Trades and free agency signings might be a few of the best parts of the game of football. Playing the NFL video games of Madden and such, players will always do trades to make their teams stronger, most of the time successfully. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out most of the time with most NFL teams. There are the exceptions over the past 5-10 years that have worked out well. Peyton Manning was traded from Indianapolis to Denver and helped the Broncos win a Super Bowl. Marshawn Lynch went from Buffalo to Seattle and helped the Seahawks accomplish the same result. Sam Bradford was traded from St. Louis to Minnesota when Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season ending injury, looking like the short term problem at quarterback would be solved. Unfortunately, where there are good trades and signings come the really bad ones.
Bad trades and signings are inevitable. They are just bound to happen in some way, shape or form. A great example over an extended period of time has been the Cleveland Browns. They have been trying to find a consistent performer at quarterback via trade and signings since 1999. A team like the New England Patriots may be an exception to this claim, except for this off-season (stay tuned). However, most teams consistently seem to have bad trades and signings that always seem to hurt in the long-term. This list examines just how bad some of these recent signings and trades have been. Without further adieu, we give to the fans eight NFL trades and seven signings that already look terrible.
15. Trade: Sammie Coates to the Browns
The Cleveland Browns have been making moves over the years that have further put their franchise out of contention for a postseason appearance, forget a Super Bowl. They have been shuffling through quarterbacks since the century started in 2000. But this move had them bring in a wide receiver from AFC North rival Pittsburgh. Sammie Coates was brought to Cleveland along with a 2019 7th round pick in exchange for a 6th round pick in next year’s draft. Coates was seen to be a guy to replace Terrelle Pryor, who took off in the off-season for Washington.
Coates had 21 receptions for 435 yards and two touchdowns last year for Pittsburgh. So it seemed like the Browns would bring him in to get more targets and be a top receiving option with Cleveland. In week 1, he didn’t record a reception or even a target. If this trend continues, why did they even bother to get him? Is Cleveland trying to be the football version of the Boston Celtics by loading up on draft picks for a big move in the future? Who knows! But this move doesn’t look good so far for typical unlucky Cleveland Browns fans.
14. Signing: Victor Cruz to the Bears
He was known for the traditional salsa dance in the endzone whenever he recorded a touchdown reception and was a key wide receiver for the two Giants Super Bowl wins in 2007 and 2011. But now, he is seen as a guy that probably will never play again. Victor Cruz was a wide receiver who had some big years with the Giants. In 2o11 and 2012, he had 19 touchdown receptions. But everything changed when Odell Beckham was drafted in 2014. Beckham became a star and number one receiver, Cruz started to get hurt and that was the end of the good days for Cruz in New York. He signed in May of 2017 with the Bears on a two million deal with incentives to make more.
The Bears recently released him before the season started, so fans have to wonder what Bears ownership was thinking. It is a shame if Cruz never plays again especially since his career was shortened with injuries. But Bears fans will have to figure out who their next big wide receiver will be, because now its not Cruz!
13. Trade: Dwayne Allen to the Patriots
The New England Patriots have been known for their two tight end systems that have worked very effectively. Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett were a duo that couldn’t be stopped during the short amount of time that the two were healthy. When Gronkowski went down, Bennett stepped up and the Patriots were fortunate they signed him when they did. Bennett is now in Green Bay and the Patriots needed another tight end to help out Gronk incase he gets injured again. The Patriots made a move (of course) and traded for Colts tight end Dwayne Allen for a 2017 4th round pick. The move looked great at the time, but a few weeks into the season, it really looks questionable.
Hopefully with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and other offensive weapons injured; Dwayne Allen will see more targets. Until then, this can be viewed as a bad trade. But not one the Pats can’t recover from.
12. Signing: Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Buccaneers
Journeymen quarterbacks are very suspicious when it comes to dependency. There is a reason they have traveled around so much. This quarterback had some good seasons with Buffalo, but hasn’t really had success elsewhere. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been around in the NFL since 2005. He has played for multiple organizations such as the Rams, Bills, Titans, Texans, and Jets. He recently signed in the off-season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for one year and three million dollars. The Bucs are an up and coming team with players like Doug Martin and Mike Evans. Then, there is their starting quarterback Jameis Winston. The only possible explanation to signing Fitzpatrick is to have a veteran backup in case Winston gets injured. But with a quarterback that has declined every year, why waste the money on him to warm the bench and play in blowouts? This just seems like a terrible signing for a team that is trying to continuously improve like Tampa Bay is.
