Some NFL franchises were willing to gamble and take a stab at the poor free agency market, providing the cash and hoping for performance. Others gambled with picks, acquiring what they believed to be immediate impact players and sacrificing positions in future drafts. With 8 weeks complete, and teams and players settling in, let’s give a group hug to all the DOH-mers that flushed their funds and selections down the toilet.
1. Adam “Pacman” Jones, CB, Cowboys- Pacman tops the list, because unlike the others, it’s doubtful that he’ll have the opportunity to improve. Now suspended again by the NFL, the cornerback failed to be a force on the field as either a cornerback or return man. But this acquisition amounts more to a waste of time, since Jerry Jones did leave himself a way out, and retrieved draft picks granted to Tennessee in the trade. There’s still the issue of Dallas paying the fines for taking a chance on a problem player. But then again, as I’ve always said, Goodell should also fine himself for even allowing the opportunity. I’ll admit that I supported Jerry’s decision to add Pacman to the roster, as I believed he could change. But hey, I’m not eligible to be a DOH’mer on my own blog….so back the f*ck up!
2. Javon Walker, WR, Raiders- If you think Javon Walker being robbed on a street corner in Vegas was horrible, reflect back on the robbery that took place months earlier in an Oakland office. Al Davis dished out a $55 million contract for a player the Denver Broncos were glad to boot from the mountain. That contract came with $27 million in guarantees. In 6 games played, Walker has 12 receptions and just one touchdown. The lone score came against the Jets, and marked his first time in the end zone in two years. That breaks the contract down to $27.5 million per touchdown, and nearly $460,000 per catch.
3. Brett Favre, QB, Jets- The New York Jets acquired Brett Favre for a conditional 4th round pick in the 2009 draft. It turns into a third round pick, if Brett plays in at least 50% of Jets games. Just go ahead and bench him now, because you have nothing to gain and more to lose. What the Jets acquired was an NFL turnover machine and an 89.5 passer rating. I’m sure they already had that sitting somewhere on the bench. Didn’t they? As it is, the man sent packing to make room for Favre (Chad Pennington) is 6th in the league in passing, with a passer rating of 100.5. Favre has thrown 11 interceptions in 7 games played. Pennington has thrown just 3. The only thing right about the New Yorkers’ decision to ship Pennington out is that it avoids a quarterback controversy, as fans aren’t likely to call for Clemens. And don’t give me any of that sh*t about Favre leading the Jets to a tying score, before falling to the Raiders. And don't talk to me about heroics against the Kansas City Chiefs. Those are woeful franchises, and it was Favre’s play that allowed them both to remain in the game.
4. Jeremy Shockey, TE, Saints- The Saints gave up second and fifth round picks to the Giants for Jeremy Shockey. Obviously the Giants didn’t need him, improving as a unit during his absence, and were waiting for a victim to punk in a trade. This isn’t about his 22 receptions and no scores in 2008. It’s about his return from a sports hernia, only to complain about pain in the leg damaged last year with the Giants. The Saints gave up draft selections for damaged goods. Shockey says New Orleans erred in misdiagnosing his injury in camp, but the error came before that, in the trade. You have a pro bowl tight end playing in the best passing attack in football, and he hasn’t seen the end zone. In contrast, Kevin Boss may only have 10 receptions with the Giants, but he has scored twice.
5. Troy Williamson, WR, Jaguars- When you look at the sixth round pick the Jags gave up for Troy Williamson, it may not look like much. But then again, they didn’t gain much. It was nearly a “nothing-for-nothing” deal. Williamson’s strength is speed to stretch the football field. His weakness is his hands, as the guy can’t catch for sh*t. If you ever wonder what Usain Bolt would look like on a football field, just watch Williamson play. Aside for missing 4 games with an injury, Williamson (the stretch performer) has no catches longer than 6 yards. His receptions have only moved the sticks once, and he hasn’t scored. The Vikings used the 6th round pick to select Jaymar Johnson, another speedy receiver, and he's currently a member of their practice squad. Why did I say it was "nearly" a nothing-for-nothing deal? It's because the salary of a former first round draft choice is substantially greater than the salary of a 6th round practice squad player. Neither are productive on Sundays, but who got the better deal?
I could easily dig deeper and add more names to this list, since the free agent market was so horrible. But the 5 listed didn’t require any digging, because you could almost see that teams weren’t getting what they bargained for, before these men ever set foot on the field. Oddly, Redskins owner Dan Snyder managed to avoid any bonehead moves during the offseason, though people thought the hiring of Jim Zorn was “it”. Maybe the little guy has finally learned. But as for the rest of them, take this DOH’mer as a lesson, before you pull out your wallets in 2009.