It has been a slow time in sports due to the pandemic that is going on. That was until NFL free agency began on Monday giving sports fanatics news to finally read about.

Teams are always optimistic about the free agents they sign. Sometimes they pan out, sometimes they don’t. Here are the best and worst free agent signings from every year from 2010-19.

As a subjective piece of writing, it can be debated as to who should be the top candidate for each year. The size of their contract played a role meaning this isn’t the best and worst player signed each year.

2019

  • Best - Shaquil Barrett, Buccaneers (one year, $4 million)

Over his first career 61 games with the Broncos, Barrett registered a total of 14 sacks. The Buccaneers gave him a chance on a one-year deal, and all he did was lead the NFL with 19.5 sacks in 2019 while also forcing six fumbles.

  • Worst - Nick Foles, Jaguars (four years, $88 million)

The Jaguars thought this former Super Bowl MVP was their missing piece to being a true contender. Instead, he got hurt in Week 1 last season, struggled mightily in three games after coming back, and was benched for the remainder of the season for rookie Gardner Minshew.

He was traded to the Bears on Wednesday, and according to ESPN, it will cost the Jaguars $18.75 million in dead money in 2020.

2018

  • Best - Richard Sherman, 49ers (three years, $27.15 million)

Previously known as arguably the best cornerback in the game with Seattle, the Seahawks believed he lost as they cut him and was picked up by San Francisco a few days later. He received a Pro Bowl nod last season as he helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl as Pro Football Focus rated him a superb 88.9 on the year.

  • Worst - Trumaine Johnson, Jets (five years, $72.5 million)

Johnson was signed by the Jets after six seasons with the Rams, and he was expected to become the team’s best cornerback since Darrelle Revis. That didn’t happen as he was cut on Wednesday after just two seasons for New York which included a team suspension and benching. The New York Daily News called him one of the most disappointing free agent signings in franchise history.

2017

  • Best - Stephon Gilmore, Patriots (five years, $65 million)

A First Team All-Pro each of the last two seasons, Gilmore was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 as he intercepted six passes and knocked away another 20. He became the first cornerback since Charles Woodson in 2009 to win the award.

  • Worst - Matt Kalil, Panthers (five years, $55.5 million)

This was really a five man race between Nick Perry, Mike Glennon, Kenny Britt, Martellus Bennett, and Kalil. Kalil gets the slight nod over the aforementioned four others as he played just one season for Carolina, missed all of 2018, and was cut before the 2019 season (was then signed by the Texans who also cut him before playing a game).

2016

  • Best - Casey Hayward, Chargers (three years, $15.3 million)

Hayward had started just 20 games for the Packers over four seasons before signing with the Chargers. In his first two seasons with his new team, he was named to the Pro Bowl as he combined to intercept 11 passes and have 42 pass knockdowns.

  • Worst - Brock Osweiler, Texans (four years, $72 million)

Osweiler was a disaster in Houston throwing 16 interceptions (another three in two postseason games) and just 15 touchdowns in 14 starts. The Texans were so desperate to get rid of him after just one season that they attached a second round pick just to get the Browns to take him off their hands (they cut him before the 2017 season started).

2015

  • Best - Darian Stewart, Broncos (two years, $4.25 million)

Signed by the Broncos on the cheap, Stewart became an integral part of an excellent Super Bowl-winning Broncos defense in the 2015 season (also was named to the Pro Bowl in 2016). He intercepted a Tom Brady pass in the AFC Championship Game en route to winning a title.

  • Worst - Chris Culliver, Redskins (four years, $32 million)

There were a plethora of options here making it hard to choose just one (Ndamukong Suh, Julius Thomas, Byron Maxwell, Brandon Browner, and Cary Williams to name a few). Culliver is the pick though as he was suspended a game and tore his ACL after six games in 2015, never appearing in a NFL game after that.

2014

  • Best - Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos (three years, $15 million)

Sanders was a solid receiver with the Steelers, but he fully blossomed after joining Denver. In his first three seasons with the Broncos, he combined to catch 256 passes for 3,571 yards and 20 touchdowns.

  • Worst - Jairus Byrd, Saints (six years, $54 million)

It was a superb first five seasons for the free safety Byrd in Buffalo, as he earned three Pro Bowl nods, intercepted 22 passes, and forced 11 fumbles. Nothing of the sort happened with the Saints, and he was cut after three years after picking off just three passes in a New Orleans uniform.

2013

  • Best - Julian Edelman, Patriots (one year, $765K)

Mostly utilized as a punt returner from 2009-12, Edelman agreed to re-up with New England for less than a million dollars. The 2013 season is when he really began to make a name for himself as he finished with 105 receptions for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns.

  • Worst - Mike Wallace, Dolphins (five years, $60 million)

It’s not that Wallace was bad, he was just signed to be a superstar wideout. He played two seasons for the Dolphins totaling 140 catches for 1,792 yards before Miami decided to move on and traded him to the Vikings.

2012

  • Best - Peyton Manning, Broncos (five years, $96 million)

A neck injury forced Manning to miss all of 2011, and many wondered if that was it for his career.

Instead, he joined the Broncos and was named the league’s MVP in 2013 when he threw for an incredible 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns (both are still NFL records).

  • Worst - Matt Flynn, Seahawks (three years, $19 million)

In a meaningless Week 17 game in 2011 with the Packers, Flynn tore the Lions apart to the tune of 480 yards and six touchdowns. The Seahawks believed he could be their starter under center, but instead he was beat out by a fourth round draft pick by the name of Russell Wilson. He was traded to the Raiders the following offseason.

2011

  • Best - Marshal Yanda, Ravens (five years, $40 million)

Yanda became one of the league’s standout guards after the Ravens re-signed him in 2011.

He missed just two games over the five years of his deal and was named to the Pro Bowl in all five seasons (also a First Team All-Pro in 2014 and 2015).

  • Worst - Nnamdi Asomugha, Eagles (five years, $60 million)

Asomugha was a true shutdown corner in his last three seasons with the Raiders earning three trips to the Pro Bowl and being named a First Team All-Pro twice. He didn’t come close to resembling that player after joining Philadelphia and he was cut after just two years with the team.

2010

  • Best - Antrel Rolle, Giants (five years, $37 million)

During his five seasons with the Giants, Rolle was in the starting lineup every possible game.

He was named a Pro Bowler in 2010 and 2013 while also winning a Super Bowl in the 2011 season.

  • Worst - Aaron Kampman, Jaguars (four years, $24 million)

Once upon a time, Kampman was one of the league’s premier pass rushers as he accumulated 37 sacks from 2006-08. He missed nearly all of 2011 with injury and only totaled four sacks in 11 games with Jacksonville.

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