Every NFL Team's Worst Free-Agent Signing of the 2022 Offseason

Alex KayContributor IMarch 29, 2022

Every NFL Team's Worst Free-Agent Signing of the 2022 Offseason

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    The first wave of 2022 NFL free agency is in the books. With the dust settling, it's an ideal time to look back and judge how each team fared with their signings.

    Every club made at least one notable acquisition during free agency. Some clubs overhauled their rosters with a slew of pricy pickups, while others opted for relatively small moves with an eye towards the draft.

    However, teams may grow to regret some of these signings due to the long-term financial ramifications. Others will be less detrimental, but even those moves take up a roster spot and salary-cap space that could have been better utilized elsewhere.

    With that in mind, here's a look at each team's worst free-agent signing thus far.


    Salary information via Spotrac unless otherwise noted. Statistics via Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals: RB James Conner

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    James Conner signed a three-year, $21 million deal with $13.5 million guaranteed to stay with the Arizona Cardinals after punching in a career-high 18 total touchdowns with them last year.

    While his scoring output was undeniably impressive, Conner is now being paid as a near-top-10 running back despite finishing 27th in rushing yards last year. That's an expensive signing for an aging goal-line and short-yardage back who's never had a season with 1,000-plus rushing yards.

    While Conner does add a bit of value as a receiver—he caught 37 passes for 375 yards last season—Arizona will have rely more on the plodding back moving forward after former backfield mate Chase Edmonds signed with the Miami Dolphins.

    Altogether, this was a poor financial decision for a club that should be looking to save money wherever possible as it inches closer to hitting the salary cap

Atlanta Falcons: QB Marcus Mariota

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    The Atlanta Falcons are forging ahead into a new era after trading away longtime quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts.

    Shortly after trading Ryan, the Falcons came to terms with Marcus Mariota on a two-year, $18.8 million contract with $6.8 million guaranteed. Although he projects as little more than a stopgap, Atlanta might not even be able to rely on him to fill that role.

    Mariota spent the last two years with the Las Vegas Raiders backing up Derek Carr. He looked good during his lone appearance in 2020—he went 17-of-28 for 226 yards and a score while adding 88 yards and a touchdown on nine carries—but he landed on injured reserve last season after just one play.

    That showed just how brittle Mariota can be, which is a concerning trait for a quarterback who has relied heavily on his mobility to be effective. 

    The Falcons' decision to sign Mariota and linebacker Lorenzo Carter to a short-term deal will cost them more than just their salaries. They're now set to lose compensatory fourth- and fifth-round picks that they were going to receive in the 2023 draft after Russell Gage and Foye Oluokun signed elsewhere in free agency, per Dave Choate of The Falcoholic.

    Given their small chance of contending in 2022, the Falcons would have been better off rolling with a rookie quarterback and keeping the compensatory pick to speed their rebuild along.

Baltimore Ravens: DT Michael Pierce

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    The Baltimore Ravens' only flashy signing thus far was a five-year, $70 million deal with safety Marcus Williams. They're having an understandably quiet offseason as they prepare for quarterback Lamar Jackson's monster extension.

    Baltimore could have saved money by not signing defensive tackle Michael Pierce to a three-year, $16.5 million contract.

    Pierce spent his first four seasons in Baltimore before joining the Minnesota Vikings in 2020. He opted out of that campaign amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and missed nine games because of a triceps injury last year.

    While Pierce has been relatively productive when healthy—he notched three sacks and three tackles for loss in eight games last season—he's logged only 251 snaps since the 2019 campaign ended and has never played more than 56 percent of his team's defensive snaps in any season.

    Pierce is far from guaranteed to return to form in his return to Baltimore, making this a questionable pickup.

Buffalo Bills: C Mitch Morse

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    The Buffalo Bills made a splash when they inked Von Miller to a massive six-year, $120 million deal that tied up a majority of their available cap space this offseason. 

    The Miller signing made the decision to retain center Mitch Morse on a two-year, $19.5 million contract extension look even more questionable.

    While the move did lower Morse's cap hit for this season by more than $2 million, per Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic, it's still a steep price to pay for a player that is coming off his worst season in years.

