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Seven overpaid NFL free agents

Shutdown Corner

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First, keep in mind that the values indicated likely do not reflect the true value of the contract, because the NFL chooses to do things in a confusing and cumbersome fashion. The true value of the contract won't be known until it's played out or voided.

Justin Smith, DE, 49ers
6 years, $45 million

Smith's been a good and durable player for a long time, but he is coming off his least productive year ever, at least in terms of sacks. He had a grand total of 2 last year. It feels like the 49ers gave a lot of money to the right guy at the wrong time.

Randall Gay, CB, Saints
4 years, $17.8 million

It's understandable because the Saints could sign Emmanuel Lewis as a corner, and he'd be an upgrade, but that still seems like a lot of money for Randall Gay. He's only 25 and does have room to grow as a player, but he'll have to be healthy and on the field for that to happen.

Donte' Stallworth, WR, Browns
7 years, $35 million

Stallworth has never cracked the 1,000-yard mark in a season, and has only been over 800 once. He was supposed to be the Saints go-to guy in the post-Joe Horn era, but the opted cut him loose. Also consider that the Browns already have Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow, and Joe Jurevicius catching passes, and it seems hard to justify breaking off that much cheddar for a guy who has never proven he could be a reliable #1 or #2 receiver.

Bernard Berrian, WR, Vikings
6 years, $42 million

The general consensus seems to be that the Vikings overpaid for Berrian by quite a bit, but I'm not sure I agree. Yeah, it's a steep price, but Berrian's got decent size, great speed, great hands, and can make catches anywhere on the field. He had over 950 yards for the Bears last year, despite the fact that the Bears would've been better off with a Jugs machine at quarterback. I may be in the minority here, but I think Berrian will turn out to be an excellent investment.

Jerry Porter, WR, Jaguars
6 years, $30 million

I've always been a Porter fan, and he's a phenomenal physical talent, but at some point, you've just got to assume that if it hasn't happened yet, it's not going to. On the other hand, he is a physically gifted wide receiver leaving Oakland, and those have prospered in recent years.

Alan Faneca, OG, Jets
5 years, $40 million

Bringing in Alan Faneca might not be a bad idea, but to make him the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league, despite the fact that he sleepwalked through the '07 season with the Steelers, seems like a bad idea. Pittsburgh had major offensive line trouble last year, and no one wanted to blame Faneca because he's popular with the local fans and everyone wanted him to stay, but he existed as part of the problem, not in spite of it.

Tommy Kelly, DT, Raiders:
7 years, $50 million

Kelly has the potential to turn into a beast, but you know, so do a lot of people. He was an undrafted free agent, has played in 49 games, has 13 sacks, and is coming off a season-ending ACL injury last year. And with this, the Raiders gave him the largest contract ever given to a defensive tackle. In this particular competition, credentials don't get much stronger than that.

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