NFL Free Agency Follies: These Deals are Shakespearean in Nature

By That, It Means Either Tragic or Comical!

Lots of “Hot” Deals Just Days in the 2023 NFL Free Agency

The 2023 NFL Free Agency officially started this Wednesday and there are already so many deals for both fans and pundits to sink their teeth into. But we’re not interested in the great deals. Nah. The stuff that is newsworthy is always the bad stuff – the deals that blow up in teams’ faces. There is no shortage of NFL Free Agency follies so let’s get started with the biggest deal that William Shakespeare could write a new play out of.

Giants logo Giants Give Jones a Giant Contract

Daniel Jones, the Giants’ quarterback got a whopping $ 160 million deal for four years. Yes, the man with a career passer rating of 86.5 is apparently worth $40 million a year.It won’t take much for this signing to become one of the bigger NFL Free Agency follies this year.

For one, Jones scored just 22 total touchdowns – seven came via rushing. He’s a legitimate dual-threat quarterback but it’s also the reason why teams are not lining up to pay the Ravens‘ Lamar Jackson the same amount or more.Jones should be considered a high-risk asset just like the running back he rode to this fat deal: Saquon Barkley.

The two-time Pro Bowler got franchise-tagged after carrying the team’s offense while Jones got the bag. Just a classic example of a white man profiting off the black man’s hard work. Jones with Barkley has 44 passing touchdowns to 17 picks for a 91.4 rating. Without him? He has the same amount of picks with just 16 passing TDs and a 77.3 passer rating. For his sake, his meal ticket better stay on the field.

Raiders logo Raiders Pay “Jimmy G” A Handsome Amount

The Raiders really went from Derek Carr to Jimmy Garoppolo and hope no one would notice. Other than Garoppolo’s infectious smile and winning charisma, he’s not much better than Carr. But the Raiders are convinced reuniting Garoppolo with his old offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, is a winning formula in the short term.

Las Vegas gifted Garoppolo a three-year $72.75 million dollar deal with an average annual value (AAV) of $24.25 million a year. It’s a fair deal based on the amount but considering that Garoppolo can never stay healthy – four season-ending injuries in his last six years as a starter – it could be a quarter of a mil for a part-time starter.

It also depends on what Las Vegas will do with its seventh overall pick. Most analysts are convinced it will draft either Anthony Richardson or Will Levis to be its quarterback of the future. But either will have roughly half a season to learn the NFL if and when Garoppolo goes down. And rushing a green QB rarely leads to anything positive.

Broncos logo Denver Pays Premium Prices for Linemen

Either the Denver Broncos just paid their way deeper into a hole or another Super Bowl is coming to the Mile High City. Whatever the case, the Broncos are too invested in Russell Wilson and Sean Payton that they had to pay a five-year $87.5 million deal for Mike McGlinchey at tackle.

It’s not a bad deal as McGlinchey is a solid player but it also means Denver has nearly $50 million a year tied to three players on the offensive line, a position where both injuries and inconsistent play are frequent. Given Denver’s luck lately, this has the makings of one of the biggest NFL Free Agency follies this year. And even if it pays off, the Broncos could have maybe found a better deal somewhere.

But wait. There is more. The Broncos were not done and signed Zach Allen on the other end for a three-year $45.75 million deal. He posted a career-high 5.5 sacks and 20 quarterback hits in 13 games last season per his NFL player stats. But at that price ($32.5 million guaranteed), he better continue to progress and become a Pro-Bowler. At least he’s still just 25.

Panthers logo Panthers Pay to Rebuild Offense

While that covers the largest NFL news, the Panthers made two deals that could quickly head south. They brought in running back Miles Sanders at a four-year $25.4 million deal and veteran receiver Adam Thielen to the same amount but for three years. That’s what they had to do after trading away D.J. Moore (and a lot of picks) to pick first overall.

While it’s not as egregious as the ones above, this could still be bad. Sanders may be a product of the Eagles‘ stacked offense. He ran behind the NFL’s best offensive line and will have less room to operate with a mediocre unit in Carolina. On top of that, Carolina could have kept D’Onta Foreman, who came off a career season, for much less.

As for Thielen, the Panthers‘ front-loaded his contract so he’ll be easier to cut should he prove to be as shopworn as he looked for Minnesota in 2022. He should also be a positive influence for the team’s young receivers. This may be why the Panthers paid a lot to sign him. Still, you don’t pay a declining receiver that much to be the grown-up in the locker room.

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