-100 on field goals and 87-of-91 on extra points for his career. As's Josh Alper suggests, if Koo keeps hitting at those rates, this probably won't be the last contract he signs in Atlanta. ...

In Philadelphia. ... The Eagles announced that they've re-signed a pair of their players on Tuesday afternoon. Receiver Greg Ward and defensive back Andre Chachere will be back with the team.

Ward was also on track for restricted free agency this offseason.

Ward was a quarterback in college, but moved to wideout with the Eagles and has played 40 games over the last three seasons. He had 53 catches in 2020, but took on a smaller role in the offense last year and finished the year with seven catches for 95 yards and three touchdowns.

In New York. ... The Giants wanted to go into the 2022 season with a viable option at quarterback other than Daniel Jones and they've reportedly come to agreement with an experienced veteran on Tuesday.

According to multiple reports, Tyrod Taylor plans to sign with the Giants when the new league year opens on Wednesday.

Taylor was with the Bills in 2017 when Giants general manager Joe Schoen joined the personnel department, but Giants head coach Brian Daboll was not yet on the Buffalo staff.

Taylor is reportedly signing a two-year deal worth $17 million with $8.5 million in guaranteed money. The full structure of the contract is not clear, but it's more than the base value of the deal that Mitch Trubisky, who was also believed to be a Giants target, reportedly agreed to with the Steelers.

Pittsburgh offers a clearer path to a starting job than the Giants, however.

Taylor started six games for the Texans last season and has also started games for the Chargers and Browns since leaving the Bills at the end of the 2017 season. If Jones doesn't show improvement or continues his trend of missed time with injury, Taylor will be in line to add to that total. ...

In Houston. ... According to multiple reports, Houston is re-signing Pharaoh Brown on a one-year deal worth up to $4 million.

Brown has been with Houston since 2020, when the club brought him to its practice squad. With a promotion to the active roster, Brown appeared in 13 games with nine starts in 2020, catching 14 passes for 163 yards with a touchdown. He re-signed with the Texans last March and caught 23 passes for 171 yards with no touchdowns in 15 games. ...

In Los Angeles. ... The Chargers reportedly won't be looking for a new backup quarterback in 2022.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Chase Daniel has agreed to a new deal to serve as the No. 2 quarterback behind Justin Herbert. The one-year deal is worth $2.25 million.

Daniel signed with the Chargers last year and took five snaps in his lone appearance of the season. Daniel previously spent time with the Lions, Bears, Saints and Chiefs.

Assuming he makes the Chargers' 53-man roster, the 2022 season will be Daniel's 13th as an NFL player. He has only started five times over that span, which makes for a lot of money without much activity over the course of his career.

In addition, the Chargers have tendered all three of their exclusive rights free agents. Jalen Guyton, tackle Storm Norton, and tight end Donald Parham are now tied to the team unless the tenders are rescinded. Under NFL rules, exclusive rights free agents can only negotiate with their current teams once they've been tendered.

Guyton caught the first touchdown pass of Justin Herbert's career in 2020 and he's caught 59 passes for 959 yards and six touchdowns overall. He'll rejoin Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, Josh Palmer and Andre Roberts in the Chargers receiving corps.

Parham had 20 catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games.

He suffered a scary-looking injury in a mid-December game against the Chiefs and wound up being diagnosed with a concussion after being taken to a hospital for evaluation. ...

In the other Los Angeles. ... The Rams aren't letting their Pro Bowl kicker Matt Gay get away.

According to Pelissero, the Rams are using an original-round tender on Gay, retaining him as a restricted free agent.

The cost of that tender for the Rams is $2.54 million, which is the lowest tender level for a restricted free agent. Because Gay was originally a fifth-round pick, if a team signs him to an offer sheet that the Rams don't match, that team will give Los Angeles a fifth-round pick in return for Gay.

It's possible a team will try to sign Gay away from the Rams, but it's hard to see Los Angeles letting its kicker get away without matching an offer from another team. And it's not often teams use fifth-round picks on kickers, which is what they would be doing with Gay.