Teams make mistakes all the time, unfortunately 15 teams made poor decisions this offseason. There is so much pressure teams when it comes to free agency, considering players can come off the boards at any moment. Unfortunately, with that rush to get a player before another team, some teams may not fully think decisions through. And of course, there are teams who may believe a player is a right fit, although there’s a better fit out there.
Pressure from fans, players, coaches, and other people around the league. It’s uncontrollable, it’s the Super Bowl for those in the front office. While the season goes on and these guys can sit back and relax a little bit, players go out and play their hearts out. Everything the front office works on to bring guys to the team, and drafting guys all lead up to the season. And then, there’s those players who may be a decent fit, but the price tag may not necessarily fit what the players actually deserve.
So, instead of just looking at the bad decisions that these teams made, we’re also going to look at the better player that these teams should have signed. During the offseason, there’s always other options, and sometimes it may be the lesser talented player. Because you never know if the lesser talented player fits better in your system, even if they don’t have as great of an impact as you need. There’s so many logistics that go into these decisions, so let’s just look at some players that teams shouldn’t have signed, and who they should’ve signed instead.
30 Shouldn't Have Signed: Jeremy Hill - New England Patriots
This is the perfect situation, where a team signs a player that could play well, but there’s a better fit for the team. In this case, the New England Patriots signed Jeremy Hill. Hill looked great the first three seasons of his career, but there just doesn’t seem to be a fit for him in New England.
With the Patriots drafting Sony Michel, it seems clear that the team has their starting running back of the future. Hill is a talent who just sustained an injury, missing the most of last season, which is a risky sign.
29 Should've Signed: LeGarrette Blount
Hill isn’t the worst fit, but a perfect fit for this offense was LeGarrette Blount. The main reason why Blount is the perfect fit, is because we have already seen him play in this offense.
The last time Blount wore a Patriots uniform, he ran for 1,161 yards, scored 18 touchdowns, and was part of leading them to the Super Bowl.
Just imagine a backfield that included Sony Michel, LeGarrette Blount, and Rex Burkhead, it would be the best backfield Tom Brady has had throughout his career.
28 Shouldn't Have Signed: Jonathan Stewart - New York Giants
When the New York Giants signed Jonathan Stewart, it seemed for some time that they may be leaning towards drafting a quarterback. Why would they spend a decent amount of money on a running back, just to draft one with their second overall pick? Unfortunately, no one knows.
Stewart signed a two-year contract, worth $6.9 million to be the backup. It seems the Giants overpaid for a backup running back, considering it seems like they want to use Saquon Barkley as much as they can.
27 Should've Signed: Alfred Morris
A much cheaper option, would have involved former Cowboys running back, Alfred Morris. Morris was a free agent for most of the offseason, before the San Francisco 49ers recently signed him. Morris already has experience being the backup running back, as that was his role in Dallas before Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension. Morris took that opportunity to let Zeke take a series off, and keep running the offense smoothly. Considering Morris would understand the role, but be able to take over as the starter if anything happens, this would be the perfect, more affordable fit.
26 Shouldn't Have Signed: Dion Lewis - Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans decided to move on without DeMarco Murray, and sign Dion Lewis to be his replacement. Lewis is a much smaller back, who can also play a role in the pass game.
The only issue is that Lewis has only had one successful season, and it came playing alongside Tom Brady, in a Josh McDaniels offense.
Many players have success with the Patriots, as Bill Belichick is able to bring out the best in them, before they collapse elsewhere. Don’t be surprised if Lewis doesn’t play up to expectations in 2018.
25 Should've Signed: Jerick McKinnon
No, it would not make sense for the Titans to sign Jerick McKinnon to a four-year deal worth $30 million, just like it doesn’t make sense that the 49ers agreed to that. But, McKinnon would be a great fit to complement Derrick Henry. Bringing in McKinnon shows that Henry will be the clear starter, but McKinnon can get some carries throughout the game, and play a huge part in the passing game. Considering Marcus Mariota’s struggles last season, Mariota could benefit from a successful pass-catching running back.
