I want to preface by saying that this is a VERY long recap, so if you are not interested in looking at my opinions on all of the free-agent signings I would ctrl. F your favorite players and read their recaps rather than reading the entire piece (and I know that Carlos Dunlap is not on here, so quick recap yes I liked the signing, he was great last year for the Seahawks and will likely continue to fit in their scheme).
- Trent Williams, LT, San Francisco 49ers
Deal: 6 yr., $138M
The Niners locked Williams up with a mega deal that keeps him in town until the 2027 offseason. That is a lot of money to throw at an offensive tackle that is over 30 years old and has struggled with injuries. There is absolutely nothing wrong with locking up a premier offensive tackle as they are hard to find, but again this is a lot of money to throw at a 32 year old offensive tackle with health concerns.
- Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Deal: 4 yr., $68M
This was a great re-signing for Tampa Bay, Barrett was a breakout star in 2019, leading the league in sacks while making an All-Pro appearance as well. While he might not have made that same impact in 2020, the Bucs might not have been able to reach the Super Bowl without Barrett. He is that crucial. I do not think it is too much money at all, Barrett is only 28 and has shown no injury issues.
- Mitchell Schwartz, RT, Free Agent
Why has Schwartz not been picked up yet? In the past five seasons Schwartz has four All-Pro appearances, three on the second team and one on the first team. Admittedly, his 2020 season was a big downer, Schwartz not only struggled on the field but had injury problems as well. With all this in mind, the Chiefs parted ways so as to save cap space and get a fresh start on their abysmal offensive line. The Giants or Dolphins could really use Schwartz, and it is very confusing to me that he is still on the market.
- Daniel Sorensen, SS, Kansas City Chiefs
Deal: 1 yr., $2.46M
Daniel Sorensen is an unsung hero of this defense, but he was not paid like one at all. While I of course like the fact that the Chiefs decided to retain their stud defensive player, why not lock Sorensen up for a few more years? Conversely, I am glad that the Chiefs did not overpay for Sorensen either, but $2.46M over only one year is underpaid.
- Jurrell Casey, DT, Free Agent
One of the most peculiar offseason moves of 2019 was the Tennessee Titans trading away Jurrell Casy to the Denver Broncos for only a seventh round pick. Considering that Casey has made multiple Pro Bowls and has been the rock of the Titans’ defensive line, it seemed like Casey should have drawn more value. Casey was then released immediately following the 2020 season due to injury, which makes me wonder if Casey is getting himself run out of town everywhere he goes, especially since he has failed to land a deal.
- Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Las Vegas Raiders
Deal: 2 yr., $26M
This signing seems a little rash and desperate from Las Vegas, this is a lot of money to throw at an edge rusher who seems to not stick on any team he has been on, and has been outspoken in his career. It is completely possible that Ngakoue’s contract could actually match his play, but I feel like this signing was a bigger risk that the Raiders did not necessarily need to take.
- Corey Linsley, C, Los Angeles Chargers
Deal: 5 yr., $62.5M
The second offensive lineman to get a massive contract came off of the board very quickly, the Chargers nabbed the talented center within hours of free agency starting. I like the signing for LA, and I do not think they overpaid. My main concern is how much of a loss this is for Green Bay, thank God they re-signed David Bakhtiari or they would be screwed until they can remake their offensive line. But overall, good job by the Chargers for filling a position of need.
- Kyle Van Noy, ILB, New England Patriots
Deal: 2 yr., $12M
The Dolphins awkwardly cut Van Noy after signing him to a mega deal in the 2020 offseason, this left a very talented player on the board for free agency. The Patriots really missed what Van Noy in the 2020 season, and I am sure they were very glad to have him back in 2021. This is yet another example of a former Patriots player being unsuccessfully funneled into Miami or Detroit and almost immediately fizzles out, maybe the coaches should start exploring some more original ideas.
- Trey Hendrickson, DE, Cincinnati Bengals
Deal: 4 yr., $60M
Trey Hendrickson had a breakout year in New Orleans, leading the league in sacks for a while and being a presence on the New Orleans line alongside Cameron Jordan and Sheldon Rankins. My worry is that this is way too much money to throw at Hendrickson after only one good season, 15 million dollars a year is far too much money. I think it is very likely that Cincinnati ends up regretting this signing if he is a one hit wonder.
- Xavier Rhodes, CB, Indianapolis Colts
Deal: 1 yr., $6.5M
Xavier Rhodes had many great years with the Minnesota Vikings early in his career, and started to go steadily downhill all the way until 2019 when he posted one of the absolute worst cornerback seasons possible, and somehow still managed to make a Pro Bowl (further magnifying the stupidity of the Pro Bowl). This all being said, Rhodes bounced back hard in 2020 with the Colts, and I expected him to cash out in free agency. A one year prove it deal with the Colts is very smart, this ensures that Rhodes really has returned to form.
- Olivier Vernon, DE, Free Agent
I really do not understand why Olivier Vernon is left unsigned. He may have been overpaid before, but that does not mean he will get overpaid again. After all, he is a very good to great player that just had a breakout season a few years ago with the Giants. Somebody should really capitalize on the fact that he is available, he is a great player. I guess it is also possible that his play was masked by the intense force that is Myles Garrett, we have seen it before with situations such as Bud Dupree with T.J. Watt, and Leonard Floyd with Aaron Donald.
- Joe Thuney, G, Kansas City Chiefs
Deal: 5 yr., $80M
Clearly I underestimated the value of Thuney on the free agent market, but even with that being said this just seems like way too much money for a team that is already paying $500M to Patrick Mahoems. If I were the Chiefs, I would rather keep Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher than go out and get Joe Thuney for 80 mil. That being said I do believe that Thuney is a great player who can really help this offensive line, it is simply just too much money.
- John Johnson, SS, Cleveland Browns
Deal: 3 yr., $33.75M
God what a great signing, John Johnson had an amazing set of seasons recently with the Los Angeles Rams, the final year of which he was a core piece in the best defense in the NFL. The deal that the Browns have signed him to is very reasonable for the type of player he is, and Johnson is still extremely young. This was the start of what is turning out to be an amazing offseason for the Browns, with Johnson they can finally start cooking with gas.
- Casey Hayward, CB, Free Agent
Boy this cut by the Chargers made me upset, the Chargers are really terrible at properly utilizing the talent that they have on their roster, but I have given them props in the past for their usage of Hayward, he has been a borderline star for this secondary. While Hayward did have a bad 2020 season, he still has potential to improve. He is only 31 and one year removed from one of his great seasons. Hayward even made the PFF 2010’s Decade Team, which when you consider that there are corners like Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman in the 2010’s, that is extremely impressive.
- Melvin Ingram, OLB, Free Agent
What is going on with Melvin Ingram right now? Ingram is a talented pass rusher who has been playing for the Chargers for 9 years, all 9 of them being at an above average level. Ingram is a good bargain buy for any team looking for a veteran presence to maybe help the younger guys along. Ingram is 31 years old, and only one year removed from a Pro Bowl season.
- Anthony Harris, FS, Philadelphia Eagles
Deal: 1 yr., $4M
Anthony Harris received an 11 million dollar franchise tag from the Minnesota Vikings prior to the 2020 season, and subsequently received a middling one year prove it deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. I don’t really understand why though, Harris did not have an amazing season but he did not have a terrible season by any means. If Mike Hilton can get over 8 million in 2021 from the Bengals, then Harris is definitely worth more than 4 million. Good job on getting a bargain, bad job of only signing him for one year.
- Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Deal: 1 yr., $8M
Really only one year? While I was not necessarily disappointed or stunned by the fact that Gronk only got a one year extension with the Bucs, it does make sense since Gronk’s health and retirement questions are all in the picture. Gronk and Brady once again had a pretty solid connection in the 2020 season, even with Gronk’s slow start. Gronkowski and Brady are pretty much a package set, and if Brady stays I think it is safe to say that Gronk stays as well.
- Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Minnesota Vikings
Deal: 2 yr., $12M
Tomlinson has steadily improved throughout his young career to the point where he can now be considered an above average (maybe even Pro Bowl in the future) defensive lineman. The Tomlinson signing comes at a good price for Minnesota and provides a pretty good replacement for former defensive lineman Linval Joseph who is now on the Los Angeles Chargers. If I had one criticism I would say that I think they should have given Tomlinson three or four years instead of just two.
