OverTheCap lists former Cardinals as worst free-agent signings for 2022
There’s time for NFL players to change the stories of their seasons with about half of the 2022 schedule remaining. But for two Arizona Cardinals free agents who joined new teams this year, it has so far been tough sledding.
OverTheCap.com’s Jason Fitzgerald ranked the top 10 worst free-agent additions this offseason, with pass rusher Chandler Jones and running back Chase Edmonds making that list.
Jones ranked second, behind Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson.
The Raiders expected big production from Jones and it hasn’t happened so far. In eight games Jones has just 0.5 sacks and one tackle for loss while his 17 pressures rank just 57th among edge defenders. In contrast, Von Miller, who was the other available veteran pass rusher, has seven sacks, nine tackles for loss and 29 pressures. Jones’ cap number jumps to $19.4 million in 2023, so the disappointing Raiders are going to need him to recapture some of that Arizona magic over the next year and a half to justify this decision.
Jones recorded 10.5 sacks and six forced fumbles last season, but the Cardinals went aggressively into stacking the outside linebacker depth chart with cheaper veterans like Markus Golden and Dennis Gardeck, as well as rookie draft picks Cam Thomas and Myjai Sanders.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ top two running backs from a year ago, James Conner and Edmonds, both entered free agency looking for pay increases.
While Conner was coming off a wildly productive year in terms of his scoring totals (18 total touchdowns) with Arizona, Edmonds’ rookie contract was up.
He jumped at a chance to join a Miami Dolphins team led by Mike McDaniel, whose reputation as a creative offensive mind behind the scenes for the San Francisco 49ers made the pairing appear fitting.
It apparently was not, as Fitzgerald notes by ranking Edmonds as the eighth-worst NFL signing:
How bad was this addition? The Dolphins traded him away as part of the Bradley Chubb deal after paying out nearly $5 million of his $6.1 million salary. Prior to the trade Edmonds was averaging a paltry 2.9 yards per attempt and had just 120 yards for the season. The team just misjudged everything about this one from the contract total down to the fit with the offense.
Edmonds has not yet made his debut for the Denver Broncos, who freed themselves from Chubb’s contract — and production — on trade deadline day.
Edmonds’ best season for Arizona came in 2021, when he rushed for 592 yards with a 5.1 yard-per-carry average and added 311 receiving yards.