At this point in the season, we can kind of tell which signings are going to work out, and which won’t. And it’s not always the team that regrets a contract, but the players do too. Free agency is a tough cookie. Contracts are really dictated by past success, which doesn’t always lead up to future success. There’s a lot more that goes into everything, including how a player will fit into the system and their potential.
By now, we can kind of tell which contracts aren’t favorable to certain players. There are teams who overpay players that don’t deserve it, and players who are underpaid. Now seeing how these players are performing early in the season, we can decide which players contracts are not worth their success.
Luckily for players who are overpaid, it’s tough to wipe out that contract. Although, they may run into a situation where they have a high chance of getting traded. On the other hand, players who were underpaid have a high chance of getting an extension, or other teams may look to trade for them.
As the season goes on, we may see more players that signings didn’t look accurate to that performance. And some of these players may turn things around as the season progresses. It’s really difficult to dictate a player’s worth after only a season, yet a few weeks. Many times, players look really good after a few seasons. What we saw this offseason, was a lot of guys signing contracts who have a lot of potential, but haven’t shown much yet.
20 Team Regrets: Nate Solder - New York Giants (OT)
This offseason, it felt as if the New York Giants finally patched up their offensive line. Their biggest purchase was signing offensive tackle Nate Solder. Solder signed a four-year deal worth $62 million.
Signing Solder didn’t seem to fix many problems. The Giants offensive line still looks bad, and Solder hasn’t seemed to help much.
Solder now seems to be an overpaid disappointment. While he hasn’t been terrible, he hasn’t lived up to the contract he’s playing under. The Giants could have used the money they spent on Solder to completely upgrade the offensive line, rather than putting all of their eggs into one basket.
19 Player Regrets: Tre Boston - Arizona Cardinals (S)
Tre Boston probably had no choice, but to take whatever contract he could get this offseason. Unfortunately, the market for safeties was very rough this season, making it difficult for some of the best at the position to find a team.
Boston comes off the best season of his career with five interceptions, only signing for $1.5 million. And for a team that just lost Tyrann Mathieu, they needed a safety. But with so much talent out there, Boston really had no shot at negotiating. Maybe the market will be better this offseason when he’s a free agent once again.
18 Team Regrets: Adrian Clayborn - New England Patriots (DE)
If you’ve watched a Patriots game this season, you have probably noticed the lack of pass rush. That’s because it’s non-existent. Adrian Clayborn was supposed to help improve that, but he hasn’t helped much at all. It comes as a surprise considering Clayborn looked really good in training camp.
Clayborn received a two-year deal worth $10 million, after having a massive game against the Cowboys last season. Despite that, he’s a mediocre defensive end. But because of one big game, he got paid more than the average defensive end. Usually, the Patriots don’t make mistakes, but they definitely made a mistake signing Clayborn.
17 Player Regrets: Benjamin Watson - New Orleans Saints (TE)
In 2015, Benjamin Watson looked like one of the best tight ends in the league. He finished with 74 receptions for 522 yards and six touchdowns.
Even after missing the 2016 season, Watson looked good with the Ravens last season. So why didn’t he receive a decent contract?
Yes, Watson is older, about to turn 38 years old in December. That's quite an advanced age for a tight end. But, he still contributes to the team more than the average tight end. He should have been able to receive a larger contract on a one-year deal. Maybe if he has a good season and comes back next year, he will look for more pay.
16 Team Regrets: Aaron Colvin - Houston Texans (CB)
$34 million over the course of four seasons is a lot of money for a corner to play in the slot. Even if Aaron Colvin did look really good with the Jaguars, why would a team want to spend that much money for an inside cornerback? This isn’t a guy who’s going to spend much time against No. 1 receivers. Plus, many teams draft these types of cornerbacks.
Colvin was a complete waste of money. The Texans’ front office probably thought they were closer to the playoffs than they actually are. Now looking back, they probably wish they would have spent the money to improve the receiving corps or offensive line.
15 Player Regrets: Alfred Morris - San Francisco 49ers (RB)
When Alfred Morris was signed, he probably had no idea how many carries he would actually get. After the 49ers signed Jerick McKinnon, it seemed like they were dedicated to getting the ball in his hands. But, that all changed after McKinnon sustained an injury that would end his season.