24 Shouldn't Have Signed: Morgan Burnett - Pittsburgh Steelers
The fact that Morgan Burnett was signed before many other safeties, proves that the safety position has become devalued by some teams. Burnett is a decent safety, but there were some talented safeties that could provide more production than the former Packers safety. Burnett is not a ball hog, and didn’t even walk away with an interception last season.
The Steelers were a team that desperately needed a safety this offseason, and they showed it by signing one and drafting one. What they needed to do, was find a safety with more upside.
23 Should've Signed: Eric Reid
It doesn’t seem like Eric Reid will ever find a job in the NFL again, considering he was essentially Colin Kaepernick's biggest supporter. It's no coincidence that Kaepernick and Reid both can't find jobs despite being better players than others at their position who were signed.
Reid was arguably the best free agent safety this offseason, yet no teams have really showed interest.
Reid would actually help fill a need for the Steelers, giving them a true talent, rather than just tossing someone in there.
22 Shouldn't Have Signed: Jerick McKinnon - San Francisco 49ers
Nobody fully understands why the San Francisco 49ers signed Jerick McKinnon. The team didn’t have a true starting running back, so they put all their money into signing a third string running back. Some analysts are optimistic, and believe McKinnon could be a great signing. The reality is, that even if McKinnon plays well, he probably won’t be worth the contract. Yes, he can be successful in the passing game, but the chances of him being a 800-yard rusher are slim to none.
21 Should've Signed: Carlos Hyde
For some reason, Kyle Shanahan must have not truly believed in Carlos Hyde, which doesn’t make much sense. Hyde played really well considering he ran behind a struggling offensive line, and the team had a poor offense. Hyde playing a full season with Jimmy Garoppolo and an improved offensive line, could finally get Hyde past the 1,000-yard mark. Hyde has showed flashes where he looks like he can be a top-10 running back. The truth is, Hyde can do more for the 49ers that McKinnon will be able to provide, at a cheaper price.
20 Shouldn't Have Signed: Danny Amendola - Miami Dolphins
Just because a player succeeds with the New England Patriots, doesn’t necessarily mean they will succeed elsewhere. Well, Danny Amendola is one of those players who have seen success elsewhere, but it may be tough for him now at 32 years old, with a quarterback coming off a major injury.
Amendola is not a star receiver, but the Dolphins may try to give him a pretty big job.
At an older age, Amendola may not be capable of taking over such a big responsibility, especially with a quarterback who is nowhere near as good as Tom Brady.
19 Should've Signed: Mike Wallace
A reunion with Miami should have come, as Mike Wallace was a free agent once again. Wallace played with the Dolphins in 2013 and 2014. Each season he caught for at least 800 yards, and in 2014 he caught 10 touchdown passes. If you add Wallace with an improved wide receiver corps, Wallace may find less pressure on him then he did in his first stint. Wallace is also a quick receiver, but also one who is bigger than Amendola and can play all across the field.
18 Shouldn't Have Signed: Aaron Colvin - Houston Texans
Back in 2016, the Houston Texans had one of the best secondaries in the league. Last season, they took a huge step backwards, finishing as one of the worst defenses in the league. So, of course it was a focus to make sure they put together a solid defense this season. One of the biggest signings came when they signed Aaron Colvin to a four-year deal worth $34 million.
Colvin played well in the nickel last year for the Jaguars, but now he’s paid money that a top cornerback would get paid. Colvin simply isn’t worth what he was paid.
17 Should've Signed: Trumaine Johnson
If you’re going to spend money on a cornerback, at least go for the best possible cornerback. This season, that guy was Trumaine Johnson. Johnson may have signed a contract out of the Texans' price range, but they could have tried to give him a shorter contract with more money.
Johnson has played well throughout his career, and now it’s time for him to prove he’s one of the better cornerbacks in the league.
