NFL free agency is a period of high hopes for every team. The best teams look to rebuild in order to dominate. Bubble contenders hope to add pieces that will put them over the edge. Cellar dwellers pursue pieces that can help a young core.
Free agency can also break the hearts of football fans. Ask any Redskins fan about Dan Snyder’s free agent signings.
The Chicago Bears are looking for a few pieces that could help bring the city its first Super Bowl victory since 1986.
The trick is to avoid signing anyone who is washed up, overpaid or injury-prone.
The Bears have had their share of poor free agent signings. This list details the worst ones in recent memory. Free agent signings are evaluated based on expectations, production and money. The worst signings fail to meet expectations, get hurt or are overpaid.
Don’t expect to see quarterbacks Chad Hutchinson, Todd Collins or Jonathan Quinn on this list. While all three were abysmal, none of them were paid enough or had high enough expectations going into their Bears career.
Philip Daniels is omitted from this list because his production was not far enough below the expectations for him.
Finally, Bryan Cox is left off the list because it focuses on free agent signings from 2000 on. Cox’s four-year, $13.2 million contract made him the highest paid Chicago Bear of all time to that point (1996). Joe Flacco’s historic contract (six years, $120 million) shows how drastically dollar value has changed.
With the criteria in mind, here are the 10 worst free agent signings for the Chicago Bears in recent memory.