15 Terrible Recent NFL Signings: Where They Should Have Signed Instead

Over the past few years, we've seen the NFL free agent market become one of inflation and constant bidding wars. It's one of the most high-profiles aspects of every offseason, and we always see some of the biggest names in the sport change teams. But sometimes the decision to sign with a certain team doesn't always work out ideally for the player. Often, money plays a big role in the decision, or getting back together with a specific coach. While it helps the player's situation in the short-term, they ultimately prove to cloud judgement for players who clearly should have gone somewhere else.

Recently, we've seen numerous examples of this. Some big-name free agent signings haven't proved to work out, and as a result the player is now stuck in a difficult situation. We can also look at a few signings from this offseason and project a subpar outcome. So let's take a look at some of the worst signings from the past few years, and determine where the player in question should have signed instead. Needless to say, they should have thought it through a bit more.

Ranked below are 15 terrible recent NFL signings, and where they should have gone instead.

15 Coby Fleener

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: New Orleans Saints

Better Destination: Arizona Cardinals

One of the most high-profile tight end signings before the start of last season, Fleener has proved himself to be a one-year wonder during his time with the Colts. Going to the Saints, many figured that he would be able to produce consistently with the elite Drew Brees throwing him the ball, but Fleener just couldn't find any traction in New Orleans last season.

While there's still some time to turn it around, it's clear that Fleener hasn't been worth the price that the Saints paid for him. It's very much a passing offense that relies more on wide receivers than tight ends, and the question remains; how good is Fleener to begin with? The Cardinals had need for a tight end, and at the least he could have served as a decent check-down option for Carson Palmer to get rid of the ball quickly.

14 Chris Ivory

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Jacksonville Jaguars

Better Destination: Detroit Lions

Following a couple of breakout seasons with the Jets, Ivory was seen as one of the better free agent running backs in the 2016 offseason. In typical Jaguars fashion, they were willing to overpay for him, and now he doesn't figure to be a significant part of their offense at all. He struggled in his first year with the Jags last season, and with the addition of Leonard Fournette, it doesn't figure to improve from here.

Ivory would have done better on a team with a somewhat defined passing attack, and one that had decent pass-catchers out of the backfield. The Lions may have their flaws for sure, but Ivory would have fit better in their system, rather than being one of the main catalysts that should have made the Jaguars into a competitive team. Now, it's unlikely he signs with another team, as he's currently hovering around the age of 30.

13 Johnathan Hankins

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Indianapolis Colts

Better Destination: New England Patriots

The Patriots acquired Kony Ealy from the Panthers this offseason, only to cut him before the start of the regular season. So they clearly had interest in a defensive tackle. The investment would have been better spent on Hankins, who landed on the Colts roster as a free agent this year. Hankins is a good player, but he alone won't make the Indy defense into a threat anytime soon.

New England's system would have worked for Hankins, who had a very good season in 2016, and he would have been entering a defined role on a good team. While his individual production may not be stalled with the Colts, they won't be making full use of his capabilities. Hankins should have made a bigger push to go to the Pats.

12 Brock Osweiler

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Houston Texans

Better Destination: Denver Broncos

Currently serving as a backup in Denver after being cut by the Browns this offseason, it's clear that Osweiler has hit rock bottom as an NFL player. His failed one-year stint with the Texans after starting a few games for the Super Bowl-champion Broncos was one of the most ill-advised moves in recent history. He never came close to living up to his premium contract, and was traded during this offseason.

After the 2015 season, Osweiler should have done whatever he could to stay with the Broncos. With better leadership, and familiarity in the system, he would have had a far greater chance of not being a disappointment. Instead, he flamed out quickly, but he's looking to make up for it back with the Broncos.

11 Malik Jackson

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Jacksonville Jaguars

Better Destination: New Orleans Saints

Another player who hit free agency coming off the Broncos Super Bowl win in 2015, Jackson chose to take the largest contract available to him, and went to the Jaguars. Despite a very good season last year, it went largely overlooked because of the deficiencies in the Jacksonville organization, which has seen them consistently underperform. Jackson's talents are wasted on a team that is so poorly run.

It would have been great to see him go to a team where he could actually make a difference. The Saints have been on the cusp of the playoffs for the past several seasons, but the lack of much of a defensive presence have stalled them in making a run. Pairing Jackson with Cameron Jordan on the New Orleans defensive line would have been fearsome.

10 Julius Thomas

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Jacksonville Jaguars / Miami Dolphins

Better Destination: Kansas City Chiefs

Once again, this is a former Bronco who made the wrong decision in free agency. This time, it came after the 2014 season when Thomas went to the Jaguars, and since then he's been severely disappointing. He was a touchdown machine in Denver, but that was with Peyton Manning throwing to him, and a far better offense in general. He was reduced to a peripheral player in Jacksonville, until they traded him this offseason to the Dolphins, where that may continue.

The Chiefs would have been a better signing option for Thomas when he hit the open market. He could have played a complimentary role to Travis Kelce, and he wouldn't have been expected to be a prime receiving target like he was in Denver.

9 Robert Woods

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Los Angeles Rams

Better Destination: Oakland Raiders

In what was proof of an inflated wide receiver market, the Rams gave woods a long-term deal with a fair bit of money attached to it. Woods has proven serviceable in his NFL career so far, but he certainly didn't figure to be a prime candidate for a free agent signing. Now he joined a Los Angeles offense that has Sammy Watkins, Tavon Austin, several young receiving targets, and Todd Gurley all to its name. It's hard to figure where Woods fits in, and if he'll play a significant role at all.