- Bud Dupree, OLB, Tennessee Titans
Deal: 5 yr., $82.5M
Did the Titans overpay for Bud Dupree? No. No. Absolutely not. This was a perfect deal, the Titans are definitely in need of a defensive leader now that there is no longer a defensive leader like Jurrell Casey in the lineup. Dupree is an amazing player that improves each and every year, and at this point he is an elite pass rusher who does not get the respect he deserves. The one concern I would have is that Dupree is a little bit of an injury risk, but I fully believe that the upside compensates for the downside.
- Sheldon Rankins, DT, New York Jets
Deal: 2 yr., $11M
This is a pretty modestly good deal for Rankins who while he has been talented, he has not been without his bad moments. I believe he is perfect for the Jets as they begin to start to begin the rebuilding process with young players such as Rankins. The contract length and value are good, and Rankins is a pretty OK defensive tackle. Rankins also has some minor injury concerns which is something the Jets should just keep in the back of their minds. Overall, it’s a good signing for the Jets.
- Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Free Agent
To be quite honest I am not surprised at all that Jadeveon Clowney is still on the open market, after finally getting a short deal with the Titans he had a very quiet year, mind you this was after the offseason where he wanted $15M per year. Clowney has also seemed to be run out of whatever town he is in, it was a huge red flag to me that a front office as good as the Seattle Seahawks decided not to keep him around, and it looks like that was not unwarranted based on his 2020 season.
- Will Fuller, WR, Miami Dolphins
Deal: 1 yr., $10.6M
The Fuller deal was a bit of a gamble in my opinion, and I do not think it helps out the problem that the Dolphins have, that problem being not having a number one receiver. Will Fuller is not a number one receiver, while he is a game changer he is never fully healthy and is not as consistent as a dominant receiver should be. It is a good signing, but it just isn’t enough.
- David Andrews, C, New England Patriots
Deal: 4 yr., $19M
I love this deal for the Patriots, while they may not have been able to retain their best offensive lineman in Joe Thuney, they were at least able to lock up David Andrews for four years. The Pats get Andrews on a very cheap deal, certainly less than the massive deal that Joe Thuney was awarded ($61M more than Andrews). Overall, great job by the Pats for locking up Andrews on a very reasonable deal.
- Tyson Alualu, DE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Deal: 2 yr.
While the money of this deal is not yet available, there is still plenty to look into with this signing. Alualu is an eleven year veteran who had one of the best years of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers last season. As long as this deal does not come with a hefty price tag, I think the Steelers made a good move by securing this veteran player for a couple more years. As a side note, even though this was a good signing nothing is going to make up for the massive hole left by pass rusher Bud Dupree.
- Matt Judon, OLB, New England Patriots
Deal: 4 yr., $54.5M
Judon has been a good pass rusher for the past few years, but he has been a little bit overrated in his recent years being outplayed by former teammate Tyus Bowser in 2020. That being said, the Patriots were able to fill a position of need with a long term deal. Even so, this was way too much money to throw Judon’s way. 54.5 million dollars for a barely pro bowl edge rusher is a big stretch in my opinion. The signing was also a little extraneous because the Pats were also able to lock up Kyle Van Noy, but there have definitely been worse signings.
- Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Deal: 2 yr., $10.4M
Carson is a very good back, there is no denying that. The undrafted player from 2018 quickly outplayed early round pick Rashaad Penny for the starting role, and has been a borderline Pro Bowl starter since. That being said, Carson has his injury demons, and boy does he have a lot of them. Carson missed three games in 2019 and four games in 2020. While he did not miss any games in his rookie year, he was still on the injury report, which is significant. This signing is good insurance, the Seahawks can easily cut bait in two years if Carson ends up being too injured, or has falling production, and he can be easily re-signed if he ends up becoming a star.
- Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots
Deal: 3 yr., $37.5M
So this was not a bad signing at all, but this signing has similar warnings and red flags to Chris Carson, he’s a great player that doesn’t last for 16 games. The other really weird thing about this signing is that the Patriots also threw big big money to tight end Jonnu Smith. This might seem good because the Patriots do utilize the two tight end set a lot, but keep in mind that this is over 80 million dollars thrown at two maybe B+ level tight ends. That’s kind of ridiculous.
- Matt Feiler, RT, Los Angeles Chargers
Deal: 3 yr., $21M
Feiler has been an above average offensive lineman who most recently played for the premier Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line. While this might make it seem like this wasn’t a good signing, I couldn’t disagree more. 7 Million dollars for a slightly above average offensive lineman who has been bouncing around the league since 2014, after being undrafted. Good on the Chargers for signing a premier center in Corey Linsley, bad on them by throwing way too much money at Feiler.
- William Jackson, CB, Washington Football Team
Deal: 3 yr., $40.5M
Jackson has improved each and every year to the point where he has finally made it to a Pro Bowl level. Jackson is a good add by Washington, but even so this is a little too much money to throw at a young player who is still slightly unproven. A case can be made that there is no reason to doubt this deal especially since he is a pretty decent upgrade over former Washington cornerback Ronald Darby, and I am not necessarily disagreeing with this take at all. This is a “wait and see” deal to me.
- Tyus Bowser, OLB, Baltimore Ravens
Deal: 4 yr., $22M
Tyus Bowser is up for a massive season, good job by the Baltimore Ravens for re-signing him to a long term deal worth only about $5.5M per year. The Tyus Bowser signing was the best offseason move by the Ravens, and I might argue that it was the best move of the entire offseason. I can almost guarantee that the Ravens and all Ravens fans will not regret this signing at all, and I believe it is possible that Tyus Bowser is a Pro Bowler, or maybe even an All-Pro player in 2021 and beyond.
- John Brown, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
Deal: 1 yr., $3.75M
The Raiders are doing themselves a big favor by having John Brown on their roster, Brown is a very consistent player when healthy and comes at a reasonable cost. If either Henry Ruggs, Hunter Renfrow, or Bryan Edwards do not end up working out as expected, the Raiders will be able to slot in Brown without that big of a talent dropoff at all. I almost think that Brown is still worthy of a starting job somewhere, but Las Vegas is not the place.
- Ronald Darby, CB, Denver Broncos
Deal: 3 yr., $30M
This was a very good signing for the Broncos who have desperately needed an upgrade at cornerback since the departure of Bronco great Chris Harris Jr. Darby is a journeyman corner who has had success on the Bills, Eagles, and most recently the Washington Football Team. Darby has effectively made the leap from a just OK corner in 2019 to a great one in 2020. To be quite fair, even though he had a bad 2019 he has been excellent for the grand majority of the seasons that he has been in the NFL.
- Riley Reiff, LT, Cincinnati Bengals
Deal: 1 yr., $7.5M
The Bengals have desperately needed to fix their offensive line for a good while now, and Riley Reiff is not the best option to do that. While Reiff is an above average player, they need real stars after letting Joe Burrow get annihilated in the middle of the season last year. 7.5 Million dollars is also far too much money to pay to Reiff, that is Pro Bowl (or maybe slightly less than Pro Bowl) starting money, and not what Reiff is worth. While it wasn’t a terrible signing by the Bengals, bad job by them for not getting an elite superstar on their line.
- Shaquill Griffin, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Deal: 3 yr., $40M
The Jaguars needed help at pretty much every position, and they did a great job addressing it at corner. Shaquill Griffin has been a stud with the Seattle Seahawks in recent years, and while this deal is quite the paycheck, the Jaguars certainly have the cap space to give it to him. Griffin is a corner who can play alongside 2020 rookie C.J. Henderson and help him grow and develop as a player. So good job Jaguars, I have a feeling this signing will work out very well.
- Kenny Golladay, WR, New York Giants
Deal: 4 yr., $72M
There’s quite a lot to dissect with this signing, for one this fills a major position of need for the Giants, but on the other hand it’s a whole lot of money. Like, a WHOLE lot of money, especially for a player that has had some injury issues throughout his career. My other big concern is that Golladay was pretty bad last year, even when he was not suffering injury woes. Should the Giants just count it as a throwaway season and give him the money? Well, it kind of sounds like they did. This might be the biggest boom or bust signing of the offseason, and I’m sure Golladay’s production is going to be tracked very closely.
