With free agency in the rear-view mirror, NFL teams have already finalised their 90-man rosters that they’ll take into training camp and the pre-season games this off-season.
Here, we look at 11 of the most criminally underrated free agent signings in the 2017 season.
Logan Ryan – CB – Tennessee Titans – $30,000,000, 3 years
Ryan may have gotten big money and a long-term deal, but the Titans added one of the top corners at $10,000,000 per season, which is far from a bad deal, and many felt he would command a much higher fee.
The Superbowl champion will immediately come in as a starting corner for the Titans, and he could end up being the best signing of this free agency class.
Kyle Juszczyk – FB – San Francisco 49ers – $21,000,000, 4 years
Juszczyk is the best fullback in the NFL, and this off-season he finally got paid as such, earning himself around $5,000,000 per year, which is impressive money for a player in that position.
Still, this is an underrated signing as the 49ers get a versatile full back, and with the amount of cap room they had to spare this off-season, they shouldn’t worry about overpaying for the best fullback in the league.
Akeem Spence – DT – Detroit Lions – $9,000,000, 3 years
This one’s underrated because, on the surface, it works out really well for both parties.
Spence gets a long-term deal, and the Lions got an absolute steal, grabbing a player capable of starting at DT for just $3,000,000 per year.
And if Spence underperforms? The Lions can get out of his contract after just one year for $3,750,000.
Dontari Poe – DT – Atlanta Falcons – $8,000,000, 1 year
Poe had a sub-par season last year, but the Falcons will be hoping they can get the 2013/2014 Poe that recorded 10.5 sacks and 96 tackles over a two-year spell.
If they don’t get that sort of production, they can walk away next year, but if they do, they’ll have exclusive negotiating rights to give him a longer deal.
Prince Amukamara – CB – Chicago Bears – $7,000,000, 1 year
Amukamara has bounced between teams over the past couple of years, and joins a new one this off-season, signing a $7,000,000 contract with the Bears.
The Bears get a starting cornerback in this deal, and Amukamara once again has an opportunity to try to earn a longer deal.
If the move doesn’t work, both parties can part ways after just a year.
Jamaal Charles – RB – Denver Broncos – $2,500,000, 1 year
If Charles is healthy and still has enough in him for another year or two, this is a move that could be a perfect fit for both parties.
It’s a big if with his injury history recently, but this could be a good move for the Broncos who had a need here that a healthy Jamaal Charles can fill.
Victor Cruz – WR – Chicago Bears – $2,000,000, 1 year
Cut by the Giants, Cruz watched a lot of wide receivers get paid big money on short term deals before he got the call from the Bears.
As with a lot of these short-term ‘prove it’ deals, Cruz will have to prove he can stay on the field and produce.
If he can, the Bears have got themselves a talented receiver at a very reasonable price.
Case Keenum – QB – Minnesota Vikings – $2,000,000, 1 year
Case Keenum is one of the best back-up quarterbacks in the NFL, and he’ll go into the Vikings building backing up Sam Bradford
With Bradford’s injury history, and with Teddy Bridgewater continuing his rehab, this is a smart signing from Minnesota, and they didn’t have to break the bank to make it.
LeGarrette Blount – RB – Philadelphia Eagles – $1,250,000, 1 year
The former Patriot was one of the top running backs in this free agency class, but a deep draft class meant a lot of them got criminally underpaid.
Blount wasn’t signed until after the draft, and with the Eagles failing to draft a big, power back (they did take 5’6 Donnel Pumphrey in the 5th round) they filled that hole with this signing
For just £1,250,000, they won’t have to worry about it not panning out, as they can walk away after the season.
Regardless of if he plays well in 2017 or not, the Eagles will be looking to draft a big back in the 2018 draft, so Blount is nothing more than a stop-gap to keep them competitive this season, which he should.
Tim Lelito – G – Tennessee Titans – $1,000,000, 1 year
Lelito was the starting guard in the 2015 season in New Orleans, and he also played 7 games last season.
At just $1,000,000 this is nothing more than a depth piece signing for the Titans, but Lelito has experience in the NFL and if he’s called upon to start the Titans could still have a more-than-capable player at just $1,000,000.
Patrick Robinson – CB – Philadelphia Eagles – $775,000, 1 year
Patrick Robinson signed a $775,000 one-year deal in Philadelphia this off-season, and with the Eagles likely red-shirting 2nd-round draft pick Sidney Jones due to injury, Robinson could end up starting for the team in 2017.
If he plays ok as a starter, the Eagles could have insane value, and if he doesn’t, they can walk away at the end of the year with no cost, and with Jones back from injury, he could slide right in and improve the secondary.