It may be too early to tell, but this may not end up being the best fit for Woods. He should have pushed to go to a winning team that could use a peripheral receiver situationally. The Rams aren't that, and Woods will soon regret the move. The Raiders signed Cordarelle Patterson this offseason, so they were clearly in the market for a receiver.

8 Ladarius Green

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Pittsburgh Steelers

Better Destination: San Francisco 49ers

The injury struggles that Green has endured over the last year have really been a shame. After having a breakout season with the Chargers, he signed a long-term deal in Pittsburgh and figured to be another weapon that could sustain the Steelers as a top offense in the league. Unfortunately, he only played in six games last year, and was largely ineffective, with other passing options having been established already.

He was never going to stay with the Chargers, given their abundance of tight ends on the roster, but going to the Steelers proved to be a risky decision. It would have been a better decision to go to a roster that didn't have as many weapons, so they would have more reservations about cutting him, like the Steelers did this offseason.

7 A.J. Bouye

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Jacksonville Jaguars

Better Destination: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Another consistently inflated position market is that of cornerback, and it resulted in Bouye getting a hefty contract based essentially one a single year of play. Yet again, it was the Jaguars who were willing to shell out for a premium contract, despite questionable fit and guaranteed success. Bouye figures to pair with Jalen Ramsey on the outside, but the chemistry likely won't be there yet.

Bouye is the kind of corner that could better benefit from a team with a dynamic offense that can give the team leads in the early part of games. The Bucs are a few defensive backs away from having a really good defense, and Bouye could have been a key piece in that equation. As it is, he's stuck on rebuilding Jacksonville, and will likely be asked to do too much.

6 Lamar Miller

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Houston Texans

Better Destination: Oakland Raiders

The Raiders have one of the league's best offenses, and they definitely should have made a bigger run at Miller when he was a free agent in the 2016 offseason. He was coming off a big year with the Dolphins, but instead was snatched up by Houston, who had nothing resembling a competent offensive line for him to run behind.

Oakland instead struggled at times in the running game with Latavius Murray, only to be helped the great passing attack led by Derek Carr. Miller would at least have been a more talented option, and he would have enjoyed playing on a much better offense. He's a high-volume runner that projects to be slightly underwhelming for the Texans again this year.

5 Kenny Britt

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Cleveland Browns

Better Destination: Arizona Cardinals

At this point in his career, there's a good chance that Britt may only have a few more years of peak productivity. Coming off a career-year in 2016, he'll have to prove that it wasn't just an anomaly, as he joins the Browns' receiving corps this season. The problem is, Cleveland is in a straight-up rebuilding mode, and Britt won't have time to see it all the way through.

Going to a win-now team like the Cardinals, who are also a pass-heavy offense would have been a better option. Losing Michael Floyd last season, they need a receiver who can project to fill that void. Britt still would have made comparable money, and had a much better chance to be productive on a consistent basis, in a better offensive system.

4 Ndamukong Suh

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Miami Dolphins

Better Destination: Minnesota Vikings

One of the best defensive tackles in the league, Suh was going to command a premium price the second he hit the free agent market. Going to the Dolphins may have seemed like a reasonable move at the time, but he seems to be one of the lone bright spots on the unit along with Cameron Wake. Suh should have set himself up in a place that would have maximized his skill set.

Consider the Vikings, who have now established themselves as one of the best defenses in the league. Placing Suh on the interior of a defensive line that is already one of the best in the league would have been devastating. There, Suh could have played on a playoff contender, and still continued to rack up great individual stats.

3 Jeremy Maclin

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Kansas City Chiefs 

Better Destination: Baltimore Ravens

Following the 2014 season where Maclin was coming off of a career year in Philly, he was picked up by his former coach Andy Reid, and was headed West to Kansas City. Unfortunately, with a conservative quarterback in Alex Smith, they weren't able to take advantage of the full extent of his capabilities. Injuries on top of it all plagued Maclin into having a pair of down seasons with the Chiefs, as compared with the rest of his career.

For 2017, he'll be playing on the Ravens, and it's really the team that would have been a good fit all along. Maclin should return to prominence with the more skilled Joe Flacco as his quarterback, as long as he's able to shake the injuries. Baltimore needs receiving help, and had he gone there in 2015, Maclin could have already as established himself as their top target.

2 Darrelle Revis

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: New York Jets

Better Destination: Denver Broncos

Revis' age finally caught up to him last season with the Jets, and he just didn't look like the same player he had been for his entire career up to that point. He resigned with the Jets in 2015, after taking a one-year hiatus to go win a Super Bowl in New England during 2014. Unfortunately, the return on the investment for the Jest never came to fruition, and Revis is currently a free agent.

He should have gone somewhere where he wouldn't have figured to be a three-down starter. Joining a team like the Broncos, with their already amazing stable of cornerbacks would have extended Revis' level of effectiveness, and also given him a chance to play on a competitive team to boot. Now, he's probably done being a key contributor in the league, overestimating his longevity.

1 Josh Norman

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Where He Signed: Washington Redskins

Better Destination: Carolina Panthers

Though Norman had a fine first season in Washington, the fit just doesn't seem right overall. He was released by the Panthers in the 2016 offseason when the two sides couldn't come to a long-term agreement. Hindsight is always 20/20, but it may have been in Norman's best interest to make every effort to stay in Carolina.

There, he could have locked down the back end of a defense that can be elite at its peak. In Washington, there's not much certainty in the rest of the defense as a whole, so his efforts have often times gone either unnoticed or of none-effect to the end result. At least with the Panthers he had a defined role.

While the Panthers should have made a concerted effort to resign him, Norman should have made his terms more palatable as well. We'll see if Norman can make the most of it with the Redskins this season.

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