- Jason Peters, LT, Free Agent
There’s very valid reasons for teams wanting to stay away from signing Jason Peters. Peters is already 39 years old, and offensive lineman traditionally do not age very well (hey Evan Mathis how’ve you been). Peters has also been injured in recent years, and if one more injury happens it might push him over the edge. On the other hand, Peters is still performing at a high level and has stated that he has “Still got some left in the tank”. I think it is worth it for the Eagles to re-sign him.
- Jason Verrett, CB, San Francisco 49ers
Deal: 1 yr., $5.5M
It’s entirely possible that Verrett may one day play a season without injury, but it is unlikely. Verrett is a ball hawking corner who has spent the last few years on the San Francisco 49ers, and while he is a good player he is a massive injury risk. This was a good move by San Francisco, they can lock him up for a year, and if he does not work out or get injured he can be let go without sacrificing cap space.
- Carl Lawson, DE, New York Jets
Deal: 3 yr., $45M
Lawson has performed great in the time he has been with Cincinnati, and looks like he will be an excellent follow up to Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. Unfortunately, the Bengals goofed and did not re-sign Lawson, but the Jets capitalized on this flaw by signing Lawson to a good deal. I think if this deal had been made by most other teams then I would have criticized the money involved, but the Jets have massive cap space, so I do not hate the money.
- Bobby Massie, RT, Free Agent
For being a fourth round pick in 2012, Massie has performed extremely well, even rising to the role of starting offensive tackle. I think he will come at a bargain price, and he is good for his value. A needy team like the Falcons, Bengals, or Chargers would be wise to sign Massie as a safety net. To be quite honest, I am surprised that the Bears opted to cut Massie, even with the money concerns.
- Denzel Perryman, ILB, Carolina Panthers
Deal: 2 yr., $6M
Perryman is a little overrated based on the pop he gets. I think he can be an average to good player, but he is not the type of Pro Bowl starter that you’d expect from a guy getting this much credit. With this in mind, the Panthers have an awful defense, like bottom five bad, and desperately need some of those All-Pro starters on their team. Perryman would be a good signing for depth, but the Panthers need some high quality starters, and they need them now.
- Jameis Winston, QB, New Orleans Saints
Deal: 1 yr., $5.5M
No. No on every level imaginable. The Saints have less cap room than any team in the league except for the Los Angeles Rams, they cannot afford to keep this interception machine on their roster. What’s even more appalling is that there seems to be a very real chance that Winston ends up as the starting quarterback of the Saints, which is a very bad fate for a team with not much depth at receiver.
- Keanu Neal, SS, Dallas Cowboys
Deal: 1 yr., $4M
This is a pretty good signing by the Cowboys, but I feel like they could have done better. Keanu Neal has horrible availability due to injury, which is why I am glad for the Cowboys sake that he is signed to a one year prove it deal. The Cowboys secondary needs desperate help, but why sign Neal when there are players like Anthony Harris and John Johnson available?
- Leonard Floyd, OLB, Los Angeles Rams
Deal: 4 yr., $64M
How were the Rams able to finance this deal? They were deep in cap hell before free agency even started, and this deal for Floyd isn’t exactly tiny. This is good for the Rams though because they lost extremely valuable starters on defense such as John Johnson and Troy Hill. Additionally, I don’t quite know whether Floyd is actually good, or whether he is a product of the greatness of Aaron Donald directly next to him. This signing was good but unnecessary.
- K.J. Wright, OLB, Free Agent
Wright is a good player who doesn’t deserve to be sitting in the free agent market for as long as he has been. I have been expecting the Seahawks to re-sign him for a while, especially since their defense has definitely been on a downhill trend since the deterioration of the Legion of Boom. If not the Seahawks, a team like the Dallas Cowboys could certainly utilize the abilities of Wright.
- Shelby Harris, DT, Denver Broncos
Deal: 3 yr., $27M
Excellent job by the Broncos for locking up this talented defensive lineman. The Broncos are on the brink of having a horrible defense with Bradley Chubb (who is constantly injured) as their only good defensive piece. Harris is going to be a rock solid player for the Broncos, and the price that he comes with is not too ridiculously high. Great job by the Broncos in what is turning out to be a pretty decent offseason for them.
- Kevin Zeitler, G, Baltimore Ravens
Deal: 3 yr., $22.5M
Well he’s not exactly the next Marshal Yanda but he is good enough. For those who don’t remember Zeitler was part of a trade that involved basically switching up five players on the Giants and Browns so that the Browns could obtain Odell Beckham, Jr, and Zeitler did pretty well on the Giants before he became a cap casualty. While Zeitler does fill a need, this isn’t my favorite signing because the Ravens are investing three years in a 31 year old offensive lineman, which in my opinion is a pretty big gamble.
- Eric Fisher, LT, Free Agent
For some reason the population of NFL fans have pretty much decided that Eric Fisher is going to be re-signed by Kansas City, but I do not really see this as an option. The price tag on Fisher is going to be much larger now that he has a couple good seasons on his belt, and now that he is no longer being declared a complete draft bust. The Chiefs have no room to re-sign Fisher after their mega deal with Joe Thuney, and if they cut Fisher to sign Thuney I am guessing they no longer see him as valuable. As a side note, add Fisher to the list of players that make the Pro Bowl and then get cut three months later. Stupid Pro Bowl.
- Janoris Jenkins, CB, Tennessee Titans
I want to see the contract details on this very badly before I make a judgement, because that matters a lot with this particular player. The question that needs to be asked with Jenkins is if he is really that huge of an upgrade on Adoree’ Jackson and Malcolm Butler, both of whom were cut in the offseason. In some ways he is, Jenkins is a good cornerback who still puts up good numbers, but there are some concerns with Jenkins being a bit of an ass (I am citing Jenkins being cut after calling a fan a “retard”).
- Jarrad Davis, ILB, New York Jets
Deal: 1 yr., $5.5M
People might argue that this is too much money, but the fact of the matter is that like most players on the Lions, Davis was used extremely poorly by Matt Patricia, who is one of the worst head coaches I have seen in recent memory. That being said, the team talent is not exactly experiencing an increase by moving from the Lions to the two win New York Jets. I would have liked to see New York go with a more experienced player instead of signing a player that is a little more of a gamble, but I could easily see Davis working out marvelously for the Jets.
- Quinton Jefferson, DT, Las Vegas Raiders
Deal: 1 yr., $3.25M
I will admit that I probably had Jefferson a little too high, but he is a talented player that will add good depth to the Las Vegas Raiders. For those of you unfamiliar with Jefferson’s work, he has been on the Seahawks, Rams, and Bills for a total of five seasons, playing modestly well on all of them. His role will not change when he moves to the Raiders, and I believe he will succeed.
- Ben Garland, C, Free Agent
Garland is not good for big amounts of snaps and above average starting, but he is amazing for depth and is a bit of a jack of all trades at what he does. What I cannot understand is how he has been sitting out on the market for this long, him and multiple other centers in the NFL. Garland comes at virtually no cost and again, is great for depth. This is not a difficult one to visualize.
- Brian Poole, CB, Free Agent
Brian Poole was one of the very few bright spots on the New York Jets this year, and when I say bright spot I mean that he probably would have made a Pro Bowl had it not been for the fact that the Jets are one of the worst teams in football. I do not usually pull out PFF grades as reference, but I will for Poole. Since joining the New York Jets in 2019, he has awarded grades of 77.1 (2020), and 79.0 (2019), players making 10 million dollars like Patrick Peterson are not producing nearly as much as Brian Poole.
- Nelson Agholor, WR, New England Patriots
Deal: 2 yr., $22M
Nelson Agholor had a great year with the Raiders in 2020 and established himself as a worthy red zone threat. What gives me pause is the fact that Agholor had an atrocious 2019 season, marred by drops and poor play. Keep in mind this was not the Carson Wentz collapse year, this is the year where he was the only thing keeping them alive. WIth that being said, the Patriots handed way too much money to Agholor in what looks like a very desperate move by New England.
- Mitch Trubisky, QB, Buffalo Bills
Deal: 1 yr., $2.5M
Trubisky is a great backup quarterback, even if he is just a so-so starter. He is not being overpaid, 2.5 mil for a backup quarterback of Trubisky’s capabilities is about right. Trubisky is an upgrade over Matt Barkley, even if he was surprisingly competent in Buffalo when he was needed (which admittedly was not that much). My guess is Trubisky will burn a roster spot until Buffalo discovers that Jake Fromm is probably an upgrade on Mitch.
