Collateral damage: Players hurt by free agency

Free agency marks the best and worst of times for NFL players. For every big-name free agent who inks a cap-shaking contract, someone else on the roster is out of work.

Here's a look at players who suffered collateral damage during the free-agency period. Their football futures have taken a hit:

Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans quarterback: The stink remains on Hoyer after tossing four picks in Houston's wild-card loss to the Chiefs. His disastrous outing overshadowed an otherwise productive season, but Hoyer won't have a chance to make up for it. The four-year, $72 million contract handed to Brock Osweiler thrusts Hoyer back into the shadows. His only chance to open the season as a starter -- and it's a slim one -- is trading the average-armed passer to a team desperate under center.

Cleveland's next quarterback: We're posting this long before the draft, so plenty can change. That said, whoever starts at quarterback for the Browns is bound to be saddled by a roster with more holes than last year's three-win outfit. With center Alex Mack, right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and deep-threat Travis Benjamin all signing elsewhere, the Browns are nowhere close to fielding a competent offense. Cleveland's new coaching staff and front office inherited a mess that will take years to steer out of.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback: Dalton will struggle to repeat his career campaign from 2015. For starters, the Bengals passer no longer has talented play-caller Hue Jackson in his ear. The team also lost depth at receiver with Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu leaving for big-money deals elsewhere. With two of Cincy's top-five pass-catchers from last season out the door, Dalton's surrounding cast could include a handful of new faces in 2016.

T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars running back: Yeldon has plenty of potential, but the Jaguars handed Chris Ivory a five-year contract worth $32.5 million. Look for Ivory to handle plenty of short-yardage and red-zone carries, leaving Yeldon in a bind from a fantasy perspective. With both runners battling injuries last season, Yeldon will still see his share of carries. Free agency, though, turned this into a committee backfield.

Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback: It's suspect to list anyone who signed a deal for $36 million over two seasons. Bradford, though, is in a fight for his starting job after new Eagles coach Doug Pederson lured quarterback Chase Daniel into the fold. Pederson -- in an attempt to quiet the chatter -- recently announced that "Sam Bradford is the No. 1. Chase Daniel is the No. 2." While fans still wait for any hint of inspired play from Bradford, we're booking Daniel for meaningful snaps in 2016.

Bishop Sankey, Antonio Andrews and David Cobb, Tennessee Titans running backs: Tennessee's ho-hum carousel of runners all dropped a spot in the pecking order with the addition of DeMarco Murray. The former Cowboys and Eagles back has the faith of new general manager Jon Robinson, who told reporters last week: "There's more than enough tread left on his tires." An enigmatic player coming off a disastrous season, Murray is no lock as a workhorse, but the Titans will hand him a massive role out of the gate.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content