We are almost midway through the 2017 NFL season, and boy has it been a good one. Young running backs such as Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, and Christian McCaffrey have been cutting through opposing defenses while veteran RB, Adrian Peterson, has found new life in Arizona after a brutal stint in New Orleans (but more on that later). The Pittsburgh Steelers finally realized they employ a bunch of Divas, the New England Patriots look like a shell of their Super Bowl selves, and the entire state of Wisconsin is in mourning after Aaron Rodgers went down with a (likely) season-ending collar bone injury. Oh yeah, did I mention that the Browns still stink? Well, I didn’t really have to, everyone knows that.
No matter which way you look at it, football fans are experiencing the best part of the year. Finally, we can use our hindsight and condemn teams for their absurd offseason moves. It could have been a pricey free agent signing, a horrible draft pick, or just letting key players walk. Today at TheSportster, we will look into every NFL team’s most regretful roster move of the past year. Be sure to let us know which of your team’s offseason moves you’re condemning from the past year.
32. Arizona Cardinals – Signed Karlos Dansby
Not one, not two, but three times, Karlos Dansby has been with the Arizona Cardinals. The 35-year-old veteran linebacker out of the Auburn University signed with the Cards in the offseason on a one-year, $2 million deal. Typically, this is a cheap, fair deal for a well-known commodity in Dansby, but he has seriously under-performed this season.
According to Pro Football Focus, Dansby is the 59th rated linebacker in the league and has a ‘poor’ ranking. Based on past performance, that’s not what you want to see out of a one-time Second-Team All-Pro linebacker. Luckily for Arizona, they only have him for one year, and he won’t be a burden in the desert for long. Perhaps he just signed in Arizona to end his career where it started.
31. Atlanta Falcons – Signed Jack Crawford
The English footballer out of Penn State hasn’t done jack this season. Okay, so you probably didn’t read past the lame ‘English footballer’ and ‘jack’ jokes, so i’ll just ramble on for this guy. In the offseason, the Falcons signed the defensive tackle to a three-year, $8.8 million deal, with a $2.5 million signing bonus. Unfortunately, Crawford tore his bicep in Week 4 and was placed on injured reserve.
It’s hard to add a player to this list who is injured, but Crawford was playing horribly before he was out of commission. He was ranked ‘poor’ by PFF and had only recorded three tackles in four games when he was playing. That’s absolutely horrible. I’m sure Atlanta regrets signing him for that much since he’s not making an impact on the IR, and wasn’t making an impact while he was healthy.
30. Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco
Okay, I know we are taking a cheap shot here since nothing has changed with Flacco over the past year, but hear us out. The worst thing about the Baltimore Ravens is Joe Flacco. His accuracy is poor, his leadership is questionable, and he barely knows how to manage his way out of the locker room. In 2016, he signed a three-year extension with the Ravens, worth $66.4-million and over $40-million guaranteed.
I understand Flacco brought the Ravens to the Super Bowl five years ago, but they got there with their defense. After their miraculous win, Flacco hasn’t done anything to deserve his nine-figure contract. Baltimore does not have any offensive fire power and I’m sure all fans regret keeping Flacco around for the long-term.
29. Buffalo Bills – Let Two Cornerbacks Walk
Just for reference, if you are a high school student, you have never seen the Buffalo Bills in the NFL playoffs. The last time they were in the postseason was in 1999! That being said, Buffalo has always had a staunch defense, but never had the fire power on offense to match it. New GM, Brandon Beane, and new head coach, Sean McDermott, decided the team should go through some rebuilding and cleaned house in the offseason. Most notably, they let two solid cornerbacks, Stephon Gilmore and Nickell Robey-Coleman, walk.
Gilmore ended up signing a huge $60 million deal with the New England Patriots. So far in 2017, he had not been playing up to his expectations, but has shown glimpses of his former self.
Robey-Coleman on the other hand is doing great down in Los Angeles. According to PFF, he is playing well above average and is ranked amongst the top 30 cornerbacks in the league. The Bills defense, who were 6th in passing yards allowed per game in 2016, are now in the 20s. I think Buffalo definitely regrets this move.
