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No Cap, Kaep may be back
It was reported earlier this week free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick would get a workout with the Raiders. The workout has come and gone, and now football fans all over are wondering if the former 49ers’ signal caller will suit up for the Raiders (or any team) in 2022. Sources of our great world have said that the workout was “positive”, “normal” and that Kaep showed up in great shape. The team solidified themselves at the starting quarterback position when they re-signed nine-year veteran Derek Carr to a three-year, $121 million contract in April. First-year Raiders coach Josh McDaniels made no big deal about bringing in Kaepernick saying “he knows this is his football team” in reference to Carr. The backup situation is a different story. The Raiders did not re-sign backups Marcus Mariota or all-world quarterback Nathan Peterman. Instead, they traded for Jarrett Stidham, who couldn’t hack it in New England, and signed Nick Mullens, who rose to fame because of one game three-and-half years ago. It made sense for the Raiders to at least kick the tires on the polarizing Kaepernick despite him not playing since 2016.
What could Kaepernick bring in terms of production on the field in 2022? Can he really bring a ball club value after five years of not playing professional football? One could point to Michael Vick, who came back after two years away and even played at an MVP level thereafter. The major difference here is that two years is not five. Vick came back at age 29, and Kaep is not the talent Vick was. Kaepernick stated in 2022 that his ultimate goal is to again become a starter and he’d use any opportunity to get his foot in the door. In his last season as a starter, Kaepernick complied a 1-10 record as a starter, threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Coming into that season, he’d had three surgeries including one on his shoulder, and he lost the camp battle with Blaine Gabbert. He took the job during Week 6 of that season and held it for the rest of the season. If Kaep is as good as he was in 2016 he certainly should and will find an NFL roster spot at this point. Even if he doesn’t sign with the Raiders, the tryout with them could spark more interest from other teams. Quarterbacks are a position of need currently and Kaep is looking to cash in.
No big deal in Baltimore
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was a no-show at this week's VOLUNTARY OTAs. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Kyler Murray were among other star quarterbacks who didn’t attend theirs as well. Yet somehow, the lovely sports media has found a way to squeeze and ooze out an abundance of weird content on Jackson being absent. I’ve read articles that described Jackson as “frustrated”. There have been pieces saying he’s hurting his team bonding by not showing up to a couple of come-if-you-want-to practices. When coach John Harbaugh was asked about Jackson’s absence, he said he’d let the quarterback speak for himself. Jackson himself tweeted out on the first day of OTAs that he couldn’t wait to get back with his team. If anything, Jackson appears to be getting annoyed with those who are criticizing his short absence.
He will play the 2022 season on the fifth-year option deal worth $23 million as the team continues to seek out a long-term deal. The Ravens have two more voluntary minicamps scheduled for 5/31-6/2 and 6/7-6/10, there will be ample opportunity for the stud quarterback to get acclimated with his team. At the very least, he should be at the mandatory minicamp in mid-June to kickoff his elite fantasy season.
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It’s been a while
It almost seems as if Saints WR Michael Thomas pulled off the Larry Fitzgerald/Todd Gurley-type retirement. According to Saints coach Dennis Allen, Thomas is “not ready yet” but hopes to have him back for the start of training camp. After missing nine games in 2020, Thomas missed the entirety of the 2021 season. Prior to that, he was a reception monster, catching an NFL-record 149 catches en route to being fantasy football’s top wideout in 2019. There are still a lot of questions to be answered when it comes to the Saints' wide receiver pecking order. The Saints drafted Chris Olave in the first round of the draft and brought in free-agent/hometown guy Jarvis Landry. If Thomas is actually ready for training camp, he easily becomes the receiver that you draft on the Saints. Any team's true WR1 that is tied to Jameis Winston should have good value. In Winston’s last season in Tampa Bay, Chris Godwin finished as WR2 overall in fantasy. If anything foreseen happens and Thomas gets off schedule, Olave and his upside would be the Saints receiver to target as opposed to Landry. Having Thomas though will surely make this a dangerous offense and a force to be reckoned with.
Finally all grown up
Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb is ready to step up and be “that guy”. With Amari Cooper in Cleveland and Michael Gallup battling back from a torn ACL, Lamb has as big a chance as ever to finally break out in 2022. Last season, Lamb finished with a 79/1102/6 stat line, good for WR19 overall in fantasy. This season, however, it should be expected of Lamb to put up WR1 numbers weekly. If you let him tell it, even at age 23, he’s grown a half-inch and gained 10 pounds of muscle to help with the rigors of the NFL. Whether or not that helps him gain superstar status remains to be seen. What you should take into account is that his quarterback Dak Prescott requested that the two have lockers next to one another, true bonding. Already one of the best after the catch, Lamb looks to step into the elites in 2022.