- Derek Wolfe, DE, Baltimore Ravens
Deal: 3 yr., $12M
The Ravens did their part by re-signing all of their defensive players not named Matt Judon, including this signing. Wolfe was excellent on the Ravens defensive line last year, and he is extremely reliable, he is a nine year veteran who has had great years with the Broncos from 2012-2019, and most recently in 2020 with the Ravens. This extension does not burn a hole in the Ravens cap space, and ensures a good player at a very small cost.
- Jonnu Smith, TE, New England Patriots
Deal: 4 yr., $50M
The same logic that applies to Hunter Henry also applies to Jonnu Smith, the Patriots gave over 80 million dollars to tight ends in the offseason, and the one they gave the most to (Smith) is not as good as people make him out to be. Sure he was an OK replacement for Delanie Walker who was definitely cooked, but he is not on the level of somebody like T.J. Hockenson or Evan Engram just yet. This was way too much money for Smith, and I think he will not live up to his massive paycheck.
- Corey Davis, WR, New York Jets
Deal: 3 yr., 37.5M
Davis had his breakout season last year with the Tennessee Titans, acting as the two of a 1-2 punch with A.J. Brown. If Davis’s production was the same in 2020 as it was from 2017-19, this paycheck would be totally worth it. Unfortunately, Davis looked like a borderline bust for most of his early career, and most were convinced he would be nothing more than a high end backup. If most other teams had given Davis this much money I would have been highly critical, but the Jets are bathing in cap space so I believe Davis is worth it.
- Romeo Okwara, DE, Detroit Lions
Deal: 3 yr., $37M
Okwara has had progressively better games with the Lions for the past few seasons and seems to be one of the few players that Detroit actually knows how to use correctly. Okwara deserves his paycheck and pretty much everything about this deal checks out perfectly. I do not normally compliment the Lions, as all my readers know I criticize the Lions probably more than any other NFL team, but this is one of the few things they have managed to do correctly, so good job by them.
- Kendrick Bourne, WR, New England Patriots
Deal: 3 yr., $15M
If the Pats had made just this signing and not bothered overpaying for Nelson Agholor I would have had no quarrels because Bourne is an excellent player who really improved down the stretch. There is something to be said for the fact that other than 2020 he has been remarkably quiet for the entirety of his career, but 15 million is not that much, particularly compared to the massive contracts being given out by New England to Nelson Agholor, Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, and Matt Judon.
- Patrick Peterson, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Deal: 1 yr., 8M
Thank God that this deal was only one year and the Vikings did not screw up by paying out about 40 million over four years. Peterson used to be a legendary player, but has fallen off hard in recent years. His decline began after he missed six games in 2019 with a PED suspension. After missing the games he posted one his absolute worst season, and then somehow fell off even harder in 2020. This signing is made even worse by the fact that cornerbacks seem to age pretty badly after they start receding badly in play. Giving 8 million dollars to a broken down, fizzled out cornerback was one of the dumbest moves of the offseason, and if this was a multi-year deal this would be the worst signing of the offseason (I would call it the worst right off the bat but players such as Mike Davis have made that statement null).
- Russell Okung, LT, Free Agent
The offensive tackle who invested half of his paycheck in BitCoin is still sitting on the open market, and it is not that surprising to me that he still is. Okung to me is sort of the Ryan Fitzpatrick of offensive tackles, he seems to play well wherever he goes, but he does not quite meet the level to ever be given a long term deal or to make an All-Pro or even convincing Pro Bowl appearance. He will probably be given a small two year deal in 2021, and that would not be an issue at all.
- Alex Mack, C, San Francisco 49ers
Deal: 3 yr., $14.85M
Alex Mack has been an excellent player on the Atlanta Falcons for years, particularly on an offensive line that has been God awful for many years. Mack’s play actually stretches all the way back to 2009 with the Cleveland Browns, where there was a similar argument to be made about the Browns’ offensive line (well except for Joe Thomas). With that being said, it deserves to be taken into consideration that Mack has been in the NFL for twelve seasons, age concerns could hinder him from playing well for more than one or two seasons.
- Bashaud Breeland, CB, Free Agent
Not surprisingly Breeland has not been signed yet. I say not surprisingly because Breeland was only so-so in 2020, and is only about an average to slightly above average starter. I expect a team like the Atlanta Falcons or Seattle Seahawks to sign Breeland to a one year prove it deal, but I do not expect it to happen for a while, maybe even not until after the draft has taken place.
- Antonio Brown, WR, Free Agent
Everybody remembers AB as a legend in Pittsburgh, a jackass in Oakland, a flameout in New England, and a quality starter in Tampa. So what does that leave for the future of AB? My guess is it leaves a small re-signing in a couple weeks or maybe a month or two because AB was pretty darn good on the Bucs in the year that he was there. I will say that it is telling that the Bucs, a Super Bowl team, were not exactly jumping up and down to re-sign Brown after the season ended which suggests that maybe he has not changed all that much. Though the statement is obvious by now, buyer beware.
- Richie Incognito, G, Las Vegas Raiders
Deal: 1 yr., $2.6M
Incognito has now been in the NFL for a grand total of thirteen cumulative seasons, but apparently that does not make a difference because when Incognito is healthy he is one of the best offensive lineman. Key phrase: When he is healthy. Incognito has had injury struggles since returning to the league a few years ago, and another nagging concern is that Incognito gets in a lot of fights and does not seem to be that great of a locker room presence. Overall, I think this should work out fine for the Raiders, and if it doesn’t that’s totally fine though because this was a very low risk signing.
- Denico Autry, DE, Tennessee Titans
Deal: 3 yr., $21.5M
Autry has slowly but surely emerged as a star on the Colts defense, but for whatever reason I do not see him fitting in on the Titans defense. Maybe it is because Bud Dupree is already in there to steal the show, but I guess Autry will be good in his own way. Autry’s contract is nothing absurd by any means at all, and his contract length could prove beneficial even if he does turn out to be nothing more than just a quality starter or a very above average backup. This is boom or bust, but the Titans will not suffer too much if it is bust.
- Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Free Agent
Is Fitzgerald not retiring? I could have sworn he basically promised the NFL community that 2020 was his last year and then he was done. I guess he was not quite finished because he has not announced his retirement, but if that is the case where is the one year contract from the Arizona Cardinals? Fitzgerald’s future does not make any logical sense at the moment, and I really do not want him to go anywhere outside of Arizona.
- Richard Sherman, CB, Free Agent
I don’t understand this one at all. Sherman had one of his best seasons in a while back in 2019, and was injured during 2020. I get that injuries are always red flags, but someone of Sherman’s reputation should be easily able to bypass these types of red flags. I doubt Sherman will be the player he once was, but he can still be a very above average starter and might not come at that big of a cost. Come on NFL, get it together!
- Austin Reiter, C, Free Agent
Austin Reiter is an effective center in his own right, but I do not believe he is anything to be particularly excited about. Reiter has most recently played for Washington, Cleveland, and Kansas City for a grand total of six seasons. I would expect a team like the Falcons to sign somebody like Reiter to a short one or two year deal and be an effective starter.
- Rashard Higgins, WR, Cleveland Browns
Deal: 1 yr., $2.38M
After being rather ineffective for four years on the Cleveland Browns, Higgins had a bit of a breakout season with the Browns after Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry both suffered injuries. Higgins had a stellar 16.2 yards per reception as opposed to 13.8 last year. His yardage went from 55 to 559, and he caught 37 of 49 targets in 2020. His contract extension ensures that if he is a one year wonder, the Browns are not bound to him as he begins to flame out of the NFL.
- Jayon Brown, ILB, Tennessee Titans
Deal: 1 yr., $5.3M
Perhaps this is a little too much money for Jayon Brown who had an OK season alongside Harold Landry and Rashaan Evans in the Tennessee Titans linebacker core. Emphasis on the OK season, the Titans were not necessarily the ‘85 Bears at all, not even the 2020 Bears. The Titans defense is not going to benefit off of this signing as much as the price tag would suggest. The signing wasn’t bad, but it was unnecessary.
