Best and worst value signings of free agency

The interesting part about this free-agency period, and about football in general, is how an increased cap can all of a sudden force teams to become far more aggressive than they'd planned. It also encourages teams to fool themselves into short-term notions of competitiveness that were not in the cards the year before.

When financial flexibility and heightened awareness of job security collide, you get a market that is, at any given time, completely over-saturated and insanely pricey.

That's what makes finding the best and worst deals quite simple.

Without further ado, here are three financially savvy moves made by teams, and three that teams may end up regretting.


1. Darrelle Revis, DB, New York Jets: The 29-34 seasons for a cornerback can still be wildly productive, just ask the Denver Broncos and Champ Bailey. Revis will still be Revis for at least half of this contract and is walking away with only $14 million more in guarantees than Byron Maxwell. Yes, it's a lot of money to spend, but it's smart money.

2. Mike Iupati, G, Arizona Cardinals: Expertise at the interior line spots will only become more valuable as defensive coordinators find more ways to attack weak links. Iupati comes off the board financially in line with some of the best offensive linemen in his class, but is well worth it.

3. Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Signed nearly an identical contract as Frank Gore did in Indy, but for less guaranteed money. He's also four years younger.


1. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Miami Dolphins: How has a team done in the recent past after making a defensive player the highest paid in football? And how many truly record-setting seasons are we expecting from a 28-year-old interior pass rusher? Make no mistake, he is one of the five best defensive players in football. But is he worth this much money when the quarterback's deal needs to get done and the skill positions around him need to get better?

2. Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: If he puts up with Peyton Manning numbers his first year in Jacksonville, I'll be the first one to take this back. But for more straight-up guaranteed money than Rob Gronkowski, this guy better be a game-changer, and one hell of a blocker, too.

3. Dwayne Harris, KR/WR, New York Giants: For two seasons now, Jerry Reese has coveted more explosive players on his roster, especially on kick returns. Jacoby Jones was locked up for a two-year, $5.5 million deal with roughly $1.6 million guaranteed. Ted Ginn was a two-year, $4.2 million contract with less than $2 million in signing bonuses. Harris, though much younger and a little more of an established pass-catcher (but not by much), gets a five-year, $17.5 million contract with more than $7 million guaranteed.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down every trade and free-agent signing and discusses the impact of Darrelle Revis' return to the Jets. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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