The 2017-2018 NFL season is upon us. Every year, once the Superbowl finishes up, we have about one month of absolutely no football. February is definitely the worst month of the year for any NFL fan! But the gridiron gods throw us a bone in early March, when free agency starts. We see Superbowl heroes sign with different teams and scrubs sign with contenders. Then in late April, the NFL drafts their fresh meat for the upcoming season. Fans are satisfied for eleven months of the year.
Each sign, each trade, each sign-and-trade, leaves fans on their seat and everyone speculates on the future of their team. Some moves look great! Like how Giants fans are exited about bringing in a big-bodied wide receiver in Brandon Marshall or how Texans fans are ecstatic about bringing in a BCS champion QB in Desheaun Watson. But there are some signings that fans already regret. Today, we put on our GM goggles and really look into the financials, credentials, and intangibles of some signings that we have already deemed detrimental. So grab a clipboard and some Gatorade, we'll run through the playbook of 20 recent NFL signings that look absolutely terrible!
20 Broncos sign Jamaal Charles
Broncos signed Charles to a one-year, $3.75 million deal in the 2017 offseason. After trading back-up Kapri Bibbs to the 49ers for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft, Denver was in need of a running back to complement C.J. Anderson. So many people will say, what's the issue, this guy was a two-time first-team All-Pro? But Charles is a veteran and extremely, extremely injury-prone.
Despite having a stellar career with the Chiefs, the four-time Pro Bowler has had not one, not two, but three ACL issues, has suffered from at least three concussions, and has had a litany of foot and ankle issues throughout his career. While the Broncos are not losing much cap-space signing Charles, his dependability is extremely low and there were many other options for RBs in the off-season.
19 Steelers sign Tyson Alualu
The Steelers had issues across the defensive front last season, and were looking to add some depth. Therefore, they signed veteran DL Tyson Alualu out of Jacksonville. Alualu, the ex-first-rounder out of California, will likely back-up Heyward and Tuitt and make his presence known on running downs and goal-line packages.
The issue is that Alualu has never lived up to his first-round potential. No Pro-bowls and no All-Pro selections. While he did make the NFL All-Rookie team in 2010, he is truly just another guy. The Steelers had plenty of options to go after, but the ex-Jaguar DT did not seem like the best choice. He is already 30 years old, and many experts believe that he is completely overrated. That's why the Tyson Alualu signing is our No. 19 NFL off-season move that already looks terrible.
18 Packers let Micah Hyde Walk
Packers secondary is known for hawking balls from opposing quarterbacks, but this season, they lost one of their key weapons, SS Micah Hyde. Hyde ended up signing a five-year deal with the Buffalo Bills for $30 million. From a cap space perspective, it would have been hard for the Pack to match this number, since they have a lot of other voids to fill, but Hyde's energy will be missed in the secondary.
During his four seasons with the Packers, Hyde got around 50 tackles a season and had three interceptions each of the last two seasons. Obviously he was no pro-bowler, but was a key to that defense. With Peppers and Guion gone as well, the Packers are young on the defensive side of the ball.
17 Redskins lose both Jackson and Garcon, sign Pryor
Besides the Bears, the Redskins have been pretty much the laughing stock of the off-season. From an alcoholic GM to the hesitation of actually signing their franchise QB in Kirk Cousins. It's like they just want to date Cousins, and can't seal the deal. Does Dan Snyder have commitment issues? Anyways, another big loss that is overlooked is losing two veteran receivers in deep threat, DeSean Jackson and sure hands, Pierre Garcon.
Jackson signed a 3-year $35 million contract, with $20 million guarenteed, in Tampa Bay, where he will complement their big receiver, Mike Williams. Garcon on the other hand joined ex-coordinator Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco to the tune of five-years, $47.5 million. Washington did add a promising receiver in Terrelle Pryor, but it's lack of veteran leadership outside the hash marks will surely be noticed.
16 Vikings sign Riley Reiff
It seems like mediocrity pays off on the Minnesota offensive line. The Vikings gave tackle Riley Reiff a five-year, $58.8 million contract, with $26.3 million guaranteed in the 2017 offseason. They were going to make him the franchise left tackle, as he moved over from his previous position on the right side. But 2016 was clearly the worst season of his career, and his pass protection needs serious improvement.
According to Pro Football Focus, the contract tha Reiff should have earned based on his previous performance was only five-years, $25.6 million, less than half of what he actually earned. Even though Reiff is a definite upgrade from a playing standpoint over 2016, his contract is over double what it should be, making this signing already look terrible.
15 Cowboys sign Veteran Nolan Carroll
In 2016, we saw the emergence of two rookie stars on the Cowboys offense, but to get to the next level, the Cowboys really needed to sure up their defense. They ended up losing a lot of their secondary in Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, J.J. Wilcox and Barry Church. Therefore, the Cowboys signed veteran cornerback Nolan Carroll to a three-year $10 million, with $4 million guarenteed.
In 2016, he had 55 combined tackles, 11 passes defended and one interception. The issue was that the 30-year old gave up a triple digit passer rating in passes thrown his direction. He gave up 752 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 89 targets. From cap space, the move doesn't look that bad, but there was a lot better options.