- Ricky Wagner, RT, Free Agent
Wagner is an inconsistent offensive lineman, but he did have a pretty good 2020 season. Even with this season he still was a cap casualty, and thus has landed on the free agent market. Wagner is still very useful, and will probably land on a team looking for offensive line depth rather than just a solid starter. I’d expect Wagner to be picked up by a team that either had a great front office, or a team that has an awful front office and no starting right tackle.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Washington Football Team
Deal: 1 yr., $10M
Fitzpatrick is a staple and nothing more, on one hand I like the signing because it puts to rest the God awful narrative that Taylor Heinicke is going to see any starting time at all. On the other hand, if this is indeed Washington’s plan and they do not have a rookie like Kyle Trask waiting on the bench, then Fitzpatrick is going to be wasted while the WFT prepares a crappy backup quarterback to become the full time starter for a terrible offense. This signing is less about the player, and more about what Washington plans to do while he is there as a staple.
- Kenyan Drake, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Deal: 2 yr., $11M
The Kenyan Drake test did not go as planned in the 2020 season, despite the Cardinals deciding to use the Transition Tag in the 2020 offseason. That being said, he showed slight improvement down the stretch and is still a valuable player to keep on a roster. With all this in mind, I absolutely love this signing. Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake is going to be a dynamic, exciting backup that we are going to remember for AGES. They get Drake at a decent price, and they can cut bait easily if he is just burning a hole in their roster.
- Daquan Jones, DT, Free Agent
Jones is worth good money, and he had a great 2020 season. I do not understand why he is still sitting on the open market after a few weeks of free agency. Jones is a seven year veteran that is experiencing progression in his play rather than steady decline, and at this point he will probably not be worth much money at all. Somebody really needs to sign Jones as early as possible. He is a great player to have on a roster for depth.
- Malcolm Butler, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Deal: 1 yr., $6M
Every Patriots and Seahawks fan knows Malcolm Butler’s name from the dreaded Super Bowl. If you don’t know what I am talking about, I don’t think this article is worth your time. Butler’s play has not really receded that much, but I would not say he has gotten too much better either. Butler had one of his better seasons with Tennessee last year, but was still cut due to concerns about cap room. He can be a staple for Arizona who is in desperate need of a good cornerback after Patrick Peterson’s departure in free agency.
- Gerald Everett, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Deal: 1 yr., $6M
What a great signing by Seattle, Everett has been an incredibly underrated player for the majority of his career and will finally get his breakout season in Seattle. Everett was overshadowed for four seasons by standout tight end Tyler Higbee, but now that Greg Olsen has retired in Seattle Everett will no longer be forced to hide in a deep tight end room. The only criticism I have about this signing is that it was not long enough, I would expect three or more years on a deal for Everett.
- Kawann Short, DT, Free Agent
I am a little surprised that Short is still available. Short has been an effective player for years and has been part of the best defense of 2015, including other top 5 defenses of the 2010’s era. Admittedly, Short is not nearly as good as he once was, and he is 32 years old, but that does not mean he is cooked as a starter. Why not take a chance and sign Short to a one or two year prove it deal.
- Malik Hooker, S, Free Agent
Hey NFL are you there? This guy is a very good player, how is it that Atlanta has the “good sense” to sign a safety like Erik Harris when people like Hooker are still sitting in the open market. While he does have major injury concerns, he is quite a good player when healthy, and deserves a chance to add depth to a good secondary. Some teams that immediatley come to mind as possible suitors are the Jaguars, Falcons, or Broncos.
- Marvin Jones, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Deal: 2 yr., $12.5M
D.J. Chark had a great year in 2019, and them him and the other 52 players on the Jaguars roster fell off pretty hard in 2020. Jones has been an effective player on a horrible Lions team, but he never really rose to a starting role. With this in mind, it is fair to ask whether Jones getting 6.25 mil per year is a little too much money. The trio of Chark, Jones, and Leviska Shenault could do some really big damage if quarterback play is good, and it could also flop if quarterback play is poor.
- Lawrence Guy, DT, New England Patriots
Deal: 4 yr., $11.5M
The veteran defensive tackle Lawrence Guy had a great year in 2020 for New England, and got paid accordingly in the following offseason. The deal was extremely reasonable, and locked up a good defensive starter for another four years. This was the only deal besides the Van Noy deal where I believe that New England got a good player AND good value in the offseason. I’m a little worried however that Guy is a one hit wonder in New England, and think it’s possible that he turns out to be just an average starter.
- K’Waun Williams, CB, San Francisco 49ers
Deal: 1 yr., $2.38M
Williams has had good years recently on a very good 49ers secondary, and I think the deal he got was very reasonable. A one year prove it deal worth just over 2 mil is great for a player who has recently popped off after being undrafted by the Browns in 2014, and being mostly irrelevant in the following years until his arrival to starterdom in later years.
- Damontae Kazee, S, Dallas Cowboys
Deal: 1 yr.
Damontae Kazee was the second Atlanta Falcons defensive back to get signed by the Dallas Cowboys, but to be quite honest I like the Keanu Neal signing a little bit more. Kazee is sort of a do it all defensive back, but he is not as talented as Neal even if he is less injured. I do however want to mention that Kazee was the co-interceptions leader in 2018 with seven interceptions, and then proceeded to be mediocre for the following two years.
- Justin Houston, DE, Free Agent
Houston is one of my favorite players of all time, and in my opinion is one of the most slighted players of the 21st century. For years he was one of the best defensive players in the NFL, and yet NFL fans and writers pretty much refused to believe that he existed. WIth that being said, I think Houston’s career is pretty much over at this point, if he were to join a team to add some depth as a solid veteran starter I’d be OK with that, but he is not worth the same big time starting money that he has been in the past.
- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Free Agent
Cordarrelle Patterson is an extremely good return man, expecially as a kick returner, and is not a bad gadget guy on offense. I can understand why it’s taken teams a while to sign him, what I can’t understand is why the Texans would pounce on Andre Roberts in roughly four seconds from the start of free agency and leave Patterson in the dust. Look I love Andre Roberts, but Patterson is a much better player than Roberts and would come at roughly the same price tag.
- Desmond King, CB, Houston Texans
Deal: 1 yr., $3M
I mean this signing is OK, I guess. The Texans need just about everything right now, and that includes cornerbacks. I guess my main problem with this signing is that after King arrives, the Texans still really need cornerbacks. Desmond King is in no way a solution, he is a player for depth. This was just another ineffective part on the Texans downer of an offseason.
- Keelan Cole, WR, New York Jets
Deal: 1 yr., $5.5M
Keelan Cole has been quite good in his Jaguars tenure, and I guess there is a chance with success with the Jets. I guess. One thing I must say is that the transition from the Jags to the Jets is literally even worse than the Marvin Jones transition, Bengals to Lions to Browns. But this was a good signing overall, if the Jets can get their crap together then Corey Davis and Keelan Cole will make a decent tandem for 2020.
- Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Houston Texans
Deal: 2 yr., $7M
This was the better of the signings by Houston in this offseason, I fully admit to ranking Pierre-Louis way too low on my top 150 list, and I think this was a really good value buy by the Texans for a great player. 3.5 mil per year for Pierre-Louis is one of the only goo deals that Houston managed to pull off, good on them for helping themselves fix their linebacker core (although bad job with Kirksey that was terrible).
- Desmond Trufant, CB, Chicago Bears
Deal: 1 yr.
Well that was a bad idea. The Bears released their Pro Bowl corner Kyle Fuller, so naturally they replaced him with a very old veteran cornerback who posted a modest 38.4 grade from PFF. For those of you not up to speed on how PFF grades work, that’s like watching Drew Brees retire and trying to replace him with Jameis Winston. That but even worse. Way way worse.
- Alejandro Villanueva, LT, Free Agent
Villanueva has been an effective starter who most recently caught fire with his play in Pittsburgh. Villanueva is still a good player who can be a solid starter, but it does not surprise me that he has been signed. But do not be surprised if you see him get a small contract soon. By the way, every Steelers fans should be mindful about the fact that their line is being slowly and surely deconstructed, if Villanueva is not re-signed that will mean three starters have left the Pittsburgh offensive line.
- Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Deal: 1 yr., $2M
Good re-signing, by about week five or six Marlon Mack will already be on injured reserve so at this point, who cares what Marlon Mack’s role is on this team. In the event that he is healthy, that’s fine that works out great. Mack has been locked up for only 2 million dollars which is very reasonable for a player that has so many injury issues. Mack will be backing up a player in Jonathan Taylor who has very little experience.
