15 Biggest Free Agent Busts In NFL History

Now that free agency is upon us in the National Football League, it’s time to recall some of the not so great deals that have been agreed to over the years. No player tries to underperform on purpose and each team thinks they are getting better with every addition. But it doesn’t always work out that way. There are so many deals that have gone bad that it’s impossible to list them all here. So we will take a look at some of the agreements that have worked out the worst for teams. A lot of players have made a lot of money without having to try all that hard, but you have to love the ones that got the big payday, and then never played a game.

15 Nate Odomes – Seattle Seahawks 


14 Cleo Lemon – Jacksonville Jaguars 


13 Matt Flynn – Seattle Seahawks 

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

12 Chuck Smith – Carolina Panthers 


11 Adam Archuleta – Washington Redskins 


10 Jerry Porter – Jacksonville Jaguars 


9 Larry Brown – Oakland Raiders 


8 Albert Haynesworth – Washington Redskins 


7 Nnamdi Asomugha – Philadelphia Eagles 


6 Javon Walker – Oakland Raiders 


5 LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills 

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy wasn’t officially a free agent as he was traded to the Buffalo Bills by then Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly. McCoy then agreed to a new contract with the Bills as part of the trade so that’s good enough to be included on the list.

During his time with the Eagles he brought an electricity to the air and was a player that the defense always had to know where he was. He is a true game breaker in every sense of the word. Well, he was until he went to the Bills anyway.

4 C.J. Spiller - New Orleans Saints 

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

When the Buffalo Bills drafted C.J. Spiller, their fans erupted like they had finally won a Super Bowl. It was quite amazing to see such a reaction from nothing but a draft pick, one that wasn’t even a top pick. He never became the feature back that the Bills had hoped he would become and when his time was up in Buffalo he moved on to the New Orleans Saints.

3 Edgerton Hartwell – Atlanta Falcons 


2 LeCharles Bentley – Cleveland Browns 


The Cleveland Browns are forever trying to improve via free agency. You have to give them credit as they are not afraid to take a risk to improve the team. The only problem is that most of the risks that they take don’t end up working out.

One of their worst deals was with LeCharles Bentley, who had been a two-time Pro Bowl selection with the New Orleans Saints. In 2006 the Browns were happy to sign him to a six-year contract for somewhere between $30-36 million. There was $12.5 million that was guaranteed. Signing day was Bentley’s most active day for the team.

1 Ndamukong Suh – Miami Dolphins 

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The front office of the Miami Dolphins must have been drinking when Ndamukong Suh came to town to visit the team during free agency. He ended up signing a huge contract with them. Yes the defensive tackle was very good during his years with the Detroit Lions, and yes he is only one full year into the contract that he signed, but to this point he has been one of the biggest busts of all time.

Suh’s deal pays him an average of over $19 million per year. He also received $25.5 million as a signing bonus AND $60 million in guaranteed money. So to total that up, in his first season with the Dolphins he earned over $104.5 million. He finished last season with a total of 6 sacks. So to this point in his contract he has earned over a whopping $17 million per quarterback sack. That’s simply amazing. The Dolphins can only hope that he improves over the rest of his contract to bring that number down. If not, it will be considered the biggest bust of all time.


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15 Biggest Free Agent Busts In NFL History