28. Carolina Panthers – Signed Matt Kalil
Even before the season started, Carolina fans were regretting signing the five-year veteran tackle out of USC. Kalil hasn’t performed above expectations since his rookie eason in 2012,when he made the Pro Bowl. But down in Charlotte, they thought he could be the franchise tackle. Back in March, they signed Kalil to a five-year, $55 million contract with $27 million guaranteed. That’s a ridiculous value for a guy who has put up mediocre numbers for the past half decade.
Carolina’s expectations did not meet reality because Kalil is playing piss poor. He currently has the seventh richest contract of any left tackle in the league, but according to PFF, he is ranked as the 54th tackle overall. Dismal numbers, but what else would you expect out of the Panthers. What a regretful signing!
27. Chicago Bears – Signed Mike Glennon
I feel for Glennon, man. As a conspiracy theorist at heart, I think the Bears set him up to fail. Think about it for a minute. He signs a three-year, $45 million contract in the offseason, and then Chicago moves up one spot in the draft to take a 13-game college starter in Mitch Trubisky. At this point, Glennon understands that he’s truly a one-, possibly two-year transition quarterback. So now, he has to go out on that filed and play his heart out, with no offensive support behind him. Nearly all of Chicago’s receivers were hurt, and Glennon had no one to throw to.
Not to mention, the Bears’ play-calling was horrendous. They never utilized Glennon’s strengths, just stuck to the same old offense. Obviously, as we all know, Trubisky replaced Glennon as the starter on Monday Night Football in Week 5. The Bears will probably stick with the rookie the rest of the year. Damn, sucks for Glennon, and I’m sure him and Chicago both regret this decision.
26. Cincinnati Bengals – Drafted John Ross
Speed kills, but it’s not the recipe for success in the NFL. Coming out of the University of Washington in 2017, John Ross ‘wow’ed scouts at the NFL combine, setting a record 4.22-sec 40-yard dash. The Bengals were extremely impressed and took him number nine overall to compliment stud wideout, A.J. Green.
Now we get to the regular season, where Ross is supposed to make an immediate impact. In week 2, he had one carry for twelve yards, then coughed-up the football to the Texans defense! That’s it so far; one touch and a fumble for the first-rounder. Ross has been hampered by a knee injury in the first few weeks, so maybe he is not at full strength, but I think it’s time for Bengals fans to get a little worried about this draft pick.
25. Cleveland Browns – Passing On Deshaun Watson
The Browns had multiple chances to grab a franchise quarterback in the 2017 class. While taking Myles Garrett, the consensus top prospect, at no.1 overall was an understandable decision, the Browns again had a chance to draft a QB when Deshaun Watson was still on the board at no.12. But again, the Browns traded down and sent their pick to Houston. The Browns would finish the first round by drafting Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku.
Watson looks like a stud down in Houston and is the frontrunner to win offensive rookie of the year. While it’s debatable whether he’d have been as successful in Cleveland, he definitely looks like he would’ve been a better option than DeShone Kizer, whom the Browns took in the 2nd round.
24. Dallas Cowboys – Signed Nolan Carroll
I’ve got to give credit to the Cowboy’s. They made good on their crappy signing of Carroll and released him after just a few weeks. Originally, the former Eagles corner was signed to a three-year, $10-million dollar contract in hopes that he could help sure-up Dallas’ dismal pass defense. Unfortunately, he did nothing of the sort. PFF gave him a 38.8 out of 100, which is definitely a failing grade. He only amassed five tackles in two weeks, and looked like a Sprint commercial, not getting coverage anywhere!
After the Cowboy’s cut ties with Carroll, he has been working out for several teams, including in-division rivals, the Washington Redskins. We’ll see where his football journey takes him, but he surely will not be missed in Dallas.
23. Denver Broncos – Extended Brandon McManus
A kicker finally makes the list. Brandon McManus has been the staple of consistency in Denver over the last few years. In 2015 and 2016, the former Temple Owl was putting through over 85% of his field goals, including eight of them from 50+ yards. The Broncos were impressed enough to extend McManus’ contract another three-years, but they would soon regret it.
