For all the frustration that Green Bay Packers fans had with the Martellus Bennett saga over the past year, perhaps it should come as a relief that there were decisions in the 2017 free agency period that were even worse.
That’s the argument that Over the Cap is making, at least. In a list of the 30 worst signings of 2017, OTC ranked Bennett in third place. To recap, the Packers gave Bennett a $6.3 million signing bonus and paid him a little less than a million dollars in base salary for seven games, over which time he caught 24 passes for 233 yards. The team released him after a dispute over a shoulder injury and recently lost a request to reclaim $4.2 million in signing bonus money (though the team plans to appeal).
However, OTC ranks two other signings as being even worse, and it’s difficult to argue with their logic. Number two is the Bears’ signing of quarterback Mike Glennon — a move that cost Chicago $18.5 million for six awful starts.
The worst signing on the list, however, was wide receiver Kenny Britt’s contract with the Browns. Imagine if the Packers had signed Bennett to a contract with $10.5 million guaranteed — that’s essentially what happened with the Browns and Britt, who matched Bennett’s 233 receiving yards exactly. Cleveland is carrying almost $5 million in dead cap money in 2018 as a result; it’s not hurting them, as they still have a projected $109 million in cap space (!!!!) for 2018, but it is the kind of move that gets general managers fired — and in this case, it contributed to that very situation, as John Dorsey took over the job from Sashi Brown shortly after Britt was released.
With free agency on the horizon, Brian Gutekunst will need to be careful with his signings to avoid a situation that lands the Packers on this list next year.