The 2023 NFL free agency period is short at this point. Outside of speculation surrounding Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers and a few unique additions, we haven’t seen many deals that move the needle significantly. As well as finding out who won free agency – let’s take a look at the day’s key players who suffered the biggest losses.
Two teams make up our list today with two level groups. There aren’t many “bad” deals, but there are signs of missed opportunities or poor execution. Let’s take a look at the Day 4 free agency losers.
Plus, if you want to see how we felt about all of Wednesday’s moves, check out our Day 3 free agent losers.
NFL Free Agency Losers
Dalton Schultz and the Tight End Market
The tight market has been a complete success so far, with only two notable deals. Despite having two-plus threats in Dalton Schultz and Mike Gesicki available for any team to bolster their offense, there is little traction in finding a new home. It doesn’t help any players go back to their former teams.
The Cowboys aren’t interested in bringing Schultz back as NFL Network’s Jane Slater. reported The team didn’t even give him a chance. He drew interest from his former offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who is now with the Chargers, but that was it.
MORE: NFL free agency Day 4 grades
Gesicki toyed with the franchise tag in 2022 but failed miserably. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said that Gesicki was responsible for producing 362 yards on 32 receptions, saying, “I can do a better job of giving him opportunities.” Consider it a missed opportunity.
The two biggest tight end contracts have gone to Hayden Hurst and Robert Donion. Hurst signed a three-year, $21.75 million contract with the Panthers. Donion had just one year as the Bears’ second tight end behind Cole Kmet.
The Indianapolis Colts continued to show support for former second-round pick Paris Campbell. General Manager Chris Ballard said He “still believes[d] Campbell before his breakout 2022 season. But pressure came for Campbell to push through this free agency joined New York Giants to a one-year, $6.7 million contract.
The Colts saw the Giants re-sign Darius Slayton. Letting Campbell leave after rushing for 623 yards and three scores as a 25-year-old was one thing, but the Colts missed a replacement. There are only so many speedy playmakers on the market, and Slayton could be the most affordable quality receiver they could add.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are an old habit
The Pittsburgh Steelers have paid a price for their penchant for chasing certain names over guys who have played better lately. They saved linebacker Myles Zack after another disappointing season, saving $8 million in cap space from the veteran. It’s a good decision, but their mentality that led to the failed project is already re-emerging.
Pittsburgh is reportedly interested in bringing back former edge rusher Bud Dupree “if he stays healthy.” According to Per ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Like Jack, Dupree has been underutilized for years. His career was effectively over the moment he tore his ACL in his final season in Pittsburgh, before the Titans foolishly signed him to an $82.5 million contract in 2021.
The Steelers need to stop overspending on the league’s highest-paid defense and chasing players over the hill. They can’t cut their way to the playoffs without high-impact talent.
The veteran linebacker market
Jack wasn’t the only loser from the linebacker pool on Thursday. Former Seahawks and Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner is still on the market, with little interest after him. Pushed For his release from LA. Wagner isn’t bad at all, but he’s showing his age in coverage in 2022.
MORE: Winners of NFL Free Agency Day 4
And the linebackers waited for the phone to ring. Denzel Perryman, Zach Cunningham, Drue Tranquill, Devin Bush and Anthony Walker are quality players who could start tomorrow for many teams. However, this level sees a huge gap between the top players and the dropouts.
With the 2023 NFL Draft quickly approaching, they may have to wait a little longer.