The 10 Worst NFL Free Agent Signings of All Time
The offseason is a time of hope for every NFL team. A team can forget about the previous seasons' failures and look ahead to the promise of a new, unblemished season.
Every team feels as if they have a chance to compete, and that a good offseason can lead to a great season.
Some teams make it to the next level by signing the big free agent, while others opt for the draft as their catalyst for a successful season.
Free agents are not always what they seem to be. A bad free agent signing can ruin a team's season, and seriously hamper a franchise.
Teams need to make wise choices when working the free agent market, but good decisions are not always made. There have been many bad free agent signings in the past, but I will only be looking at the 10 worst free agent signings of the modern era.
10. Emmit Smith (Arizona Cardinals)
After spending 12 spectacular seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Smith signed a two year eight million dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
Smith rewarded his new team with 11 touchdowns and 1,193 rushing yards over two seasons.
A record setting career does not mean that a player is worth eight million dollars, and in the case of Emmitt Smith it was a complete waste of money.
9. Ahman Green (Houston Texans)
After averaging 4.5 yards per rush over seven seasons for the Green Bay Packers, Ahman Green entered the free agent market looking for a big contract.
Although he had just sustained a serious injury, the Texans felt the need to sign him to a four-year, 23 million dollar deal.
Over 2 seasons Green played in 14 games scoring five rushing touchdowns. He was recently released by the Texans after being replaced by the electrifying rookie Steve Slaton.
8. Jeff Garcia (Cleveland Browns)
A three-time Pro Bowler for the 49ers, Garcia seemed worthy of the four year 25 million dollar deal that he signed with the Browns.
Sadly Garcia didn't work out in Cleveland as he posted a 3-7 record and was released after one abysmal season.
Oh and he also became the fifth QB to achieve a 0.0 QB rating in over 30 years.
7. David Boston (San Diego Chargers)
Signing a seven-year deal worth $47 million; including $12 million in his first season turned out to be the highlight of Boston's career in San Diego.
Although he did play fairly well in his season with the Chargers, it could not overshadow the conflicts that he had with teammates and coaches alike.
He was shipped off to Miami after one tumultuous season in San Diego.
6. Andre Rison (Cleveland Browns)
After giving 17 million dollars over five seasons to Rison, Art Modell owner of the Browns,said that Rison was "every bit as good as Jerry Rice"
Unfortunately for the Browns, this declaration did not turn out to be true.
Rison played just one season for the Browns catching 47 passes before being cut at the end of the season.
5. Larry Brown (Oakland Raiders)
Larry Brown parlayed his Super Bowl heroics into a five year 12.5 million dollar deal from the Oakland Raiders.
Expected to make an instant impact on the field, Brown proved to do the opposite.
He started only one game, found it unnecessary to study the playbook, was suspended for four weeks, and was finally released after two horrible seasons.
4. Javon Walker (Oakland Raiders)
After making the Pro Bowl in the 2004 season, Walker decided that a change of scenery and more money was what he wanted.
In 2004 he caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns, making him one of the most coveted free agents availible. He was traded to the Denver Broncos and had one good season in 2006 before being released in 2008.
Although he had been plauged by injuries the Oakland Raiders still felt as if the damaged Walker was worth a six year 55 million dollar deal.
Walker has played only 7 games for the Raiders catching 15 passes and scoring one touchdown.
Adam Archuleta (Washington Redskins)
A workout warrior at the combine, and tackling machine for the Rams Adam Archuleta looked to win big in free agency.
Archuleta did in fact win big by signing a 7 year 35 million dollar deal with the always money conscious Redskins.
Unfortunatley for the Skins Archuleta could not preform the duties that the coaches wanted him too. He was quickly benched and used exclusively on special teams for the second half of the season.
After a horrible season the Skins traded Archuleta to the Bears for a draft pick.
2. Dale Carter (Denver Broncos)
Dale Carter made himself the NFL's most highly paid defensive player when he signed a four-year, $22.8 million deal with the Broncos.
A four time Pro Bowler, picking up Carter seemed like a great move for the Broncos. Unfortunately, Carter quickly became Denver's most hated player.
He was suspended in his second season with the Broncos for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and was called "a miserable human being" by a teammate.
Carter was released during the 2001 season after proving to be a disastrous signing for the Denver Broncos.
1. Scott Mitchell (Detroit Lions)
After starting seven games in his entire NFL career Mitchell was coveted by many teams in the NFL.
The Lions managed to sign the Miami Dolphins backup QB for 11 million dollars over three years and felt as if they had just added the final piece to their potentially potent offense.
In his five seasons with the Lions, Mitchell was mediocre at best, and he was at his worst when the Lions made the playoffs.
With an offense led by Barry Sanders, Mitchell just needed to play at an average level for his team to succeed. Unfortunately for him he just never cut it as a starting QB and was replaced in his fifth season in favor of Charlie Batch before moving on to Baltimore.