The NFL’s free agency period begins Thursday March 9th at 4 p.m. ET. Two days before that, is what is known as the legal tampering period, a time when teams and free agents are free to begin negotiating. It is around this time that players and teams can agree, in principle, to contracts and when the offseason news cycle really begins to go wild. On March 7th we will all begin to hear about the ridiculous money being handed out to NFL free agents and naturally, we will hear about guys who are being overpaid. The great players will break the bank and even the good to mediocre players will fetch a huge ransom. There will be older players who bank off of storied careers and there will be guys who had good seasons last year that will prove to be one-hit wonders. Let’s take a look at some guys who will be giving their new teams buyer’s remorse before long.
For years, Adrian Peterson has been among the best running backs in the league. He has frustrated opposing defenses and he topped 2,000 yards rushing in 2012. Peterson has also had at least 10 touchdowns in 8 of his 10 seasons in the NFL, and those two other seasons were drastically shortened due to an injury and a domestic violence suspension. Due to his impressive production throughout his career, there will almost certainly be a large market for his services but the smartest teams will stay away.
AP will turn 32 this month and for a running back, especially one with as many miles on the tires as him, that is ancient. He has carried the 2,418 times in his career and it seems unlikely that he will be able to return to league-leading form after suffering knee and groin injuries last season. Someone is going to pay him big money (Cleveland Browns?) but they will be kicking themselves in the butt sooner rather than later.
Prior to week 3 of the 2016 NFL season, AJ Bouye was the number-four cornerback on the Houston Texans’ roster. Then the Texans secondary was hit with a rash of injuries that propelled Bouye into the starting lineup. Luckily for the Texans, and Bouye’s bank account, he thrived once he started to see more playing time. The four year veteran went on to start 11 games for the Texans after starting only 8 games in his first 3 years in the league. While he certainly proved that he has the ability to be a starter in the NFL, the lack of sustained high level play over the course of his career should be concerning.
Bouye is widely considered the best cornerback in the free agent market and a year ago, no one had heard of him. Ideally, you would like to give top cornerback money to someone who has proved themselves over the course of more than one single NFL season. He wouldn’t be the first NFL player who played out of their mind in a contract year and then disappeared back into the shadows from whence they came once they signed a mega deal.
Alshon Jeffrey has all the talent in the world and the tools to be a top wide receiver in the NFL. He also has a ton of baggage, including a PED suspension and some injury concerns. Despite that baggage, there is a good chance that Jeffrey could soon be the highest paid receiver in the league, eclipsing Antonio Brown’s four-year, $68 million deal that he signed with the Steelers earlier this week. When you’re handing that kind of contract to a guy like Jeffrey, who has had a rocky career, there’s a good chance that you could come to regret that decision.
Jeffrey has only gained 1,000 or more yards receiving in 2 out of his 4 seasons and has only caught 10 touchdowns once. For a guy who has shown such great flashes of talent, he can be very frustrating. Regardless, some poor sucker of a team is going to make this guy very, very rich. And there’s a good chance that contract will make whatever team very, very sad. If you don’t believe me just ask the Bears why they didn’t apply the franchise tag to their best pass catcher.
This guy is something else. He was a free agent last offseason after a pretty solid first 6 years to his career in Seattle. He was successful in his time with the Seahawks and was primed to sign a big-money contract. Then he proved that he is far from the sharpest tool in the shed by deciding to forgo the normal process of having a professional agent and negotiated his own contract. He saved himself a few dollars of commission and signed himself to one of the dumbest contracts ever. On the surface it was a five-year deal worth $10.6 million a year with the Broncos but upon realizing that the team had the option to void the contract after the first year and release themselves from the remaining $20.5 million in guaranteed money, you have to wonder what is wrong with this guy?
Okung’s performance last year was far from his best showing but luckily for him, the offensive tackle class in free agency and the draft is rather thin. That means that the 29-year-old will likely find pay that he should be happy with. The problem is that he has proven to be a real idiot who is bound to continue to show his lack of awareness. The only saving grace for potential suitors would be if he is stupid enough to try to act as his own agent once again. He can’t be that dense, but if he is, would you really want to risk signing someone like that?
There are always some players who get signed in free agency and fizzle out and are the guys that I think will come to look like bad signings a year or two down the line. They may have done enough up to this point to get themselves giant contracts but this will probably be the last big money deal they see. Head on down to the comments section and tell us which players you think your favorite team should avoid.