The NFL offseason gives all 32 teams the ideal opportunity to build up a Super Bowl champion the quick and easy way: Through crafty free agent signings, blockbuster trades and savvy draft moves.
But not every so-called “blockbuster” offseason move pans out. In fact, major trades and free agent signings seem to flop far more often than not.
Ahead of this year’s draft, the New York Jets pulled off the biggest move of the offseason by trading for Green Bay Packers star and four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers. With the future Hall of Famer in the fold, the Jets are hopeful about a) ending a 13-year playoff drought and b) winning their first Super Bowl since 1968.
The Patriots will visit Rodgers’ Jets in Week 3 (1:00 p.m. EST) before welcoming them in the regular season finale at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 7 (time to be announced).
The Patriots haven’t lost to their archrivals since Week 16 of the 2015 season, having won each of the last 14 meetings. Massachusetts sports betting promos have you New England fans covered as the Patriots make the trip to MetLife Stadium to challenge Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets this NFL season.
With that said, here’s a look at some of the more recent NFL offseason moves that wound up being giant busts.
Washington Signs Albert Haynesworth For $100 Million
The hulking 6-foot-6 Haynesworth was one of football’s elite defensive players during his tenure with the Tennessee Titans, which spanned from 2002 to ‘08. He earned back-to-back Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro nods after leading the Titans to surprise playoff appearances in both years.
A struggling Washington NFL franchise handed the star defensive tackle a seven-year deal worth $100 million in 2009 free agency. At the time, this was the largest free agent signing in league history.
It also didn’t take long for Washington to feel buyer’s remorse.
In his first season with Washington, Haynesworth openly complained about the club’s defensive scheme. He infamously butted heads with coaches and was ultimately suspended by then-Washington HC Mike Shanahan late in the 2010 season.
Over his two years with Washington, Haynesworth had just 6.5 sacks and 53 combined tackles.
Vikings Trade WR Randy Moss To Raiders
Even though superstar wide receiver Randy Moss posted a Hall of Fame-caliber résumé with the Minnesota Vikings over his first seven NFL seasons (1998 to 2004), the organization was content to move on from him in the 2005 offseason.
That year, the Vikings sent the future Hall of Famer to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for 2005 first and seventh-round draft picks and linebacker Napoleon Harris. Needless to say, it was a trade that wound up backfiring for both clubs.
Moss posted a 1,000-yard season in his first year with Oakland, but his stat line dropped to 42 receptions, 553 yards and three touchdowns in 2006 — the worst season of his career up to that point.
In 2007, the Raiders traded Moss to the New England Patriots. That same year, Moss set the single-season record for receiving touchdowns with 23. The Patriots won their first 18 games and narrowly completed a perfect 19-0 season, but they fell to the underdog New York Giants in Super Bowl 42.
Not that the Moss trade worked out any better for the Vikings. In three years with the organization, Harris had just 4.5 sacks and 116 combined tackles.
With the No. 7 selection in the 2005 Draft (via Oakland), they infamously passed on the aforementioned Aaron Rodgers and selected South Carolina wideout Troy Williamson. In three years as a Viking, Williamson compiled just 79 receptions for 1,067 yards and three touchdowns.
Jets Give Le’Veon Bell $52.5 Million
Bell turned down a lucrative multi-year extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2018 offseason. Unhappy with his contract status, Bell decided to sit out the entire year in hopes of securing a mammoth contract in 2019 free agency
The Jets wound up signing Bell to a four-year deal worth $52.5 million. It was reported soon after that then-Jets head coach Adam Gase was against the idea of handing a running back so much money.
Bell had a forgettable year with the Jets, averaging just 3.2 yards per carry (789 rushing yards and three rushing TDs on 245 carries). Following disagreements with Gase and company early in the 2020 season, Bell was released from his contract.