    Morse scored a middling 63.4 Pro Football Focus grade in 2021, his lowest mark since the 2017 campaign. The 29-year-old has only two seasons graded above a 70.0 since entering the league in 2015, but the most recent those came back in 2018.

    With Buffalo releasing right guard Daryl Williams—who graded over four points higher than Morse last year, per PFF—the team should have also considered cutting ties with Morse.

    The move would have saved $8.5 million, per PFF, a significant chunk of change that could have been utilized to lure a more productive interior lineman or upgrade another position of need. 

Carolina Panthers: CB Donte Jackson

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    The Carolina Panthers overpaid for a homegrown free agent by giving cornerback Donte Jackson a three-year, $35.2 million deal with $16.8 million guaranteed this offseason.

    Jackson has become a regular starter since Carolina drafted him in the second round back in 2018, but he has missed time in each of the last three seasons, including five games last year with a groin injury. 

    The 26-year-old has the speed and athleticism to make plays, as evidenced by his 12 career interceptions and two forced fumbles. However, he's liable to get burnt in coverage. 

    Jackson allowed a career-worst 62.7 percent completion rate last season and gave up three touchdowns. He's conceded 18 total touchdowns over the past four years. 

    The Panthers shouldn't have paid Jackson like a corner who's capable of excelling on an island. They should have offered less for a player best deployed against lesser wideouts in a zone-based scheme.

Chicago Bears: DT Justin Jones

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    The Chicago Bears clearly needed a nose tackle after releasing Eddie Goldman. 

    They originally agreed to a three-year, $40.5 million contract with Larry Ogunjobi, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, but the deal fell through because of a failed physical. Chicago then pivoted to sign Justin Jones to a two-year, $12 million deal.

    Jones was inconsistent at best with the Los Angeles Chargers over the first four years of his NFL career. He became a starter as a sophomore in 2019, but he has missed 13 games over the past three seasons.

    Jones had a career-high three sacks and five quarterback hits last season, and he tied his personal best with five tackles for loss as well. However, he finished with a mediocre 57.9 PFF grade.

    Considering how thin the Bears have become along the interior of the defensive trenches, they would have been better suited splurging on a more reliable tackle.

Cincinnati Bengals: CB Eli Apple

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    The Cincinnati Bengals came up just short in their quest for a Super Bowl last season. One reason for their near miss was the poor play of cornerback Eli Apple, who gave up a key touchdown to Cooper Kupp in the waning minutes of Super Bowl LVI.

    Apple wasn't a total disaster last year, but he finished with a mediocre 60.9 PFF grade while starting 15 games for Cincinnati. He allowed 60.3 percent of passes thrown at him to be completed, giving up 602 yards and three touchdowns.

    The 6'1", 199-pound corner has the size, speed and athleticism to be an elite corner, but can't seem to put it all together on the field. Nearly six years after being drafted in the first round, it doesn't seem like the 26-year-old will ever reach his ceiling.

    It cost the Bengals only $3.8 million to keep Apple around, but it could cost them dearly if he blows another coverage in a key moment.

Cleveland Browns: TE David Njoku

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    The Cleveland Browns have struggled to get consistent production from tight ends in recent years. Despite that, they made the puzzling decision to franchise-tag David Njoku this offseason.

    The 2017 first-round pick's best season came as a sophomore, when he recorded 56 receptions for 639 yards and four scores. In the three years since, he's caught only 60 passes for 729 yards and seven touchdowns across 33 games.

    Njoku will now earn nearly $11 million for the 2022 campaign, and he has the chance to earn even more if the parties agree on a long-term contract, per Jeff Goldberg of Sportscasting. Meanwhile, the Browns plan to release fellow tight end Austin Hooper, who amassed 84 receptions for 780 yards and seven scores during his two-year stint in Cleveland.

    While Njoku should be more productive with Deshaun Watson under center rather than Baker Mayfield, the Browns seem to have made a misstep here by overpaying for an underperforming tight end.

Dallas Cowboys: WR Michael Gallup

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    Michael Gallup is a talented receiver, but he is coming off a torn ACL and was far less productive over the past four years than teammate Amari Cooper.

    Instead of parting ways with Gallup and retaining Cooper, the Dallas Cowboys traded the latter to the Cleveland Browns and kept the former on a five-year, $57.5 million deal.

