While there were some excellent free agent signings from both a value and on field upgrade perspective in week one of free agency, there were some real head scratchers too. To be fair when you’re competing in an open market you have to overspend to land the guys that everyone wants. Still, these deals feel like questionable investments:
10. Pernell McPhee, OLB, Chicago Bears: 5 years, $39 million
McPhee is a good player and this could turn out to be a good signing but this contract feels like an investment in what he could become. His stock in trade is as a pass rushing specialist and yet in four seasons his best production was just 7.5 sacks. In fact, in four seasons he’s averaged just 4.5 sacks per year. If he becomes a double digit sack guy this contract will be good value, but if he keep his production in line with his career averages so far this is a gross overpay.
9. Jared Odrick, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 years, $42.5 million
Consider that Nick Fairley got 1 year for $5 million, Vince Wilfork got 2 years for $9 million and Terrance Knighton got 1 year for $4 million. Odrick is a a good player but the Jaguars got him by paying a ridiculous amount more than most teams would need to. In 5 seasons Odrick has 16.5 sacks and decent ability against the run.
8. Kareem Jackson, CB, Houston Texans: 4 years $34 million
Is Jackson really worth almost $9 million per year? The Texans had to do what they had to do to keep him, but he’s getting paid like a top 10 corner.
7. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Miami Dolphins: 6 years, $114 million
He’s getting paid like he’s a quarterback. Suh will make an impact on the field but he’s not worth this kind of contract. No non quarterback is.
6. Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets: 5 years, $70 million
Revis will be 30 before the season starts and this contract could in theory take him until he’s 35. He’ll never see the entirety of this contract, though. His second stint with the Jets will be more costly and much less productive.
5. Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: 3 years $11.5 million
You sign DeMarco Murray to that massive deal and you already have Darren Sproles. Why not draft a guy on a lower salary to be in the mix here? Once Murray was signed this pick up made no sense. Not to mention that’s a significant amount to pay at a position where players are a dime a dozen and he’s a big injury risk.
4. DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia Eagles 5 years, $40 million
Murray is a fantastic player, but why him over LeSean McCoy? Paying $8 million a year to a running back borders on insanity in the modern day NFL. Especially when we’ll expect to see Sproles and Mathews see a fair number of snaps as well.
3. Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 years, $46 million
Jimmy Graham’s contract was 4 years for $40 million. That sounds like a bargain compared to this one. And take Thomas away from Peyton Manning, he won’t be nearly as productive with the Jags. A massive overpay. Thomas has never caught more than 65 passes in a year with Manning. Any guesses is to how that goes with Blake Bortles?
2. Brian Orakpo, OLB, Tennessee Titans: 4 years $32 million
Orakpo is coming off a miserable injury filled season and he didn’t play at all in 2012 either. The assumption that he’ll return to past form is a huge risk.
1. Byron Maxwell, CB, Philadelphia Eagles: 6 years $63 million
Maxwell is a good corner in the NFL. Being away from Seattle’s supporting cast will be a major challenge, though, and living up to this contract with a much weaker teammates will be close to impossible.