Well well, the NFL free agency frenzy is upon us once again. While most teams are looking to upgrade, find the missing piece, or add depth, some teams just make decisions that leaves fans and analysts alike shaking their heads. There’s been plenty of free agency blunders throughout NFL history since free agency began, let’s take a look at the five worst ones:
5. David Boston, WR – San Diego Chargers
Boston signed a seven-year, $47 million dollar deal with the Bolts in 2003. Although he played fairly well in his first season, it was not nearly good enough to warrant his price tag. He had several conflicts with coaches and team mates, and was shipped to Miami after only one season in San Diego. He has been out of the NFL since 2006.
4. Larry Brown, CB – Oakland Raiders
Larry Brown turned his “heroics” from Super Bowl XXX into a decent payday from the Raiders, $12.5 million over five years. But, by “heroics” I mean intercepting passes that Neil O’Donnell threw right to him in the Super Bowl. How that made anyone feverishly covet this guy is beyond me. He played two disastrous seasons in Oakland, complete with a four-week suspension and rampant ineptitude.
3. Javon Walker, WR – Oakland Raiders
In 2004, Walker had a Pro-Bowl season, snagging twelve touchdowns and over 1,300 yards receiving. This made him a coveted free-agent in 2005. This is where the disappointment began, as Walker was never able to regain his 2004 magic being injury plagued. The Raiders threw $55 million at him for six years, after which he only played in seven games. The stats of those games are trivial.
2. Adam Archuleta, S – Washington Redskins
Archuleta is the defensive equivalent to Walker, minus the injury bug. This guy was a tackling animal for the Rams after being drafted by them in 2001, and his stellar play made him one of the most sought-after guys after the 2005 season ended. The Redskins signed Archuleta to a seven-year, $35 million deal, after which he regressed severely, being relegated to special teams duty. He particularly had trouble with the deep ball, and expressed displeasure in the way the ‘Skins were using him. He was traded to the Bears after that disaster of a season with Washington.
1. Scott Mitchell, QB – Detroit Lions
How this Miami Dolphins backup who had previously only started seven games in his career became a hot commodity still makes me wonder to this very day. Granted, he had some solid seasons, and even led the Lions to the playoffs in 1995 and 1997. But his play was overall inconsistent, and definitely not worth the $11+ million, three-year deal he received in 1994. He eventually lost his job to then rookie Charlie Batch in 1998.