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February 27, 2007
Signings to forget
Free agency begins Friday at 12:01 a.m. EST.
On Monday, we looked at the Patriots' top 10 veteran free agent signings since 2000. Today, we look at the flip side, the veteran signings that didn't work out under coach Bill Belichick and vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli (2000-present):
10) Eric Warfield -- Low risk signing prior to the 2006 season, Warfield entered training camp as one of the most experienced cornerbacks on the roster. Yet he was cut before the season began.
9) Antonio Langham -- Signed in 2000, the hope was that Langham's career would be revived after being reunited with Bill Belichick for his seventh NFL season. The Patriots didn't pay big to sign him to a two-year deal, but Langham struggled in his only season with the team.
8) Joe Panos/Brenden Stai/Rich Tylski -- In three different years, the Patriots signed a veteran guard who retired before the season began. These weren't big-money signings.
7) David Terrell -- Another low risk signing in that the Patriots didn't dish out big money in 2005. But hopes that the former first-round pick would thrive at receiver after being reunited with Tom Brady weren't met, as Terrell was cut before the 2005 season began. Fits into a similar category as receiver Charles Johnson (2001).
6) Steve Martin -- Defensive tackle was signed to help plug the middle prior to the 2002 season, inking a reported one-year, $1 million deal. Started five games early that season, was essentially benched, and then released in December of that season.
5) Chad Brown -- Signed a two-year deal prior to the 2005 season, and received an up-front bonus of $485,000. While thrust into a tough spot as a starting inside linebacker following Ted Johnson's retirement and Tedy Bruschi's health scare, the longtime veteran didn't provide bang for the buck.
4) Fred McCrary -- After signing a two-year deal between a reported $1.5-1.7 million prior to the 2003 season, McCrary ended up playing in only six games (3 starts). Was supposed to take over for Marc Edwards as a powerful lead-blocking back, but he wasn't a fit in the Patriots' way of doing things.
3) Rodney Bailey -- Defensive end was signed away from the Steelers as a restricted free agent (2004) on a one-year, $1.3 million deal. Never emerged, in part due to injuries and in part due to being outplayed by rookie Mike Wright in 2005. The team got little, if any, return for the investment.
2) Monty Beisel -- Linebacker was put into a tough spot, forced into the starting lineup when Ted Johnson surprisingly announced his retirement before 2005 training camp. Beisel struggled, opened 2006 camp playing alongside Tedy Bruschi, but was cut before the 2006 season after regressing in camp. Initially signed a two-year deal with a $425,000 signing bonus.
1) Donald Hayes -- Signed a reported two-year, $4 million deal prior to the 2002 season and was projected to be the team's coveted "big" receiver. Lasted one season and made 12 catches.
EXTRA POINT: Cornerback Duane Starks, who is arguably the Patriots' worst acquisition since 2000, was acquired in a trade. The trade had Starks and a fifth-round pick sent to the Patriots in exchange for third- and fifth-round picks.
ANALYSIS: In recapping the Patriots' free agent activity, one area that stands out is that the team's mistakes weren't crippling from a money perspective. There wasn't one signing to point to in which the team bought especially high, and got low results.
Posted By: mreiss
| Time: 08:04:49 AM | E-mail