2015 Fantasy Football: The Worst Free Agency Moves of the NFC
This is the final installment of our four-part series looking at the best and worst moves from free agency in the NFL.
QB Free Agent Signing
Blaine Gabbert, SF
Technically I’m breaking the rules here because this is a re-sign. I didn’t want to just default Shaun Hill to the best and worst QB signing this offseason. Gabbert is arguably the worst QB I’ve ever watched start in all my years watching football. He is absolutely horrendous. Ryan Lindley certainly gave him a run for his money though. In fairness to Lindley, he was supposed to be third string.
RB Free Agent Signing
Darren McFadden, DAL
McFadden edges out Reggie Bush and the Eagles duo for worst running back pickup in the NFC. He has been beyond injury prone and has missed 29 games in seven years. In the past three seasons he has not managed to rush for even 3.5 yards per carry in the past three seasons. You can make the argument that he was in Oakland where no one is overly successful. However, last season Latavius Murray averaged 5.2 YPC behind the same offensive line that McFadden only managed 3.4 YPC behind. Rashad Jennings also had success averaging 4.5 YPC in 2013.
Many will argue, with the Dallas O-line in front of him, he is less likely to get injured. First off, whether he is contacted at the line or three yards past it, contact is contact. More importantly, he is more susceptible to non-contact injuries at this point in his career. He has dealt with a laundry list of lower body injuries including hamstring, knee (torn meniscus) and ankle problems. However, his biggest issue has been with his feet. His foot injuries began in 2006 when McFadden was attending Arkansas. He was in a night club brawl and required surgery to repair his injured foot. He has since suffered turf toe and a lisfranc sprain.
Just because you have a great offensive line does not mean you should sign a terrible running back. Now they pretty much have to use a draft pick on a rookie.
WR Free Agent Signing
Dwayne Harris, NYG
The Giants pretty much paid a 27-year-old special teamer and blocking WR five-years, $17.5 million with $7.1 million guaranteed. He’s a decent return man but far from a star. He had zero TDs last season and the Cowboys had a below-average return game. He certainly isn’t a game-breaking wideout. In 16 games last season he caught seven passes for a grand total of 116 yards. There is no real logical explanation for this move. The Giants could have easily drafted a rookie on day two of the draft that has as much if not more talent than Harris. Perhaps the G-Men have a master plan but I just don’t see it. Not at that price.
TE Free Agent Signing
Jacob Tamme, ATL
If Tony Moeaki was the best, Tamme was the worst. First of all, options are limited, nevertheless, we all know any success he had was thanks to Peyton Manning and Atlanta already has a blocking TE. Had they known the Moeaki deal was going to get done they may have opted against signing Tamme. Odds are you could plug in a number of backup TEs for less money that could be just as productive as Tamme. It’s not a huge deal, but hey, somebody has to be the worst.
Byron Maxwell, PHI
This is more of a money issue. Maxwell has potential but not six-years, $63 million with $25.5 million guaranteed worth of potential. He’s not a top five corner and he’s only started 14 games in his career. It’s a lot easier to look good when you have the Legion of Boom behind you and a ferocious pass-rush in front of you. Not to mention a dominant group of run stoppers. Still, I’m not saying he won’t be a solid player and I understand most corners get overpaid. That doesn’t make it a good idea. This was just way too huge of a contract for Maxwell.
Sam Bradford, PHI
What the H? I don’t get it. This guy can’t stay healthy and the Eagles give up Nick Foles a second and fifth round pick for Bradford and a fourth? I’m not buying it. I still fully believe that the Eagles plan to trade him on draft day. If not, this is a ridiculous move. Who knows how good he even is anymore after so many injuries including back-to-back torn ACLs. A lot of people are buying the fact that Chip Kelly is some sort of genius mastermind. I hate pretty much everything they’ve done this offseason.
Randall Cobb, GB
A lot of people are going to get mad at this one but hear me out. While fantasy owners should be thrilled, there is one major concern for Green Bay. They now have nearly $20 million per season tied up in two wide receivers (Cobb and Jordy Nelson). Not to mention a $120 million QB (Aaron Rodgers). That could put a major strain on the rest of the team, including the defense, O-line and Eddie Lacy, who is due for a new contract in no more than two seasons.
Also, if you look at the most successful teams, they don’t spend money on WRs. Take the Patriots and Seahawks for example. You can go back years, very few Super Bowl teams are stacked at receiver. An elite QB should be able to raise the level of his WRs so you don’t have to pay them. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to be successful in the playoffs. Cobb is a great player, but that’s a lot of money to have tied up in one aspect of the team.