By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on June 4, 2014
Every NFL offseason countless free agents hit the open market; many of whom have been productive players and even stars in the past. But there's always a reason why each's former team allowed them to walk. Thus, like every other year, there are bound to be regrettable purchases. Here are five veterans who will struggle with new teams this season.
The Tennessee Titans made one of the most puzzling acquisitions of the offseason by making Michael Oher the league's eighth highest paid right tackle. Although a household name after the 2009 film The Blind Side, Oher was seemingly nowhere near worth what Tennessee was willing to pay him. Ranking as Pro Football Focus' No. 68 most efficient offensive tackle last season, Oher was let go by the Ravens for good reason.
Knowshon Moreno is a solid runner who is capable as a receiver and as a pass protector, but Dolphins fans who are expecting him to pick up where he left off with the Broncos last year will probably be disappointed. In Denver, Moreno had the luxury of running against the nickel defense on the bulk of his carries, which helped propel him to a breakout season statistically. In Miami, defenses won't be so willing to concede the run.
Another former Bronco who likely won't find the grass to be greener elsewhere is receiver Eric Decker. After back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns catching passes from future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, Decker is due for a letdown year in an offense run by Geno Smith (or maybe Michael Vick). The Jets' lack of depth at receiver should also be detrimental to Decker, as opposing defenses will be able scheme coverages to contain him.
Now for a new member of the Broncos. T.J. Ward was one of the NFL's most efficient safeties last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He's a violent hitter who excels at stuffing the run inside the box. But he has some vulnerabilities in coverage, and he'll likely be asked to cover more in 2014. Underachievement could be looming for Ward after his big payday.
Josh McCown kept the Chicago Bears afloat when Jay Cutler went down last season, and was the more efficient passer statistically. Looking at his larger body of work suggests McCown's sudden superb play was more of an aberration than a sign of things to come, though. He probably won't be much of an upgrade over Mike Glennon in Tampa Bay, if an upgrade at all.
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