Free agency isn’t free, and for some teams who overpay, it can be mighty expensive.
Take tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, for example. I think he’s a great free-agent value buy, but a team shouldn’t be swayed by his nine-year streak of starts and ignore the fact that he’s 31 years old.
Same goes for running back Cedric Benson. He’s on the tail end of his career, as evidenced by the one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals that he’s coming off of. Running backs in general don’t age well, so overpaying to land him would be a dire mistake.
Peyton Hillis is much younger than Benson but has so many red flags that his 2010 breakout season isn’t enough to warrant a large payday. It’s hard to tell how committed he is to the game, and his polarizing locker room presence makes him a major risk.
Defensive end John Abraham is looking for at least $12 million per year, which means the Atlanta Falcons are going to let him go. In 2010, he notched 13 sacks in 15 games but just 5.5 in 2009, and he played all 16 games. That kind of inconsistency shouldn’t be rewarded with a huge contract.
Quarterback Peyton Manning is the biggest free-agency risk of them all. With four neck surgeries in the span of 19 months, even if he can throw the way he used to, his injury history should lower his yearly salary.
It won’t likely bother teams who are desperate for Manning’s talent, but if he gets over $15 million from one of them, then they’ve overpaid.
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