Lucky for all of us, the offseason is finally almost over. I found myself looking over the league’s transaction log a couple days ago, and I kept being reminded of some of the really dumb looking moves that teams made this offseason. While some of these may turn out to be not as bad as they seem, they are all genuinely awful. So for your amusement, I give you my top 10 most questionable moves of the NFL offseason.
10) The stupidity that is the bounty scandal
While the bounty scandal probably doesn’t count as an offseason move for any one team, it does count because I said so, and because no list of stupid things that the NFL did this offseason should be without it. I don’t even need to get into any of the specifics here. If you’d heard anything at all about it up to this point, then you know enough to realize just how stupid the whole thing is.
9) Randy Moss to the 49ers
The 49ers needed receivers, so they went out and signed a player who’s last productive season was in 2009. Moss was once one of the greatest receivers in the history of the game, but those days are long past. The 49ers now need Moss to be something he no longer is, a dynamic playmaker. At least they didn’t break the bank to do it.
8) Saints dragging out the negotiations with Drew Brees
I expect this deal to get done, but this never shouldn’t have taken this long. You now have a franchise, and the face of that franchise at odd with each other and extremely unhappy. How is this good for the team exactly?
Granted, Brees will likely soon have 150+mil reasons to get over his unhappiness with the team, but think about the precedent that’s set here. It was likely pulling teeth to get the team to take care of it’s best player. I just can’t see how this was a good idea.
7) Denver’s huge contract for Peyton Manning
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted Manning in a Seattle uniform. I think he’ll be fully recovered from his neck injuries and ready to go for week 1. But there’s a difference between offering him a big contract to come lead your team, and offering him THAT contract.
The Broncos essentially wrote Manning a blank check, making him one of the highest paid players in the history of the sport. And this is for a player hasn’t played in a year, has legitimate durability issues now, and is old enough that his skills should have begun declining even if he was healthy.
6) Mario Williams getting a truck load of cash from the Bills
Williams is one of the league’s premier players at his position, but taking the extra cash to go from a legitimate Super Bowl contender to a perennial bottom feeder is always a questionable choice.
On top of that, I’ve always got the feeling that Williams was one of those players who’s motivation comes partly from his desire for a bigger paycheck. Now that he’s got that paycheck, there’s reasons to worry that he wont be nearly as productive for his new team.
5) No one signing RB Ryan Grant
I get that Grant isn’t a perfect RB. He does have an injury history, and he’s not a great blocker receiver which means he wont play much on third down, but he’s still one of the best runners in the NFL. He’s got the combination of power, speed, and elusiveness that give him the potential to carry an offense.
With his injury history and age, I can see why no team would be willing to break the bank to sign him, but the fact that he can’t even seem to get a modest 1 year contract is downright crazy.
4) The Dolphins giving away Brandon Marshall for next to nothing
Marshall is one of the best receivers in NFL. There is simply no way to argue that the sentence before this one is a fact. The Dolphins traded him for 2 third round draft picks, a paltry sum for such a good player. It wasn’t too many years ago when the Seahawks traded Joey Galloway, a lesser player compared to Marshall, away for 2 first round picks. When you consider it that way, you’ll see just how little the Dolphins received for Marshall.
3) The Giants releasing Jake Ballard
Jake Ballard had become a solid target for Eli Manning. The TE had improved to the point that he was one of the key contributors on the team’s run to the Championship. Then he suffered a major injury, and he was likely to start the season on PUP list, so the Giants tried to slip him through wavers to open up a roster spot. The Patriot snagged him, leaving the Giants with nothing. It’s like the Giants didn’t think anyone would notice, which is pretty stupid if you think about it.
2) Tampa giving the Seahawks Kellen Winslow for absolutely nothing.
As bad as the Brandon Marshall trade was, this one was even worse. The Seahawks gave up only a 7th round pick for one of the league’s premier receivers at the TE position. Regardless of what you think about Winslow’s attitude off the field, giving up such a talented player for nothing just doesn’t make any sense.
1) Jets trading for Tim Tebow
The entire idea of using a roster spot for a QB who can’t throw the ball is a mind boggling proposition. But to give up draft picks for the right to waste a roster spot on that type of player? really? not to mention the circus he brings with him, and to a team at already has more circus than they can handle, the entire thing just seems like one of the worst ideas in the history of football.