    While Dallas had the luxury of dumping Cooper because of the emergence of 2020 first-round pick CeeDee Lamb, its receiving corps is no longer one of the NFL's deepest and most dangerous.

    The losses of Cooper, fellow wideout Cedrick Wilson Jr. and right tackle La'el Collins have dealt major blows to an offense that ranked No. 1 in the league last year in yards and points and tied for second in passing yards.

    It remains to be seen if these decisions will cost the club a chance to make back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since the 2006-07 seasons, but the departures certainly won't help.

Denver Broncos: OLB Randy Gregory

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    The Denver Broncos landed Randy Gregory in bizarre fashion, coming to terms with the pass-rusher after the Dallas Cowboys added salary forfeiture language to their contract offer.

    While the move gave Denver the edge-rusher it needed to replace Von Miller—the star who was traded to the Los Angeles Rams midway through last season after spending a decade in the Mile High City—it was a rather pricy deal for a 29-year-old who has been suspended three times and also has been inconsistent.

    Gregory inked a five-year, $70 million pact despite having missed 52 games in his first five years and 11 more over the last two seasons. He tied a career high in sacks last year but still notched only six over 12 contests.

    That isn't the type of production that warrants $14 million per year well into a player's 30s, but Denver could be the team for which Gregory finally puts up big numbers.

Detroit Lions: LB Alex Anzalone

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    The Detroit Lions needed plenty of help to jump-start their rebuild after a 3-13-1 campaign.

    That hasn't come since the start of the new league year. The club hardly made a splash outside of picking up DJ Chark to bolster its receiving corps.

    One of the minor moves Detroit made was re-signing Alex Anzalone, a replacement-level linebacker coming off a concerning first season with the Lions.

    While the veteran does add some value as a leader, he does not exactly do so by example.

    Anzalone missed 15 tackles last year, a 16.1 percent whiff rate that ranked as his worst performance since Pro Football Reference started tracking the stat in 2018.

    Though he has a cheap price tag—the Lions retained Anzalone on a one-year, $2.3 million contract that could reach $4 million with incentives, per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network—the 27-year-old tied up a starting spot on a team that should be looking for long-term answers rather than stopgaps.

Green Bay Packers: LB De'Vondre Campbell

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    It's tough to knock the Green Bay Packers for their work during the offseason. The team convinced Aaron Rodgers to stay—checking off the biggest item on its to-do list—and still managed to add or retain several key free agents.

    One contract that could come back to haunt the club is De'Vondre Campbell's. He earned a five-year, $50 million deal after a breakout campaign.

    The linebacker was a fantastic addition on a $2 million contract for the 2021 campaign.

    The six-year veteran exploded for 146 tackles, five passes defended, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, earning an 85.0 Pro Football Focus grade that rated him as the second-best off-ball linebacker in the league.

    Now that he's being paid like a top player, Campbell must prove that performance wasn't a fluke.

    It's hardly a given that the 28-year-old will continue playing at a superstar level. Many players—Albert Haynesworth and Sam Bradford are two of the most notable—have flamed out right after signing big contracts, making this a situation to watch.

Houston Texans: TE Pharaoh Brown

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    The Houston Texans have had an unassuming start to the offseason aside from trading Deshaun Watson.

    They've focused on retaining their own free agents—for better or worse after a 4-13 campaign—on cheap deals. One of those moves included re-signing Pharaoh Brown on a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

    Brown hardly made an impact last year, catching just 23 balls for 171 yards and zero touchdowns. He also led the team in penalties with 10, per ESPN's Sarah Barshop, a troubling trend given his lack of production.

    Houston's tight ends needed revamping rather than consistency after Brown, Jordan Akins, Anthony Auclair and Brevin Jordan combined for just four scores and none reached 25 receptions or 220 yards.

    Akins is the only one who isn't back, so it's setting up to be another disappointing showing for this group.

Indianapolis Colts: TE Mo Alie-Cox

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    With Jack Doyle having retired after nearly a decade with the team, the Indianapolis Colts are hurting for a consistent performer at tight end.

    Instead of seeking an upgrade on the open market, they opted to give Mo Alie-Cox a three-year deal worth $17.6 million.