- Ndamukong Suh, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Deal: 1 yr., $9M
At this point why even comment on it, we should all just accept that Ndamukong Suh is going to be extended on one year deals for the rest of eternity. Additionally, Suh will continue to play at his slightly above average starting level until he turns forty years old, and probably try for a couple more Super Bowls with the legend Tom Brady. There’s no reason to really get excited about this, it re-fills a position of need for a year and is pretty unremarkable.
- Jason McCourty, CB, Free Agent
There is no reason that McCourty should really remain unsigned, there are plenty of teams that could totally use cornerback depth (the Cardinals and Falcons come to mind) and McCourty is perfect for that. His run on the Patriots was probably the best of his career, and his time with the Browns and the Titans was not too bad either. Somebody should definitely pick McCourty up.
- Golden Tate, WR, Free Agent
I wasn’t too surprised when I saw that Golden Tate got cut, that type of thing happens to receivers of his age on teams that are trying to build a young, strong team. I think Tate will land a gig somewhere, wherever that is I think it’s highly probable that his role is going to be significantly reduced from what it was in the past. If I had one thing I would worry about, I would say that it is the fact that he is very outspoken, and seems to wear out his welcome rather quickly. Buyer beware.
- Jared Cook, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
Deal: 1 yr., $6M
Not bad Chargers, the LA based team did a very quick job of replacing recently departed tight end Hunter Henry with another Pro Bowl tight end in Jared Cook. Cook is not nearly as productive as he was with the then-Oakland Raiders in 2018, but he was still an effective player on the Saints offense in 2019 and 2020, and will continue to be a role player up until his retirement, which should be within the next three or so years.
- Adrian Peterson, RB, Free Agent
I am not surprised in the least that Peterson is still on the open market, and to be quite honest it would not shock me if that is where he stays until August. What you have to understand is that Peterson is probably still looking for a gig where he can be the lead back. The only possible places I can see are Arizona (where he’s already been), Atlanta (which is in free fall), the New York Jets (hell no), and Pittsburgh (most likely landing spot).
- Henry Anderson, DE, New England Patriots
Deal: 2 yr., $7M
The cutting of Henry Anderson worries me a whole lot, a team like the New York Jets that has mountains of cap space doesn’t need to be cutting Anderson, especially in a season where he was actually pretty good. If the Jets don’t want to hang on to him after a good season and plenty of cap space, I do not see this working out at all for the New England Patriots.
- Jamaal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions
Deal: 2 yr., $6M
If this were about maybe 28 of the other teams in the NFL making this signing, I would be losing my mind about how good the Swift/Williams backfield is about to be. Unfortunately, Detroit is horridly, disgustingly awful about figuring out how to utilize the talent they have on their roster, so it is likely that this signing loses steam after the Detroit Lions start the season out at 0-5. However, if the Detroit Lions have their crap together and use Jamaal Williams to his full potential, this could turn out to be one of the best investments of the offseason.
- Adam Humphries, WR, Washington Football Team
Deal: 1 yr.
Adam Humphries was the biggest snub on my Dud to Stud lists this year, and I feel even worse about not including him now that he has been slotted in to a great offensive position. Humphries will have a great opportunity to easily outplay Curtis Samuel and create a WR tandem in Terry McLaurin/Humphries that will be looked upon with dread and terror by the rest of the NFL. Get excited because this offense has the potential to explode. My only complaint would be that Washignton only gave Humphries one year. Oh well.
- T.J. Carrie, CB, Free Agent
In my initial Top 150 Free Agent list I mentioned how underrated T.J. Carrie has been throughout recent years, and I absolutely stand by the statement I made. Carrie has been playing at a fairly high level, and had pretty much his best season yet on a very good Indianapolis Colts defense. A team could benefit greatly from having a steady player like Carrie on their roster, for the love of God please someone sign this guy.
- Kelvin Beachum, LT, Arizona Cardinals
Deal: 2 yr., $4M
The Beachum extension brings Arizona up from a bad offensive line to a perfectly modest one, although the trading away of Mason Cole isn’t going to do wonders for depth. Beachum will play with Justin Pugh on the Cardinals offensive line and attempt to keep Kyler Murray safe and sound while the Cardinals craft their new “air raid” offense, and I believe Beachum will easily succeed in this goal. Beachum is a very quality starter, good job by the Cardinals for bringing him back at a very affordable rate.
- Mackensie Alexander, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Vikings fans have been attempting to hold on to the argument that the Vikings have had a great offseason, but I couldn’t disagree more. Alexander is one of the more overrated cornerbacks of 2020, being thoroughly outplayed by Jessie Bates and William Jackson in the secondary, so I do not see why the Vikings would go out of their way to sign him and Patrick Peterson, two extremely mediocre corners to be their starting options. If the Vikings already had depth this signing would be fine, but the other players available would have been so much better than Peterson and Alexander.
- Earl Thomas, FS, Free Agent
I did not think Thomas would be signed early, and I think he probably will not be signed at all, but are we seriously going to write off one of the best all time safeties? I get that him and the Ravens are still butting heads over God knows what at this point, but nobody can sit here and tell me that teams like the Jets and Rams do not need desperate help at safety, and could benefit from this signing.
- Curtis Samuel, WR, Washington Football Team
Deal: 3 yr., $34.5M
No on all accounts, this is so much money for a wide receiver who was supposed to have his breakout season three separate times over the course of four seasons. Terry McLaurin is already clearly extremely more talented than Samuel, and even Adam Humphries (who got a baby contract compared to Samuel) is probably going to outplay Curtis Samuel when all’s said and done. Bad job by Washington for oevrpaying for this mediocre talent.
- Aldon Smith, OLB, Free Agent
When I rack my brains to think about teams that don’t really care what types of characters they employ on their roster, the Cowboys are almost always the first team that comes to mind, think of players like Jay Ratliff and Greg Hardy, so it is extremely telling that the Cowboys have said firmly and definitively that they are not going to bring Aldon Smith on in 2021 coming off of what is definitely a revival season. Massive red flags, massive.
- Kyle Rudolph, TE, New York Giants
Deal: 2 yr., $12M
Kyle Rudolph was a New York Giant. Until he wasn’t, and then was again? I really have no idea why the Giants are so damn nitpicky considering they alerady have a great starter in Evan Engram but oh well. The Giants made a good pickup here, having some insurance for the oft injured starter Evan Engram is definetly an excellent contingency plan for the New York Giants, and Rudolph will be able to be a part of a booming offense.
- Le’Veon Bell, RB, Free Agent
It baffles me that Lev has fallen off as far as he has. I hope that everybody remembers that before he held out the entire 2018 season for contract reasons, Bell was considered to be one of the best running backs in football, hands down. With this in mind, I refuse to believe that Bell has run out of steam after flaming out with both the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. I have to see him play for one more season until I decide to give up the ghost on my Le’Veon Bell love.
- Troy Hill, CB, Cleveland Browns
Deal: 2 yr., $9M
I think my terrible reasoning for slotting hill at #108 on my list was to emphasize the fact that he had just one good season out of many mediocre seasons with the Rams, but looking back I think I would have put Hill closer to the 30’s or 40’s on my list because he looked really damn good in 2020. The Browns signing of Hill was one of the best moves of the offseason, him and Johnson are going to be the building blocks of what will become a dreaded secondary in Cleveland.
- Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Free Agent
No surprise or disappointment to me that no deal has been done thusfar with Ryan Kerrigan. Would y’all like to know a little litmus test for evaluating players like Kerrigan? If the aforementioned player has made multiple Pro Bowls but has not been awarded with a single All-Pro appearance, I would check the stats and check the tape before making any true judgements. I do not think Kerrigan is a flop, but is he really worth starting money at this late stage of his career?
- Austin Blythe, G, Free Agent
And now we move to our second offensive lineman of the list named Austin. In the NFL, there are players like Cordarrelle Patterson and B-level Cordarrelle Patterson (AKA. Tavon Austin) who are sort of do every position play anywhere and be good at it types, and I think that just about sums up Blythe in an offensive line. Blythe can do a lot, and he’s not bad, but he’s also not very good.
- Ricardo Allen, FS, Cincinnati Bengals
Deal: 1 yr.