So far in 2017, McManus is a whopping 61.5%. He hasn’t even hit a single kick over 50 yards this year. In a pivotal Sunday night game against a winless and injured New York Giants in Week 6, McManus went 1 for 3 and the Broncos got beat down. Now, Mile-high’s staple of consistency looks more like a basket of regret.
22. Detroit Lions – Signed T.J. Lang
Poor Detroit fans. How can you deal with so much disappointment from your team every single year? The Lions signed guard T.J. Lang in the offseason for three-years, $28.5 million, and $19-million guarenteed. Those are pretty steep numbers, but I’m going to go a different route with Lang and say he’s absolutely worth it. The guy is a beast and Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the second-best guard in 2017.
So, why do the Lions regret this signing? Injuries! Lang has battled a multitude of ailments over his career and was coming off serious hip and foot injuries. So far in 2017, he’s been diagnosed with a fibula injury and lingering back injury. At 30 years old, Lang can still perform, but if his injuries keep adding up, the Lions will have serious buyer’s remorse.
21. Green Bay Packers – Not Drafting Offensive Linemen
Gees, the Packers offensive line looks like an ICU. Their starting tackles, David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga, have barely seen any playing time together due to persistent injuries. Jahri Evans is always banged up. Even the backup Lane Taylor is dealing with several injuries. In Week 6 against the Viking, they had to use backup linemen, Justin McCray, at 3 out of the 5 offensive line positions, just to cover for injuries!
Lucky for Green Bay, Aaron Rodger’s covers up their o-line deficiency. Unlucky for Green Bay, Aaron Rodger’s is out for the year with a collar-bone injury. Brett Hundley will be their new quarterback, but I doubt he will succeed behind a weak o-line. Maybe Green Bay should have grabbed some more help early on in the draft. It’s just hindsight, but still regretful.
20. Houston Texans – Letting Bouye and Demps Go
The Texans have struggled since their birth in the NFL in 2002, but have looked like the team to beat in the AFC South the past few years. Head coach Bill O’brien has led the team to three straight 9-7 seasons, despite poor play from their quarterbacks. Fortunately, so far in 2017, it looks like their first-round draft pick, DeShaun Watson, is Houston’s quarterback of the future. The only issue is that last years top rated defense is banged up, and some of their key players left in free agency.
A key to a good defense is the compliment of great coverage in the secondary with a powerful pass rush. For the Texans, they let two key coverage guys, Bouye and Demps, walk in free-agency. Their key pass rushers, Watt and Mercilus, are also out with season-ending injuries. I think the Texans sure regret letting key members of the secondary walk!
19. Indianapolis Colts – Not Trading Andrew Luck
I’m no Skip Bayless or Stephen A. Smith (for those that don’t know, the ‘A.’ stands for a**hole), but I do have a hot take: The Colts need to cut ties with Andrew Luck. I personally think, when healthy, he is a top 5 quarterback in this league. But the issue is that he has a serious shoulder injury and is in danger of missing the season. Clearly, they can’t trade him now because he won’t pass a physical, but they need to seriously start thinking about it.
Luck’s support staff is below-average at best and to think that this type of injury won’t happen again is naive. Maybe they could get a few future first-rounders for him and rebuild the franchise from the ground up. Luck is a perfect fit in Arizona with his former coach, Bruce Arians, since Palmer will most likely retire at the end of this year.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars – Signed A.J. Bouye
Wait, didn’t I just say that the Texans regret letting go Bouye, and now your telling me the Jaguars should regret signing him. Yes, and here is why, his contract is way too large for his body of work. Bouye signed a five-year, $67.5 million deal with the Jaguars in the offseason. Let’s go back and look back at Bouye’s stats pre-contract year (2016). In 2014, he had a solid year with three interceptions and 52 tackles, but his production dropped in 2015 with only two interceptions and 14 tackles.
He obviously played out of his mind last year, resulting in his large contract, but the Jags need all the cap space they can get to bring in a decent quarterback next year. Jacksonville may not regret it now, but I think in the years to come, they will definitely regret the Bouye signing.
