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: July 28, 2010, 02:20:47 PM

And our own AB makes this list...


With the removal of the last big-name free agent from the shelf, thanks to Terrell Owens' signing with Cincinnati, let's look back at some of the most ill-advised free-agent signings in the uncapped year.

Here are seven moves that probably shouldn't have happened.

Antonio Bryant to the Bengals

In light of their most recent signing, the Bengals might have overpaid for Antonio Bryant.In March, the Bengals conducted a two-float receiver parade. First came Antonio Bryant for a visit. As he left, Terrell Owens arrived.

Then, after T.O. was gone, Bryant received a four-year, $28 million deal.

So why did the Bengals sign Owens nearly five months later? The ability to team Bryant with T.O. and Chad Ochocinco should give the Bengals a potent passing attack, but with Bryant potentially the odd man out when the team employs two-receiver sets, it made no sense for the Bengals to pay him so much money so early in free agency.

Already rumblings have emerged Bryant could be cut, but with $7.85 million already in hand, it's unlikely Cincinnati will dump him before 2011. Instead, the team will have to move forward with football's version of LeBron, Dwyane, and Bosh, mindful of the fact there are eight other guys on the field with them, not two.

Jake Delhomme to the Browns

One of the problems with football coaches-turned-executives is that they can't leave behind their desire to win now when making dispassionate decisions aimed at advancing the long-term interests of the club. And that dynamic arguably played out earlier this year in Cleveland, when new team president Mike Holmgren dumped quarterback Derek Anderson, traded quarterback Brady Quinn to Denver for a pack of beef jerky and an old pair of running shoes, and then pounced on a man who lost his fastball during the 2008 playoffs — and never found it again during the 2009 season.

The Browns will pay Jake Delhomme $7 million in 2010, a stunning reward for one of the most dramatic falls from grace any quarterback has experienced. Making the move even more puzzling is that, with the exercise of patience and the application of a poker face, the Browns eventually could have gotten Donovan McNabb for the same deal that the Redskins cobbled together in early April — a second-round pick now, and either a third-round or a fourth-round selection next year.

Some Browns fan may defend the move by explaining McNabb is 33, and he could soon enter a decline. Meanwhile, Delhomme is 35, and he's already skydiving without a parachute.

Derek Anderson to the Cardinals

In Arizona, the Cardinals needed a quality backup for still-unproven Matt Leinart, who inherited the starting quarterback job after Kurt Warner retired. Ideally, the Cards would have found a guy capable of pushing Leinart as aggressively as Warner had pushed him in 2008, back when Warner eventually leapfrogged him.

Instead, the Cardinals signed Derek Anderson.

Sure, no Kurt Warners were hanging around the local Piggly Wiggly when the Cardinals made their move. But the problem arose several weeks later, when the Rams finally cut Marc Bulger, who would have been a much better candidate to give the Cardinals what they need.

Then again, maybe the Rams would have held onto Bulger until their division rivals in the desert had lined up a backup. Still, the Cardinals should have been ready to upgrade to Bulger, regardless of who they signed in March.

Now, they're stuck with two guys who even on their best days will be a far cry from Kurt Warner.

Joey Porter to the Cardinals

The Cardinals' misguided free-agency moves weren't confined to the offensive side of the ball. Not long after the Dolphins cut the cord on an aging loudmouth linebacker whose production has dipped, Arizona pounced.

Joey Porter is now a Cardinal. Though they didn't break the bank to get him, the consensus in league circles is that Porter's best days have faded far into his rear-view mirror. Given the potentially negative impact his propensity to pop off could have on a team in transition, the Cardinals should have passed on Porter.

Brandon Manumaleuna to the Bears

When Mike Martz finally was hired to serve as the Bears' new offensive coordinator, he needed guys who could run his offense.

Chicago started the process by bringing in 30-year-old Brandon Manumaleuna, a blocking tight end who spent the first five years of his career with Martz in St. Louis.

Signing Manumaleuna is one thing. Making a mad dash to land him on the first day of free agency, and thus grossly overpaying him in the process, is another.

LaDainian Tomlinson to the Jets

Not long ago, LaDainian Tomlinson was the most dominant running back in the NFL. Over the past few years, however, it's become obvious that a great tailback quickly can become just another guy, via age and a **CENSORED**tail of injuries.

The problem is fans see the same player and think he's the same player, and the player remembers his past exploits and believes he can will his way back to the top of the mountain.

But it simply doesn't happen that way. Tomlinson, cut by the Chargers a year too late, became the subject of a tug-of-war between the Vikings and the Jets.

The Vikings lost, and in so doing they possibly won.

With Tomlinson's diminished skills comes a me-first attitude that won't be conducive to developing the right chemistry in the locker room, especially if (when) he realizes he's there to give Shonn Greene a breather, and not the other way around.

Meanwhile, to get Tomlinson, the Jets cut Thomas Jones, who had a career year in 2009 and provided the kind of leadership that the Jets sorely will need if (when) adversity arises in 2010.

And if (when) that happens, it'll be easy to find Tomlinson. He'll be sitting at the end of the bench, helmet on and visor dimmed.

Larry Johnson and Willie Parker to the Redskins
With an aging, battered Clinton Portis leading the way for the Redskins' running game, new coach Mike Shanahan had a great idea for rebuilding the attack.

He signed two more of them.

The Redskins have added Larry Johnson and Willie Parker to the mix, presumably with the intent of all three making the final 53-man roster.

Meanwhile, the Redskins also pursued Brian Westbrook, yet another old and banged-up tailback.

While the franchise has resisted (for a change) the urge to spend too much money, if this is what being frugal produces it could make more sense to overspend.

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Pewter Report  >>  Boards  >>  The Red Board (Moderators: 3rd String Kicker, PRPatrol)  >>  Topic: Worst FA signings of 2010 « previous next »

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