Now, Morris splits carries with Matt Breida. Morris may not be a star, but he’s better than your average running back. In his seventh year, Morris will be making $790,000. From a running back who started when Ezekiel Elliott was suspended, to making next to nothing in football contract terms, Morris seems quite underpaid.
14 Team Regrets: Taylor Gabriel - Chicago Bears (WR)
It’s really hard to say that Taylor Gabriel deserves a four-year deal worth $26 million. Gabriel was the third option in Atlanta and is getting paid more now than some No. 1 receivers. Gabriel has the speed to get open but isn’t going to be the receiver to take over a game.
Since the Bears don’t have that game breaking receiver, it will be tougher for Gabriel to get open.
Playing alongside Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones, Gabriel was the last of their worries. And with a better quarterback, Gabriel got the ball more often. Now, it’s tougher as Gabriel is much more important to the offense.
13 Player Regrets: Frank Gore - Miami Dolphins (RB)
The value of running backs seemed to go up this offseason, yet one of the best in history is getting paid less than $2 million this season. Frank Gore is older, but his production may be more consistent than any other running back currently in the league. By signing Gore, you’re almost guaranteed to have your running back rush for at least 900 yards if you use him properly.
Gore at an older age is seeing all these players get paid a lot, while he’s paid below most running backs. He probably could have found another team that would’ve paid him at least a little bit more money.
12 Team Regrets: Allen Hurns - Dallas Cowboys (WR)
When the Dallas Cowboys signed Allen Hurns, it seemed like they finally got themselves a solid no. 2 receiver. But, little did fans know that Hurns would become the no. 1 guy. Dez Bryant was released a few weeks later, and Hurns became the big threat in Big D.
It’s been tough for Dak Prescott, as he really hasn’t had that threat of a wide receiver. Hurns has provided very little production this season. The Cowboys decided to bring back Brice Butler, in hopes that maybe he can help get the passing game going. The Cowboys should have spent the money on a receiver who could make an impact.
11 Player Regrets: Kayvon Webster - Houston Texans (CB)
We understand that injuries happen, and Kayvon Webster has had his share of injuries. We also know that the Texans secondary needs improving. Webster hasn’t had much production on this defense due to an Achilles injury, but neither has Aaron Colvin, and he’s actually on the field.
Webster shouldn’t have received the contract Colvin did, but he definitely deserved to get paid a little bit more.
And seeing how Colvin is playing on his contract, Webster has to be frustrated. This team needs a cornerback to make plays, and the guy they’re paying the big bucks is not doing the job.
10 Team Regrets: Sam Bradford - Arizona Cardinals (QB)
All the Cardinals front office can do right now is shake their head. Signing Sam Bradford wasn’t the worst idea, it was the amount of money they spent. Bradford was a decent idea as a stopgap for Josh Rosen, who also has dealt with injuries. But, you don’t need to spend that type of money, considering the health concerns Bradford has had throughout his career.
Put the health issues aside, the Cardinals look like a burning mess. And Sam Bradford was even worse. In the past, Bradford at least looked good when he was healthy. This season seems to be the beginning of his digression as a quarterback.
9 Player Regrets: Martavis Bryant - Oakland Raiders (WR)
It doesn’t seem like anybody knows what’s going on with Martavis Bryant’s potential suspension, so the Raiders decided to re-sign him. Bryant signed a one-year deal, worth $700,000. For a guy who has a lot of potential, this is a low blow. But when you have a lingering suspension, things like this will happen.
Bryant has to be frustrated, considering he’s one of the more talented receivers in the AFC West. He was great for the Steelers but was initially traded at the beginning of the offseason. If Bryant doesn’t have to serve his suspension or is free for next season, he will see a larger paycheck.
8 Team Regrets: Marqise Lee - Jacksonville Jaguars (WR)
Seeing how good this Jaguars receiving corps can be, may make the front office realize they didn’t need to give Marqise Lee as much money as he got. And missing the whole 2018 season will only help prove that correct.
There are other talented guys who are making plays, and helping make Blake Bortles’ life easier.
