Report Card for Every Major 2011 NFL Free-Agent Signing

Bryant West@bswest5Correspondent INovember 28, 2011

Report Card for Every Major 2011 NFL Free-Agent Signing

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    The 2011 NFL offseason was rushed due to the lockout, and nothing suffered more than the free-agent period. Of the biggest names signed in the summer, a majority of them have been disappointments for their teams so far this season.

    With the season drawing towards the playoffs, it's an excellent time to take a look at the biggest signings from the 2011 offseason and check out how they're producing since inking their new contracts.

    Let's take a look at the grades for the major signings from 2011.

Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha

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    Nnamdi Asomugha was the biggest name on the free agent market and signed a five-year deal worth $60 million with the Eagles.

    While Philadelphia struggles and sit at just 4-7 on the season, their secondary has performed decently, thanks in part to Asomugha. In terms of the $60 million, he will probably never be worth the exorbitant contract, but he is a good player and still near the top at his position.

    He has 25 tackles and three interceptions on the year, which is solid but not really exceptional.

    Grade: C

49ers WR Braylon Edwards

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    Edwards signed $3.5 million contract with the 49ers but will only make the full amount if he catches 90 passes and earns a trip to the Pro Bowl.

    He only has 14 catches and 172 yards on the season and has been incredibly inconsistent. Certainly, he has been limited due to hamstring injuries, but even when he's played he hasn't done anything to prove he was worth even the modest gamble San Francisco made on him.

    The 49ers need a top receiver, and unfortunately that isn't Edwards. 


Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams

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    Running back DeAngelo Williams signed a star's contract of five-year, $43 million with Carolina in the offseason but has simply been mediocre for the Panthers in 2011.

    Williams had two great seasons in Carolina in 2008 and 2009 when ran for a combined 2,637 yards and 25 touchdowns, but he suffered a foot injury and was kept out most of the 2010 season.

    Expectations following his return were that he could reproduce him 2008-09 dominance, but he's become an afterthought in Carolina's offense. He has 540 yards and a nice 5.0 yards per carry, but he's being paid a lot more than he is apparently worth to the Panthers.

    Grade: C-

Texans CB Johnathan Joseph

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    Aside for Asomugha, no corner was more highly sought after than Johnathan Joseph,who signed a five-year, $48 million contract with the Texans and has been worth every penny.

    He has 34 tackles, four interceptions and a forced fumble so far this season for the Texans, who finally found the secondary help they've needed for quite some time.

    While Asomugha's play has been average but isn't living up to his contract, Joseph is proving that the Texans were perfectly right to give him his extensive contract.

    Grade: A

Seahawks WR Sidney Rice

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    When the Seahawks signed Sidney Rice to a five-year, $41 million contract, there was hope in Seattle that Rice could produce as he did in 2009 when he has 1,310 yards and eight touchdowns.

    Instead, Rice has just 484 yards and two touchdowns for the Seahawks and their utterly pedestrian offense.

    Hopefully for Seattle the Seahawks can find themselves a new quarterback. Perhaps then Rice can pick his performance back up, but as of right now he is exceptionally disappointing. 

    Grade: D

Jets CB Antonio Cromartie

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    Antonio Cromartie signed a four-year, $32 million contract to stay in New York and has been living up to his contract so far. He has 28 tackles and three interceptions for the Jets, who are still in the wild-card hunt thanks to their fantastic defense.

    Cromartie's talent has never been in question, but his maturity scared some teams off of signing him. So far this season, he has let his game do the talking and has played some very good football for the Jets. 

    Grade: B

Seahawks TE Zach Miller

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    Zach Miller had for years been one of the more consistent tight ends in the league, even with Oakland's inconsistency at quarterback. So when he inked a five-year deal worth $34 million with the Seahawks, it seemed like a very fair deal. 

    Miller has just 15 receptions on the season for just 133 yards and no touchdowns. Seattle has been disappointing all season, but none so much as Miller, who has gone from one of the better players at his position to utterly forgettable.

    Grade: F

Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck

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    Matt Hasselbeck signed a three-year, $20 million contract with the Titans and has been, like much of his career, inconsistent. 

    On the whole he has 2,517 yards and 15 touchdowns for Tennessee, but he goes between great games (310 yards, three touchdowns and a passer rating of 108.3 in a 17-14 win over Denver in Week 3) and horrible games (124 yards, an interception and a passer rating of 49.8 in the Week 11 loss to Atlanta).

    So rounding out his season average, he's been... well, average. He's the middle of the road amongst NFL quarterbacks.

    Grade: C

Jets WR Santonio Holmes

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    Santonio Holmes scored a five-year $50 million contract with New York and, like most of the big name players, has been average.

    He has 494 yards with 37 receptions and five scores for the Jets, who need their offense to gain some consistency if they want to secure a playoff birth.

    While Holmes is linked with the often frustrating Mark Sanchez, based on performance alone, he hasn't been worth the fat contract he signed.

    Grade: C-

Saints RB Darren Sproles

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    Darren Sproles wasn't a big name in the free-agent market, but I'll slip him in here because he probably should have been.

    He signed a four-year, $14 million contract with the Saints and that looks better and better every week.

    He's been the perfect utility running back for New Orleans, with 348 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground to go along with 448 receiving yards and three reception touchdowns.

    In terms of exceeding expectation and of contract value, Sproles is at the top of the 2011 free agents.

    Grade: A