About one week into free agency, here’s a look at five contracts that could force teams to experience buyer’s regret before long.
New York Giants sign DE Olivier Vernon to a five-year, $85 million contract with $52 million guaranteed
It’s the fourth-highest guarantee for a defensive player in all of football, which is just insane for a four-year veteran who has just 14 sacks in his last 32 starts and has never been to a Pro Bowl. He’s a good pass-rusher, not yet a great one. In fact, he might never turn into a great one. But nowadays, premiums are placed on quarterbacks and those who chase them. And Vernon has a lot of upside in that second area. Still, too much money.
Houston Texans sign QB Brock Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million contract with $37 million guaranteed
Again, I know premiums go to quarterbacks and those who chase them. Quarterbacks in particular. And Osweiler picked a hell of a time to become an unrestricted free agent at that position. But again, that kind of money is insane for a guy who didn’t enter the league with particularly high expectations and has started just seven games ever since. Right place, right time. This could come back to haunt the Texans, who might have been better off investing in a high draft pick.
New York Giants sign CB Janoris Jenkins to a five-year, $62.5 million contract with $28.8 million guaranteed
I actually love what the Giants have done this offseason. Quite simply, they had an obligation to overpay defenders and that’s exactly what they did. I think Jenkins has a chance to make some big plays on the back end for that defense. Still, he’s inconsistent and often unreliable in coverage, which makes it a little silly that he’s being paid substantially more than every other free-agent corner, including the steady Sean Smith, the Pro Bowler Adam Jones and the young and talented Casey Hayward.
New Orleans Saints sign TE Coby Fleener to a five-year, $36 million contract with $18 million guaranteed
The 2012 second-round pick has never had 60 catches or 750 yards and he’s struggled to stay healthy, yet he’s now the seventh highest-paid tight end in the game when it comes to guaranteed money. Ladarius Green might be more talented with more upside, and he signed in Pittsburgh for less than a third of the guaranteed price.
Atlanta Falcons sign WR Mohamed Sanu to a four-year, $32.5 million contract with $14 million guaranteed
He did have a solid 2014 season but has still never gone over 1,000 yards and he was relegated to a No. 3 role in Cincinnati in 2015, finishing with only 394 yards and zero touchdowns. And yet Sanu is being paid as well as stars like DeSean Jackson ($24 million over four years with $16 million guaranteed) and Eric Decker ($36 million over five years with $15 million guaranteed).