3 Worst NFL Free Agent Deals This Offseason

By Ian McCafferty
Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants / Al Bello

Cover Photo: Getty Images

Just because NFL teams have a lot of money doesn't mean they spend it wisely. Due to the scarce nature of big-impact free agents, NFL teams are more willing to spend big money in hopes that they land a franchise-altering or at least franchise-helping free agent.

However, no team has a hit rate of 100 percent and in 2019, just like every year, there were some atrocious deals handed out to free agents. As the money around the league goes up, so seemingly does the number of bad contracts. These were the three worst deals handed out this offseason.

1. Ereck Flowers, OT, Washington Redskins

Getty Images
Getty Images / Al Bello

You'd think a one-year, $4-million contract wouldn't be one of the worst deals, but Ereck Flowers has been so bad it just makes zero sense at any level. Flowers was a below replacement level tackle with the Giants and, despite being a Top 10 pick, got cut after just two plus seasons in New York. Washington picked him up with the hope that offensive line coach Bill Callahan can fix him and finally get him to live up to his potential, but $4 million is a lot for a fixer-upper. To make matters worse, even if he is fixed this season they don't have him under contract for another season and would probably have to pay a premium to keep him. This wouldn't have been a great signing at the vet minimum, but at $4 million it's absolutely bizarre.

2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets

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Getty Images / Gregory Shamus

This isn't a great deal and that's with Le'Veon Bell not getting as much money as he wanted. Running backs just aren't worth as much as they once were and are easily replaced; just look at Todd Gurley in the playoffs. Add on the fact that historically big running back contracts almost never pan out and that by the third year of this four-year, $52.5 million deal Bell will be 30 and there are a lot of red flags. The Jets had a lot of cap space, but surely they could have spread that money out to fill more holes on the roster.

3. Za'Darius Smith, LB, Green Bay Packers

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Getty Images / Scott Taetsch

Za'Darius Smith is a solid outside linebacker, but $66 million is a lot for a player with 18.5 career sacks over four years. Smith's $16.5-million-a-year average puts him on level footing with players like Melvin Ingram and Chandler Jones, who have both had multiple seasons with double-digit sacks. Jones had 17.0 sacks in 2017, just 1.5 sacks sort of Smith's career output. Smith might pan out to be a good player for the Packers, but paying a premium for a player who's best season is 8.5 sacks while playing in a top defense is an odd decision.

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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.