NFL Free Agency 2013: Top 10 Overrated Free Agents

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NFL Free Agency 2013: Top 10 Overrated Free Agents

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It happens every year, NFL teams get seduced by the big names that are available on the free agent market and up overpaying for flawed players.

Over recent years, teams that have committed lots of money towards signing free agents have not had great success as teams have failed to get any sort of return on their investments. Every player that hits free agency is not as good as you would think, because if they were truly a great player the team that drafted them would have kept them.

The 2013 free agent market is loaded with big name players who have made significant impacts on their former teams and is sure to get teams to whip out their checkbooks and make bad decisions. Teams are looking to win the offseason by bringing in a big name or two to appease their fan bases and generate excitement about the 2013 season.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the 2013 free agent market is the number of teams who find themselves in tough salary cap situations and will be unable to pursue big name players. Players who are going out into the market looking for a big payday may be extremely disappointed with the amount of money being thrown around this offseason.

The lack of money will likely affect the second wave of free agency more so than the 10 guys on this list who are likely to generate massive interest and even bigger contracts this offseason, but are these guys really worth the amount of money they are going to get this offseason?

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Wes Welker

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Yes, Wes Welker has been great for the New England Patriots, but can be as successful without Tom Brady throwing to him?

I think Welker needs the Patriots more than they need him. For the price he is going to be asking for this offseason, the Patriots will likely look for a younger and cheaper option and let Welker test the market. You would have to believe that if Welker was truly vital to the Patriots offense they would have locked him up long ago, but when you combine his age with his tendency to drop passes you have to wonder if he is worth a big deal.

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Dwight Freeney

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The Indianapolis Colts released Dwight Freeney because he was not a fit in their new 3-4 defense, but it is not crazy to wonder how much the 33-year-old has left in the tank.

At this point in his career, Freeney is a one-trick pony as a pass rusher in a 4-3 defense. Given his name and his career sack totals, Freeney will be highly coveted this offseason by 4-3 teams looking for a pass rusher. However, Freeney’s production has declined over recent seasons and he has had problems staying healthy. Given that it is right to wonder whether or not he is worth a big contract.

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Jermon Bushrod

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Teams usually do not let a franchise left tackle walk in free agency, so the fact that the New Orleans Saints are willing to let Jermon Bushrod go should be a concern.

Bushrod excels at run blocking, but his pass blocking has left little to be desired and has benefited greatly from having the quick release of Drew Brees behind him. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect to Bushrod’s game has been his inconsistency which is the last thing you want to see from your left tackle. A team is likely going to pay Bushrod like a franchise left tackle this offseason and that is a mistake.

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Ahmad Bradshaw

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Ahmad Bradshaw could be one of the best all around running backs in the NFL and should be hitting free agency in his prime, but he cannot stay healthy.

If there were not major concerns about Bradshaw’s health, he would still be in a New York Giants uniform. So, while it would not be surprising to see a team pay Bradshaw like an every-down running back this offseason, you have to wonder if injuries will prevent him from living up to that investment.

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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the biggest names in a loaded cornerback market in free agency this offseason, but he is not worth all the hype his name brings.

In his two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Rodgers-Cromartie has been one of the most frustratingly inconsistent players in the NFL. He is a good cover corner, but he had 11 penalties last season which was second among all cornerbacks. He is also poor in run support. His name will generate massive interest and drive up his asking price this offseason, but he is not worth the investment. There are several cheaper and equally capable guys on the market this offseason.

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LaRon Landry

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LaRon Landry is more linebacker than he is safety. He is a true strong safety who played almost half of his snaps in 2012 in the box.

Landry is going to help your defense against the run, but he has extreme limitations when he is asked to drop into coverage. He also has a very troubling injury history that limited his market last offseason. After a solid yet not great season with the New York Jets, Landry will likely generate interest from several teams this offseason, but teams should still be weary of the oft-injured safety.

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Jared Cook

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Jared Cook has all of the potential in the world as a pass catching tight end, but has suffered in one of the leagues worst pass offenses with the Tennessee Titans.

Cook’s potential is more than enough to earn him a big contract this offseason, but there is always a concern when you are dealing with a player who has yet to live up to his massive potential even if he is being limited by his former team.

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Mike Wallace

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Mike Wallace is widely viewed as perhaps the best wide receiver available in free agency this offseason, but he is not even close to as good as most people think he is.

Wallace only does one thing well as a wide receiver and that is run fast and beat people deep, but even if he gets behind the defense you have to worry if he is going to catch the ball. He is also limited by the amount of routes he can successfully run which makes him easy to take away. Still Wallace will get a massive deal this offseason because teams covet the kind of speed he possesses.

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Cliff Avril

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Cliff Avril has a very high opinion of himself and expects to break the bank with a free agent deal this offseason, but he isn’t worth it.

Avril will be attractive to 4-3 teams looking for a pass rusher, but he is about as bad as it gets when it comes to run defense. Teams will be blinded by his sack totals over the last two seasons and will likely be willing to offer him the massive contract he is looking for this offseason.

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Reggie Bush

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Reggie Bush has shaken some of the injury concerns that he carried in his two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, but he is still too inconsistent to be an every-down back in the NFL.

Bush is effective when he gets the ball in space which makes him dangerous as a receiver out of the backfield, but his 2.1 yards after contact in 2012 was one of the worst numbers in the league. He also still favors bouncing the ball to the outside which worked for him in college, but has been ineffective against speedy NFL defenses. Bush is nothing more than a change of pace back, but his name will likely get him every-down back money.