Welcome to Cyber Monday, which is a thing that exists in the year 2014. All the talk of bargains and sales got us thinking ...
Who were the best free-agent deals over the offseason? With a ton of help from Chris Wesseling's midseason top-10 list, here's a look:
1. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos wide receiver: Remember when Sanders struggled to get the free-agent contract he wanted? Sanders "settled" for a three-year, $15 million contract from Denver after spurning the Chiefs' same offer. He's now fourth in the league in receiving yards and third in receptions at a fraction of the cost Eric Decker is generating in New York.
2. Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens running back:Justin Forsett was probably fourth on the depth chart when the Ravens signed him in April. Now he's fourth in the NFL in yards. The Baltimore offensive line deserves credit, but Forsett also does a great job of making defenders miss. All this for $730,000!
3. Golden Tate, Detroit Lions wide receiver: On the rare occasions in which Calvin Johnson has missed games in the past, the Lions' offense went in the tank. Tate didn't let that happen this year. Tate has almost single-handedly pulled the team back out. We highlighted Tate's penchant for game-changing plays in his midseason "Making the Leap" roundup. Among the most sure-handed receivers in the league, Tate ranks in the top six in both receptions and yards. He's been one of the most valuable receivers in football, well worth the five-year, $31 million contract he signed in the offseason.
4. Antoine Bethea, San Francisco 49ers safety: San Francisco essentially swapped Donte Whitner for Bethea, saving some money in the process. (Bethea is making just over $5 million per season from the 49ers.) Whitner is a quality player, but Bethea is a strong All-Pro candidate as the best safety in football this season.
5. Julius Peppers, Green Bay Packers pass rusher: The Packers signed Julius Peppers for less than half the money he was making in Chicago. While he's not quite at his prime playing level, Peppers has not fallen off much. He's been the most consistent pass rusher on a team that includes Clay Matthews, and Peppers has showed off his versatility in pass coverage for good measure.
8. Jared Veldheer, Arizona Cardinals tackle: Remember when the Cardinals were the worst pass-protecting team in the league? Veldheer, the former Oakland Raider, has changed all that with rock-solid play at left tackle. He was a great example of a huge free-agent need meeting up with a talented player in his prime.