17. Kansas City Chiefs – Moving Up to Grab Mahomes
If you include 2017, Alex Smith has two years left on his contract. He will become an unrestricted free agent in 2019, and Andy Reid was looking ahead to the future. Kansas City moved up in the first round of the 2017 draft to snag Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech University. The issue is that they gave up two first-rounders and a third-rounder to jump 17 spots. Now, I’m baffled, but it’s hard to doubt Andy Reid with all the successes he’s had in the NFL.
The issue is that Alex Smith is on fire this year and is one of the front-runners for the MVP race. The Chiefs are one of the best teams in football, and look to stay that way for a while. I’m sure the Chiefs regret giving up so much to pick a QB who will sit behind Smith for two years, or maybe they are using Smith as trade bait and Mahomes is truly their future. Who knows?
16. Los Angeles Chargers – Signed Russell Okung
Russell Okung is a known commodity around the NFL. A rare talent that can protect the quarterback or open up a hole in the running game. The issue isn’t with Okung himself, but the fact that he’s on the Chargers. Los Angeles hasn’t been relevant for several years, losing in close games, and defining mediocrity in the AFC West. PFF has Okung ranked 31st among tackles even though he is the eighth highest paid left tackle in the league. At 30-years-old, Okung definitely has some gas left in the tank, but it would be nice to see him sign with a better team. Personally, I think the Chargers regret this move because they wasted a lot of money on the Pro-Bowler, only to be assured a top-ten draft pick next year because they can’t win!
15. Los Angeles Rams – Signed Robert Woods
Always a bridesmaid and never a bride. That’s the story of Robert Woods career. He played second fiddle to Sammy Watkins in Buffalo but jumped ship to LA once he had the chance to become the featured guy. In the offseason, Woods signed a five-year, $34 million contract with the Rams. That’s number one receiver money for a guy that has never put up number one receiver numbers.
McVay has done a great job turning this team around though. Goff looks like he is playing great and the offensive play-calling is spectacular. While Woods is number one on the team in terms of receiving yards, he hasn’t scored a touchdown yet, and that’s why he was paid, to score. I’m sure the Rams regret spending so much on him, but all-in-all, he is a good fit for the team.
14. Miami Dolphins – Signed Jay Cutler
Smokin’ Jay. I don’t care what you think about Jay Cutler, I’m going to lay down the truth: he sucks. He is one of the most unathletic, underwhelming, and underperforming quarterbacks I have ever seen. His face looks like he has been up all night crying and his soul is devoid of emotion. Leadership qualities are not Cutler’s strong suit, and I know coach Adam Gase is familiar with his style of play, but he was not the right choice when Tannehill went down in the preseason.
That all being said, the Dolphins are somehow winning games. They haven’t scored more than 20 points this year, but have put points on the board when it has mattered most. I fully expect Miami to be under .500 by the end of the year, and Cutler will be the reason why.
13. Minnesota Vikings – Signed Latavius Murray
Murray was supposed to be the featured back after the hall-of-famer, Adrian Peterson, left the twin cities. But days after he signed with Minnesota, the former Oakland Raider had surgery on his previously injured ankle. The Vikings went ahead and drafted Delvin Cook out of Florida State, and he exploded on the scene. He was leading the league in rushing before he went down with an unfortunate ACL injury in week 4 against the Lions.
Enter, Murray time. This was his opportunity to prove his worth! But not everything appears as it seems. Long-standing backup, Jerick McKinnon is getting the majority of the workload for the Vikings, and Murray, yet again, is taking a backseat. I’m sure that Minnesota would have handled this signing a lot differently if they knew Cook was going to be so good, but for now, they can only ask what if.
12. New England Patriots – Signed Stephon Gilmore
The Patriots are pretty particular when it comes to the free-agent market. Usually, they don’t overpay for players, and only sign guys that fit the Belichick mold. Stephon Gilmore is the exception to the norm. In the offseason, they gave the former Buffalo corner a five-year, $65-million contract. To the surprise of all of Patriots Nation, Gilmore has sucked through the first half of the season. Between him and Malcolm Butler, they have the worst ranked pass defense in the NFL. Seriously though, we haven’t seen the Patriots defense this bad in years.
The good news for Pats fans is that most of the mistakes being made in the secondary are mental. The talent is there, the team just needs to get on the same page in order to stop opposing offenses. It’s a little soon to fully regret the Gilmore signing, but if nothing changes, the Patriots will be in full-out regret mode.
