Projected NFL Free Agent Busts
The early days of free agency have brought some key players into some key roles on some key teams this off-season. As per usual though, not every free agent signing will work out. In fact, more than a fair share of these players will not live up to the very hype being written about them in newspapers across the country right now.
It’s quite early in the NFL free agency period, but already there have been more than enough trades and acquisitions to put quite a few teams on the road for disappointment this season. As the old adage says, where’s there’s a boom, there will be bust.
Here are my “BUSTS” of the free agency period after the initial weekend of signings:
Before you Eagles fans get all worked up over signing the “number 1” cornerback in this year’s free agent market, you better watch some game tape. Because if you watch it closely, you’ll see that Samuel is not the type of corner that fits the Eagles system of blitzing and one-on-one coverage down the sideline. Now, I have no problem in saying that Samuel is the second best cornerback in the NFL, but he is not known for his man-to-man coverage down the field, and that is what he will be asked to do in Philly. Well, at least that’s what he would have been asked to do in years past. If the Eagles are going to adjust their defense to fit Samuels, than so be it, but with Lito Sheppard having done quite well in the games he has played, I don’t know why they would want to mess with a good thing.
Lance Briggs, Linebacker, Signed with the Chicago Bears:
After saying that there was no way that he would return to the Chicago Bears, Lance Briggs did just that and re-signed with the former NFC Champions. He couldn’t get the money on the market that he wanted, due to the strong linebacking free agent market last season, so he was forced to settle with the Bears at a reduced price that gave him $7 million less than Justin Smith received in guaranteed money with the 49ers. But even at a reduced cost, the Bears still may have paid too much for him. Briggs had a down year in what was a contract season for him, so that was quite disappointing. There may be a good chance that the tread on his tires are wearing thin, because he was not the playmaker that he was in 2006. Thus, I don’t expect much from him this season, and clearly, none of the rest of the league does either, otherwise he’d be on another making more money.
Donte Stallworth is a tremendous talent, but he also can be a tremendous pain in the neck. He was injury prone in New Orleans, so they traded him. He was injury prone in Philadelphia, so they released him. He was less injury prone in New England, but he was the 3rd best receiver on the team, and thus they let him go. After all of that, the Browns decided to give a 27-year old wide receiver who has never amassed 1,000 yards a $35 million contract, with $10 million of it guaranteed. Go figure. I guess they think that this is the solution to getting some of the double coverage off WR Braylon Edwards, but that didn’t quite work out for Randy Moss down the stretch, now did it?