NFL Free Agency: Randy Moss and the 5 Most Overrated Players on the 2011 Market
With the NFL lockout still in full swing, all 32 teams are being deprived of adding potentially valuable new names to their rosters.
But if a period of free agency signings ever gets around to happening, there are always some players who will be sought after based largely on their reputation. Or still unrealized potential.
That doesn't necessarily mean they will be worth the effort. In fact, they probably won't be.
Here are the five most overrated free agents that will be available if we ever get around to organized football again.
I never thought I'd hear myself say that Randy Moss is overrated. But Randy Moss is overrated.
Once considered perhaps the most athletically gifted receiver to ever play the game, Moss is well past his prime and on the down side of his career.
His departure from New England and subsequent failure as a threat in Minnesota and Tennessee suggest his career is close to being over. But, at least one team will be enamored enough with his name to give him a one-year contract.
I'm not saying Moss isn't capable of catching a couple dozen balls a year. And a few touchdowns. But he's nowhere close to having the kind of effect on the game he once had.
The fact that Marc Bulger's name is still being thrown around as a potential starting quarterback in the NFL surprises me.
What team does he play for?
Bulger put up some impressive numbers in a post-Kurt Warner era "Pretty Good Show on Turf" attack with the St. Louis Rams for eight years. But the team eventually deteriorated to a shadow of its former self and Bulger crumbled under relentless defensive pressure.
What was he supposed to do? His offensive line couldn't protect him.
So he spent 2010 on the bench in Baltimore, watching Ravens franchise quarterback Joe Flacco and dreaming of a better opportunity.
That opportunity might soon come to fruition.
Bulger's name has been thrown into the mix in Arizona and Miami. But I'm not sure his 34-year-old body has a whole lot left to offer the game.
Antonio Cromartie was overrated before he signed up to be the Robin to Darrelle Revis' Batman in New York.
Then he went out and had a pretty decent 2010 season with 42 tackles, 17 passes defensed and three picks.
But his days with the Jets might soon be coming to an end as second-year cornerback Kyle Wilson develops into Cromartie's role.
More than a couple teams will be impressed with Cromartie's athleticism to give him a chance. And rightfully so. He has the talent.
But he won't thrive in an environment as a No. 1 corner and his consistency as a targeted No. 2 is questionable.
As 28-year-old running backs go, Cincinnati Bengals workhorse Cedric Benson is kind of defying the odds.
In a somewhat enigmatic six-year NFL career, his two best seasons were his past two seasons—rushing for over 1,000 yards in each of them.
But he also logged over 300 carries in each campaign.
And those numbers will catch up with him in 2011.
If a team is looking for a between-the-tackles, change-of-pace option, Benson might be perfect for the job. But as a featured running back who will be expected to carry the load for 16 games, forget about it.
Potential would suggest Ray Edwards could be one of the top pass rushers in the NFL.
Results, however, have been inconsistent during Edwards' five-year career with the Minnesota Vikings.
Edwards managed eight-plus sacks in each of his past two seasons with the Vikes—and his January 2010 playoff performance against Dallas was next level.
But his commitment is questionable and a big contract might result in a comfort level his new employer would be—uncomfortable with.
Edwards has found a new career in boxing during the current lockout. That could be the beginning of the end for his pro football career.