Bad teams believe they need to overpay free agents to improve immediately, so they throw their money around to acquire players who weren’t deemed worthy of a contract extension or franchise tag by their previous organization. With the salary cap rising, some of the free-agent contracts that have been handed out this offseason have been especially oversized.
In 2013, cornerbacks came cheap. That’s how the Patriots got to hold onto Aqib Talib for just $5 million on a one-year deal. This year, cornerbacks are being overpaid to the tune of nearly $10 million per season.
Teams were willing to overspend for wide receivers last year. Mike Wallace got a five-year, $60 million contract with $27 million guaranteed from the Miami Dolphins in 2013. Teams would be wise to lock up receivers this offseason, since the market is low. Eric Decker got the biggest contract from the Jets — a much more reasonable five-year deal worth $36.5 million with $15 million guaranteed.