It may be more money, but this would be a better way to spend their money.
16 Shouldn't Have Signed: Teddy Bridgewater - New York Jets
Have you ever heard of a team choosing to sign a quarterback, with intentions of trading him? Well, now you have. The New York Jets signed Teddy Bridgewater, while already re-signing Josh McCown, and having plans on drafting a quarterback. Bridgewater impressed a lot in training camp and wound up being traded to the New Orleans Saints. While some might laud the Jets for taking a chance on Bridgewater and turning him into a trade asset, they could've used the money they had to sign Bridgewater and look to sign a guy who could've helped them this season.
15 Should've Signed: Vinny Curry
Unlike every other replacement on this list, the Jets actually should have gone after a defensive end rather than a quarterback. There was no need to bring in a quarterback, so there is really no better option. But, Bridgewater’s contract could have been used to bring in another player. If the Jets want to build a dominant defense, they need to bring in pass rushers.
Curry is a cheaper option, but a player with experience that could have had an immediate impact. It would have meant more for the team rather than a quarterback to try and trade.
14 Shouldn't Have Signed: Allen Hurns - Dallas Cowboys
Before the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, signing Allen Hurns seemed like a great idea. Hurns would be a much-improved no. 2 receiver compared to Terrance Williams, until we found out he would likely be the no. 1. Hurns is not a top receiver, and is not going to compare to Bryant in Dallas.
Hurns will probably have a decent season, but this is a downgrade from having Dez Bryant.
Hurns would have been a perfect no. 2, or slot receiver, not the star.
13 Should've Signed: Allen Robinson
Maybe his former teammate may not be the star the Cowboys need, but Allen Robinson would’ve been perfect. Robinson’s value went down because he missed nearly the whole 2017 season, but he’s been an incredible receiver besides that. In 2015, Robinson finished with 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Robinson still isn't even 25 years old and his prime is likely ahead of him.
Robinson could easily grow with Prescott, and possibly help him become a better quarterback. The Cowboys would be a much better team with Robinson as their no. 1 receiver.
12 Shouldn't Have Signed: A.J. McCarron
Nobody knows what’s going on in Buffalo. Many analysts and fans don’t believe Josh Allen can be the franchise quarterback, and A.J. McCarron doesn’t have enough experience to turn things around on a team with very little talent on the offensive side. With some veteran quarterbacks available, it would have made more sense to go after one. McCarron basically has to be treated like a rookie considering he doesn’t have much experience as an NFL starter, and playing with a team with very little offensive talent doesn’t help his case.
11 Should've Signed: Sam Bradford
One of those veterans who would have made sense to sign, is Sam Bradford. Bradford may not be the healthiest quarterback, but at least he could come in and mentor Josh Allen. Bradford is very accurate and has a lot of talent, so maybe they could have played their chances and signed a quarterback who was healthy for the one season they had him.
It just makes more sense to go after a veteran, than a quarterback with little experience. Maybe the Bills would still be considered a playoff team with Bradford at the starting position.
10 Shouldn't Have Signed: Ndamukong Suh - L.A. Rams
If Ndamukong Suh’s on-field antics don’t mess with the Rams chemistry, this signing could work out. But, a one-year $14 million contract is a lot to pay, when your All-Pro defensive tackle is looking for an extension. When it came to signing Suh, it didn’t make sense.
Why risk frustrating your franchise player, to please a player who may not last any longer than one season?
It’s too much money to pay, just to frustrate your star player. Poor planning done by the Rams’ front office.
9 Should've Signed: Dontari Poe
Sometimes, you have to cut your budget somewhere. Paying big money for defensive tackles on the market rarely works out. The Rams could've found a solid player alongside Aaron Donald without breaking the bank. Poe wasn’t much cheaper, as he’s averaging just above $9 million a year. But, the Rams could have looked at a two-year deal, rather than a three, for around $10 million a year. Yes, the price eventually is more, but you have him for another season. Plus, Poe doesn’t have a personality that would be much of a concern.
