When the lockout ended in late July, the free-agent frenzy began. In a week, we saw hundreds of transactions, including free-agent signings and veteran trades, including some big names.
Looking around the league, plenty of teams can be pleased with their additions. Johnathan Joseph has been a big part of the Texans' resurgence on defense. Andre Carter has sparked a pass rush in New England. Matt Hasselbeck is a big reason why the Titans are in playoff contention. Broncos RB Willis McGahee is having his best season since 2007. The Saints might have made one of the better moves, acquiring Darren Sproles.
But not every team made a smart choice in acquiring veterans. Two of the bigger names who were traded in the offseason — Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth — already have been released.
We polled the PFW staff to see which players who changed teams this past offseason have been the biggest disappointments. Here are the results:
1. QB Kevin Kolb / Cardinals — The Cardinals thought they were getting a franchise quarterback when they traded for Kolb following the lockout. Instead, he has battled injuries and has not been very impressive when in the lineup, with more turnovers than touchdowns. However, to make Cards fans feel better about the acquisition, it must be noted that the player Arizona dealt to acquire Kolb — CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie — has been a big disappointment for the Eagles.
2. DT Albert Haynesworth / Patriots — When Haynesworth was acquired, it was a typical Patriots move — a low-risk trade in which New England gave up a fifth-round pick. It was thought that Bill Belichick would be able to get Haynesworth to return to his Pro Bowl form, but the big defensive tackle spent just as much time on the ground in New England as he did in a disastrous 2010 with Washington. Haynesworth battled injuries and made only three tackles in six games for the Pats. The Buccaneers claimed him, and Haynesworth actually has made an impact, starting four games and recording 11 tackles.
3. WR Chad Ochocinco / Patriots — It's too late in the season to continue to use the excuse that Ochocinco is still learning the offense. Like the Haynesworth trade, the Patriots gave up little for Ochocinco (a 2012 fifth-round draft pick and a 2013 sixth-rounder), but he has not made a dent in the passing game. New England often goes to its two-WR, two-TE sets that don't include Ochocinco, who has 12 catches for 213 yards. He has not come close to being the deep threat the Pats need.
4. QB Donovan McNabb / Vikings — Since being traded from the Eagles in March of 2010, McNabb has struggled to find success. He was run out of Washington after one season with the Redskins and didn't even last a full season with the Vikings before packing his bags again. McNabb was benched after six games and then waived on Dec. 1; he is currently a free agent.
5. DE Ray Edwards / Falcons — Signed from the Vikings, Edwards — a boxer during the lockout — was supposed to provide the knockout punch the Falcons' defense was lacking. Instead, he has been the one receiving the uppercuts. The $30 million defensive end has made only two sacks and is on pace to have his worst season in terms of tackles since he was a rookie.
6. QB Kerry Collins / Colts — Needing a veteran quarterback to replace Peyton Manning, the Colts coaxed Collins out of retirement and into their Week One starting lineup. The experiment with the 38-year-old passer lasted only three weeks, with Collins committing four turnovers in those games. On Oct. 25, he was placed on injured reserve because of a concussion, ending his season and likely his career.
7. WR Mike Sims-Walker / Rams — In desperate need of a big-time wideout for Sam Bradford, the Rams decided to take a flier on Sims-Walker, but he was even worse in St. Louis than he was in Jacksonville. After four games with the Rams, in which Sims-Walker had 11 catches for 139 yards and no touchdowns, he was released by the team. He re-signed with the Jaguars before being waived/injured in early December.
Others receiving votes — Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha, Bears WR Roy Williams, Seahawks WR Sidney Rice and Seahawks OG Robert Gallery.
PFW associate editor Kevin Fishbain contributed to this article.