10 Newly Signed NFL Free Agents With the Most to Prove in 2014

10 Newly Signed NFL FAs Who Have To Prove Their Worth in 2014

Jared Allen
Getty Images

NFL free agency 2014 is wrapped up for the most part. We're now just a couple weeks away from the NFL Draft, which means that OTAs are also right around the corner.

In this slideshow we'll take a look at 10 players who just signed new contracts and rank them according to who has the most to prove in 2014 and beyond:

10. Linval Joseph

Linval Joseph
USA Today Sports

10. Linval Joseph

Linval Joseph

The Vikings signed Joseph to a large five-year/31 million deal on March 11th. It was the second largest FA deal for DTs and it's all based on potential. Joseph has been a starter for the past three years, but obviously the Vikings feel he's ready to elevate his game to a new level.

9. Steve Smith

Steve Smith panthers rumors
USA Today Sports

9. Steve Smith

Steve Smith panthers rumors

The Panthers basically told Smith that he was too old to continue his career in Carolina. The Ravens are hoping that the chip on his shoulder help him tear it up in 2014. They didn't overpay for the veteran WR, but there's no doubt he has to prove that he's not washed up.

8. Toby Gerhart

Toby Gerhart
USA Today Sports

8. Toby Gerhart

Toby Gerhart

Gerhart finally has his chance to be a feature back with Jaguars. After four long years behind Adrian Peterson, he has to be eager to start the next chapter of his career. But if he flops in Jacksonville, the Jaguars will have a hard time building on their strong finish in 2013.

7. Ben Tate

Ben Tate
USA Today Sports

7. Ben Tate

Ben Tate

Just like Gerhart, Tate's time to shine as a No. 1 back is here. He'll get his shot with the Browns, a team that desperately needs a reliable RB. If Tate fails to impress in Cleveland, he'll be stuck as a backup for the rest of his career.

6. Knowshon Moreno

Knowshon Moreno
USA Today Sports

6. Knowshon Moreno

Knowshon Moreno

Was Moreno's strong 2013 campaign just the result of playing alongside Peyton Manning? That's what many people think. Moreno will be out to prove them wrong and that he deserves a long-term deal moving forward.

5. Andre Roberts

Andre Roberts
USA Today Sports

5. Andre Roberts

Andre Roberts

It looked like Roberts was going to be the Redskins No. 2 WR, that is, until DeSean Jackson came along. Now, Roberts is back to being possibly buried in Washington next season. Will he step up and prove he's worth 16 million?

4. Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen Vikings
Getty Images

4. Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen Vikings

Griffen was an in-house free agent for the Vikings, but he's still a fairly risky signing that could go either way. Minnesota is going to pay him 42.5 million over five years, which makes him the team's third highest paid player. All of this comes after he spent four seasons as a backup DE.

3. Golden Tate

Golden Tate
Getty Images

3. Golden Tate

Golden Tate

Tate decided to jump ship after winning a Super Bowl in Seattle last season. The Lions needed WR help and Tate will no doubt be a solid contributor alongside Calvin Johnson. But is he really worth 31 million? A lot of people don't think so.

2. Chris Johnson

Tennessee Titans v Seattle Seahawks
Getty Images

2. Chris Johnson

Tennessee Titans v Seattle Seahawks

After being widely considered one of the best backs in football just a few short years ago, Johnson found himself getting kicked to the curb this offseason by the Titans. Can he regain his prior form with the Jets? He says he'll be playing with a chip on his shoulder, which is good, because he appeared to have lost his edge in 2013.

1. Eric Decker

Eric Decker
USA Today Sports

1. Eric Decker

Eric Decker

Of all the free agent signings in 2014, no one will have more pressure to perform at a high level next season than Eric Decker. The Jets needed WR help, but Decker hasn't proven he can be a No. 1 WR to this point. Right now, he's the Jets No. 1 guy.

There's no doubt he can be a solid contributor for many years, but can he be a go-to WR?


Around the Web