    The former college basketball player joined the Colts five years ago and has become a regular over the past three seasons. Alie-Cox offers incredible size (6'5", 267 lbs) and athleticism but has just 70 career receptions for 936 yards and eight touchdowns.

    That doesn't inspire much confidence for the 28-year-old to become a reliable starter and option for new quarterback Matt Ryan.

    While the Colts do have Kylen Granson preparing for his second year in the NFL, the position isn't likely to be a strong one.

Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Christian Kirk

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars needed a receiver this offseason and went out and got one of the better ones available in Christian Kirk.

    But the Jags significantly overpaid the former Cardinal.

    Kirk signed a four-year deal worth $72 million and up to $84 million, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

    That $18 million average annual value put him in the upper echelon of wide receivers, ahead of players such as Stefon Diggs, Mike Evans and even Cooper Kupp.

    The 25-year-old simply hasn't performed at that level during his first four years in the league.

    He's never even eclipsed 1,000 yards despite having a quality quarterback in Kyler Murray for the last three seasons.

    Trevor Lawrence should improve in Year 2 in part because of this signing, but it's still a stretch to think Kirk will produce at the level expected with this type of investment.

Kansas City Chiefs: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

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    The Kansas City Chiefs upended their offense by trading Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. The move may have landed them draft capital and freed up cap space, but it also left K.C. bereft of pass-catchers.

    The team added JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling via the open market, but they won't be able to replicate Hill's production.

    Valdes-Scantling in particular isn't likely to receive a bump with Patrick Mahomes, not after underperforming for the last few years with the Green Bay Packers.

    The 27-year-old possesses game-breaking speed and 6'4" height but couldn't put it all together with a back-to-back MVP in Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.

    Valdes-Scantling had 123 receptions for 2,153 yards and 13 touchdowns across his four years and missed five games last year with a hamstring injury.

    He'll make a few plays and scores some touchdowns, but Valdes-Scantling is not going to get enough volume to make a real difference during his three-year, $30 million deal.

Las Vegas Raiders: DE Chandler Jones

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    The Las Vegas Raiders made one of the defining moves of the offseason when they reunited Davante Adams with Derek Carr, his college quarterback, to instantly improve their offense.

    Their other free-agent decisions haven't been as impactful.

    On paper, Chandler Jones filled a huge need for a pass-rusher following the departure of Yannick Ngakoue. The 10-year veteran racked up 10.5 sacks with the Arizona Cardinals last season and still seems to have something left in the tank.

    It is worth noting, however, that nearly half of Chandler's sacks came in the season opener when he brought down Ryan Tannehill five times.

    Jones had just one sack over the final four games and failed to record one in the team's embarrassing NFC Wild Card loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

    Now on a three-year, $51 million deal, Jones will be expected to perform consistently for a defense that sorely needs it after recording 35 sacks.

    It's going to be tough for Jones, who just turned 32, to live up to that contract.

Los Angeles Chargers: DT Austin Johnson

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    The Los Angeles Chargers will trot out a new-look defensive front following the marquee acquisition of Khalil Mack.

    The blockbuster move to pair Mack and Joey Bosa should improve the Bolts' pass rush, but the interior of the defensive line is a concern.

    Los Angeles attempted to shore it up by inking Austin Johnson to a two-year, $14 million contract.

    Johnson finally earned a chance to start last year, his sixth in the NFL, with the New York Giants. He played all 17 games and recorded 3.5 sacks and 11 pressures.

    His run defense left something to be desired, however, as Pro Football Focus gave him a career-low 53.9 grade.

    If Johnson can improve in that area, this signing won't be terrible. But based on what he showed last year, there isn't much reason for Chargers fans to get their hopes up.

Los Angeles Rams: LT Joe Noteboom

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    The defending Super Bowl champions faced the tall task this offseason of keeping their expensive band together while also adding new blood to help with another playoff run.

    One of the players they elected to keep is Joe Noteboom, a four-year veteran who has played sporadically since entering the league as a third-round pick.

    Noteboom played 90 and 91 percent of the snaps he was available for in 2019 and 2020, but he missed 16 games in that span. He was active for 15 games in 2021 but started just two of them and played a mere 173 snaps (18 percent).

    That production generally doesn't warrant a three-year extension worth $40 million.