For the analysis of this player I am going to very quickly remove myself as a writer standpoint and speak as a Falcons fan. I can fully assure you that you will be very unimpressed by how Ricardo Allen is, and your defense will not become a unit to be scared of because he is there. Actually, that philosophy can apply to more than one defensive signing made by the Bengals this offseason (that’s a teaser folks).
- Duron Harmon, SS, Free Agent
If there is one truth that you are searching for as an NFL fan, here is good one for you right here. All players from the New England Patriots defense that move from New England to either Detroit or Miami, always end up flaming out and either returning to New England, or spending the rest of their days as a no name backup. To Harmon I solemnly say, I really hope you get picked up by the Patriots.
- Alex Smith, QB, Free Agent
Smith was far from the worst old quarterback I have ever seen, but he is even farther from the best one of that same quarterback. Smith’s recovery from a gruesome leg injury led him on a long recovery journey where he even had life or death experience, but after perseverence and patience he finally made it back! He did it! And then he got cut four weeks later and here we are. How anticlimactic.
- Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Deal: 1 yr., $3.25M
This one was smellable from miles away, it was clear that Tampa was on a pathway to keeping Fournette, who while he was not without his struggles in 2020, certainly looked better than in the majority of his appearances in Jaguars games. Good job by the Bucs for not getting TOO excited, After all, until he proves us all the way long Leonard Fournette will still be a punch line right alongside Blake Bortles.
- Ty Nsekhe, RT, Dallas Cowboys
Deal: 1 yr., $1.75M
Why? I don’t really understand why a team like the Cowboys that already has Tyron Smith and La’el Collins needs to bring Nsekhe on their roster. I guess it’s OK for depth, especially since Smith is now an injury risk, but I don’t like the concept of possibly replacing either of those guys who have already been amazing with the Dallas Cowboys. The signing doesn’t seem too unwise, but it does seem pretty unnecessary.
- James Conner, RB, Free Agent
I’m not upset that Conner remains unsigned, but it does make some amount of sense when he has been on a steady decline since the 2018 season. Conner may very well still have some great play left in the tank, after all he has only been in the NFL for four seasons and has not exactly been the part of an elite offense. I expect him to be signed either for depth as a backup, or as a very mediocre starter on a desperate team.
- A.J. Bouye, CB, Free Agent
Bouye ended up being cut by the Broncos after being traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019. I was a little surprised by this, Bouye only had one year left on his contract and it likely would not have killed cap space to keep him around for one more year. Now he is just another veteran sitting in the free agent pool, and it is fair to question whether or not Bouye is ever going to be the same again.
- Bruce Irvin, DE, Seattle Seahawks
This year felt like one last hurrah for Irvin who has been declining ever since he arrived at the Atlanta Falcons. His 2019 season on the Panthers was pretty bad, and by the time he hit the Seahawks again in 2020 it was pretty clear that his role is nowhere near what it once was. Irvin might still have a little bit left in the tank, but I think it is more likely that Irvin hangs up his cleats before he signs a new deal.
- Xavier Woods, S, Minnesota Vikings
Deal: 1 yr., $1.75M
The Vikings did an abhorrent job addressing their secondary in the offseason by signing Alexander Mackensie, and by way overpaying for the aging Patrick Peterson on a one year deal, all while players like Keanu Neal and Xavier Rhodes were sitting in free agency. The tire fire continues with Woods who was a part of a dreadful 2020 Dallas defense and is not going to be a game changer in the Minnesota secondary at all. Horrible job by the Vikings by replacing Anthony Harris with Xavier Woods, thank God this deal is only a year.
- Johnathan Hankins, DT, Las Vegas Raiders
Deal: 1 yr., $3.5M
The Raiders did a good job getting an insurance player in Johnathan Hankins on a one year deal, and the value works out great as well. The tackle tandem on the defense of Quinton Jefferson and Johnathan Hankins is definitely not one of the best defensive tackle combos in the NFL, but it sure gives great depth. Great job by the Raiders on this signing.
- Wayne Gallman, RB, Free Agent
No surprise that Gallman is sitting out here after looking like a healthy scratch for the first stretch of his career, but he had a pretty great 2020 season as a backup in relief of Saquon Barkley. I still would not put Wayne Gallman above any starting running back in the NFL, but he might be one of the best backup running backs in the NFL. Teams like the Eagles, Falcons, and Steelers should definitely sign him.
- Jalen Mills, S, New England Patriots
Deal: 4 yr., $24M
This signing was quite weird to me because I actually liked Mills when he played for Philadelphia and hoped for his success, but this is far too much money to be investing in a slightly above average safety. Like most of the New England signings, this isn’t as bad as it is just plain confusing, if the Patriots really wanted Mills I feel like they should have been able to lock up Mills for far less money.
- Markus Golden, OLB, Arizona Cardinals
Deal: 2 yr., $5M
This signing was perfect, the Cardinals defense is nowhere near perfect but Golden is one of the bright spots. Locking him up for two and a half million per year is extremely reasonable for a good but not great starter, and Golden will look a lot better when he is once again playing opposite the great Chandler Jones. Markus Golden will likely move teams again after this contract is over, but at least they now have a quality starter at the position.
- T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Deal: 1 yr., $8M
Everybody who thought Hilton was going to be on any of the other 31 teams stand on their head. This was a re-signing that pretty much everybody saw coming a mile away, but what is with this money value? 8 million dollars for a broken down T.Y. Hilton? I think that Hilton is not worth near this amount, and I am pretty sure that he got a big money boost from Indianapolis that he would not have received on any other team.
- Shawn Williams, SS, Arizona Cardinals
Deal: 1 yr.
I had just finished writing about how I thought Williams was going to be re-signed by Cincinnati and how obvious it was that the Bengals were not going to just let Williams walk out the door. Yet that seems to be exactly what has just happened, the Cardinals signing Williams is a great move because if you are looking for a so-so player to bring depth and to bring your secondary together, then Williams is going to be your guy. Bad job by Cincinnati for letting Williams walk out the door.
- Eric Wilson, OLB, Free Agent
Wilson was a little bit overrated by NFL fans, especially Vikings fans. That being said, I am not making the claim that Wilson is a bad player, he would still have worth to an NFL team be it in depth or as a low level starter. But let’s calm down on calling Wilson an amazing player by any stretch, he is literally just OK and will probably just re-sign with the Vikings again in a couple months or so. As a last quick point, the Vikings will not suffer by not re-signing Wilson, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr are two very excellent linebackers.
- Andy Dalton, QB, Chicago Bears
Deal: 1 yr., $10M
The judgement of this signing really depends on whether you believe the bull shit (or would it be bear shit) the Bears are handing out about Dalton being the starter for 2021. That is utter nonsense, these coaches and front office members definitely watch tape, and if they watch the tape they will definitely see that Dalton is in no way a reliable starting quarterback. Expect the Bears to draft Kyle Trask or Mac Jones in the first round, sit him for four weeks, and then fill in their rookie after Andy Dalton implodes in week 5.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Deal: 1 yr., $8M
I used to think the Steelers had a smart front office, coaching staff, and ownership, but moves like this really test my faith in their organization. The main argument made for Smith-Schuster is that he is still a quality wide receiver, and that his talent surpasses the migraine that he will bring to any team that signs him. That is utter nonsense, Smith-Schuster is not good any more at all. For whatever reason he has fallen off hard. If you want to make an argument that he is a quality second or third receiver then that’s fine, that’s an OK argument to make, but please do not make the claim that he will be used as a first receiver any more because his declining play and his role as a jackass are both going to prevent that from happening. If I was the Steelers, I would want to distance myself as far away as possible from the train wreck of JuJu Smith-Schuster.
- Jacoby Brissett, QB, Miami Dolphins
Deal: 1 yr., $5M
Here’s a challenge for all of my readers: name five meaningful ways in which the Dolphins quarterback room has changed from 2020 to 2021… Look it’s not a bad thing at all, actually this was one of the perfect signings of the offseason. It has been made perfectly clear to everyone that Brissett is not going to be a starter again but he is one of the best backups in the entire NFL, and he seems to be liked as a person and a leader by the coaching staff in Indianapolis.