11. Trade: Kony Ealy to the Patriots
Another transaction for the Patriots, another transaction that looks really bad for their 2017 offseason. The Patriots needed an effective pass rusher to get after opposing quarterbacks like they had when players like Tedy Bruschi, Richard Seymour, and others suited up for New England. Not to mention they traded Jamie Collins last year.
Kony Ealy seemed to fit that description perfectly. Ealy must have been a big deal for the Patriots to get at the time because they traded away a second round pick in the 2017 draft for him. Ealy had some great seasons with the Carolina Panthers, which included a Super Bowl performance with three sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble. The Patriots figured he could do the same thing for them in the 2017 season. Especially when beloved Patriot Rob Ninkovich retired, Ealy seemed to be the guy to fill in. It never seemed to pan out that way. With not understanding formations and not making any big plays in preseason, Ealy was released by the Patriots and was claimed off waivers by the Jets. They only lost a second round pick, but the Patriots probably want a redo with that trade because it already looks horrible!
10. Signing: Manti Te’o to the Saints
Coming out of Notre Dame, this player just wanted as normal of an NFL career as possible. But that didn’t happen as he was caught up in a bizarre scenario. Manti Te’o was a linebacker with the Fighting Irish who was caught up in a situation where he had a fake girlfriend that leaked to the public. It questioned Te’o’s character as a man more than a player. Never the less, he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers and played for four seasons there. He signed with the New Orleans Saints in the off-season on a two year, five million dollar deal. He had 160 tackles over four season, so he averaged 40 a season.
If fans want to break it down more, that is about 2.5 tackles a game; not exactly outstanding. The Saints have been known as a lackluster team on the defensive side of the ball. But did they really think signing a guy with little production and a questionable background would be the smartest thing to do? It is early, but this signing just looks terrible all-around so far this season.
9. Trade: #2 Pick (Mitch Trubisky) to the Bears
The Chicago Bears parted ways with long time quarterback Jay Cutler as they needed a new direction. They eventually traded with the 49ers to obtain the number two overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. They selected Mitch Trubisky, a quarterback from the University of North Carolina. This pick would have been great…if Trubisky was a phenomenal basketball player maybe. But Trubisky played for a weak team in a particularly weak ACC conference excluding powerhouses Clemson and Florida State.
The reason this trade is so bad though is because they eventually signed another quarterback for a three year, $45 million deal when he didn’t put up any numbers. This is something we will touch upon later. But as far as Trubisky is concerned, he has a long way to go before he is ready to step in and lead the Bears to a winning season. So far on paper, this trade looks really bad for Chicago as they continue to trend in a downward spiral.
8. Signing: Geno Smith to the Giants
The New York Giants have been steady with the play of Eli Manning over the course of his long and pretty successful NFL career. But they signed a quarterback in the off-season that didn’t have a lot of success in New York before and this already looks bad. Geno Smith was a starting quarterback for the Jets that seemed to be the answer long term for them. He eventually lost his starting job full time with the Jets in 2015 and had to settle for splitting reps. He signed with the Giants in the off-season for one year and for 1.2 million dollars. Smith is going to be the backup to Eli Manning, no doubts or concerns there. But the thing to consider is: why did the Giants sign him in the first place other than the fact that he was going to be a back-up?
Geno is a fast runner with an average arm and has trouble adjusting to defenses on the fly. Smith had his chance with the Jets and now will have to wait for meaningless games to get any reps with the Giants. For now, the Geno Smith to Giants signing can be viewed as bad and confusing all in one package.
7. Trade: Jacoby Brissett to the Colts
The Colts were desperate for a quarterback and the Patriots knew they were desperate for a wide receiver after Julian Edelman went down for the season during the pre-season. The Colts traded for Jacoby Brissett and needed to get rid of Phillip Dorsett to complete the deal. What was funny was the build-up Brissett was given because of a pre-season performance. Shouldn’t Colts fans not have to get excited about a player because of what he did in the pre-season? That seems a bit skeptical to Colts fans everywhere. Brissett did well in his two starts last season while Tom Brady was serving a four game suspension for “Deflategate” and Jimmy Garopollo was injured after a Week 2 win in 2016 vs. Miami. Brissett helped the Patriots beat the Texans at home last year.
Brissett is now starting for the Colts but what happens when Andrew Luck is healthy and ready to come back? This trade just looks terrible because they could have signed a quarterback in free agency (like Colin Kaepernick?) and keep a talent like Dorsett in Indianapolis. Maybe Colts fans will get to see the development and progress of Brissett that Patriots fans saw in glimpses in 2016.
