10 best value signings in NFL free agency so far
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In a free-agent market where record-breaking deals are signed every year, teams deserve credit when they manage to land solid players on more affordable terms.

After two weeks of 2020 free agency, these 10 contracts appear to be the best values for the franchises that signed them.

WR Robby Anderson ➡️ Carolina Panthers

Contract: 2 years, $20 million ($12 million guaranteed)

In the Panthers' attempt to reinforce quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's offense, they acquired Anderson for just $10 million annually - less than the $12 million to $15 million per year the wideout was reportedly seeking.

Anderson is one of only eight receivers who posted at least 50 catches, 700 receiving yards, and five touchdowns in each of the last three seasons. He's earning the lowest average salary among that group, with Chargers star Keenan Allen coming in next at $11.25 million.

However, the deal also carries some upside for Anderson, as he's set to hit free agency again at the age of 28.

LB Cory Littleton ➡️ Las Vegas Raiders

Contract: 3 years, $35.25 million ($22 million guaranteed)

Littleton provides a great combination of pass coverage and tackling ability, as he averaged 84 tackles, 11 passes defensed, and almost four sacks per year over the last two seasons. That made him this offseason's top available linebacker.

But at $11.75 million annually, Littleton won't be paid significantly more than fellow free-agent linebackers Joe Schobert (five years, $53.75 million with the Jaguars) and Blake Martinez (three years, $30.75 million with the Giants), even though he has much more to offer.

Littleton's deal is also more team-friendly than those inked by C.J. Mosley ($17 million per year with the Jets) and Kwon Alexander ($13.5 million per year with the 49ers) last year.

TE Eric Ebron ➡️ Pittsburgh Steelers

Contract: 2 years, $12 million ($5 million guaranteed)

Ebron's contract went in the opposite direction of where the tight end market has been trending this offseason. Greg Olsen agreed to $7 million annually with the Seahawks, Tyler Eifert got $7.7 million per year from the Jaguars, and Jimmy Graham landed $8 million per season from the Bears. Austin Hooper, meanwhile, signed a record deal worth $10.5 million annually with the Browns.

Overall, Ebron's average salary ranks just 18th among tight ends. While he's coming off a subpar campaign (31 catches, 375 yards, and three TDs), he amassed 14 total touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl in 2018.

He probably won't replicate that production in 2020, but Ebron is still a 26-year-old who's averaged almost 50 receptions per year throughout his career.

CB Chris Harris Jr. ➡️ Los Angeles Chargers

Contract: 2 years, $17 million ($9.5 million guaranteed)

After reportedly declining a three-year, $36-million extension from the Broncos last year, Harris stayed in the AFC West as a member of the Chargers for a much lower price.

One of the greatest slot corners in NFL history, the four-time Pro Bowler played mostly outside in 2019, which likely explains why his production took a hit. However, the 30-year-old Harris still has something left in the tank, and his new annual salary ranks only 24th among cornerbacks.

While the league slightly underpays slot corners, this is a great deal for the Chargers, who now feature perhaps the most complete secondary in football.

OT Bryan Bulaga ➡️ Los Angeles Chargers

Contract: 3 years, $30 million ($19.25 million guaranteed)

This may seem like a lot of money for a 31-year-old who's battled injuries throughout his career, but Bulaga showed he's still a solid right tackle last year while playing a full regular season for the first time since 2016.

The Chargers, whose offensive line struggled in 2019, can also get out of this contract at two years and $19.25 million, making it even less of a risk.

Meanwhile, unproven offensive tackles Halapoulivaati Vaitai and George Fant will both make $9 million per year on deals signed elsewhere this offseason.

CB Mackenzie Alexander ➡️ Cincinnati Bengals

Contract: 1 year, $4 million ($1.5 million guaranteed)

Alexander continued to emerge with the Vikings in 2019, and the former second-round pick entered free agency as one of the better slot corners available - even if his one-year pact suggests otherwise. Over the last two seasons, he held opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating below 85 while in coverage.

Cincinnati may have to think about a bigger contract for the 26-year-old in the near future, but for now, the club can reap the rewards of signing a defensive back who's entering his prime to a salary that would normally be paid to a declining player.

WR Emmanuel Sanders ➡️ New Orleans Saints

Contract: 2 years, $16 million

Sanders turned 33 this offseason, but landing him for an average salary of $8 million was a great move by the Saints, who addressed an area of need for a relatively low price.

Good comparisons can be made with DeSean Jackson ($9.3 million with the Eagles), Golden Tate ($9.37 million with the Giants), and even Larry Fitzgerald ($11 million with the Cardinals), who all signed new deals beyond the age of 30 in the last two offseasons.

In 2019, Sanders amassed 66 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns. He also played 17 regular-season games due to a midseason trade from Denver to San Francisco - shutting down injury concerns in the process - and then helped the 49ers reach Super Bowl LIV.

S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix ➡️ Dallas Cowboys

Contract: 1 year, $4 million ($2.5 million guaranteed)

The Cowboys made a smart move by adding Clinton-Dix's versatility to their secondary after losing some important defensive players. The 27-year-old hasn't lived up to his first-round pedigree, but he's coming off a solid campaign with the Bears and signed a cheap deal in Dallas.

Additionally, Clinton-Dix has played in every possible game since entering the league in 2014. He posted 78 tackles, five passes defensed, and two interceptions last season.

In comparison, the Texans gave safety Eric Murray $6 million per year this offseason - the same annual salary that Tre Boston and Vonn Bell will earn with the Panthers and Bengals, respectively. Elsewhere, the 49ers re-signed Jimmie Ward to an extension worth $9.5 million per year.

DT Javon Hargrave ➡️ Philadelphia Eagles

Contract: 3 years, $39 million ($25.5 million guaranteed)

Hargrave is coming off the best pass-rushing campaign of his four-year career, as he amassed 60 tackles - including seven for a loss - and four sacks with the Steelers in 2019.

Though Hargrave's contract carries big numbers, it was inked in a hot market for interior defensive linemen. For instance, fellow free agent D.J. Reader signed a deal worth $13.25 million annually with the Bengals. Reader is solid against the run, but his pass-rushing ability is not at Hargrave's level.

RB Jordan Howard ➡️ Miami Dolphins

Contract: 2 years, $9.75 million ($4.75 million guaranteed)

The value of an NFL running back is always up for debate, but paying $4.87 million annually to Howard looks like a great deal for Miami.

Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley were the only high-profile running backs to sign free-agent deals this offseason, and their contract terms were significantly higher: Gordon inked a two-year, $16-million pact with the Broncos, while the Falcons will pay $6 million to Gurley in 2020 despite reports that his knee looks "very bad."

Howard hasn't been able to replicate his great rookie production from 2016, but his numbers have remained pretty good. He was averaging 4.4 yards per carry in 2019 before suffering a shoulder injury, and he's posted 1,093 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns on the ground per 16 games over his career. Additionally, the 25-year-old hasn't even reached 1,000 career touches yet, which means he should have plenty of juice left in his legs.

10 best value signings in NFL free agency so far
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