After an insane first day of free agency, things calmed down considerably around the NFL on Thursday. That gives a chance to take stock of what's happened so far.
While it's more fun to choose our favorite deals of free agency thus far, it should be easier to predict what deals won't pan out. History tells us that the majority of first-day signings in free agency won't be worth the money. So what were the seven shakiest deals thus far?
1-2. Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones: The former Bengals receivers are both nice players, but they benefited from a razor thin free-agent wide receiver market. Sanu, signed by the Atlanta Falcons, was essentially the fifth receiver in Cincinnati last year and did not quite measure up when he was asked to start while replacing Jones in 2014. He didn't top 500 yards in any other season. Ultimately, he is a solid underneath receiver with flexibility that is getting paid like a top-level starter. His contract (five years for $32 million and $14 million guaranteed) positions him as a No. 2 wideout.
Jones has a much more complete skill set, and we've long believed in his talent. But he's been in the league four seasons and has never topped 850 yards. He will make $13 million in 2016, and $27 million over the first three seasons. That's No. 1 receiver money and it won't help the expectations in Detroit that he was signed the day after Calvin Johnson retired.
3. Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants cornerback: Jenkins is a solid starting cornerback that excels in man coverage and is undoubtedly a playmaker. But he also gives up big plays and doesn't always have consistent effort as he admitted on Thursday. When Jenkins was asked what he can improve upon, he answered:
"Stop being lazy at the end of games."
The money is just out of whack in Jenkins' deal. With $62.5 million over five seasons, including $29.5 million guaranteed, Jenkins now ranks second among cornerbacks in guaranteed money. That's ahead of guys like Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman. Jenkins has not made a Pro Bowl and the Rams chose to keep Trumaine Johnson over him. So essentially the Giants spent nearly $200 million on three players (Jenkins, Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison) that weren't even the top players at their position on their previous teams. General manager Jerry Reese knows that his dream team needs to start fast in 2016 or the natives will be restless in New York.
4. Mario Williams, Miami Dolphins defensive end: Some teams try to "buy low" on bargains during free agency. Others just spend like crazy. Miami's strategy has been curious. They are "buying medium" on players like Mario Williams and Byron Maxwell coming off down seasons at big prices elsewhere. The price tag on Williams ($17 million over two years) isn't outrageous, but there just isn't great reason to believe Williams will bounce back after a lackluster effort in Buffalo last season.
5-6. Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford, quarterbacks:The going rate of* *$18 million per season for mid-level starting quarterback play is suddenly the norm. Bradford's numbers have never matched his potential and he is barely making less than Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. Bradford might start out as the clear No. 1, but he's transitioning to yet another system and has a backup in Chase Daniel who knows the scheme better. What player other than Bradford could sign for that much money and then potentially have to battle to keep his starting job?
Should Brock Osweiler get extra credit for having less experience and more potential when compared to a quarterback such as Bradford? Osweiler could turn out to be a risk worth taking for the Houston Texans. But there is no denying that general manager Rick Smith put his future on the line by giving such an unproven commodity $37 million guaranteed over the next two seasons *the full contract is $72 million over four years). It's impossible to know how Osweiler will pan out in coach Bill O'Brien's system. Osweiler showed some promising characteristics in Denver, especially in his pocket movement. But he's an unknown quantity that will now determine the future of this franchise.
7. Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints tight end: It's never a good sign when a player's original team shows little interest in keeping him. The Colts decided to re-sign Dwayne Allen for big money despite lower production than Fleener over the last four years. Fleener's reputation for drops and soft play precede him in New Orleans. Ben Watson was coming off a season with nearly 1,000 yards receiving and they let him leave for little money, instead using up much of their small cap space on Fleener. If they wanted to sign a very poor man's Jimmy Graham, why not just keep Jimmy Graham?