Found June 06, 2013 on The Roosevelts:

Free Agency is just as much of an enigma as drafting inexperienced amateurs. Often, teams over-analyze a player’s past success and assume that such prowess will continue in the future. The players on this list are all players who had prior professional success, but they sputtered once they cashed in on their previous triumphs. Some of these players fell so far that they went from being one of the most respected players in their sport to being one of the most ridiculed. However, some players had enough of a previous resume to still maintain the respect of their peers. Regardless of their situation, the players on this list are all guilty of experiencing a sharp decline in performance after they signed a high-salary contract with a new team. 10. Sean Avery- Dallas Stars Avery is a man who is no stranger to controversy and legal entanglement. But, it was during his short time with the Stars that he became truly detrimental. Avery signed a contract with the Stars that was worth $15 Million over the course of 4 years. How did that work out? Avery only spent one year of an expected four seasons with the Stars. And, it was during that time that he spent more effort inciting controversy than playing hockey. He only appeared in 23 games for the team and scored a meager 10 points. 9. Alvin Harper- Tampa Bay Buccaneers For many seasons, Harper was a key factor in the Cowboys offense that featured the triplets: Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin In 1995, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Harper in the hope that he would become the struggling team’s premier playmaker. How did that work out? In 1995, Harper did a serviceable job—hauling in 46 passes for 633 yards. But, everything broke down in 1996, where Harper—missing four games that season, and starting only 7 games out of the 12 he appeared in—receiving for a dismal 289 yards. Harper played two more seasons with the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys before retiring with the team for which he debuted. 8. Josh Hamilton- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Coming off of a turbulent final season with the Texas Rangers, Hamilton was a free agent. And, having a history of being one the better hitters in the league—batting in 128 runs in 2012—he was looking for a big pay day in MLB Free Agency. Well, luckily the Angels, who already had superstars Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, were seeking to add a third bat to the lineup that would effectively form a triple threat. During the offseason, Hamilton signed a contract that was worth $123 Million over the course of five years. How did that work out? So far, the experiment is proving to be ineffectual. Hamilton—whose aggressive style of play is starting to show signs of decline—is beginning to feel the effects of his above-thirty age. Moreover, Hamilton’s batting average is a career-low at .220 for the young MLB season. Also, he only has 18 RBIs—the stat that he was reputed for in his past. 7. Rob Johnson- Buffalo Bills It is notable to point out that the Bills last saw the playoffs with Rob Johnson at quarterback—this was during the 1999 NFL Season, and they were unexpectedly booted from contention by the controversial “Music City Miracle” play. But, Johnson was a disaster during his tenure with the Bills. After an amazing one-game performance with the Jaguars—one that came about due to the injury of incumbent starter Mark Brunell—Johnson became a highly sought after free agent. And, he eventually signed with a Wade Phillips-coached Bills squad. How did that work out? Well, Johnson went 9-17 during four seasons with the Bills. He never started a complete season, and he played his final two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Redskins, and the Raiders, respectively. Mr. Phillips, you should have picked Doug Flutie. 6. Albert Belle- Baltimore Orioles In 1999, Belle signed a contract with the Orioles that was worth $65 Million over the course of five years. Belle, who was considered one of the best sluggers in the league during his tenure with the White Sox and the Indians, was on his way to continuing that trend with his new team, the Orioles. How did that work out? In 2000, an injury derailed his career. And, the Orioles spent many seasons paying off the remainder of Belle’s contract while he was in retirement. 5. Hedo Turkoglu- Toronto Raptors In 2009, Turkoglu agreed to a five year, $53 Million contract with the Raptors. Coming from a solid period of time with the Orlando Magic—where he won the NBA’s most improved player award in 2008—Turkoglu hoped to continue his rise with the Raptors. How did that work out? Turkoglu has bounced around since his stint with the Raptors failed. But, the highlight of his career in Toronto was a stomach virus that caused him to miss a sizeable amount of playing time. Moreover, after contracting the virus, he was seen the next week in nightclubs after a Raptor’s loss. 4. Eagles “Dream Team”- Philadelphia Eagles It began with the Eagles playoff loss to the soon-to-be Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers during the divisional round of the 2010 NFL Playoffs. A redeeming 2010 season for Michael Vick made many believe that the Eagles were on the cusp of achieving legendary greatness. Enter the 2011 offseason, and the Eagles signed just about everyone on the market: Nnamdi Asomugha, Vince Young, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Ronnie Brown, Steve Smith, among others. Moreover, they traded Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals for Dominique Rodgers- Cromartie. How did that work out for the Eagles? Well, an analysis is in hand. Asomugha currently plays for the 49ers, Young is a free agent, Babin is on the Jaguars, Jenkins is on the Giants, Smith—after playing last season with Rams—just retired, and Rodgers- Cromartie now plays for the Broncos. Needless to say, something went awry. During the “Dream Team” era, the Eagles—over the course of two seasons—went 8-8 and 4-12, respectively. Whose fault was this? Well, it is likely that Andy Reid would “take full responsibility”. 3. Eddy Curry – New York Knicks Curry, who is now out of the NBA entirely, was once a player that was displaying signs of promise—omens that he would become one of the league’s better big men. In 2005, Curry was traded to the New York Knicks and was awarded a 6 year $60 Million contract. How did that work out for the Knicks? Curry continued these signs of promise during his early years with the Knicks. But, things began to deteriorate during his final two seasons with the Knicks—a time span in which he only played a total of 10 games. This decline was largely due to illness-related lack of conditioning. Moreover, injuries and a massive gain in weight was the final dagger in his tenure with the New York Knicks. 2. Alex Rodriguez- New York Yankees During his days with the Mariners and the Rangers, many considered Rodriguez the best player in baseball. In 2004, Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees. And, it was thought that his trend of greatness would continue. For several seasons, he continued to perform at a high level. Enter 2007, and the Yankees sought to add another 5 years and $275 Million onto Rodriguez existing contract in an attempt to seal their star player for the remainder of his career. How did that work out? Rodriguez is entering the final chapter of his career, and his age is beginning to show itself. Now 36, Rodriguez’s batting average has since declined sharply. It will only get worse for the Yankees, as they have in under contract until the 2017 season. 1. Albert Haynesworth- Washington Redskins Daniel Snyder’s most recent, and most detrimental free agent blunder signed a contract that was worth $100 Million—enough money to pay for several different players and hence construct a more solid team went to a player  who is now laughed at as someone who simply doesn’t care. Haynesworth—while controversial—was a terror during his 2008 contract year. After which, he was selected to the Pro Bowl. This was a fortunate scenario for Haynesworth because everyone remembered the flagrant—and remarkably dangerous—foul that he committed just a few years prior on former Dallas Cowboys Center, Andre Gurode. How did that work out? Well, after his Redskins signing, it is needless to say that Haynesworth became the highest paid comedy show in the NFL. With his intensity and his conditioning often falling under criticism, he was released by Mike Shanahan’s new regime after the 2010 NFL Season. Haynesworth—who played for both the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2011 NFL Season—remains a free agent. And it is unlikely that he will get another chance in the NFL again due to his disastrous stint with the Redskins.

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