This offseason has been very active with trades and free agency signing. There are plenty of new faces in new places, especially at the Quarterback position. As card collectors, free agency is always fun to see which players get a fresh opportunity on a different team, but it does not always mean it will help these players hobby value. Here are 5 players I think really helped there hobby value by joining a new team. Comment below with your favorite free agency signings so far. Make sure to check cardsawaysports.com for all of these players cards. Get them before it’s too late, because I fully expect these guys to have great seasons.
Teddy Bridgewater - QB - New York Jets
Bridgewater was one of the hottest quarterbacks to collect before he had that serious knee injury 2 seasons ago. Fortunately he is now fully healed and ready to start at QB for the New York Jets. Although they also resigned Jost McCown, I still expect Bridgwater to be starting week 1. The Jets need to fill their roster with more playmakers on the offensive side of the ball in order for him to be successful, and I think they will begin to do that in the draft.
Before his injury, Bridgewater was showing flashes of a franchise QB. He ended the 2015 year with 3,231 yards and 14 TD’s; leading the Vikings to the playoffs after a 3 year drought. Some thought the knee injury he had in 2016 would be career ending, but Teddy worked hard to get back. I expect him to surprise a lot of people early this season with the Jets. I recommend that collectors start investing in some Bridgewater cards at bargain prices right now, and sit on them until the season starts. Bridgewaters’s talent is there, but can New York surround him with the right players?
Kirk Cousins - QB - Minnesota Vikings
Obviously Cousins is already a “franchise” type Quarterback, but now he finally joins a contender with the Minnesota Vikings. This is a solid move by the Vikings, but now that they have their QB, it is Championship or bust. Especially with the fully guaranteed contract they just dished out to Cousins. He has not shown the ability to carry a team to playoff victories, but he never had a team quite this good.
Over the last 3 seasons Cousins has thrown for 13,176 yards and 81 touchdowns. The production on the field is definitely there, but there was only 1 playoff appearance in those 3 seasons. That is really the only knock on Cousins so far. He has not been able to shine on the big stage, but he will get another opportunity with this team. If Cousins can carry this franchise to the first Super Bowl victory in their history, he will become a Viking legend. My recommendation to collectors is to hold onto any Cousins cards you have, and buy any cards you can find at a good price. A Vikings Super Bowl victory would cause Cousin’s hobby value to skyrocket!
Trey Burton - TE - Chicago Bears
Trey Burton, one of the heroes in the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl LII victory this past season , finally got his pay day. He was never really given the opportunity to showcase his talents in Philly, because he was their 3rd string TE, but he always proved to be a good spot starter at TE when needed, and an elite special teams player. As a former collegiate QB, Burton has more versatility than most players in the NFL, and he showed that is the infamous “Philly Special” play. He will finally get a chance to be a full time starter in Chicago, with a good young QB in Mitchell Trubisky.
Burton showed he can be a starting TE during his breakout game against the Los Angeles Rams last season. Burton had 5 receptions for 71 yards and 2 huge touchdowns in that game. His positional versatility is probably his best asset though. You can play him at Tight End, Fullback, Slot Receiver, and he can even be an emergency Quarterback if needed. He is going to be all over the field for the Bears, so expect his production to be way up this year. Trey Burton cards are affordable right now, so it may be a good idea to invest in him.
Allen Robinson - WR - Chicago Bears
This was another very good signing for this young Bears team. Robinson was one of the most talented Wide Receiver free agents on the market. They are making a concerted effort to get weapons around 2nd year QB Mitchell Trubisky. It really reminds me of what the Eagles did last season with Carson Wentz by signing Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Allen Robinson immediately becomes the top Wide Receiver on the Bears and may be their best weapon behind Jordan Howard.
Unfortunately his 2017 season ended early due to an injury, but Robinson showed he can be a WR1 in 2015. He had 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those are ridiculous numbers, especially for a receiver in that Jaguars offense. I can see him getting those type of numbers this season for the Bears. His hobby value has dropped over the past few seasons, but don’t be surprised to see that pick back up by the start of next season.
Jerick McKinnon - RB - San Francisco 49ers
A lot of people considered McKinnon the top Running Back free agent on the market, and the San Francisco 49ers seemed to agree by giving him a pretty big contract. I thought it was a great signing for a team looking to add some dangerous weapons around young Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. McKinnon proved he can be a starter in this league and is everything teams want in the modern Running Back. He can play all 3 downs and is a threat as a receiver out of the backfield. I would be shocked if he isn’t the starter from day one.
He had his best season in 2017, due to some injuries in the Vikings backfield. McKinnon ended the year with 991 total yards (rushing and receiving) and 5 total touchdowns. He is a dual threat back, and I expect the 49ers to use him even more than the Vikings did. I think his production may be doubled this year. It’s time to hop on the McKinnon bandwagon, because this will be his breakout season.
There were a lot of good free agent signings this year, but these are the 5 that really stood out to me. Some teams took significant strides, including the playoff-starved Cleveland Browns. Here are some other players that signed to new teams, and could see an increase in production:
- Jimmy Graham - TE - Green Bay Packers
- Dion Lewis - RB - Tennessee Titans
- Sammy Watkins - WR - Kansas City Chiefs
- Donte Moncrief - WR - Jacksonville Jaguars
I focused on mostly offensive players, because they seem to have more hobby value when it comes to cards. A lot of teams helped themselves out defensively with free agents, or trades. It has been an entertaining off season so far, so hopefully that continues with the draft next month. Feel free to comment on which free agent signings you liked most; Offense or Defense.
-Andre Taylor, Cardsaway Sports