8 Shouldn't Have Signed: Brandon Marshall - Seattle Seahawks
We could sit here all day and talk about who the Seattle Seahawks lost this offseason and how it affects them, but let’s talk about the wide receiver position. Russell Wilson lost his long-ball threat, Paul Richardson, and a top red zone target in Jimmy Graham. So, the Seahawks needed to do something to improve that pass game. Considering Brandon Marshall didn’t play much last season, and is 34 years old, he's not the best option. It’s a cheap option, but not one that’s going to replace these departures.
7 Should Have Signed: Dez Bryant
A long ball threat, and a red zone threat, Dez Bryant is the perfect guy for that. With Bryant being released so late in the offseason, the Seahawks probably could have got Bryant on a cheaper contract than he would be worth at the beginning of the offseason.
Bryant may have struggled with Dak Prescott at quarterback, but he may improve playing alongside a veteran quarterback.
Why go after an aging, injury prone wide receiver, if you can go after one who has been one of the most productive in the past five years?
6 Shouldn't Have Signed: Richard Sherman - San Francisco 49ers
Signing one of the best cornerbacks in the league is hard to pass up, but, is Richard Sherman really one of the best cornerbacks in the league still? After sustaining an Achilles injury last season that cut his season in half, he may not be the same player he was in Seattle.
Plus, Sherman’s now 30 years old, which is the age when cornerbacks begin to decline. San Francisco is paying decent money for Sherman, and he may not live up to the expectations the 49ers have for him.
5 Should've Signed: Malcolm Butler
It will be exciting to see how Malcolm Butler plays in a jersey not red, white and blue. Butler gained popularity when he picked off Russell Wilson, to save the day, giving the Patriots their fifth Super Bowl victory. Butler is a solid cornerback, who has played well in recent years.
He may not be the best in the game, but he would be a solid, younger option that the 49ers could have went after.
Butler will either prove to be overrated this season, or prove that he’s a legit stud in the league. It would most likely pay off signing him.
4 Shouldn't Have Signed: Sammy Watkins - Kansas City Chiefs
It’s hard to believe that Sammy Watkins was one of the highest paid players this offseason. Watkins started off his career with a ton of potential, but has struggled the past two seasons. But for some reason, the Chiefs decided it was a good idea to still give Watkins a big contract. Simply a bad decision.
Yes, the wide receiver options this offseason may not have been the best, but that isn’t an excuse to overpay Watkins. Watkins hasn’t looked like a no. 1 receiver in two years.
3 Should've Signed: Paul Richardson
As a growing receiver in Seattle, Paul Richardson was known for being a deep-ball threat. Well, Richardson didn’t land in the right spot.
A great landing spot would’ve been in Kansas City, where he could have grown with Patrick Mahomes.
Richardson is a young receiver, and Mahomes is a young quarterback. Together, the two could have built chemistry, and built a connection that could provide success to the Chiefs organization in years to come. Plus, Mahomes has one of the best arms in the NFL.
2 Shouldn't Have Signed: Blake Bortles - Jacksonville Jaguars
Would you settle for less if you could get more? Of course not. Blake Bortles played well in 2017, leading the Jacksonville Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game. Bortles was smarter with the football, and wasn’t turning the ball over as much. Him not turning the ball over led to why the Jaguars played above expectations. But, the chances of them making it to the Super Bowl could have been better if they had a quarterback that could have taken them to the next level.
1 Should've Signed: Kirk Cousins
If the Jaguars were interested in Kirk Cousins, he may have truly considered playing in Jacksonville. Minnesota was the best team interested in Cousins this offseason, but if the Jaguars were interested, it would have been the perfect location. The NFC is currently stacked, which makes it tougher on Cousins.
Playing in the AFC would give Cousins a much better chance to lead a team to the playoffs. Plus, the Jaguars look like they may be around for a while after last season’s performance. The money the Jaguars spent to extend Bortles, could have been used to sign Cousins.