NFL teams can squeeze a tremendous amount of value out of free agency and the trade market if the manipulate it correctly. They also can set themselves back by overspending, investing in the wrong players, or flat out not participating at all. That said, I wanted to highlight some of those teams that have seemingly done all of those things. So, without further ado, here are the biggest losers of NFL free agency.
NFL Free Agency: Biggest Losers
5. Cincinnati Bengals
- DJ Reader (IDL) 4 years $53 million and;
- Trae Waynes (CB) 3 years $42 million
Unlike recent years, the Bengals decided to break the bank in free agency. The problem is they overpaid for a good but not great nose tackle, and are paying Trae Waynes more (annually) than the Patriots are paying Stephon Gilmore.
More importantly, they did not address the offensive line at all when they arguably had the worst line in the league last season. I know there are still some free agents out there they could sign, but the light is looking pretty dim for their soon to be quarterback Joe Burrow.
4. Chicago Bears
- Jimmy Graham (TE) 2 years $16 million;
- Robert Quinn (Edge) 5 years $70 million;
- Resigned Danny Trevathan (LB) 4 years $28 million, and;
- Traded a 4th round pick for Nick Foles (QB)
The best term to characterize the Bears free-agent haul is wishful. Signing two aging and regularly injured players in Danny Trevathan and Robert Quinn in hopes that they stay healthy/don’t decline. Trading for Nick Foles and praying that he finds his 2017 mojo for an entire season. I do not know what they are hoping out Jimmy Graham because he has been bad for the last three years now.
Anyhow, it seems like an unrealistic amount of things must go right in order for all of these additions to work out. Everyone points out the 2018 season when talking about what the Bears could be. But at this point, it feels like Ryan Pace is trying too hard to recapture lightning in a bottle.
3. New York Giants
- James Bradberry (CB) 3 years $45 million;
- Blake Martinez (LB) 3 years $30 million, and;
- Placed the franchise tag on Leonard Williams (IDL) worth $16.1 million.
Dave Gettleman making poor roster decisions? That’s unheard of! In all seriousness, it was going to be hard to mess up this offseason because there was not anywhere else for the Giants to go but up. Welp ladies and gents, Gettleman found a way.
Not only, did he miss out at the top players at their positions in Cory Littleton and Byron Jones. He basically paid the same price for noticeably worse players in Blake Martinez and James Bradberry. While also investing in yet ANOTHER run-stuffing defensive lineman in Leonard Williams.
So, did they technically get better? Yes, but like mentioned before, it was impossible to get worse. From what we have already seen from these players, they do not seem like they are going to push the needle enough to make a difference. And that’s why they are losers.
2. New York Jets
- George Fant (OT/TE) 3 years $30 million;
- Connor McGovern (IOL) 3 years $27 million, and;
- Pierre Desir (CB) 1 year $5.5 million
George Fant is arguably the worst signing of free agency. He could not lock down a starting job on one of the league’s worst offensive lines with Seahawks and got paid as much as pro bowler Bryan Bulaga. But for as bad as that signing was, they should get just as much criticism for sitting on their hands and doing nothing. This roster needs help just about everywhere, and they failed to get any.
1. Houston Texans
- Randall Cobb (WR) 3 years $27 million;
- Resigned Bradley Roby (CB) 3 years $36 million, and;
- Traded DeAndre Hopkins (WR) and a 4th round pick for David Johnson (RB) and the Cardinal’s 2020 2nd round pick and 2021 4th round pick.
The DeAndre Hopkins trade was nothing short of horrendous. Not only did the Texans not get adequate value back, but they actually took on a negative asset in David Johnson‘s contract. It was a loss in every aspect, the Cardinals absolutely fleeced them.
Also, like the Giants and Jets, the Texans should be indited for missing out on the top free agents. They had the money, they just spent it on middling players. Now, they will go into the draft with minimal draft capital and even more holes on their roster.
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