NFL Free Agency: 3 biggest overpaid players that teams will soon regret

Did these three teams overpay for their free agent acquisitions?
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Teams overpaying for free agent players is something that happens every single year, and it won't be going away. Which three players got the most overpaid? If nothing else, you have to give these teams credit for at least trying to fill their own roster holes. However, there comes a time where there's just too much money being spent for one player.

The real winners of free agency aren't the ones who spend the most typically, but instead those teams who make the smart, modest free agency signings. There was a ton of everything in the 2024 NFL Free Agency cycle, but these three players got overpaid the most.

NFL Free Agency: 3 biggest overpaid players that teams will soon regret
1. Calvin Ridley, WR, Tennessee Titans

Calvin Ridley got paid like he's one of the truly elite wide receivers in the NFL, but it's clear that he isn't. He signed a four-year, $92 million deal with the desperate Tennessee Titans. Ridley already turns 30 years old at the end of the 2024 NFL Season and caught less than 60% of his targets in 2023.

While he did break the 1,000 yard mark, it took him a whopping 136 targets for him to do that. And with a young QB throwing him the ball, I don't see how the Titans made the right choice here.

2. Saquon Barkley, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

This was a bad move by the Philadelphia Eagles, which is rare with General Manager Howie Roseman. He signed Barkley to a three-year deal worth $37.750 million. The contract pays about $12.5 million per season, and it's not something that Barkley is going to live up to. He's played just one full season across his NFL career and averaged under four yards per carry in 2023 with the New York Giants.

He hasn't come close to living up to his draft status and I think he got paid because of the external popularity he has, not because of his on-field performance.

3. Kirk Cousins, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Listen, I love Kirk Cousins. I think he's a great quarterback, but there's a clear ceiling with Cousins, who has quarterbacked just five winning teams across his career and has been credited with a double-digit winning season just twice. With a career record of 76-67-2, Cousins is, at the end of the day, a hair above-average, but nothing better.

Now yes, wins are not a QB stat, but at some point, when you have your QB making $45 million per season like Cousins is, you have to expect them to put the team on their backs from time to time and simply finish with a strong record. Anything less than a deep playoff run is a huge failure given how much the Atlanta Falcons are paying Cousins. He's also coming off of a torn Achilles and is set to enter his age-36 season.

To me, this felt like a desperation move for Falcons GM Terry Fontenot in hopes he can at the least field a winning football team.