11. New York Giants – Signed Brandon Marshall
Outspoken wide receiver Brandon Marshall signed with the New York Giants on a two-year, $12-million deal in the offseason. He was supposed to be the big-bodied wideout that would compliment Odell Beckham Jr.’s shifty, play-making abilities. Again, just like the theme of this article, things did not turn out as planned.
In his first game with the Giants, Marhsall had one catch for ten yards, and had a key drop. After losing the first few games, the Giant’s seemed like they were going to be fine once OBJ and Marshall were healthy. But, New York lost Beckham, Marshall, Harris, and Shepard in Week 5. That’s right, all their offensive weapons were gone. Marshall is out for the season with an ankle injury, and I’m sure New York regrets bringing him in.
10. New York Jets – Cutting David Harris
The Jets were supposed to be the laughing stock of the NFL this year. They had dismal quarterback play in 2016 and came out with a 5-11 record. The goal of the 2017 season was to rebuild. Most experts thought that New York would tank the season and try to pick up one of the top QBs in next year’s draft. So far though, the Jets have started off pretty well, pulling out some big victories. I fully expect the Jets to go downhill by the end of the year, but McCown and company have kept this team afloat.
One big issue I had with the Jets though was cutting veteran linebacker, and team leader, David Harris. He has amassed over 1,000 tackles in a Jets uniform since he came into the league in 2007. Unfortunately, since they were supposedly rebuilding this year, they cut David Harris when he refused to accept a pay cut. He could have been the emotional captain that the Jets needed.
9. New Orleans Saints – Signed Adrian Peterson
It’s hard to formulate a thought with ‘Adrian Peterson’ and ‘regret’ in the same sentence, but clearly, the Saints can. The future hall-of-famer signed a two-year, $7-million deal in the offseason with New Orleans. But, the only issue was that Peterson didn’t fit the Saints style of offense. One, they are a pass first team and two, they have always been running back by committee. With the emergence of rookie Alvin Kamara taking the third-down roll and known commodity Mark Ingram carrying the early down work, there was no room for AP in the crowded backfield.
Luckily for Peterson, the Saints traded him to the Arizona Cardinals prior to Week 6 where he had a monster game. The Saints fully admitted to their mistake, and don’t have to regret signing Peterson anymore.
8. Oakland Raiders – Drafted Gareon Conley
Conley had a slough of issues before he finally made his debut in the NFL in Week 2 of the 2017 season. Days before the NFL draft, the former Ohio State Buckeye cornerback was accused of sexual assault. Oakland still selected Conley with the 24th-overall pick despite the allegations. The Raiders administered their own investigation and polygraph test, in which the DB passed.
Conley missed most of the preseason with an injury but had a solid debut in week 2, allowing only one catch on two targets. Through a few weeks of the NFL season, he has had 7 tackles, 1 pass defended, and 0 interceptions. The Raiders may regret this pick in the future though if any more legal or injury-related issues arise.
7. Philadelphia Eagles – Signed Torrey Smith
It’s hard to fault the Eagles for any moves they made in the offseason. Their new running back, LeGarrette Blount, is performing well above and beyond expectations, despite Sproles being out for the year. Newly acquired wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is shining. Carson Wentz is front-runner for the MVP. Most importantly, the Eagles are at the top of the NFC. So, Doug Pederson and company have made some solid moves.
But since this is an article about regrettable offseason roster moves, we have to choose one, and it’s the signing of veteran wideout Torrey Smith. Maybe Philadelphia just wanted some leadership in their receiver corps, but at the cost of $5-million, Smith isn’t worth it. He’s a solid addition, but may be regrettable by the end of the year.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers – Signed Tyson Alualu
Just like most people that aren’t Pittsburgh fans, I had to double-take with this guy. Who? Tyson Alualu? Never heard of him. Well the Steelers signed the former first-round pick to a two-year, $6 million dollar deal in the 2017 offseason, and I still don’t know why. The defensive end out of Cal has had a less than stellar career, only recording 17.5 sacks over 7 seasons. Plus, Pittsburgh has great defensive ends in Cameron Hayward, James Harrison, and newcomer T.J. Watt.