Seeing the amount of talent may frustrate Jaguars fans. It may have been better to wait it out and extend someone like Keelan Cole. There’s still time to see if these receivers will keep it up, but the Jaguars may not need Lee if things stand as is.
7 Player Regrets: Terrelle Pryor - New York Jets (WR)
It’s tough to plan how to sign a player who has missed a lot of time, even if they have had success. Terrelle Pryor signed a one-year deal worth $4.5 million with the Jets. Now, because Sam Darnold is starting, Pryor becomes even more important. He’s arguably the most experienced, and top two most talented receivers on that team.
He could have definitely found a way to make more, and maybe get a two-year deal instead. On a one-year deal, he’s really putting his future in the hands of a rookie. That could be a good thing, but it could also go bad.
6 Team Regrets: Case Keenum - Denver Broncos (QB)
John Elway can’t be thrilled about signing Case Keenum anymore. But, he can be relieved that they only agreed to a two-year deal. Keenum looked great all of last season, as he led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. But with the Broncos, he hasn’t played all that great. It’s surprising considering the Broncos also have a talented offense.
Elway finally gave in to spending money on a quarterback, and it doesn’t look to be working out so far. He was bound to receive a big contract after last season, but it may have made sense to wait another season to see if he could duplicate his success.
5 Player Regrets: Adrian Peterson - Washington Redskins (RB)
Nobody would have expected Adrian Peterson to look like his old self when he signed with the Redskins. On a cheap deal, Peterson is proving that he does indeed have more gas in the tank. If he can continue to play at a high level, he could receive one more decently high paycheck if he chooses to play another season.
With the way Peterson runs, he has to wish he was making more money.
Peterson is aggressive, willing to go full force with any linebacker. And when you’re older, it’s not as easy. Especially when you aren’t making the money you were when you were younger.
4 Team Regrets: Ndamukong Suh - Los Angeles Rams (DT)
Signing Ndamukong Suh definitely looked great, but it wasn’t needed. Suh may have been one of the best defensive tackles in the past, but with Aaron Donald next to him, he doesn’t have as much of an impact. The Rams decided to put together an all Pro Bowl team through the offseason, using Suh as part of that team. What they didn’t realize, is that their defensive line was good enough without him.
Obviously, Suh helps make this line more dominant, but not worth an additional $14 million. Maybe there is another spot this team could improve on that would have been worth spending the money there instead.
3 Player Regrets: David Johnson - Arizona Cardinals (RB)
There are two ways to look at David Johnson’s contract. He signed a contract before he could re-injure himself, or he should have waited it out to see if he could get more. Number two is correct. Johnson signed a three-year deal worth $38 million, with nearly $32 million in guaranteed money. But, then you look at Todd Gurley’s contract, which was nearly an additional $20 million for an extra season, and another $13 million in guarantees, David Johnson seems quite underpaid.
The point is, if Johnson waited another season, his price could have raised. The value of running backs continue to rise, which would’ve helped Johnson if he played well this season.
2 Team Regrets: Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons (QB)
Matt Ryan is the first NFL player in history to ever make $30 million a season, but was it worth it? Beginning the season, Ryan may have proved why the Falcons couldn’t defeat the Patriots in the Super Bowl two seasons ago. The team struggles to finish games, and part of the fault goes to Matt Ryan.
There are times when Ryan looks like a top-tier quarterback, and then other times he looks mediocre.
Ryan didn’t deserve the contract, considering his inability to help this team win. They make sneak in as a Wild Card spot, but they may never make it back to the Super Bowl with Ryan.
1 Player Regrets: DeMarcus Lawrence - Dallas Cowboys (DE)
Within the past two seasons, we have been talking about how the Cowboys need their “war daddy.” Well, they have it. DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best defensive ends in football and continues to get better and better. Seeing how a guy like Khalil Mack got paid this season may make Lawrence jealous that he didn’t sign a big contract this season.
Lawrence’s value may not be as great next offseason, considering how talented the Cowboys defensive line is. It would have been safe if he could’ve signed a long-term contract in the offseason, securing himself a spot in Dallas for the next few years.