As free agency, the draft, and draft signing unwinds, many teams will begin evaluating their new players. While the off-season is meant to boost their rosters, big gambles and bad moves can end up setting these teams back instead of improving them. Here are some of the worst moves of the off-season.
Worst Moves of the 2016 NFL Off-Season
1. Philadelphia Eagles signing Chase Daniel to a three-year, $21 million contract
The Eagles traded up to the number two pick in the draft to secure their future franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz. Expect to see an intense battle between him and Sam Bradford for the starting gig in Philadelphia. Daniel will most likely be the third-string quarterback on the roster, which is shocking because of his $7 million per year deal. Pro Football Focus discussed his astronomically high pay as a third string. “Daniel now has the 24th-highest contract among quarterbacks in terms of average per-season money, and the 26th-highest total contract value at the position. He has a contract worth more than several starters, and he is a No. 3 quarterback on this Eagles’ roster. Even if you assume the deal was handed to him with a view that he will be No. 2 in a year’s time when Sam Bradford departs and Carson Wentz is starting, that means Daniel will receive $7 million this season just as a placeholder, and then be the best-paid backup in football for the next year or two of the deal.” For third-string quarterbacks, that is a blockbuster deal which will have many scratching their heads.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers selecting Roberto Aguayo (kicker) in the second round
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked many when they selected Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo. Aguayo had a good to average college career there, but that was it. His selection in the second round is an extremely huge reach for a kicker when the Buccaneers had many pressing needs that they could have addressed with their 59th pick. Pro Football Focus wasn’t fond on the selection either. “For a kicker to go that high, a team has to be sure he is an NFL-level kind of special, and Aguayo wasn’t even special at the collegiate level. He finished his college career as the most-accurate kicker of all-time, converting 96.73 percent of his attempts (narrowly topping Alex Henery’s 96.67 percent record), but much of that can come down to the attempts he was making. He was just 20-of-29 from 40+ yards, and at no point did he grade well as a kick-off man, ranking no higher than 29th in the nation in average kick distance over the past two seasons.” This pick was just not smart, considering all the high profile talent in the draft that was still available.
- Carolina Panthers rescinding Josh Norman‘s franchise tag
Rescinding a franchise tag doesn’t usually happen in the National Football League, but that’s exactly what happened when Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman decided to take the franchise tag off of Norman, allowing him to land with the Washington Redskins. This was a questionable move due to the suspect amount of talent present at the position for them now. Pro Football Focus has the Panthers holding the worst group of cornerbacks in the league. While many say Norman was a product of Carolina’s defense, his talent and nasty attitude will be missed in the Panthers secondary. He will join Bashaud Breeland in Washington, who now have the No. 3 cornerback rating according to Pro Football Focus. The Panthers have a very suspect secondary heading into 2016.
- New York Giants paying Janoris Jenkins top cornerback money
The Giants decided that they needed to address who will line up across the field at cornerback with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and they did just that in the form of cornerback Janoris Jenkins. This wasn’t a bad move until the details of his contract are analyzed. Jenkins had a good 2015 season, but nothing even close to justifying his five-year, $62.5 million contract. This made him the seventh-highest paid corner in the entire league when statistically he wasn’t even the best on his old team. Jenkins should be a good complement to a growing Giants secondary, but he was paid way too much money to be a second-string corner.
- Redskins not re-signing Terrance Knighton
The Redskins had one of the best off-seasons in the league after signing Norman, franchising Kirk Cousins, and getting a couple steals in the draft. The decision to let Terrance Knighton sign with the New England Patriots is one that could come back to bite the Redskins this upcoming season. The Redskins were abysmal against the run in 2015, giving up 122.6 yards a game (26th in the league). Knighton isn’t an elite player, but he is a good run stopper who can take up double teams. The Redskins also haven’t done much to replace Knighton besides a fifth-round selection in Matthew Ioandiss, who they are hoping can gain enough weight to make the transition to nose tackle. Run defense seems like the worst aspect of the Redskins team heading into 2016.