- Duke Johnson, RB, Free Agent
After being traded from Cleveland after begging to move teams, Duke Johnson spent two highly unremarkable years in the Houston running game, backing up both Carlos Hyde in 2019 and David Johnson in 2020. In case there are any doubts, let me make it fully clear that Carlos Hyde and David Johnson are not exactly Alvin Kamara and Derrick Henry. Not in the slightest.
- Cameron Sutton, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Deal: 2 yr., $9M
Sutton and the Steelers D was one of the few bright spots of the Steelers’ slow collapse after going to a strong 11-0 start that is reminiscent of the Kansas City Chiefs 11-0 start from 2014. I like the Sutton re-signing because I think Pittsburgh knows how to use him, and I do not think that many other teams would be able to utilize him as well as Pitt has.
- Haason Reddick, OLB, Carolina Panthers
Deal: 1 yr., $6M
OK this is an interesting one, Reddick had a great 2020 season and if we were looking at 2020 alone I would have put Reddick in the 50s on this list. Unfortunately his past has to be taken into account, and Reddick looked like a draft bust for the first four years of his career. It looks like the Panthers have been very careful about signing Reddick to a small prove it deal that they can easily extend if Reddick ends up working out.
- Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Cincinnati Bengals
Deal: 3 yr., $21.75M
God I really hate when teams do this. A player plays at an average level on a terrible defense and then earns a massive contract from a stupid, desperate team. Well, if any team of course it would be the Bengals. 7.25 million per year is one of the worst contracts of the 2020 offseason, especially since this signing does pretty much nothing for the secondary. What an absolute waste of money by Cincinnati.
- Kwon Alexander, ILB, Free Agent
The Alexander signing of 2018 was comparable of the Trumaine Johnson signing by the Jets a few years ago. An above average player was payed way way WAY too much money to be good at his position. As was expected, Alexander had an average season and struggled with injuries, so what better team to inflict cap hell on than the New Orleans Saints am I right? Alexander will be signed, but it will probably be a very long time because his salary will be significantly reduced.
- Trai Turner, G, Free Agent
I really liked the Trai Trade when I saw it a year ago, I thought it would be a win win for both Carolina and Los Angeles but I could not have been more wrong. The BitCoin NFL representative (Okung) has already hit free agency and no teams have made attempts to sign him, including the Panthers. On the Chargers side, Turner posted a Pro Football Focus grade of 34.8. That is absolutely, horrifically abysmal.
- Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Buffalo Bills
Deal: 1 yr., $6M
Great job by the Bills for getting Sanders on a short deal, this helps them out a lot as far is depth is concerned by the legendary tandem of Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. This was a great decision, and as much of a John Brown fan I am I think this will cost a lot less, and have a lot more overall value. I would be worried about the fact that even in a very shallow WR room in New Orleans, Emmanuel Sanders went extremely quiet.
- Everson Griffen, DE, Free Agent
Griffen was awful in 2020. I thought he was going to be good in Dallas but boy did he suck, like a lot. I think the best decision for Griffen would just be for Griffen to re-sign with the Vikings as soon as possible on a short deal and just return to a system that he is familiar with. I do not think Griffen should have ever left, Minnesota was a perfect destination for him to be in.
- Jerick McKinnon, RB, Free Agent
McKinnon’s massive contract did not make sense at the time of his signing, and it looks like it makes even less senes now. McKinnon might even remain unsigned after the start of the season because of how injured he constantly is. McKinnon is not the best running back that a team could be picking up at this point of free agency, but he is fine as a second or third stringer that does not need to be as reliable.
- Andre Roberts, WR, Houston Texans
Deal: 2 yr., $5.5M
I have no problem with this signing at all, it’s a good pickup for an amazing return man. What I don’t understand at all is what the hell the rush is to sign Andre Roberts on the first day of free agency, especially when they decided to sign Chris Moore, another return man, about three or four days later. I really hope the Texans are not planning to make Roberts a starting wide receiver because that is going to be a problem.
- Terrance Mitchell, CB, Houston Texans
Deal: 2 yr., $6.5M
Again, what is the rush? Mitchell is a good player but I think it’s likely that he would not have come off of the board for a few days. The signing was one of the few things that the Texans managed to do right, Mitchell had a good 2020 and the Texans are wise to get some insurance on a crappy secondary for not much money. I would have rather have seen him get an extension from Cleveland, but they got John Johnson so it’s all good.
- Mike Hilton, CB, Cincinnati Bengals
Deal: 4 yr., $24M
Why? I don’t understand. Jessie Bates and William Jackson has now morphed into Mike Hilton and Chidobe Awuzie (Bates is technically still there as well but you get the point). The Bengals are massively overpaying for a very huge downgrade in their secondary, Mike Hilton is probably slightly above average, in no way is that an excuse to hand out 24 million dollars over for years to Hilton. Bad job by the Bengals.
- John Ross, WR, New York Giants
Deal: 1 yr., $2.25M
John Ross is a player who has shown flashes, but like Corey Davis was seen as a bust at WR for the grand majority of the beginning of his career. Unlike Davis, he did not have the revival season in 2020 necessary to ensure that New York has secured a good player. Luckily, this signing seems to be more for depth than anything else, so good job by the Giants by getting both a wild card in Ross, and a good starter in Kenny Golladay.
- Willie Snead, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
Deal: 1 yr.
It’s not anything that is going to hurt the Raiders and it is a signing that will build depth, but what exactly are they planning to do with Snead. The Raiders have three young, promising players in Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, and Hunter Renfrow, and they locked up their steady veteran talent in John Brown that will help build the core. So what exactly is Snead going to do on this team? Snead is going to be a sneaky cut candidate for me once rosters begin to be trimmed down in August.
- Tyler Eifert, TE, Free Agent
Tyler Eifert’s fall from grace has been a little hard to watch. At one point in his career, Eifert was making Pro Bowls with ease, and was considered to be one of the best at his position from about 2014-2016. Eifert then struggled with injuries before eventually being let go in 2019. Eifert had an extremely quiet 2020 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and now looks like nothing more than a backup in the NFL. This one is sad, and I hope there is a chance that Eifert gets his career revived.
- Alex Anzalone, OLB, Detroit Lions
Deal: 1 yr., $1.75M
Who cares. The Lions had a really remarkably atrocious defense in 2020, and I do not really see how this signing helps that defense grow. Alex Anzalone is barely a starter, but he is a starter all the same and fills a hole. I would have a rather a team that already has a great defense just pick him up for depth, rather than a terrible team like Detroit starting him because they are desperately scrambling for a starter.
- Lamarcus Joyner, FS, New York Jets
Deal: 1 yr., $3M
Lamarcus Joyner used to be one of the best safeties in the NFL in the mid 2010’s, but he has had a pretty large fall from grace since those times. That being said, this Jets team needs both leadership and skill, and while this signing does not check both boxes it may possibly check one. Joyner will be a backup helping the younger safeties grow and develop to help New York at least get an average defense.
- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Free Agent
I am not worried about Clayborn at all, he will be signed as either a low level starter on a desperate team or a backup on an average to deep team. This is the role that Clayborn has been playing for years, most notably for the Atlanta Falcons for whom he has played for twice. I almost expect Atlanta to re-sign him for a third time, and if not look for a team like New York (either one) or Jacksonville to pounce on Clayborn.
- Jesse James, TE, Free Agent
The Lions were fools for giving James the contract that they did, and now that T.J. Hockenson has emerged as a worthy starter they can afford to be rid of his terrible deal. James will definitely not be signed as a starter, look for him to be a backup that gets 300-500 yards and plays a very minimal role in an offense. Remember when we all thought this guy was going to be the replacement for Heath Miller?
- Sammy Watkins, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Deal: 1 yr., $5M
Watkins has turned into a journeyman after being picked very early in the 2014 NFL Draft. I guess this signing is OK since Watkins has about 2-4 games where he goes berzerk in the regular season, and then turns into DeAndre Hopkins in the playoffs which is definitely where the Ravens are going to end up. This pick is bad in the perspective that the Ravens desperately needed an elite pass catcher, and Watkins is definitely not that.
- Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Houston Texans
Deal: 2 yr., $6M
If you’ve made it down to Jordan Jenkins then congratulations, I am officially impressed. Jenkins is a mediocre backup pass rusher that was forced into the starting role on an awful Jets team. Naturally when the Texans saw this, they decided to give him 6 million dollars and (likely) a starting role.
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