After four years with the Indianapolis Colts, Pierre Garcon decided that he did not want to be a part of their rebuilding franchise. The Colts offered Garcon a five-year contract before free agency started. The deal was rejected and instead the speedy wide-out signed a five-year, $42.5 million contract with the Washington Redskins.
Washington was quite active in free agency. Aside from Garcon, they also brought in wide receiver Josh Morgan, defensive back Cedric Griffin and safety Brandon Meriweather.
They also completed a trade with the St. Louis Rams sending them multiple draft picks to acquire the second overall pick in this year’s draft. The pick will more than likely be used on Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck.
Santana Moss is getting older and at 25 years old, Garcon will add more youth to the Redskins receiving core. The Skins also drafted both Niles Paul and Leonard Hankerson in 2011 and will look for these three, along with Fred Davis to be solid contributors in their offense going forward.
Garcon was very limited in his rookie year, but has been solid for Indianapolis since then. In two seasons with Peyton Manning under center, Garcon caught 114 passes for 1,549 yards with 10 touchdowns.
He then took full advantage of Dallas Clark and Austin Collie injuries in 2011 as he set career highs in catches (70) and yards (947). This was done with Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky throwing him the ball.
Going to the Redskins will affect the draft strategy of both teams and the fantasy impact of individual players on both sides.
The Colts will now have to look for a number two receiver and will likely get one on day two of the draft. Whether it is Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III in Indy, they will likely rely heavily on Reggie Wayne until they are comfortable with the rest of the offense.
Losing Pierre Garcon significantly raises the fantasy stock of players like Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne and may slightly increase Donald Brown’s value.
Given that Griffin and Luck have not played a game in the NFL yet, Garcon going to the Redskins does not lower or raise their fantasy stock too much.
Both Roy Helu and Fred Davis will have their stocks rise. Davis was the whole Redskins offense for some of 2012 and will be a great target for whichever quarterback is drafted. Garcon provides another threat in the passing game and that threat will open up some space for Helu.
By adding Garcon and Josh Morgan to the receiving core, the value of both Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney went down. These are players that may and likely will go undrafted in 2012.
If Pierre Garcon is available in the middle rounds in your fantasy football draft, he is a guy you have to take.