We all get carried away with what happens in free agency every season. Right now fans of the Dolphins, Jets, Colts, Bills, Raiders, Eagles and numerous other teams believe that they have made the moves necessary to get to a championship. It’s a guarantee that some of those teams will likely end up disappointed when the games are actually played and we need not look any further than the multi year wide receiver contracts entered into back in 2013.
2013 was supposed to be the year of the receiver. Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, Mike Wallace, and Greg Jennings were supposed to help transform passing games. Percy Harvin was looking for a new contract and considered a dynamic playmaker. Victor Cruz was a restricted free agent and there were a number of tier two players that were going to add to the mix.
Here are the current results of the can’t miss group of players:
|Percy Harvin||Seahawks||$12,849,000||$25,500,000||14||52||500||2||Traded 2014/Cut 2015|
|Mike Wallace||Dolphins||$12,000,000||$27,100,000||32||140||1792||15||Traded 2014|
|Dwayne Bowe||Chiefs||$11,200,000||$24,235,294||30||117||1427||5||Cut 2015|
|Greg Jennings||Vikings||$9,000,000||$18,000,000||31||127||1546||10||Cut 2015|
|Victor Cruz||Giants||$8,600,000||$15,654,000||20||96||1335||5||On Team|
|Brian Hartline||Dolphins||$6,155,000||$12,525,000||32||115||1490||6||Cut 2015|
|Wes Welker||Broncos||$6,000,000||$11,647,059||27||122||1242||12||Free Agent|
|Danny Amendola||Patriots||$5,700,000||$11,875,000||28||81||833||3||Pay Cut 2015|
|Brandon Gibson||Dolphins||$3,260,000||$6,520,000||21||59||621||4||Cut 2015|
|Donnie Avery||Chiefs||$2,850,000||$5,150,000||22||55||772||2||Cut 2015|
For almost all of these teams this was a complete waste of funds. On a performance basis this is what the team’s paid for the various player’s
Only Cruz remains on his original contract with his original team and that may change as injuries and the emergence of Odell Beckham has made him expendable. Amendola is the only other player to remain with his team and he had to accept a pay cut to stay in New England. Wallace was just traded to Minnesota but is currently on his original deal. Welker was only given a two year contract and is currently a free agent.
Harvin was given up on by two teams and his ROI was likely at the bottom of the NFL. Miami and Kansas City whiffed multiple times and are now in the process of reworking their entire receiving corps. The Chiefs haven’t been that scared off by their failures, signing Jeremy Maclin for $11 million a year.
So what group in 2015 will be those 2013 wide receivers? Maybe it will be the cornerbacks. Maybe the defensive tackles. Maybe it will just be the receivers for a second time. But whatever group it is will likely incure the wrath of a number of fanbases and leave a few general mangers on the unemployment line.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.