NFL free agency begins at 4pm ET today, but while that usually means fans are waiting to hear what big name their team has signed, we must never forget past signings that have put us where we are as a league today. While some players are remembered as game changing free agent signings, not everyone lives up to the hype and some players have ended up doing nothing more than cashing in when it comes to free agency, leaving the teams who signed them out of luck, out of money and on out list of worst free agent signings of All-Time.
15. Jake Delhomme – QB
Team: Cleveland Browns (2010)
Jake Delhomme was both one of the best and one of the worst free agent signings ever. While he found epic success with the Panthers as a free agent, Delhomme was a complete bust for the Browns in 2010, going 2-3 as a starter before being benched and eventually released later that offseason. For whatever reason, Delhomme got $7 million in Cleveland, which was roughly $6.5 million more than he was probably worth.
Kickers rarely get big bucks in the NFL unless they’re truly elite guys who never miss and never make you sweat when they step onto the field in big games. Mike Vanderjagt was the complete opposite of all those things yet he managed to coerce nearly $5 million out of Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. Vanderjagt played one season with the Cowboys and made only 72 percent of his kicks that year.
13. Daryl Gardener – DT
Team: Denver Broncos (2003)
Daryl Gardener had managed to string together some really solid seasons with the Miami Dolphins and even had a pretty good year with the Washington Redskins in 2002. This was apparently enough evidence for the Denver Broncos to chuck nearly $35 million his way in 2003, but they were rewarded with one year of work, five games started and absolutely zero sacks.
12. Jeff Garcia – QB
Team: Cleveland Browns (2004)
After a strong run with the San Francisco 49ers, Jeff Garcia became a gunslinger-for-hire and the Browns thought they were finally getting a guy to lead them into the future when they offered him a four-year, $25 million contract in 2004. While the Browns wanted a guy who could be mobile, efficient and lead the team, they paid for an absolutely dud of a quarterback who was playing with the Detroit Lions a year after inking his deal in Cleveland.
11. Alvin Harper – WR
Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1995)
The Buccaneers were a team in transition and they were hoping that the addition of a Super Bowl star would take them to another level. Alvin Harper took the Bucs to another level but the elevator was going the wrong way. The idea behind signing Harper was that the two-time Super Bowl champ who was actually a key figure in the Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s could come in and be a leader. All Harper came into do was collect checks and cruise for fine Florida ass, as he was nowhere to be seen for the Bucs on Sundays.