Huddle Up

NFL News and Analysis with Andrew Perloff

Perloff
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  • 01:42 PM ET  02.28
With smart teams becoming savvier at re-signing their better players and the liberal use of the franchise tag, free agency has become much riskier. Several teams have cap space to burn and few players are clearly worth the money.

The five players below all have talent, but their big price tags could make them more of a burden than a benefit.

1. Asante Samuel, CB, Patriots - It's amazing any team would sign a former Patriot, especially for around $30 million guaranteed. New England's system makes every player on the team look better. Look at David Givens, Damien Woody, Willie McGinest, etc. Ty Law and Lawyer Milloy had OK seasons after leaving the Pats, but their best years by far were in New England.

There are other big warning signs for Samuel. Looking back, San Francisco's $80 million deal for Nate Clements did nothing to improve the team. An elite cornerback doesn't do much if the defense can't rush the passer or stop the run. Especially since rules changed and defensive backs can't touch receivers downfield.

2. Bernard Berrian, WR, Bears - Berrian is not cut out to be a No. 1 receiver. He's a great burner, but his dropped passes are a major problem. Berrian would actually fit best with a team like Chicago, where he can occasionally catch a bomb from a strong-armed quarterback like Rex Grossman, but won't be relied on in the intermediate game -- since the Bears don't have one.

3. Alan Faneca, G, Steelers - Faneca will be the latest guard to pull in an eye-popping figure, but the 30-year-old may have already lost a step. SI.com's Dr. Z keeps close tabs on offensive linemen and says Faneca grades have taken a downturn the last two seasons. Pittsburgh's pass blocking was so bad last year, it's hard to imagine Faneca wasn't at least partially responsible. The Jets are reportedly interested in Faneca and he may do fine, although they should have just stuck with Pete Kendall in the first place.

4. Donte' Stallworth, WR, Patriots --  When successful franchises like the Patriots and Eagles give up on a player, teams have a reason to be wary. Stallworth has outstanding physical skills and seems like a decent locker room guy. He just can't make that next step.

5. Michael Turner, RB, Chargers - Turner's gaudy 5.5 yards per carry career average is an aberration because of how the Chargers used him and their outstanding offensive line and  scheme. He played in a lot of games San Diego was winning big and had already established a huge advantage on the offensive line.

Turner has been compared to LaMont Jordan, who looked great as Jets change-of-pace back but wasn't nearly as effective as the main guy in Oakland. Turner packs a wallop when he runs and is likely better than Jordan, but I'm not convinced the San Diego back is worth a huge contract. If Turner lasted a few days into free agency - which I don't expect -- and received a more reasonable deal, he could end up paying off.

Let me know what you think of these five free agents and other big names like Randy Moss, Julius Jones and Justin Smith. Who's worth the big bucks?

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