6. Signing: Mike Glennon to the Bears
We saw the trade that was very horrendous on the part of the Bears as far as their quarterback dilemma was concerned. Now, we see the signing that is making Bears fans everywhere truly scratch their heads. Mike Glennon was playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first four seasons of his NFL career. He had one close to full season and threw 19 touchdowns in 2o13. Other than that, he hasn’t started more than six games in any season since. So the main question is: why the heck did the Bears give this guy so much money? Also, why would they sign him when they should clearly go in a new direction with Mitch Trubisky? The Bears are on a level right now with the Jets and 49ers as teams that are at the bottom of the league talent wise and do not seem to be coming on the up rise any time soon.
Having a quarterback like Glennon will not be the answer and hasn’t been so far this season as he barely threw for over 200 yards and one touchdown pass. Bears fans better hope Jim McMahon 2.0 comes walking through the door because that is their only chance to compete for playoffs.
5. Trade: Cardale Jones to the Chargers
Ohio State University has been known as a collegiate football powerhouse that has many players having successful careers in the NFL, particularly at the quarterback position. This player was supposed to be the next big thing, but hasn’t gotten off to the start he would have hoped for. Cardale Jones was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The Bills then signed him to a four year, $2.7 million contract. Eventually, he was traded to the Chargers and this trade looks bad so far for a few reasons.
First of all, he will never play with Philip Rivers under center for the Chargers.
Second, San Diego has to pay the rest of his contract to basically sit down and hold a clipboard and headset on the bench.
Third, Jones hasn’t proven himself at all yet with limited opportunity he has been given.
4. Signing: Anquan Boldin to Bills
This wide receiver was one of the most well-known and talented wide receivers to ever put on the pads. He thought he had something left in the tank for the 2017 NFL season. In the end, he saw that retirement was probably the better option. Anquan Boldin had many great seasons for the Arizona Cardinals and also made appearances for teams such as the Ravens, 49ers, and Lions. The Bills signed Boldin to a one year contract on August 7th, 2017 thinking they could still get something out of Boldin as a veteran mentor to the younger receivers.
Boldin retired less than two weeks later before ever playing a regular season game for Buffalo. This one must have made Bills fans sick to their stomachs. They had a well-known name at receiver playing for them, especially after they had Sammy Watkins taken from them as he is now living the life in Los Angeles.
3. Trade: Sheldon Richardson to Seahawks For Jermaine Kearse
The Seattle Seahawks have been known for their ferocious and high-flying defense that led them to a Super Bowl title and almost two if it wasn’t for a certain unsung hero named Malcolm Butler ruining their fun. The Seahawks seemed to have gotten a step slower on defense and needed to bring in a big name to bring some life back to the defense. Enter Sheldon Richardson from the New York Jets, Richardson put up some good numbers while in his four seasons with the Jets, registering 18 sacks. As far as the physical side of the trade goes, it could look very good for the Seahawks.
But the reason it is bad is because it could look like a fluke coming from the Jets. Richardson could have just been a big time player on a bad team. He did register four tackles in his first game with Seattle, but he has not proven anything yet. Pete Carroll better know what he is doing with this young man, otherwise he could be looking at a long, grueling season with the former Jet.
2. Signing: Adrian Peterson to the Saints
The worst signing to take place in 2017 so far has to be a former big time running back still trying to prove he belongs in the NFL’s elite class of running backs. Adrian Peterson was a big time name when he was the face of the franchise for the Minnesota Vikings. His best season came in 2012 when he rushed for over 2,000 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has had his problems lately with injuries and off the field conduct. But, he thought he could still be effective if the right team gave him a chance. He signed for a two year deal in the off-season with the New Orleans Saints for $7 million.
His first game for the Saints came against his former Vikings team. He only had six rushes for 18 yards the entire game. He even voiced his frustration, saying basically how he wants the ball more. If this is how the Saints continue to use him, this is a terrible signing. If his lack of production continues, his signing is a bust for both sides.
1. Trade: Brock Osweiler to the Browns
It should come as a surprise to nobody that it involves the Cleveland Browns. The Browns thought they finally at long last had their answer at quarterback when they traded with the Houston Texans for Brock Osweiler. He never made a start for the Browns and ended up signing with the Denver Broncos for a reunion. The worst part for Cleveland is they now need to pay Osweiler over $15 million while the Broncos only have to pay $775,000.
However where this move really reflects poorly is on the Houston Texans who forked over a second round pick to the Browns just for the cap-friendly Browns to take Osweiler off their books. The Browns tried Osweiler out as a starter, but he was beaten out by DeShone Kizer in camp. The Browns then unsuccessfully tried to trade Osweiler, only to be forced to cut him.
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