NFL Denver Broncos: 10 Worst Free Agent Signings in Team History

Vince SapienzaCorrespondent IIIJuly 22, 2011

NFL Denver Broncos: 10 Worst Free Agent Signings in Team History

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    The Denver Broncos are waiting in the wings for the Commissioner Roger Goodell and the players to agree on an agreement so that football can once again be played. While we wait for the agreement to be agreed upon it is always fun to talk about the speculation of free agency and who teams will go after and which teams will get big name players.

    However, after talking about players the Broncos should be going after along with the players the Broncos should NOT being going after, I find it fun to look at past signings. The Broncos have had some nice free agent signings in the past, most notably Brandon Lloyd, who turned into a Pro Bowl player.

    Let us take a look at the exact opposite of good signings, how about ten of the worst signings by Denver in Broncos history.

Honorable Mention: Jerry Rice, Wide Receiver

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    Not a terrible signing by the Broncos at all, I merely wanted to remind the Denver fans that the great Jerry Rice was once a part of the Orange Crush. 

    He signed with the team in 2005, but retired shortly after training camp and the preseason. 

    I thought he looked good in the blue and orange was going to continue his records in just about every major wide receiver category.

    Oh well. 

10. Todd Sauerbrun, Punter

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    Signed by Denver in April of 2007, released in December of 2007.

    Todd Sauerbrun had issues with police multiple times in his short stint with the Broncos, he was released twice during the season, but then eventually let go after an altercation with a taxicab driver.

    Sauerbrun also had allegations of steroids during his NFL career. 

9. Jarvis Green, Defensive End

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    With the Broncos looking to bolster their defensive line in 2010 with talent from a winning team like that of the New England Patriots. Jarvis Green was signed in March of 2010 to a 4 year, $20 million contract.

    Green did not even make it out of the preseason and was cut before the season started.

    Green is now with the Houston Texans.

8. Niko Koutouvides, Linebacker

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    Niko Koutouvides was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks back in 2004 and worked his way up on the team ladder where he was voted captain by his team. When he became a free agent in 2008, the Broncos signed him to a three year, $7.5 million contract.

    After 12 tackles in 14 games played, Koutouvides was cut after just one short season with the Broncos. A major disappointment for the Broncos who needed some linebacker depth, was a bust on defense and special teams.

    He is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7. Courtney Brown, Defensive End

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    Once the Broncos lost their top pass rusher in Reggie Hayward, Denver went after Courtney Brown who played for the Cleveland Browns. He was an injury riddled end, but when he played was very productive.

    That season the Broncos made it to the AFC Championship game only to lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home. Brown finished the season with 24 tackles and 2 sacks.

    A bust in terms of replacing Hayward.

6. Simeon Rice, Defensive End

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    The once great Tampa Bay Buccaneer who was the great compliment to Warren Sapp, was supposed to come to Denver and and make a splash on the defensive end. 

    Rice played in 6 games and recorded 8 tackles in 2007. He did not last long, his best days were clearly behind him even though physically he was in top shape. He was cut midway through the season where he ended up signing with Indianapolis.

5. Eddie Kennison, Wide Receiver

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    Eddie Kennison signed a two year deal with the Broncos worth $1.8 million and was able to earn a starting spot with the Broncos. After 8 games and only 15 catches with one touchdown, Kennison asked to be released hours before a game in which he was going to start. 

    Who does that?

    An ongoing joke for Bronco fans in Denver, he later joined the Chiefs where he would be booed by the Denver faithful. 

4. Travis Henry, Running Back

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    Travis Henry signed with the Broncos in March of 2007 where he signed a five year $22 million contract. 

    He started off great leering the league in rushing the first four games of the season, but injuries kept him in and out of the lineup for the rest of the year. His legacy is also marred by testing positive for marijuana where he appealed the first time and won, but the second time forced the Broncos to release him.

    Henry was also involved with drug trafficking and he fathers 11 children among ten different women. 

3. Denard Walker, Cornerback

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    Denard Walker signed a six year, $26 million contract where he only lasted with the team for two of those years. He recorded 4 interceptions after leaving the Tennessee Titans after four years of service.

    In what was a salary cap move, the Broncos released the services of Walker who proved to be inconsistent and not what they paid for: an elite cornerback.

2. Dale Carter, Cornerback

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    The 1992 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Dale Carter became the highest paid defensive player in the league when he signed with the Denver Broncos in 1999. A contract worth $22.8 million over four years, Carter did not have a season like the best defensive player in the league should.

    In 14 games he recorded 72 tackles (avg. five per game) and only two interceptions. He was suspended for all of the 2000 season after violating the league substance abuse policy. He did not play for the Broncos after the 1999 season. 

    After his time in Denver, he made stops with the Vikings, Saints, and Ravens

1. Daryl Gardener, Defensive Tackle

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    Probably the worst free agent signing in the history of the Denver Broncos was defensive tackle Daryl Gardener.

    The Broncos signed this "winner" to a $35 million contract over seven years. The Broncos were able to get 15 tackles out of the defensive tackle in one season after the hot head was suspended after a fight in an IHOP parking lot. 

    It was also reported about a month ago, that the now 38-year-old was arrested for head-butting his girlfriend during an argument.