JUST over a week ago, I pointed out how important it is to find value is in professional sports, touching on the best free agent deals signed in the NBA offseason this summer. While it’s crucial to find good contracts on a 15 man NBA roster, it is even more important to strike gold on a 53 man NFL roster. This offseason six teams got it especially right with six different players.
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Dontari Poe, Atlanta Falcons (1yr/$8mil)
NOT for lack of trying, but I think that the Chiefs made the wrong choice by not resigning Poe. All reports indicate that the star defensive tackle and Kansas City tried to work out a deal but at the end of the day the Falcons (pun intended) swooped in and offered Poe a more lucrative short term deal. In his four years at the Chiefs, Poe contributed over 200 tackles and 13 sacks, making him a worthwhile gamble for Atlanta at the price he signed for.
Julius Peppers, Carolina Panthers (1yr/$3.5mil)
THERE’S no denying that Peppers isn’t the same dominant force that he used to be. Still, the 9x Pro Bowler is still a force that can be deployed in a limited capacity. At just over three million for the year Carolina, Peppers can still be a real impact player for the Panthers even though it’s likely he won’t see the field with regularity.
Andrew Whitworth, Los Angeles Rams (3yrs/$33.75mil)
INVESTING in quarterback protection is always a worthwhile decision in the NFL. Without a good offensive line, it’s unlikely that your team will experience any form of success. Since 2010 Whitworth has missed just two games making his contribution to the Bengals (and Andy Dalton’s health) worth its weight in gold. If LA are going to start winning games they need to give second-year play caller Jared Goff some time to make decisions and provide valuable blocking for the star back Todd Gurley. Whitworth may be 36. but he does all that and more for the Rams.
Image from zimbio.com
Martellus Bennett, Green Bay Packers (3yrs/$21mil)
GREEN Bay let Jared Cook walk in the offseason to the somewhat disappointment of fans. Their replacement though happens to be a SuperBowl winning tight end with great blocking and pass catching tendencies for Aaron Rodgers to feast on. With a cap hit of just $3.85mil, the Packers will hear Rodgers to Bennett plenty in the upcoming season.
Terrelle Pryor, Washington Redskins (1yr/$6 mil)
AFTER emerging as a competent wide receiver with the Browns many believed that Terrelle Pryor was going to get PAID in the 2017 offseason. Therefore, snapping him up at just six million is an absolute steal for Washington. From pass thrower to pass catcher, the former QB turned in a 1,000-yard season last year for Cleveland which is saying something considering the guys Pryor had lofting him the ball. With Kirk Cousins throwing for nearly 5,000 yards in back to back years it’s easy to see Pryor repeating those numbers this year.
Image from wjla.com
Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (1yr/$9.5mil)
AT just 27 years old and oozing with talent Alshon Jeffery’s signing could be a huge plus for the Eagles. Giving Carson Wentz a legit threat to catch passes at just over $9 million is a serious steal. If he’s worth it Philly can throw a long term extension at him and if not they can let him walk. A pretty sound investment if you ask me.
Banner from bleedinggreennation.com