Pick Six  


Prime Time and the Minister headline most-shocking free agents


The Peyton Manning field has been thinned to four teams, with Arizona, Denver, Miami and Tennessee (all right, maybe it's just three) all vying for position. There is, of course, the chance for a darkhorse to emerge out of nowhere to throw the whole thing out of whack (looking at you, Houston).

And that's what makes it exciting, when a surprise team comes out of nowhere to shock the world. Kind of like what my Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim did when they nabbed Albert Pujols in free agency this year. That was easily one of the biggest free-agency bombshells in sports history.

So with that in mind, here's a look at the six biggest free-agency shockers in NFL history.

And without further ado ...

  • Terrell Owens signs with the Bills in 2009

    The Bills typically don't make a splash in free agency, so it seemed out of character when Owens signed with the team. But when you see Owens playing in some indoor football league, you realize this was the high point of his last four years.

  • Elvis Grbac signs with the Ravens in 2001

    The Ravens had just won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer, but even coach Brian Billick has since admitted he was going to be hard pressed to do it again with a quarterback of Dilfer's caliber. So somebody explain to me how Grbac made sense then?

  • Neil O'Donnell signs with the Jets in 1996

    The Jets made a questionable decision when they hired Rich Kotite to coach the team in 1995, so they figured why not throw good money after bad by bringing in O'Donnell to be the quarterback a year later.

  • Drew Brees signs with the Saints in 2006

    Many NFL experts (including me) figured Brees was a lock for the Dolphins after he broke free of the Chargers. But Nick Saban and the Dolphins' doctors figured Daunte Culpepper would be a better option. Obviously Saban is much better at college recruiting.

  • Deion Sanders signs with the 49ers in 1994

    Sanders spurning the Falcons to sign with the highest bidder wasn't that shocking, rather it was how the 49ers were able to attract so many big-name free agents, including Ken Norton Jr. and Rickey Jackson. The move paid off for the 49ers, who went on to win Super Bowl XXIX.

  • Reggie White signs with the Packers in 1993

    One of the early fears of free agency was that players would avoid small-market teams, instead opting for big-time markets. White blew that fear out of the water by signing with the Packers.


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