Prime NFL free agency is in the books, with the majority of elite players already having found new teams. With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the worst deals on the market thus far (you can see the best deals here):
Titans sign edge Bud Dupree to 5-year, $82.5 million contract ($35 million guaranteed)
I understand the Titans were desperate for help on the edge after sporting one of the worst pass-rushes in the NFL in 2020, but this is an obvious overpay for a guy who’s never been a No. 1 pass-rusher and is coming off a major injury. The 28-year-old zero-time Pro Bowler was on a promising pace before tearing his ACL 11 games and eight sacks into the 2020 campaign, but there’s no telling how he’ll look bouncing back from that injury with far less support in Tennessee. Dude should not be the 13th-highest-paid edge defender in the NFL. Are the Titans unaware the cap dropped substantially?
Washington Football Team signs CB William Jackson III to 3-year, $40.5 million contract ($26 million guaranteed)
Like Dupree, Jackson is 28 and possesses a résumé with no Pro Bowls or first or second-team All-Pro honors. He’s a good-not-great starter, with just three career interceptions and a reputation for inconsistent play. Could he take the next step in a new setting? Sure, but making him the 10th-highest-paid corner in the sport in the midst of a down cap year is absurd, especially considering the great deal Jackson’s former team got on Chidobe Awuzie.
Jaguars sign CB Shaquill Griffin to 3-year, $40 million contract ($29 million guaranteed)
This is about the same. Griffin has at least been a Pro Bowler and is a little younger than Jackson, but he’s also lacked consistency in coverage, and he’s surrendered 15 touchdowns the last three seasons. He’s better-suited as a No. 2 outside cover man, but he’s being made like an elite corner in Jacksonville. In this market, Jackson’s and Griffin’s contracts stick out like sore thumbs.
Patriots sign TE Jonnu Smith to 4-year, $50 million contract ($31.3 million guaranteed)
This was weird to begin with, and it got weirder (and worse) when the Patriots also added Hunter Henry on a massive new deal. But this one takes the cake because Smith is now the third-highest-paid tight end in the league, behind only superstars Travis Kelce and George Kittle. Why? The dude has some upside, but he’s never had a 500-yard season in the NFL. He hasn’t done anything to merit being in Kelce’s or Kittle’s range.
Raiders sign RB Kenyan Drake to 2-year, $11 million contract ($8.5 million guaranteed)
This is the biggest WTF deal of the offseason. The Raiders have a Pro Bowl running back on their roster coming off a second consecutive 1,000-yard season, and Josh Jacobs is under team control for at least three more years. Meanwhile, Drake is coming off a disappointing season in which he lost his starting job with the Arizona Cardinals and averaged just 4.0 yards per carry. Jalen Richard, who was already on the Las Vegas roster, is likely a better option behind Jacobs, and he’s a lot cheaper. How can the Raiders justify gutting their offensive line and then making a backup running back the 13th-highest-paid player in the league at that devalued position? It’s insane.