By Chris Ross @DraftScout_NFL on May 22, 2014
Every year in the NFL there are free agency signings that don't work out. Going into 2014, it's likely that there will be a good portion of free agency flops. That said, here are the 20 NFL free agents who will flop with their new teams.
Although he was able to enjoy moderate success as a starter for the Baltimore Ravens last season, James Ihedigbo isn’t likely to remain as successful as a member of the Detroit Lions. With less talent around him, and expectations higher than before, expect Ihedigbo to disappoint.
Last season, as a member of the Oakland Raiders, Rashad Jennings was surprisingly effective, and emerged as the team’s leading rusher. That said, the New York Giants are making a mistake by making Jennings their feature back.
Zane Beadles is a solid player, however, the Jacksonville Jaguars are grossly overpaying for Beadles’ services on the line. Signed to a five-year, million contract, Beadles isn’t likely to live up to his contract.
Brought on in an effort to improve the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line, Chris Williams simply wasn’t the right guy for the job. Better-suited for a role as a backup, Williams is going to be miscast as a starter in Buffalo, and ultimately will be a flop.
Although he is an adequate starter, Evan Dietrich-Smith is a clear step down from Jeremy Zuttah for the Buccaneers. Dietrich-Smith just isn’t good enough to warrant the four-year, .25 million deal he signed during free agency.
Signed as a replacement for LaMarr Houston, Justin Tuck enters 2014 as the probable starting defensive end for the Raiders. Unfortunately for the team, Tuck simply isn’t the player he once was, and there’s a good chance he doesn’t live up to expectations in black and silver.
This isn’t to say that Jared Allen won’t be a solid player for the Chicago Bears, however, if the team expects Allen to return to elite status, they will be disappointed. Allen can be a good pass rusher, but at his age, Allen is a good bet to decline, and I think he could be a free agency flop for the Bears.
Had the 49ers not drafted Jimmie Ward in the first round, there’s a good chance Antoine Bethea wouldn’t be on this list at all. That said, with Ward now in the mix and likely to play his fair share of snaps, it appears that Bethea could be underwhelming with the 49ers.
A backup-caliber cornerback that is going to be forced to play a significant amount of snaps in 2014; Nolan Carroll enters a bad situation with the Philadelphia Eagles. Signed to a .2 million deal over the next two years, it would be surprising to see Carroll live up to his contract.
Since being drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft, Mike Mitchell has been a disappointment as a starting safety in the league. Mitchell was signed to a big, million contract this offseason; however, if his play to this point is any indication, he won’t live up to that contract in 2014.
Although he was signed for a relatively cheap one-year, .25 million contract by the Bills earlier this offseason, Brandon Spikes still enters next season with a few question marks surrounding him. Spikes never lived up to his potential in New England, and I believe it’s unlikely Spikes fares much better as the Bills’ starting middle linebacker.
While I do understand why the Jets signed Michael Vick this offseason, I firmly believe the team made a mistake by signing Vick. Not only is Vick extremely injury-prone at this point in his career, but his effectiveness is dwindling as well. I understand why the Jets picked up Vick, I’m just not a fan of the move.
Signed to replace the departed D'Qwell Jackson, Karlos Dansby is a solid player, but he’s older than Jackson, and it’s reasonable to think that perhaps Dansby’s best days are behind him. It would be surprising to see Dansby live up to his new million contract.
Although he still has the ability to be an occasional pass rusher, Julius Peppers just isn’t the type of player the Green Bay Packers think they are getting. He could be great in a situational role, but chances are, the Packers are going to force Peppers into playing more snaps than he should.
After a disastrous tenure as a member of the Cleveland Browns, Brandon Weeden was released this offseason, and later picked up by the Dallas Cowboys in what was a bit of a head-scratching move. Weeden likely will likely be asked to play the role of a backup for the Cowboys, but after his Cleveland experience, it would be surprising to see Weeden stick with the Cowboys.
Brought in to try and fix the Eagles’ woes in the secondary once and for all, Malcolm Jenkins was handed a three-year .25 million contract. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Jenkins is the last guy they should want playing a big role in their defense. Jenkins is far too inconsistent, and it’s not likely he will improve much with Philadelphia.
In what was one of the most confusing moves of the offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Josh McCown to take over the starting quarterback job, despite having the young Mike Glennon on the roster. McCown has been average his entire career, and this wasn’t a smart move for the Buccaneers.
Despite never becoming a consistent starting receiver for Green Bay, James Jones was handed a big contract and a starting job this offseason by the Oakland Raiders. If Jones didn’t live up to his potential with Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, he won’t live up to his potential with Matt Schaub throwing him the ball either.
Although it was expected that Chris Johnson would become a member of the New York Jets, it wasn’t a smart move for the team. Johnson hasn’t shown the same explosiveness since running for over 2,000 yards back in 2009, and it appears his days as a starter are over. I just can’t see this pairing working out.
I hate to rag on the Jets again for a free-agent signing, however, the signing of Eric Decker to be a No. 1 receiver was a mistake. Decker could be a great secondary receiver in a good offense, but with the Jets, I expect Decker to be a flop.
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