Worst Free Agent Signings?

Earlier this week the Chicago Tribune named their worst Chicago sports free agent signings in history in response to the Cubs’ suspension of Milton Bradley.  For the Bears, one of their reporters named the 2005 signing of Muhsin Muhammad as the Bears’ worst.

I didn’t agree with that, and Mike Mulligan of the Sun-Times confirms when he rebuts this opinion pretty well.  I couldn’t (didn’t have time) to think of who I would name, but Mulligan is probably spot-on when he mentions the 2000 signing of cornerback Thomas Smith.  Smith made $8.5 million in one underwhelming season with the Bears.  He was cut the following training camp after signing a $20 + million deal with former personnel boss Mark Hatley.

Some others I can think of:

Bryan Cox, of course.  Cox became the highest-paid Bear of all time in 1996 with a $13.5 million deal.  He lasted two frustrating seasons.

Alonzo Spellman was a re-sign, but since he was on the free agent market I’ll include him.  He signed for four years and over $12 million, and by the end of year two was benched and gone in year three.

Phillip Daniels wasn’t as bad as Smith, but he also hit the jackpot with Hatley in 2000, becoming one of the game’s highest-paid defensive ends.  He was a solid run-stopping left end, but never earned his $20 + million.

Kordell Stewart?  Granted his deal was fairly modest for a quarterback, but his play sucked.

Can anyone say Jonathan Quinn?  2004′s heir-apparent at quarterback was billed as ready to pick up Terry Shea’s offense in a heartbeat, and in a heartbeat he lost the Bears four games.  Again, not a big monetary investment but still a bad, bad decision.

So Moose the worst free agent signing of all time?  I don’t think so.

9 Responses to “Worst Free Agent Signings?”

  1. I dont agree with him being a bad FA signing either. He led the team in receiving yards with rather horrible QBing for two seasons. In 2007 he had a down year due to our QB carousel going on. His effort has been questioned multiple times (Not attempting to push Hayden out of bounds on that INT in the Super Bowl that was returned for a TD) and his methods (Yelling at Kyle Orton in 2005, shortly before Rex Grossman returned in the 2nd half in that game).

  2. I agree Scott, and keep in mind this reporter wasn’t calling him “a bad” signing-he was calling him *the worst in Bears history*. I think that’s ludicrous….

  3. Adam Archuleta? Actually I’m going to go with Cox. He did a lot of talking and never backed it up. I still have one of his jerseys that was given to me as a gift….. any takers? lol.

  4. Once again, a fabulous example of the extreme overexaggeration of Chicago sports media.
    Worst free agent signing in Hear’s history?
    The guy who said that knows absolutely nothing about football.
    Do you realize that Muhammed was probably the second best blocking wide receiver in the league behind Hines Ward.
    Muhsin was repeatedly responsible for a key block that allowed our halfback to get into the second level and do major damage.

    I guarantee you that Muhammed was probably pissed when the Bears signed Cutler because he would have been one of the best in the NFC when he played in Chicago with a good QB like Cutler.
    Talk about bad timing.

    I say the worst free agent signing in recent years has been Adam Archuleta. MAN he sucked.
    One of the best free agents they ever got was Thomas Jones from Arizona.
    People never really gave Muhammed and Jones the credit for their contributions in the 06 Super Bowl campaign.
    Take Muhammed off of that team and Da Bears don’t go to the Super Bow.

    What an idiot, this guy.
    What a stupid choice for worst free agent signing.

  5. Let me start out by saying I was not a fan of Muhammand. He dropped way too many passes and pouted too much to my liking. That said, he’s hard the worst free agent signing ever. Bryan fricking Cox was, and I still hate him to this day.

  6. Oh Thomas Jones, was a great FA pickup. Jones fit this system perfectly. Jones is a very good reason as to why we were in the Super Bowl that year. I didnt think we would miss Jones at all with Benson, but well that proved otherwise…Until we got Matt Forte that is. Of course hes off to a sluggish start this season, I blame alot of that on the O-Line though..particularly Frank Omiyale.

  7. Mark L, yes, I don’t mention or link to that particular writer from this site anymore. He’s called bloggers cowards in the past, then he conveniently took a fact off my BearsHistory site and used it in one of his “legitimate” articles without attribution, and I have zero respect for him. He continues to prove his worth with intelligent observations such as Muhammad being the worst free agent signing in Bears History.

    RE: Adam Archuleta-I’d put him close to the top if he would have been a free agent, but actually the Bears traded a sixth-round pick for that waste.

  8. He wasn’t a free agent but Mirer has to be the worst trade ever. Bears gave up a first round pick for him and he didn’t make it past pre- season.

  9. Roy, thanks for setting me straight on the Archuleta trade instead of free agent signing.
    I guess it would have to be Kordell Stewart then.

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