The free agency period this offseason was filled with excitement, but these 2023 free agents will not excite on their new teams this year. Just because a team spent a ton of money in free agency, does not mean they will be successful the following year. In the same vein, just because a player landed a big-time free agency deal, does not mean they will live up to the contract.
Players underperform deals they signed in free agency all the time, and 2023 will be no different. Free agency has become more and more intense, as many organizations are wanting virtually immediate results, so filling holes in free agency instead of waiting for draft picks to develop is becoming more common.
Three 2023 free agents who won’t live up to their contract
Derek Carr, QB, New Orleans Saints
The ending of the Derek Carr saga in Las Vegas was interesting to follow. The team essentially sent him home the final weeks of the season and were not able to trade him, so instead of getting a decent haul of draft picks for a respectable QB, they didn’t get anything.
Carr then signed with the New Orleans Saints on a four-year, $150 million deal that contains $100 million in guarantees and an AAV of $37.5 million. While Carr’s contract isn’t at the very top of the QB contract market, it’s still a huge deal for a player that had a measly 86.3 rating last year.
In fact, the 2022 New Orleans Saints’ QBs combined to throw for the same ratio as Carr did in 2022 (24 TDs, 14 INTs). The Saints’ QBs earned a combined passer rating of 93.6, which is about league average.
So, what exactly are the Saints paying for here? Because on the surface, this is hardly an upgrade. I think Carr can be a fine QB at times, but I don’t think signing Carr made the Saints appreciably better than they were last year.