    While Noteboom has been an asset, the Los Angeles Rams will entrust him to take over the starting left tackle job that the retired Andrew Whitworth admirably manned for the last five years.

    It's a risk—one that could haunt L.A. as it tries to defend the Lombardi Trophy.

Miami Dolphins: RB Chase Edmonds

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    The Miami Dolphins had plenty of funds going into the offseason. They've largely used them to try to build a contender, but they overpaid to upgrade a position that ranked among the league's worst last year.

    Chase Edmonds earned a two-year, $12.1 million contract from the club as part of its running back renovations.

    The former Arizona Cardinal missed five games last season—his first as a starter—and it marked the only time he's had more than 97 totes in a year since coming into the league in 2018.

    He took a step back as a pass-catcher as well, with just 43 receptions for 311 yards and zero touchdowns after racking up 402 yards and four scores on 53 catches over 16 games in 2020.

    While Edmonds will add an edge to the offense as a third-down and pass-catching back, the Dolphins could have found a cheaper option to replicate most of his projected production.

Minnesota Vikings: OL Jesse Davis

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    The Vikings made a misstep moving Oli Udoh to right guard last year. He earned a paltry 54.8 PFF grade for his work across 1,075 snaps at the position, the lowest grade of any Minnesota offensive lineman in 2021.

    The front office deserves credit for recognizing the issue and attempting to rectify it, but the manner in which the team is trying to fix this problem is concerning.

    Jesse Davis signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Vikings after his release from the Dolphins and is expected to compete for Minnesota's starting RG job this summer.

    While Davis has plenty of experience in the league—he's started 72 games over the past five years in Miami, earning snaps at every position but center—he's also coming off an unsightly campaign in which he earned an even lower PFF grade (52.5) than Udoh.

    Davis allowed a troubling eight sacks and took four penalties last year while lining up as both a guard and tackle on the right side of Miami's offensive trenches.

    Quarterback Kirk Cousins needs better protection now that he's locked in through the 2023 season after signing his latest extension, but the Vikings should have looked elsewhere for help rather than take on a castoff from the lowest-rated O-line in football.

New England Patriots: CB Malcolm Butler

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    The New England Patriots have done well bringing up homegrown cornerbacks through their system. However, they've shied away from retaining them as free agents—J.C. Jackson is the most recent DB to leave New England to score a big payday.

    After losing the star corner on the open market, the Patriots hope to replace some of J.C. Jackson's production with Malcolm Butler.

    Butler is a familiar face who made his name as an undrafted free agent with the organization and secured a Super Bowl XLIX victory for it with his unbelievable interception in the waning moments.

    Before Butler retired ahead of the 2021 season, he did perform well during his final year with the Titans, earning a 71.6 PFF grade while notching four interceptions—making it 17 in seven seasons—and a career-best 100 tackles.

    Still, Butler turned 32 earlier in March and missed a significant amount of time in 2019 with a wrist fracture. He could make up to $9 million over the next two years, although it will be difficult for him to live up to that deal.

    The Patriots may like his familiarity with their defense, but Butler will be hard-pressed to keep up with younger options as he competes for a job this offseason while trying to shake off the rust.

New Orleans Saints: QB Jameis Winston

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    The New Orleans Saints are running it back with Jameis Winston after the team fell apart after his torn ACL midway through the 2021 campaign.

    The No. 1 overall pick in 2015 was in the midst of reviving his career before going down with the injury, leading the team to a 5-2 record and posting elite efficiency numbers.

    He even earned a 74.2 PFF grade last year, an improvement over his final season with the Buccaneers. 

    On paper, the move makes sense for a team that failed to find success with any other quarterback following Drew Brees' retirement.

    However, the reality is that the 28-year-old is still just a costly stopgap to hold the Saints over until they find a franchise-caliber talent to build around.

    He signed a two-year deal worth $28 million, $21 million of which is guaranteed.

    The Saints are likely better off with him compared to the other options the Saints had in free agency, but it's unlikely this team will contend until it unearths a quality rookie or swings a blockbuster trade to shore up the position for the long-term.

New York Giants: TE Ricky Seals-Jones

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    The New York Giants are hoping to rebound from the dismal Joe Judge era in 2022.