14 Chiefs Move Up to Grab Patrick Mahomes
Between 2006 and 2015, 26 quarterbacks were drafted in the first round. Out of these 26, only 10 are currently starters on NFL teams, and only one has won a Superbowl (Joe Flacco). So, when the Chiefs moved up to number ten in the 2017 Draft, and gave up future first and third rounders, just to draft Mahomes, experts were skeptical. But we never know what sort of crazy tricks Reid has up his sleeve.
Current Kansas City QB, Alex Smith, was a little shocked on draft night and even described the situation as awkward, since they already drafted his replacement. Since then, Smith has tried to make peace with the situation and continues to work hard in training camp. This QB could be exciting to watch in the future, but right now, the move to grab Mahomes looks terrible.
13 Bengals Draft John Ross
At ninth overall in the 2017 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted wide out John Ross out of Washington. Ross made headlines at the NFL combine when he broke Chris Johnson's 40-yard dash record by running it in 4.22 seconds. But with all good things come the bad, and Ross strained his calf pulling up after the 40-yard dash. Luckily, it wasn't too serious, and he should be fine for the season.
The Bengals on the other hand don't seem to be poised for success with Ross. In the offseason, they lost two major offensive linemen and could have used their top-10 pick to sure up protection for their franchise QB, Andy Dalton. Even with two stellar receivers in Green and Ross, the Bengals have too many issues to be successful this year.
12 Dolphins Sign Veteran Lawrence Timmons
After a decade with Pittsburgh, Timmons signed a two-year, $12 million with the Miami Dolphins this offseason. Back in 2014, the linebacker was one of the best in the league, he was second-team All-Pro and made the Pro -owl. But since then, Timmons has been on the decline. In 2016, Pro Football Focus ranked him the 6th worst inside linebacker in the NFL, out of a total of 59.
The 31-year old has clearly lost a step, but maybe he has a little gas left in his tank to help out the Dolphins' defense. Over his career, he has 981 tackles, 35.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, and 12 interceptions. Timmons will need to step it up, seeing that fellow linebacker Raekwon McMillan just recently tore his ACL in training camp.
11 Dolphins Sign QB Jay Cutler
And the Dolphins signed Kaep... I mean Cutler after Tannehill went down with a no contact injury in training camp. There was a huge uproar around the NFL when the Dolphins decided to sign Cutler, instead of another free agent QB, Kaepernick. But you can't blame the Phins; Cutler had one of his best season under current Miami coach Adam Gase.
Cutler arrived in Miami with his typical nonchalant attitude, claiming that he really wasn't in great playing shape. After making the playoffs last year with Matt Moore, Cutler may help out the Dolphins. But the biggest issue is his durability and his attitude. He is clearly not a leader in the locker room, and seems to hurt his thumb every two weeks. For now, the signing looks terrible.
10 Browns Let Terrelle Pryor Walk
Pryor, the former college QB at Ohio State, had his first full season at wide receiver in 2016 for the Cleveland Browns. He ended up hauling in 77 catches for 1,007 yards, but did not score a touchdown in any of his last seven games. Despite the Browns dismal passing offense, and 1-15 record, it looked like they got something right with Pryor. But in typical Browns fashion, they let him walk.
Pryor signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins (who have some receiver problems of their own) worth up to $8 million. This seems like a bargain of a price for talent like Pryor, but the Cleveland analytics department did not think he was worth it. At least Pryor will have a decent QB in Kirk Cousins to throw to him this year.
9 Browns Sign Veteran Kenny Britt
Four years and $32-million, is that what Britt is really worth? Of course he is coming off one of the best seasons he's ever had, but many experts believe the Browns over paid for him. The thing is, he has never proven to be a number one receiver, only gaining over 800 yards in one out of his eight seasons in the NFL. Cleveland is still in the rebuilding phase, so maybe Britt is just another piece to the puzzle.
It is hard to say why the Brown's took Britt over Pryor, seeing that Pryor's ceiling is a lot higher than Britts. We know what Britt is, a big body who is decent WR2 or WR3, but to show case him on your team seems a little crazy. The Browns still may be the laughing stock of the NFL for a few years to come.
8 Patriots Overpay for Stephon Gilmore
It is not often that you see the Patriots on a list of worst signings in the NFL, but this year, Belichick and crew did not make the right move. Five years and $65 million dollars with $40 million guaranteed; that's what New England paid for ex-Buffalo Bill, CB Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore only has made one pro bowl, which came in 2016, and everyone always plays better in a contract year. But previously, Gilmore had spotty coverage across the secondary. A Buffalo news station even sent him a "Thank you" for leaving Buffalo, compiling a lowlight reel of Gilmore's worst plays.
Stephon will start opposite of Malcolm Butler in the Patriots' secondary. While he is a great player, the contract does not hold up to his playing ability. The Patriots are favored in every game this season, but they could have given a more team friendly contract to Gilmore this offseason or looked for a corner that would have signed for less.
