Hundreds of NFL players signed lucrative contracts during the heart of free agency last month. But the reality is, many of the teams who signed those players will experience buyer’s remorse relatively soon. For context, here are five 2019 signings that should already be producing regret:
QB Nick Foles: Four years, $88 million from the Jacksonville Jaguars
Foles is no longer a member of the Jaguars. He won zero games and threw three total touchdown passes in four starts as their quarterback. But they handed him $30.5 million anyway, and they’re now paying him $18.8 million to play for the Chicago Bears. Why invest in a guy if you’re going to give up on him so quickly? The Jags got caught committing a desperate and foolish act.
RB Le’Veon Bell: Four years, $52.5 million from the New York Jets
Among 28 running backs who averaged at least 10 rushing attempts per team game played in 2019, Bell ranked dead-last with a yards-per-carry average of 3.2. It’s a pretty obvious sign that he’s running out of gas, after his YPC dropped from 4.9 in 2016 to 4.0 in 2017 before he held out for the entire 2018 season. The 28-year-old was worked to the bone in 2014, 2016, and 2017. It’s a joke that he’s the highest-paid running back in the AFC.
OT Bobby Hart: Three years, $16.2 million from the Cincinnati Bengals
Nobody was talking about Hart as free agency got underway in 2019. Nobody was even thinking about him. Many likely forgot he was in the league, and many never realized he was there in the first place. In terms of Pro Football Focus grading, Hart has never ranked better than 70th among no more than 86 qualified players in the league at his position, which is why it was so weird the Bengals gave him starter money on a long-term deal. He was once again a mess in 2019.
Edge Trey Flowers: Five years, $90 million from the Detroit Lions
It’s not as though Flowers was a liability in 2019, but the Lions made him the fifth-highest-paid edge defender in the NFL in hopes that he would turn into a star and transform their defense. Instead, he recorded just seven sacks and 21 quarterback hits in 15 games, while the Detroit defense ranked 31st in the NFL. It was yet another reminder that free agency is almost never a cure.
LB C.J. Mosley: Five years, $85 million from the New York Jets
Mosley is also a good player. In fact, he’s the best player on this list and could easily be an All-Pro in 2020. But the fact is the Jets paid insane money to an off-ball linebacker who had just six forced fumbles in five NFL seasons. And then Mosley missed virtually the entire 2019 campaign due to injury. At this point, that looks like a terrible investment.