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Which NFL teams get the most value out of their free agent signings?

Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks on prior to a game against the Philadelphia Eagles in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve written before about which teams are most efficient at spending their cash and salary cap dollars, but we now turn our attention exclusively to free agent additions from 2013-21 — the period during which we have robust NFL contract data from

All 32 clubs take very different approaches to free agency, with teams such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders and New York Jets frequently adding cornerstone pieces to their roster from the open market. On the other hand, teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers rarely foray into the free agent market.

Our analysis does include players who finished out a contract with a team, reached the first day of the next league year without signing a new contract, but still ultimately re-signed with that team. We’ve removed rookie contracts and early extensions from this analysis. All contracts that have expired or been terminated by 2021 are included, with active contracts removed.

First, we'll look at the average percentage earnings of the total value of each contract by each team. For example, if player X signed a two-year, $10 million deal and was cut after one season with cash earnings of $6.5 million, he earned 65% of the total contract value.

Even though the Jaguars rank dead last in the percentage of the total value of the contracts their free agents earned from 2013 to 2021, they’ve still paid out the third-most total dollars of any team to free agents over the span, as you can see below:


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