Mike Wallace will be paid as a number one receiver, but will he produce?
The 2013 NFL free agent class is loaded with talent and experience on both sides of the ball. Just about every position has available players who have been household names for years.
On the offensive side of the ball, the free agent class is led by All-Pro offensive lineman Jake Long. Following Long, the class only gets deeper with Pro-Bowl receivers Greg Jennings and Wes Welker, in addition to future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez.
The defensive side of the ball also features future Hall of Famers Ed Reed, Brian Urlacher and borderline Hall of Famer Dwight Freeny. A strong cornerback class and linebacking class rounds out the defensive side of the ball, with talented players available at nearly every position
As talented as this entire class may be, there are always going to be some players who are mistakenly overvalued and subsequently overpaid by teams. Bad contracts hang around the necks of NFL franchises everywhere, and a handful of them were signed via free agency.
Today, we will look at a few players who are overvalued by teams and will likely receive the huge contracts which can potentially sink the future of a team.
The former Steelers' wideout is coveted for his speed, but he lacks the consistency to be a bonafide number one receiver.
Wallace is one of the most dangerous deep threats in the league, but too often struggles going over the middle and making catches in traffic. Receivers such as Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson can make plays on every type of route. Wallace on the other hand is a one trick pony, typically doing his damage on deep patterns. He needs a strong-armed quarterback and a receiver opposite him who can do the dirty work to free him up on the outside.
If teams value a big play guy more than someone who can move the chains (Wes Welker, Greg Jennings), then they will surely overpay for Wallace. Chances are he will get a huge contract from someone, and if it's in the wrong situation he has bust written all over him.
I'm not picking on the wide receivers, it's simply that both Bowe and Wallace are inconsistent, have bad attitudes and resemble the wide receiver divas that plagued the league half a decade ago (Randy Moss, Terrell Owens etc.).
Bowe too often takes plays off and has mental lapses that cause the drops we've seen on a week in and week out basis. Quite frankly, he fits the mold of a number one receiver more so than Wallace, but he too struggles going over the middle and consistently making catches.
Bowe has shown he has talent, catching 15 touchdowns in 2010, but other than that his touchdown output hasn't exceeded seven. Many of those years he was hampered by inadequate quarterback play, but Bowe hasn't helped his quarterback with his inordinate amount of drops.
Teams will want Bowe for his number one receiver potential, but in return they will get a guy with a hot and cold motor, capable of destroying the chemistry of a team.
Nothing will get teams salivating like a 26-year-old pass rusher, but too often, the types of players in Avril's situation wind up being busts.
Avril has collected 28.5 sacks over the past three seasons, but he doesn't help at all in run support. He is simply a pass rushing specialist. There is nothing wrong with that, every team needs somebody who can rush the passer. But Avril will almost certainly receive a big contract this offseason solely for his pass rushing skill set. He will very likely not be able to match his contract with production either, as he has benefited from opposing teams double-teaming Ndamukong Suh.
Suh's presence has allowed Avril to match up one-on-one with opposing tackles, putting him in excellent positions to succeed. If he winds up on a team that touts him as the number one option of the defensive line, he too could wind up being a bust.
His youth combined with his skill set is what will have teams overpaying for his services, but the question is will his production meet his expectations?