    The team has remained relatively quiet during the first wave of free agency, only making headlines for the acquisition of a steady guard in Mark Glowinski and a backup QB in Tyrod Taylor.

    One of New York's under-the-radar moves was to ink Ricky Seals-Jones to a one-year, $1.2 million deal.
    While the signing was incredibly low-risk, it doesn't offer much value to the team. The G-Men moved on from a gifted but disappointing player at the position in Evan Engram this offseason and should seek a more productive option to replace him.

    The 6'5", 243-pound Seals-Jones has tantalized with his combination of size and athleticism but has career highs of 34 catches, 343 receiving yards and four touchdowns after spending five years in the league playing for four different teams.

    The upside the 27-year-old once possessed is all but gone, leaving the Giants with another underwhelming tight end who won't add much to the roster.

New York Jets: TE C.J. Uzomah

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    The New York Jets have had a fantastic offseason, acquiring a slew of veteran talent to help fill the myriad of holes in their roster.

    While the club deserves praise for most of its moves, the decision to add tight end C.J. Uzomah on a three-year, $24 million contract feels like an overpay.

    The signing does provide Zach Wilson with a big target to look for when moving the chains or in the red zone, a much-needed piece that the offense lacked last year, but Uzomah wasn't exactly a reliable weapon during his tenure with the Bengals.

    The seven-year veteran saw his most usage last year, notching a career-high 49 receptions for 493 yards and five scores. It was just the second time—and first since 2018—that Uzomah scored more than two touchdowns in a campaign.

    It's unquestionable that the 29-year-old represents a major upgrade over the likes of Ryan Griffin, Tyler Kroft and the rest of Gang Green's tight end room from last season. Nonetheless, it's rather unlikely Uzomah performs at the same level or higher than he did with Joe Burrow slinging him the rock in 2021.

Philadelphia Eagles: WR Zach Pascal

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    The Philadelphia Eagles pulled off one of the great signings of the 2022 offseason by adding Haason Reddick, but not all their moves have been home runs.

    The addition of Zach Pascal won't provide the type of jolt the club's receiving corps direly needs to round out the offense.

    The wideout failed to become a difference-maker during his four-year run with the Colts and is now coming off his worst season since his rookie year in 2018.

    Pascal failed to move the needle after catching just 38 of his 69 targets for 384 yards and three touchdowns in 2021.

    He'll likely slot in as the No. 3 wideout behind DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins, leaving the Eagles in a similar situation to last year when Smith was their only true playmaker at the position.

    Although it only cost the club $1.5 million to take him on for a year, Pascal will ideally be replaced by an impact rookie as soon as possible.

Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Mitch Trubisky

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers needed to quickly replace Ben Roethlisberger following his retirement.

    Despite the rush, going in on Mitch Trubisky to be their starter reeks of desperation and will likely be remembered as a panic move that didn't pan out.

    Trubisky may have spent a season learning behind Josh Allen under respected offensive coordinator—and current Giants head coach—Brian Daboll. However, Trubisky is still less than two years removed from flaming out with the Bears after the franchise pinned its hopes on the No. 2 overall pick in 2017.

    His mechanics and reads leave much to be desired. While the Steelers may be able to hide some of Trubisky's flaws by keeping him moving and setting up play-action passes, he's unlikely to develop into a quality pocket quarterback at the age of 27.

    Trubisky's contract is for two years and starts at $14.25 million, making it a relatively low-risk signing but still an overpay for a player who is likely to end up as a backup before the deal runs out.

    The best move for the Steelers will be rolling the dice on a signal-caller in the 2022 draft and hoping they hit, getting a player who can beat out Trubisky and earn the starting job early in their career.

San Francisco 49ers: DT Hassan Ridgeway

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    The San Francisco 49ers got the cornerback they sorely needed when they came to terms with Charvarius Ward this offseason, but they now have a new problem area on the roster.

    The interior of their defensive line looks susceptible to the run following the departure of starting defensive tackle D.J. Jones in free agency.

    Jones, one of the league's premiere run-stoppers in 2021, signed in Denver at the start of the new league year. The move left San Francisco desperate for help at the DT position.

    The front office has attempted to fill the hole by signing Hassan Ridgeway to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

    The six-year veteran will likely work as a rotational piece behind Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw.

