Biggest Losers From the First Day of NFL Free Agency

Ryan Phillips
Bill O'Brien coaches the Houston Texas against the Buffalo Bulls during the Wild Card Round
Bill O'Brien coaches the Houston Texas against the Buffalo Bulls during the Wild Card Round / Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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The first day of NFL free agency was crazy, with a number of blockbuster trades and a few big names coming off the board. Here is our look at the biggest losers from Day 1.

Bill O'Brien

What the hell was Bill O'Brien thinking when he traded DeAndre Hopkins? He shipped away one of the best receivers in the NFL and didn't manage to get a first-round pick back. Instead, he got a running back who has underperformed his contract, and a second-round pick. Oh, but wait, he also gave up Houston's fourth-rounder in 2020 to get a fourth-rounder in 2021.

O'Brien's run as the Texans' general manager has been a disaster but this move takes the cake. He has no idea what he's doing. I mean, on paper, the Texans gave up their second-best player for a broken down running back on a big contract and a second-round pick. It gets worse when you realize the Texans don't have a first-round pick in 2020 or 2021, so replacing Hopkins will be incredibly difficult.

O'Brien has shown he's not fit to be a general manager for months, but he took home the crown as one of the NFL's biggest losers thanks to this deal.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys did this to themselves. They had months to get a long-term deal done with Dak Prescott and failed. So their quarterback is getting the franchise tag, leaving their other top free agents free to leave. Cornerback Byron Jones did just that, signing a massive deal with the Miami Dolphins.

With Jones gone, now there's a chance Amari Cooper could be right behind him heading out the door. While the Cowboys plan to go after Cooper hard, he's a free agent and anything could happen.

It didn't have to come to this. The Cowboys were talking about a long-term deal with Prescott before the start of the 2019 season and had all year to get it done. They didn't, now they've lost Jones as a result and could lose Cooper. Oh, and they still don't have Prescott signed to a long-term deal.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts swung big on Monday, landing All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner from the San Francisco 49ers by giving up the 13th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They also handed Buckner a massive new contract that will pay him $21 million a year. That's a lot of money for a defensive tackle not named Aaron Donald.

The Colts aren't just one player away from a Super Bowl. They have holes to fill, especially at quarterback. The fact that they did this deal before securing a starting quarterback is a bit shocking. Maybe that comes tomorrow, but handing a ton of money and giving away a top 15 draft pick is incredibly risky, especially because you're rewarding Buckner for his play when he had an insanely-talented group around him. Will he be the same guy when thrust into the center of the Colts' middling defensive line?

There's no doubt Buckner has the physical ability to dominate. But, Indianapolis is betting that he'll be able to keep that up without much help. In the long run, to make this deal a success, his play will basically not be able to fall off at all over the next few years. That much money and giving up the 13th pick means he'll need to continue to produce on an elite level throughout the contract.

Will he? The Colts better be hoping so.

Tennessee Titans

While their deal with Ryan Tannehill technically was agreed to on Sunday, I'm counting this. The Titans vastly overpaid for a quarterback no one else was chasing as a long-term solution.

The Titans gave Tannehill a four-year, $118 million deal with $62 million guaranteed, after he made just 10 starts and produced unsustainable numbers. It was a horrible misuse of resources, especially considering Derrick Henry was far more valuable to the franchise and was given the franchise tag.

This feels like a contract that could really hamper the Titans moving forward unless Tannehill replicates his 2019 numbers over the next few years. We have six seasons worth of evidence that suggest he's incapable of doing that.

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