2012 NFL Free Agents: 5 Players Guaranteed to Be Overpaid

Colton Kokrda@kokrdaCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2012

2012 NFL Free Agents: 5 Players Guaranteed to Be Overpaid

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    Every year, there are players that sign new contracts with new teams and end up being overpaid for their abilities.

    Teams feel they are signing a player to a great deal and things will work out great for them, only to have that player under-perform during the season and result in disappointment.

    Some teams are looking to make a huge splash this offseason, and will throw money at big names to try and help their team out.

    Here are five players that are guaranteed to be overpaid this offseason.

No. 5: Dallas Clark, Tight End

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    It wasn't long ago that Dallas Clark was one of the top performers at tight end in the NFL. He was a constant target of Peyton Manning and was consistently towards the top of the rankings for production out of his position.

    In 2009, Clark caught 100 passes for a total of 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns over 16 games. Over the last two seasons, Clark has played in just 17 games, totaling 71 receptions, 699 yards and five touchdowns.

    Injuries have derailed his career, with a freak wrist injury ending his 2010 season prematurely and a lower-leg injury affecting him last season.

    As he is healthy, look for a team expecting the Dallas Clark of 2009 to show up when he signs a deal to more money than he is worth.

No. 4: Michael Bush, Running Back

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    One of, if not the best backup running back heading to free agency is Michael Bush.

    Bush was a critical part of the Oakland Raiders' offense the last few years. With young stud running back Darren McFadden always seeming to find a way to get injured, Bush has gained a lot of playing time the last few seasons.

    He has started in 19 games over the last three seasons, including a career high nine starts last season. He has played in more than 14 games a season for his four years in the NFL.

    Now, he is looking for a starting gig.

    Bush will likely be a successful starting running back. However, he may not have enough left in the tank to be the star running back that is expected of him. He will likely demand more money than he is worth, and will be paid like a star back without providing the numbers to back it up.

No. 3: Cortland Finnegan, Defensive Back

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    The top defensive back on the market is Cortland Finnegan.

    It appears that he has worn out his welcome in Tennessee, as the Titans had the chance to retain him but used their franchise tag on safety Michael Griffin instead.

    Finnegan offers a defensive back that plays a very aggressive game that is backed up by sound fundamentals. However, he is infamous for his bullying tactics and can be a distraction for those reasons.

    Look for Finnegan to be paid top dollar on the market, and likely for far more money than he is truly worth.

No. 2: Matt Flynn, Quarterback

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    Matt Flynn is going to be overpaid this offseason.

    The back-up quarterback to perennial MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers is finally hitting the free agent market, and is looking to score a starting gig somewhere.

    His performance in the last game of the season, in which he threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns has teams salivating at the chance to sign him.

    A four-year pro in the league, Flynn only has two starts under his belt. He is unproven as a starter over a full season, and he is likely going to be paid big money to take the reins of an offense next season.

No. 1: Peyton Manning, Quarterback

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    First things first. I love Peyton Manning as much as the next guy. But he will be overpaid next season.

    Manning is coming off a year of rest in 2011, after he underwent at least three neck surgeries (with a reported fourth) in the last 20 months.

    Even though he is Peyton and everyone knows what he can do, there is a huge risk associated with signing Manning to a contract. There is no guarantee that he will be able to play the whole season next year, and teams may not know how he will be able to handle the stresses of the game until he is hit for a sack.

    Manning will be signed to a large contract, and with the huge risk associated with his health and no guarantee of him playing the full season, he is surely going to be overpaid.