NFL Free Agency can be a bear. Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers let unrestricted free agents walk, and barely make a peep when it comes to bringing in new talent to the team.
While fans of the black and gold are more than frustrated with the team, news from a NFL.com article rating the worst 2017 Free Agent contracts should make them at least have a slight smirk on their face.
Why? Because both Markus Wheaton, who signed with the Chicago Bears, and Lawrence Timmons, who signed with the Miami Dolphins, are both on the list.
Check out what they had to say about the contracts.
Markus Wheaton, Chicago Bears wide receiver:
As Chris Wesseling sagely noted on our podcast Monday, corporations sometime allocate money to be spent, so the money gets spent no matter what. That's what appeared to happen in Chicago after the Bears struck out on cornerback Stephon Gilmore and let Alshon Jeffery get away.
How else can they explain giving Wheaton, a role player who missed most of 2016, nearly the same contract that Brandon Marshall got with the Giants? Wheaton received only slightly less money in 2016 than Terrelle Pryor received from Washington. The Bears also had to overpay to get blocking tight end Dion Sims to leave Miami on a three-year, $18 million contract.
The facts are there regarding Wheaton’s new deal, and there is no doubt the Steelers were going to eat that much salary for a player who has been very underwhelming since being drafted.
Andre Branch and Lawrence Timmons, Miami Dolphins:
Signing veteran leaders that the Steelers allow to leave is rarely good business. Timmons' $12 million contract over two years could look bad in 2018 because nearly all of the money is guaranteed, and linebackers who can't cover rarely age well. (Timmons is 30.) Branch's contract -- three years for $27 million, with $17 million guaranteed -- wasn't too crazy in a market starved for pass rushers. But you win in free agency by looking for the next Andre Branch, an afterthought in 2016 who came to the Dolphins at a discount rate.
Timmons got a deal he wasn’t getting from Pittsburgh, and he went with the money. You can’t fault the guy for that, but it didn’t lessen the sting for fans of the black and gold.
So, SteelerNation, you lost two of your own, but find solace in knowing their inflated contracts will be better suited elsewhere, than in Pittsburgh.