2021 NFL Free Agency
(Elise Amendola/Associated Press)

We are at the end of the opening week of 2021 NFL free agency and there are quite a few losers already. Whether it be players getting cut for cap reasons, signing for peanuts because of a salary cap that has fallen, or a team that is making head-scratching moves (surprisingly not the Jets this year), there are always a few losers in NFL free agency. Less money to spend and desperation are how we ended up here.

Most Wide Receivers

Golladay got a nice payday, but he has to play with Daniel Jones. This year was not the year to be a wide receiver hitting the open market. Chris Godwin and Allen Robinson SPRINTED to sign their tags to lock in big money, and that was the smart move. No one, unless your name is Kenny Golladay, is getting anywhere near the franchise tag value in this market. Corey Davis signed a three-year deal with an APY of $12.5 million, and Curtis Samuel landed just below that with a three-year deal with an APY of $11.5 million. After that, it was a lot of one-year deals. Will Fuller, Juju Smith-Schuster, and John Brown have all signed one-year deals. Quality wide receivers like Antonio Brown, and T.Y. Hilton are still free agents. This is not the year to be a wide receiver on the open market.

New England Patriots

Bill Belichick was just handing out cash this offseason. He spent money like he was getting over a breakup, and his ex is absolutely thriving elsewhere. This is a strategy that would’ve gotten literally anyone bashed. Jets? “They have no idea what they’re doing!” Lions? “This is why they’re a terrible franchise! They won’t win like this!” Raiders? “Fire Mayock he’s got no idea what he’s doing.” Patriots? “Oh, Belichick is putting on a clinic.” The only clinic Belichick is putting on right now is a clinic on desperation. This is what happens when you aren’t hitting on draft picks, you need to toss some money around to get veterans. In 2021, the cap numbers are fine but they jump in 2022. Take a look at these numbers. Judon for $16.5 million, Agholor for $15 million, Henry for $15 million, Smith for 13.75 million, Godchaux for $10.25 million, Jalen Mills for $6.125 million. The Patriots are projected to have just over $28 million in cap space in 2022 with 37 players under contract (According to overthecap.com). The only good news is most of these players can be cut to save some space. However, cutting multiple players after signing them to a big contract makes you wonder, “Why did the team even offer that contract in the first place?” Signing players to multi-year deals only to have to cut them is a terrible result, New England will cut at least one of their free-agent signings next year.

(Via overthecap.com’s cap calculator)
New Orleans Saints

The Saints had to almost gut their roster to get under the cap, this team will be taking a major step back. The only good thing to come out of their free agency is the best troll job of 2021 in the NFL, also known as Taysom Hill’s hilarious “extension” which is entirely voidable and just used to kick 2021 money into 2022 via void years.