Top FAs Who Signed One-Year Contracts

Most of this year’s best free agents were able to land multiyear deals that gave them a decent amount of security, with many of those contracts featuring guaranteed money beyond just the first year. A quick look at the top 10 players in our list of 2015’s top 50 free agents shows that nine of them signed for at least five years, while a 10th (Randall Cobb) got a lucrative four-year pact.

However, the 11th player on our list, Greg Hardy, landed just a one-year contract. The fact that Hardy was the top free agent to sign a one-year deal isn’t surprising — his domestic violence case created uncertainty about his stock, and dissuaded any teams from making him a big, long-term offer.

Hardy was far from the only player in our top 50 to sign for just one season, however. While there were at least a couple other players whose stock was affected by off-field question marks, many of these players were coming off injuries or had other issues that impacted their ability to negotiate a long-term deal. Terrance Knighton, for instance, looked like a top-20 free agent based on his 2014 performance, but concerns about his weight scared off many suitors, and he had to settle for a contract that was far from a top-20 valuation.

Some of these deals may backfire — Hardy, for instance, already looks like he may not have been a great investment, since he’s facing a 10-game suspension. But many of these players may turn into great single-season bargains for their respective clubs, who may have gotten discounts based on unfounded concerns. Whether these contracts turn out good or bad, they’ll expire in a year, so none of these teams will see their caps hampered for multiple seasons by these investments.

Here’s the full list of players on our list of top 50 free agents – along with a couple of honorable mentions – who signed one-year contracts this offseason:

* Contract also includes incentives

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