Free agency in the NFL is a time when players have a chance to get rewarded for their stellar play in recent seasons. However, some players get paid much more than they deserve due to market pressures. This year, who are the five players most likely to be overpaid for their services during the free agency period?
Joe Flacco, Quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco was the Super Bowl MVP and had a stellar playoff run this past January. However, is he really worth $20 million a year? Although he deserves to get paid, his true value is probably closer to $15 million per season. The worst part is that he could be setting his team up for failure as the Ravens are over the cap before adding his massive salary to that number for 2013.
Andy Levitre, Guard, Buffalo Bills
Levitre has never missed a start in the five years that he has played in Buffalo. However, guards are a dime a dozen in the NFL. Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix has a philosophy that you draft tackles and then shift them to guard if they don’t work out. However, this doesn’t mean that Levitre won’t get paid more than he is worth come March. Expect him to be offered around $8 million a season if he manages to make the open market. There is a small chance that he may be tagged by the Bills if they can’t resign him by March 12th.
LaRon Landry, Safety, New York Jets
Two years ago, Landry would have been one of the most sought after free agents on the market. However, he has proven to be an overrated player who is terrible in coverage. Although he made it to the Pro Bowl this year, it is unclear how he managed to do that considering his massive liabilities in coverage. The good news for Landry is that some desperate team is going to pay him anywhere between $6 million to $8 million a season. That team will enjoy being in cap hell for the next several years.
Greg Jennings, Wide Receiver, Green Bay
The Packers played most of last season without Jennings in the lineup due to injury issues. Although Jennings is a great receiver, his injury history should be taken into consideration before he is signed. Currently, it is being speculated that the Miami Dolphins are the team most likely to overpay for his services. Although they are getting a great player, there is unlikely to be a lot of suitors looking to pay him top dollar.
Jared Cook, Tight End, Tennessee
Cook is one of those players who will be overpaid simply because he has a lot of potential. However, that potential has failed to turn into results at the NFL level. This won’t stop a team that needs a tight end from paying him too much money to join their team. Expect him to command a salary of at least $5 million a year. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him make even more than that if a team really likes him.
All five players listed above are great talents who have contributed to the success of their teams. However, there is no way that any of them should be able to command top dollar on the open market. Unfortunately for their teams, the market often times works in strange ways. Look for everyone but Flacco to be on new teams next season while putting their new clubs in poor cap situations for years to come.