3 overrated free agents the Rams were wise to avoid

Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams
Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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He hit paydirt

NFL teams are always on the lookout for the next rising star. In the case of Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Christian Wilkins, they had to wait patiently for the young man to hit his stride in the NFL. While it took five seasons to do so, he put up respectable numbers for the Dolphins in the fifth and final year of his rookie contract. And with that huge one-year performance, he just signed a four-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders for up to $110 million.

Wilkins was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft with the 13th overall pick. Over the first four seasons with the team, he was modestly productive. He averaged 73 tackles and nearly 3.0 quarterback sacks.

But in his contract year, he put up 65 tackles, 9.0 quarterback sacks, and 23 quarterback hits. As a result, he has become independently wealthy for the next four seasons.

While some may proclaim that he would be ideal on the Rams roster, why overlook that the team already has a rookie nose tackle in Kobie Turner who can match that performance, in just his first NFL season? With 200 fewer defensive snaps, Turner put up 57 tackles, 9.0 quarterback sacks, and 16 quarterback hits.

While Wilkins will pocket $29 million and create a $10.3 million cap hit for the Raiders in 2024, Turner will cost the Rams just $1.2 million. Much like Brian Burns who was discussed earlier, What will motivate Wilkins now that he has signed that big fat-cat contract? Turner has a true love of the game, and will almost certainly play that must better in 2024.

Of course, anything can happen. But in the case of signing free agents, sometimes less is truly more.

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