    It's uncertain if the projected starters and Ridgeway will help the team replicate the success it found—the 49ers ranked No. 7 in run defense last year—with Jones plugging up the middle.

    Even if Ridgeway proves to be a reliable rotational piece, availability is still a major concern.

    While the 27-year-old did appear in every game last year for the Eagles, he played in seven or fewer games in three consecutive years between 2018 and 2020.

    While this was a cheap pickup, it may not be the right one for San Francisco after the club lost one of its most underrated defenders.

Seattle Seahawks: TE Will Dissly

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    The Seattle Seahawks signaled to the league that they are entering a rebuild after trading Russell Wilson with no heir-apparent on the roster.

    While Seattle isn't likely to contend anytime soon, the franchise still paid a significant amount to retain tight end Will Dissly.

    Dissly has emerged as a top-notch blocker over the past few seasons, but it's hard to justify him tying up $8 million per season over the next three years for a potentially rudderless squad.

    The 25-year-old played in just 10 games in his first two seasons and has never recorded more than 24 receptions, 263 receiving yards or two touchdowns in a single campaign.

    His AAV puts him in the upper tier of tight ends, an inexplicable decision that will only look worse when Dissly's production tails off in 2022. 

    The move seems especially extravagant given the Seahawks didn't even ink Dissly's deal until after they negotiated for up-and-coming tight end Noah Fant in the Wilson trade.

    Fant has been a better and more productive overall TE during his three NFL seasons and should be the player Seattle is building for the future around.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Chris Godwin

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    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had one of the best offseasons of any team.

    They made shrewd pickups and didn't make a panic move when Tom Brady announced his retirement and remained a Super Bowl contender upon his decision to return.

    One move that may go down as a slight misstep is the decision to dole out a three-year, $60 million deal to Chris Godwin after initially franchise tagging him for the second straight year.

    The biggest concern is that he's coming off a torn ACL and isn't likely to be available at the start of the 2021 campaign.

    Still, Godwin has been a fantastic receiver for this franchise and projects to remain as such upon his return.

    The wideout has been a consistent producer despite missing an average of three games over the last three seasons. He's tallied 28 touchdowns and caught 308 balls for 4,118 yards over the past four seasons.

    The team is highly invested in providing Brady with weapons with free-agent acquisition Russell Gage joining Godwin and Mike Evans.

    If Brady opts to retire after the 2022 campaign, though, the team will have one of the priciest receiving corps in the league without a clear-cut heir to target these immense talents.

Tennessee Titans: OT Jamarco Jones

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    The Tennessee Titans are coming off a disappointing loss in their playoff opener after earning the top seed in the AFC last year. They have the talent to win games but haven't been able to break through and reach the Super Bowl after making the playoffs in four of the last five years.

    Most of Tennessee's free-agent moves have revolved around low-risk, low-cost moves to shore up their veteran-laden roster as the club gears up for another run.

    The two-year, $4.8 million contract the club dished out to Jamarco Jones fits the trend, but it's rather unlikely these funds get put to good use.

    Jones has struggled to stay healthy since coming into the league in 2018. He's started just seven games for Seattle and finished each of the past two seasons on injured reserve.

    He projects as a replacement for Kendall Lamm, a depth signing at either guard or tackle spot. Jones, unfortunately, runs a high risk of being unavailable if the team does have to call on him.

Washington Commanders: LG Andrew Norwell

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    The Washington Commanders had the unenviable task of replacing Brandon Scherff on the interior of their offensive line this spring.

    The team elected to kick the tires on Andrew Norwell, doling out a two-year, $10 million contract to a player considered as one of the league's top interior offensive linemen only four years ago.

    In that span, Norwell went from a highly coveted free agent—eventually signing a five-year, $66.5 million deal with the Jaguars—to settling for a modest deal with Washington to rehabilitate his career.

    The contract is a risky one despite the relatively low costs given Norwell's production and health in recent years.

    The 30-year-old hasn't graded out above a 70.5 on PFF's scale since 2017—his final year with the Panthers—and missed a chunk of time during both the 2018 and 2020 campaigns.

    At this point in his career, Norwell projects to be a stopgap at guard while the Commanders seek out a long-term option in the draft. He could get replaced before his contract even ends, making this a disappointing move for the Commanders.