NFL Free Agency: 5 Most Rewarded Risks of Injury-Prone Players

Brian Shannon@bshannon15Correspondent IJuly 18, 2011

NFL Free Agency: 5 Most Rewarded Risks of Injury-Prone Players

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    With free agency hopefully set to begin within the next week, now is a good time to take a look back at some of the biggest risk-reward signings of all-time.

    Players get injured all of the time in the NFL, but very few injury plagued players have moved onto a new team with much success. 

    Some teams have been handsomely rewarded by taking a risk on an injury plagued player during free agency and teams will have the chance to do so this season with guys like Sidney Rice and DeAngelo Williams on the market.

    Here is a look at five of the most rewarded risks when it comes to injury plagued players in the NFL.

Drew Brees to the Saints

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    Drew Brees is the ultimate success story when it comes to a previously injured player hitting big with his new team.

    The Chargers gave up on Brees after he tore his labrum during the final game of the 2005 season and the Saints decided to take a chance on the injured signal-caller in free agency.

    Brees has rewarded the Saints for that decision, helping the franchise win its only Super Bowl in 2009 and he lead the team back to the playoffs last season.

LaDainian Tomlinson to the Jets

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    Tomlinson suffered an ankle injury during his final season with the Chargers that was only the beginning of a disappointing year for the franchise's top runner.

    LT found the end zone 12 times but he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and San Diego decided to let their superstar find a new home.

    The Jets jumped on the chance to add the former Horned Frog to their offensive arsenal and Tomlinson had a solid 2010 season with 914 yards and six touchdowns.

Chad Pennington to the Dolphins

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    Pennington has given Chargers safety Bob Sanders a run for his money when it comes to time spent on injured reserve during his career and he has once again found himself there this season.

    Even though Pennington has been injured far too often, he has still been an effective quarterback when healthy, particularly in his first season with the Dolphins.

    Miami signed Pennington away from the Jets in 2008 and he threw for 3,653 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 67.4 percent of his passes.

    Pennington will spend this season calling games for Fox while he sits out with a torn ACL.

Marcus Allen to the Chiefs

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    The Hall of Fame running back was a valuable member of the Oakland Raiders for 10 seasons before moving onto division rival Kansas City.

    Allen hurt his knee during the 1989 season which was the beginning of the end for him in Oakland as he found himself as a backup for his final three seasons with the Raiders.

    The Chiefs signed Allen in 1993 and he helped the team reach the AFC Championship game while winning the league's Comeback Player of the Year award.

Brett Favre to the Vikings

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    Favre obviously didn't miss a whole lot of time during his career do to injury, since he played in an NFL record 297 consecutive regular season games. But Favre also played injured a large portion of the time.

    Favre went to the Jets in 2008 where he had a solid season. But he also injured his throwing shoulder that year.

    After one season with the Jets, Favre moved onto the Vikings and did not disappoint in 2009, as he helped the team reach the NFC Championship game while having one of the best years of his career.