May 22, 2017
During the 2016 offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles signed a lot of new deals with players, new and old. Some worked out. Others, not so much. Jason Fitzgerald, founder of OverTheCap.com (a great resource, by the way), put together a list of the 30 worst contracts in the NFL in 2016. Two Eagles signings cracked the top 10, with the following explanations:
The Eagles made some supersized investments in their own last offseason but none was more surprising than this huge contract for Curry. Curry was a part time player under Chip Kelly and perhaps they expected that to change with a new coach, expect it didn’t. Curry only had 2.5 sacks and failed to even pass the 40% snap mark. For a healthy player he was one of the worst investments on a per snap basis.
In most games a season ago, Connor Barwin was completely ineffective as a pass rusher, and typically bad against the run as well. It's odd that Curry couldn't get on the field more than he did, and even when he did, he could not produce impact plays.
Curry said on the 94.1 WIP this weekend that the reason for his poor play was injury-related, via Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com.
"I messed my MCL up," Curry said Sunday. "I tried to play through it, and in the long run it ended up hurting me. It is going to be a better year, everything has been perfect so far."
We'll see. Next offseason, if the Eagles decide to move on from Curry and get out of his contract, they would save $5 million in cap space, with $6 million in dead money. If Curry has a similar season in 2017 to the one he had in 2016, that decision will be a no-brainer.
Curry has ability as a pass rusher. He has shown it. He needs to show it again both for himself and for the defense to maximize its ability to produce big plays. Still, it's hard to argue with OverTheCap's assessment of Curry.
I think I tried to justify this at some point using the logic that Sam Bradford was an injury risk, but $7 million a year for a guy who threw two passes the prior year and had zero track record is really impossible to justify. Once the Eagles made the move for Carson Wentz this just became a waste of cap room. The Eagles cut Daniel after deciding to bring back Nick Foles. The Eagles ended up paying Daniel $12 million for 1 pass. Right now they are hoping to recover an extra $900,000 of that, which is what the Saints were willing to pay Daniel to backup Drew Brees.
I'm guilty of justifying it to some degree too, on the premise that he already knew the offense and could be a mentor of sorts to Carson Wentz, who I felt the team needed to give every resource possible to be the best he could be. Daniel was helpful to Wentz, however, I did not expect Daniel to look as bad as he did in the preseason. He did not appear at all to be a backup you would ever feel comfortable about entering a game, and this contract was indeed awful.
It's also noteworthy that one of the Eagles' 2017 signings made the list:
The former first round pick was able to use a “prove it” contract with the Chargers to land this $14 million contract and help to supposedly solidify the Colts secondary. Robinson appeared in just 7 games, battling injuries every step of the way. The Colts released him after the year was over despite potentially owing him another million. Robinson’s stock dropped so much he signed for the minimum with the Eagles this year. If he fails to make the Eagles team the Colts will have paid him $6 million for those 7 games.
Robinson was much better in 2015 with the Chargers when he was used more as a slot corner, but he struggled in a bigger role in Indy, and as Fitzgerald notes, he battled injuries. To be determined what his role will be in Philly.
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