NFL

4 NFL Teams That Missed With Their Off-Season Spending

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As the regular season winds down, some teams are playing for seeding, some are fighting just to get in the playoffs, while other teams are mentally preparing for the off-season.

Speaking of the off-season, there’s a few teams who are hoping to have better results next time around. Teams like the Dolphins, Eagles, Colts and Seahawks instantly come to mind.

As much as those teams would like to forget about their misses, it’s time to remind everyone that free agency isn’t the best way to build a roster.

Ndamukong Suh (Dolphins) – Back in March, South Beach was buzzing.

No, it wasn’t quite like when LeBron James joined the Heat, but it was the closest thing to it for the hometown Dolphins.

Ndamukong Suh agreed to a six-year, $114 million deal with $60 million in guaranteed money. This contract makes Suh the highest paid defensive player in NFL history, surpassing J.J. Watt.

However, things haven’t gone as planned.

After starting off 1-3, the Dolphins elected to get rid of Joe Philbin. 

“This was a tough decision for me to make knowing how tirelessly Joe worked in his four years here to make this a winning team,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross stressed. “He is a man of the highest character and integrity that I developed a close personal relationship with. I am extremely disappointed with how we have started the season, but I feel confident that we can improve quickly with the talent we have on our roster.”

There were reports of Philbin losing the locker room and that Suh was ignoring play calls, which was vehemently denied by the team.

Nonetheless, to call Suh underwhelming would be a drastic understatement.

On the season, he has 52 tackles and only 4.5 sacks. When looking at those numbers, you would assume Suh must be seeing constant double teams, but that’s simply not the case.

Despite his struggles, NFL Network reported the following.

“I’m told he told them: ‘I run this defense, I’m going to be here for the next five years, there is no guarantee any of you will be as well. Only a handful of guys are good enough to play with me right now,’ ” according to the network. “He also said the schemes were not good enough, the techniques were not enough and everyone needed to be better, he said ‘follow me.’ ”

As expected, Suh denied those allegations.

One thing we do know is that Suh and his Dolphins have been a major disappointment.

DeMarco Murray (Eagles) – At first thought, swapping DeMarco Murray for LeSean McCoy didn’t seem like the worst idea ever.

After all, Murray led the league in rushing last year.

However, as terrific as Murray was a season ago, he was more of a product of a great offensive line. This is not to say he isn’t a good back, but there’s no way he was going to live up to expectations in Philly.

In the months following, Chip Kelly and company are probably regretting how things ended with ‘Shady’.

Murray carried the ball nearly 400 times in Dallas last year. Meanwhile, he’s only received 176 carries in Philly this season.

Due to the lack of touches, Murray has been complaining, but head coach, Chip Kelly, doesn’t care about individual accolades. 

“We have to do what’s the best thing for the Philadelphia Eagles,” Kelly stated. “We are not trying to win a rushing championship or a passing championship or a receiving championship or anything from that stretch of the imagination,” he said. “We are just trying to win football games.”

After getting demolished by the Arizona Cardinals, 40-17, Murray kept it classy, despite only getting a measly two carries.

“Whenever I get an opportunity I just got to make the best of it,” Murray added. “I’m not calling the plays. Things [that are] out of my control, I can’t worry about it.”

It’s going to be an interesting off-season in Philly to say the least.

Andre Johnson (Colts) – To be fair, when Andre Johnson became a member of the Colts, I think it’s safe to say he wasn’t envisioning playing without Andrew Luck.

With that being said, Luck didn’t look like himself even when he was out there with Johnson.

Johnson is just a year removed from catching 85 passes for 936 yards. Now, through 14 games, the veteran has only caught 34 balls for 418 yards with three touchdowns.

The 34-year-old shed some light on the situation.

“Anytime you’ve been somewhere for 12 seasons and you make a change, it’s challenging,” Johnson indicated. “But at the same time it’s an experience and I’m just rolling (with it). I don’t have any regrets on any decisions I’ve made.”

On paper, this was supposed to be one the most prolific offenses in the world.

After all, they also signed veteran running back Frank Gore and the explosive T.Y. Hilton is still in the fold. Unfortunately, injuries and inconsistent play have been Indy’s downfall throughout the course of the season.

Jimmy Graham (Seahawks) –Unlike these other teams, Seattle will be playing meaningful football in January.

Having said that, the defending two-time NFC champions will be without the services of Jimmy Graham after he tore his patellar tendon in his right knee against the Steelers.

Ever since he went down, quarterback Russell Wilson has been playing the best football of his life.

While Graham was on the field in Seattle, he only caught 46 passes with two touchdowns.

“Throwing to him is easy,” Wilson said before the season.

One of the reasons the duo didn’t work out is because of horrid offensive line play, which makes sense because Seattle gave away their best offensive lineman in Max Unger to get Graham in the first place.

Although they won’t have Graham for the postseason, the Seahawks offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.