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NFL Free Agency: Marc Bulger and the 10 Most Overrated Free Agents

Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIIMay 23, 2011

NFL Free Agency: Marc Bulger and the 10 Most Overrated Free Agents

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    ST. LOUIS - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Marc Bulger #10 of the St. Louis Rams looks to pass the ball against Charles Grant #94 of the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty I
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    For many teams, free agency is a time where franchises acquire the last one or two pieces to their Super Bowl puzzle.

    Some free agents have better resumes than others, but a dearth of talent in a free-agent market can elevate some unworthy players to garner higher contracts.

    In this year's draft, a lack of talent at quarterback made Blaine Gabbert a top-10 pick, and we may see this with a good number of players in free agency this year.

    Now, here are the 10 most overrated free agents.

Darren Sproles

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    DENVER - JANUARY 02:  Running back Darren Sproles #43 of the San Diego Chargers rushes against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 33-28.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Gett
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Darren Sproles is not overrated in the sense that he's not talented, but he gets much more credit than he deserves.

    At best, Sproles is a scat back and a good receiver on third downs, but teams looking at him as a top option out of the backfield will be in for a rude awakening.

    Sproles had the benefit of playing behind LaDainian Tomlinson and provided a change of pace, making him look better.

    Even last year, Sproles looked a lot better because Mike Tolbert became a surprising force for San Diego.

Matt Hasselbeck

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts while taking on the Chicago Bears in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Yes, Matt Hasselbeck was a playoff quarterback last year, however, leading a team to a 7-9 record doesn't inspire confidence for an aging veteran with high salary demands.

    With other quarterbacks like Marc Bulger and Alex Smith on the market, Matt Hasselbeck has become a "best-of-the-worst" type by pure default.

    Some teams have interest in Hasselbeck, and look for one team to take a chance on Hasselbeck with a larger-than-necessary contract.

    Hasselbeck is a good candidate to flop and makes the overrated list because of the high regard in which teams are holding him.

Cedric Benson

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    CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 19:  Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals carries the ball against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Technically speaking, Cedric Benson has rushed for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons, showing that he is a tough rusher capable of gaining yards.

    However, Benson ran much less efficiently in the 2010 season, and didn't contribute to many wins on a 4-12 Bengals team.

    Benson is esentially riding on the back of one good season and is aging.

    Some team will rely on Benson to be a workhorse, and the mileage on him may well catch up with him in the middle of his next contract.

Marc Bulger

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    BALTIMORE - AUGUST 28:  Marc Bulger #9 of the Baltimore Ravens passes against the New York Giants in a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 28, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Giants 24-10. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
    Larry French/Getty Images

    Marc Bulger took a year off to heal and recuperate and for some reason is getting much more credit than he deserves.

    Certainly, Bulger was victimized by a terrible offensive line in St. Louis, and one has to wonder how much Bulger has left in the tank after being mercilessly beat around.

    Bulger didn't perform particularly well in St. Louis and left the team in shambles, eventually giving Sam Bradford the chance to resurrect the franchise.

    Marc Bulger is no prize, and signing him would be settling for a marginal starter at the quarterback position, at best.

Terrell Owens

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 24:  Terrell Owens #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 24, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Unfortunately Chad Ochocinco is not a free agent, and thus, can't make an appearance on this list, however, his counterpart Terrell Owens can.

    Owens hasn't posted 1,000 yards receiving since 2008 and has contributed to losing efforts in the past two seasons.

    Owens' shenanigans are a distraction in the locker room, and many teams are wary of bringing in the former star.

    Without many big names on the market, some team will take a gamble on Owens and may regret their actions.

Sidney Rice

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 28:  Sidney Rice #18 of the Minnesota Vikings in action against Asante Samuel #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 28, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Sidney Rice's appearance on this list may come as a shock to some, which only shows how overrated he is.

    Rice had one good season in 2009, in which the receiver posted 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns on 83 receptions.

    Rice benefited from Brett Favre's resurgence, and catching passes from a quarterback like the 2009 Favre will certainly pad a receiver's stats.

    The Vikings wideout has a history of injuries but will receive a big contract anyway, because he has potential.

LaMarr Woodley

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  LaMarr Woodley #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after sacking Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al B
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Let me preface this slide with saying this, I believe LaMarr Woodley is a fantastic pass-rusher but is on this list because other teams think he can be an elite player all by himself.

    Woodley has been great for the Steelers but when surrounded by players like James Harrison, Brett Keisel, James Farrior and Casey Hampton, a player like Woodley may look a little better than he actually is.

    The linebacker also benefits from playing in Dick LeBeau's defensive scheme, which is designed to make outside linebackers look elite when they are simply above average—look at Joey Porter.

Antonio Cromartie

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Antonio Cromartie #31 of the New York Jets runs back a kick by the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Image
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Antonio Cromartie is being talked about as a possible No. 1 cornerback after the free-agent process, but the Jets defensive back isn't cut out to guard top receivers.

    Cromartie has stiff hips and struggles with polished receivers, despite his good playmaking ability.

    The cornerback looked much better this year playing alongside Darrelle Revis, but he would be hung out to dry if he lost a No. 1 cornerback on his other side.

    Cromartie also has latent attitude issues, and some teams may just pass on the whole package.

Matt Light

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    HONOLULU - JANUARY 30:  Matt Light #72 of the New England Patriots stands on the field during the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 30, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
    Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

    Yes, it's tough to put a Pro Bowl offensive lineman who happened to be a Patriot this past year on the list.

    That being said, Matt Light is a disappointing player who is growing more and more overrated because he blocks for Tom Brady.

    Light gave up double-digit sacks this past year and is only getting older.

    The Patriots showed that he is unreliable by drafting Nate Solder, and Light could be the next contractual mistake for a team trying to get help on the offensive line.

Mark Herzlich

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    CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 04:  Mark Herzlich #94, Damik Scafe #55 and Codi Boek #13 of the Boston College Eagles walk out to the field for the home opening game against the Weber State Wildcats on September 4, 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill,
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Ending the list with a bang, Mark Herzlich is one of the 10 most overrated free agents on the market.

    There is a reason that Herzlich went undrafted, and teams must know something is really wrong to not even take a chance with a seventh-round pick on the linebacker.

    Any list of "Undrafted Free Agents the __________ Must Sign" inevitably includes Herzlich, and it is apparent that there is something going on with the Boston College graduate—information we are not privy to.

    Herzlich may well become a talented NFL player, but there have to be red flags when a player of his caliber and character goes undrafted.

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