Clearly, the Steelers were just trying to add depth to the defensive line, but it seems there were a lot of better options out their than Alualu, also, at an a lot cheaper price. I think Tomlin and company will be regretting this decision by the end of the year.
5. San Francisco 49ers – Released NaVorro Bowman
Conspiracy theory alert! The 49ers only released Bowman to free up his contract (4-year, $42-million) so they can sign Kirk Cousins in the offseason. I’m honestly surprised, because Bowman has been productive for years, but wasn’t happy with the direction the organization was headed. He was picked up by the Raiders days later and signed to a one-year, $3-million contract. GM of the 49ers, John Lynch had this to say about Bowman:
NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful. During that time, NaVorro was a key component of one of the best teams in the League and his passion for the game allowed him to quickly become a favorite of our Faithful fans. Thursday evening, Kyle and I met with NaVorro, and from our conversation it became evident that going in different directions was best for both him and our team. Although NaVorro may be moving on, he will always be looked at as one of the great players to wear the red and gold. We wish him and his family great success.
4. Seattle Seahawks – Signed Eddie Lacy
“I could tweet, ‘Today is a beautiful day!’ and someone would be like, ‘Oh yeah? You fat.'”
That’s seriously a quote from when Eddie Lacy spoke to ESPN. Let’s face it, the guy has a serious weight issue. Seattle even put a weight clause in his contract when they signed him in the offseason. It states that for each successful weigh-in Lacy has, he receives $55,000. As a common man, this is complete and utter BS. He is getting paid $55,000 just to not be fat. That’s a whole year’s salary for most people. Just lay off the twinkies Eddie.
Still though, Lacy is garbage in Seattle. He hasn’t produced and was even a healthy scratch for a game this year. Maybe with fellow running back, Chris Carson, out with an injury, Lacy may be able to pick up the slack, but I like to think he will just eat his opportunity away.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Signed Nick Folk
Our second kicker! There is something with the Buccaneers organization and kickers that don’t mix. To get the full story, we need to journey back to the 2016 draft. Tampa Bay chose to use their second-round draft pick to grab kicker Robert Aguayo out of Florida State. A truly unprecedented move. Aguayo didn’t work out, kicking the worst field goal percentage in the entire NFL in 2016.
Cue Nick Folk. The veteran was signed in the offseason to compete with Aguayo and he beat him out. Unfortunately, Folk was not much better. He missed several field goals in a key, Thursday night game against the New England Patriots, and caused the Bucs to lose. He was eventually placed on IR, with the team having every intention of releasing him at the end of the season. Truly a move Tampa Bay regrets.
2. Tennessee Titans – Refusing To Give Kaepernick A Chance
Tennessee’s regretful move has more implications than just affecting the team, but it may affect the NFL as a whole. Former San Francisco quarterback and professional kneeler, Colin Kaepernick, is currently unemployed, most likely due to his social battles with the National Anthem. Whether you agree or disagree with him, there is no doubt his talent alone is good enough to make an NFL roster.
Then there are the Tennessee Titans. There QB, Marcus Mariota, goes down with an injury and they bring in several quarterbacks to add to the roster in his absence. But who’s not invited? You guessed it, Kaepernick.
This led Colin and his legal team to file a grievance against the NFL saying that all the teams were blackballing, or whiteballing if you look at it that way, him. We’ll see what the courts say, but this could have a bigger impact than just on the Titans themselves.
1. Washington Redskins – Letting Garcon and Jackson Go
Finally, we have made it to the Washington Racis… I mean Redskins. At first, I wanted to say their biggest regret was not ‘marrying’ Cousins this year, and franchise-tagging him for the second-time. But then I realized Dan Gilbert has something up his sleeve and it looks like Cousins won’t be with the team next year. Therefore, letting the veteran wide receivers, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson go, is Washington’s most regretful roster move of the offseason.
Of course, they brought in Terrelle Pryor, but he has only given one year of solid production at the receiver position, and there other pass catchers, Crowder and Doctson, are young and inconsistent. The veteran leadership could have solidified an otherwise average receiving group and may have helped Cousins get over the hump to elite QB status.
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