Best and worst of NFL Free Agency so far

Thought I’d take this opportunity to take a break from Redskins news to take a look at free agency around the rest of the league. Here are my best and worst so far:

Best 5

5. Mike Glennon to Chicago Bears

Contract: 3 years / $15m average / $18.5m guaranteed

I like this for two reasons: firstly in the limited playing time Glennon has had, I think he’s shown something. Secondly, the Bears did not fall into the same trap the Texans did this time last year. Osweiler got a horrible deal in terms of guaranteed money, and now the Texans have had to pay the price of a high draft pick to get him off their books. That’s not the case here, if Glennon doesn’t work out, the Bears can move on easily next season. If he does, they’ve got a Quarterback for a very good rate.

4. Chris Baker to Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Contract: 3 years / $5.25m average / $6m guaranteed

I wrote a little on this already here. How can you not call this a bargain based on Baker’s play the past two season? When he plays hard he’s a really disruptive interior defender, and there aren’t too many of those around. Granted, he could play hard more often, but $5m per season is little more than some backups make. Great upside here.

3. Brandon Marshall to New York Giants

Contract: 2 years / $5.5m average / $5m guaranteed

Whether you like him or not, it’s impossible to deny Marshall just produces. Plain and simple. Maybe the Giants got the benefit of a “home town discount” of sorts, but it doesn’t matter. Unless Marshall’s play suddenly falls off a cliff, which seems unlikely, he’s going to make the Giants offense harder to stop, and Eli Manning’s life a lot easier.

2. Terrelle Pryor to Washington Redskins

Contract: 1 year / $6m / $6m guaranteed

I’m allowed a homer pick aren’t I? I broke down Pryor’s deal here, the bottom line is this is a move with a boat load of upside to go with minimal downside. Yeah it’s only one year, but if that year is anything like the year Pryor had in 2016, it’ll be one of the best $6m cap hits in the NFL.

1. Logan Ryan to Tennessee Titans

Contract: 3 years / $10m average 

I really like this deal a lot. Over the past couple of seasons, Ryan has proven to be an extremely competent Cornerback, and the Titans have him signed to a deal that doesn’t even crack the top 10 in terms of average for his position. What makes it look even better in my mind is the fact the Patriots overpaid a worse player, which I’ll get to soon.

Worst 5

5. Kenny Britt to Cleveland Browns

Contract: 4 years / $8.15m average / $10.5m guaranteed

This isn’t an egregiously bad deal, but I just get the feeling the  Browns are being duped based on Britt’s numbers in 2016. But that season was an aberration, it’s taken Britt eight years to achieve anything like that production (including serious injury recovery). This reminds me a little of when the Browns signed Dwayne Bowe, although I’m certain it won’t work out quite as badly as that.

4. Riley Reiff to Minnesota Vikings

Contract: 5 years / $11.75m average / $26.m guaranteed

Riley Reiff hit the jackpot. He hasn’t played Left Tackle his whole career in the NFL – last season he played Right Tackle, but the Vikings have paid him to fill the LT spot. It’s not horrendous, the only problem I have with the deal is Reiff is now earning the same sort of average as Andrew Whitworth, Joe Thomas and even Tyron Smith. And those guys are all clearly several tiers above him.

3. Calais Campbell to Jacksonville Jaguars

Contract: 4 years / $15m average / $30m guaranteed

I love Campbell as a player, I think he’s excellent. However, he’s about to enter his age-31 season. I don’t expect any kind of rapid decline, but at 31 the chances he can keep performing at the top-level are getting lower. $15m per season with $30m guaranteed is just too much money to make this good value.

2. Stephon Gilmore to New England Patriots

Contract: 5 years / $13m average / $31m guaranteed

I don’t like having to criticize a decision of this magnitude by Bill Belichick, and I’m well aware he has a great track record of picking up these types of players and getting great production from them. But Gilmore isn’t elite. He’s flashed real potential, but he’s not one of the best in the league. The Patriots are paying him thusly. Moreover, they let a player in Logan Ryan go for a lot less money, and I think he’s better.

1. Eric Berry to Kansas City Chiefs

Contract: 6 years / $13m average / $29.8m guaranteed

He never hit free agency, but technically he was one. The problem I have with this deal is more from the perspective of the teams cap position. The Chiefs don’t have a lot of space to work with, at all. I’m a firm believer of paying game-changing positions first and foremost, and safety isn’t one of them. Yes, Berry is a “playmaker” of a safety, but he’s still a safety. This deal is massive – all of the numbers (total value, average, guarantees) are the most for the position. It’s not like Berry is the standout safety in the NFL, and it leaves the Chiefs right up against it in terms of cap space.

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