7 Panthers Sign Veteran Matt Kalil
Speaking of undeserved contracts, Panthers signed offensive tackle, Matt Kalil, for five years, $55 million. Are you kidding me! Maybe it has something to do with his brother, Ryan Kalil, being on the offensive line (3rd set of brothers to play on the same line and first brothers in the last 24 years), but experts agree, how could the Panthers give him that much money?
Kalil is a mid-tier starter at best. Pro Football Focus does not even have him listed as one of the top 25 offensive linemen in the league. While they clearly needed a replacement for Michael Oher, the Panthers really missed the mark on this signing. Hopefully, he can protect Cam's blindside and keep him healthy, but the Kalil signing already looks terrible.
6 Seahawks Sign Luke Joeckel
Speaking of overpaid offensive linemen, Luke Joeckel makes the list of terrible signings at No. 6. At his time in Jacksonville, Joeckel was truly a bust at tackle. There is no way around that. He then moved to guard, and failed there too. For some reason though, the Seahawks have faith in the ex-Jaguar to protect their franchise QB.
However, Seattle did only give Joeckel a one-year, $8 million with $7 million guarenteed. A team friendly contract? Yes. But the issue is that the Seahawks have all the pieces in place to put together a Superbowl run (10-1 odds in Vegas) and their only true weakness is their offensive line. Russell Wilson is amazing, but without the help of his big men up front, the Seahawks can't move the ball downfield. There was surely better options available, but Seattle went with Joeckel, which does not seem like the right move.
5 Bills Release/Trade Nickell Robey-Coleman and Charles Gaines
We can see that the new management in Buffalo is cleaning house and rebuilding. They have been getting rid of contracts, stockpiling future draft picks, and it looks like Bills fans are in for another disappointing season. Their secondary is gone, they released Robey-Coleman, traded Gaines, and as previously stated, let Stephon Gilmore walk. Robey-Coleman signed with the Rams, and Gaines was just traded to Philadelphia in exchange for WR Jordan Matthews and a future draft pick.
Maybe the Bills are trying to bomb and gather picks to grab th potential 2018 first overall pick, QB Sam Darnold, out of USC. Either way, the only people suffering here are Bills fans, as they haven't made the playoffs since pre-Y2K. That's right, 1999! 18 years of mediocrity and counting!
4 Rams Sign Robert Woods
Since losing Britt to the Browns, the Rams needed a true number one receiver. Instead of going after known commodities like Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery, they picked up the Bills number 2 receiver, Robert Woods. You heard it right, because I'm sure most people barely even know who Robert Woods is! The USC alumnus signed a five-year, $39 million deal with the Rams. That is almost pro-bowler money!
Just recently though, the Rams traded for another Buffalo WR, Sammy Watkins. Watkins has been injury-prone throughout his NFL career, but members of the Rams medical staff (one who used to work in Buffalo) are confident he can stay healthy. With Tavon Austin being an inconsistent player and Watkins likely to get hurt, it still makes the Robert Woods signing look terrible.
3 Chargers sign Veteran Russell Okung
The Okung signing in LA is seen as a high-risk, high-reward situation. The 29-year old veteran had a stellar career in his early years, but injuries have hampered his progress. From 2013 to 2015, Okung missed a total of 13 games. In 2016 (contract year), he had a lot better production in Denver, but Elway is a businessman, and he clearly saw that Okung was not worth his contract.
The newly relocated Chargers felt that the veteran still had some fight left, and really needed some help after a 2016 riddled with poor offensive line play. They signed Okung to a four-year, $53 million deal with $25 million guaranteed. Even though the tackle has shown signs of greatness, it looks like he is going to struggle protecting Phillip Rivers in the pocket, and looks like a terrible off-season move.
2 Bears Sign Free Agent Mike Glennon
The Chicago Browns - I mean Bears made some interesting moves this off-season. But one of the top seemingly terrible moves was picking up quarterback Mike Glennon from Tampa Bay. The ex-wolfpack QB was taken in the third round of the 2013 draft and had his ups in downs over his first two seasons, eventually being replaced by Jameis Winston. Over the course of his career so far, Glennon has a 2-to-1 TD to interception ratio and has thrown for over 4,000 yards.
The problem, the Bears spent $45 million on him! Of course, a lot of this is front end money and they won't be held down to a long term contract, Glennon is most likely not the answer. To make matters worse, the Bears sold their whole future to move up and get Mitchell Trubisky.
1 Bears Unload Their Future on Mitchell Trubisky
And that my friends is how you transition to the top NFL move that already looks terrible. Bears doubled down on QBs. Some think this a good strategy but they gave up a lot to move up one pick in the draft, even though the 49ers weren't going to select Trubisky anyway! That's right, new San Francisco GM John Lynch even said he played the Bears, and came out with two third-round picks and one fourth-round pick in the process.
Now, Trubisky has looked good in camp so far and even had a stellar first preseason game, but he only started 13 games in college and is a long-term project for Chicago. We won't know for a while if this move is terrible or not, but it seemed pretty crazy that Chicago would give up three solid picks to move up only one spot in the draft. We will have to wait and see what the future holds in Chicago, but on the surface, it looks like this is the top NFL move that already looks terrible. Sorry Bears fans.