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Here’s Why Spending Big in Free Agency Is Dumb

Spending a lot of money in free agency does not make your NFL team very good. It’s just science.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

I have said this for years and will say it for a few more years: I don’t like talking about the upcoming NFL Draft until the NFL Free Agency Period has calmed down a bit.

Why? Because there’s no point in scouting first-round pass-rushers if the Los Angeles Chargers are just going to re-sign Melvin Ingram (which will probably happen) or sign DeMarcus Ware (which is not a real thing that will happen).

That being said, we should probably be rooting for the Chargers to fill any open starting spots via the Draft and leave free agency for depth. At least, that’s what this chart from Warren Sharp is telling me.

The teams that spend a lot on free agents and still happen to win a lot of games are:

  • Denver Broncos, who seemingly haven’t missed on a free agent since Elway took over and get a lot of production from guys that they drafted (like Von Miller).
  • Indianapolis Colts, who are buoyed by their insanely-talented QB (that they drafted).
  • Philadelphia Eagles, who rely heavily on the success of their drafted players (Carson Wentz, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Jordan Matthews) but have had some good free agent signings (Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Malcolm Jenkins) to go with the bad ones (Mark Sanchez).

Oh, and I guess you could throw the Patriots in there, who really only sign players that nobody else wants anymore.

The Chargers should take note of this when they’re out there signing the next Orlando Franklin or King Dunlap or Brandon Mebane or Stevie Johnson or Travis Benjamin.