Tim Tebow and 5 Irrelevant NFL Free Agent Signings

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6 Irrelevant Free Agent Signings This Offseason

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It’s inevitable.

Every year, NFL teams watch as top free agent acquisitions turn into irrelevant signings that, in essence, flush millions of dollars down the proverbial toilet. Whether it’s due to injury, age, poor scheme fit or just a lack of talent, these letdowns can cripple a franchise. They can also be just a laughable footnote to a successful season. Every situation plays out differently.

The end result, however, is always the same. When all is said and done, the signing teams are left feeling idiotic and used, with a lighter back account. Meanwhile, the signees walk away with some extra cash in their back pockets and their heads held low after watching what was supposed to be a promising engagement turn into a train wreck.

That’s the downfall of free agency, though. While one player may shine with one team, playing for a different club with different schemes in a different location doesn’t always translate to similar success. In some special situations, there isn’t even an obvious reason as to why the same type of production doesn’t carry over. Either way, these irrelevant signings often hinder a franchise’s ability to compete.

No matter what way you want to spin in, these signings can’t be avoided. All 32 NFL teams make mistakes, and are bound to snag a free agent or two who won’t pan out as expected.

Here’s a look at five 2013 free agent acquisitions who will disappoint this upcoming season and leave their teams wondering what went wrong.

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Mike Jenkins

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At first, signing Jenkins seemed like a smart move for the Oakland Raiders. They were extremely thin at cornerback and needed a cheap option with starting experience. And then they drafted D.J. Hayden in the first round and signed veteran Charles Woodson. Plus, young cornerback Phillip Adams is on the verge of a breakout season. All of that equals irrelevance for Jenkins, who has disappointed the past few seasons anyways. You know it’s bad when you’re the odd man out in Oakland.

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Shonn Greene

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Despite a plethora of opportunities, Greene was never able to take that final step to feature back during his time with the New York Jets. Even in a backup role, though, Greene still projects as a disappointment, especially behind an elite runner like Chris Johnson. The Tennessee Titans paid Greene $10 million for a three-year deal, and got robbed. It won’t take long for Greene to become irrelevant in Music City.

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Rey Maualuga

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It’s a bit of a head-scratcher as to why the Cincinnati Bengals decided to re-sign 2012 middle linebacker Maualuga, who was extremely ineffective on the inside after spending his first four seasons in the NFL on the strong side. With second-year stud Vontaze Burfict prepared for another strong season and youngster Emmanual Lamur ready for significant snaps, it shouldn’t be long before Maualuga becomes an irrelevant part of the Bengals’ linebacking corps.

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Kevin Ogletree

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The hype train was in full motion this offseason when Ogletree signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Apart from his enormous outing during the Dallas Cowboys’ Week 1 win last season, the veteran has failed to impress as an NFL receiver. Even though they signed him for relatively cheap, the Buccaneers will be as happy as Ogletree is above when he makes the same type of irrelevant impact that the Cowboys got fed up with.

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Dwight Freeney

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A large part of why the Indianapolis Colts opted against re-signing Freeney was his ineffectiveness as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Yet, for some reason, the San Diego Chargers seem to think they can magically make him fit into a similar role. They paid way too much for an aging veteran with little left in the tank, especially since he’s not a fit for their scheme. Is it just me, or does this feel like one of those irrelevant A.J. Smith deals that the Chargers end up regretting a year down the road?

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Tim Tebow

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Well let’s see… The New England Patriots have a future Hall of Famer in Tom Brady as their starting quarterback, and a promising young gunslinger in Ryan Mallett as his backup. A third-string quarterback might not even be necessary, yet that’s the role Tebow was brought in to fill. While I’m sure Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is grinning from ear to ear after this signing, it’s pretty obvious that Tebow won’t offer much for New England unless he makes a switch to tight end. Just another irrelevant signing.