Top 5 Worst FA's In Raiders History, Part I

With free agency in full swing, S&BI takes a look at the top ten best and the top five worst free agent signings in Raiders history. Since the current format of free agency began in 1993, the Raiders have had their fair share of success stories and blunders. Part I takes a look at the biggest missteps in Raiders FA history.

5. Gibril Wilson (2008)

In all honesty, Wilson's placement on this list is no fault of his. After winning a Super Bowl with the Giants in 2008, Wilson was arguably the top safety available on the market in the following offseason and was expected to receive a huge payday as a result. Still, the six-year, $39 million contract he signed with the Raiders was beyond what most people had in mind, as it made him one of the most highest paid safeties in league history.

Wilson was solid but unimpressive in his first (and only) season with the Raiders: he was solid against the run, as evidenced by his 129 tackles, but struggled mightily in pass coverage. Surprisingly, the Raiders chose to release Wilson after only one season, and the only reasonable explanation to this day is that it was a financial move.

4. Kerry Collins (2004)

It's not as easy as some might think to put Collins on this list. To his credit, he put up some decent numbers despite playing for some pretty poor teams in his two-year tenure with the Raiders. Initially brought in as an insurance policy for the aging Rich Gannon, Collins became the starter in Week Three of the 2004 season. Despite throwing for over 7,000 yards and 41 touchdowns in his two seasons with the team, Collins' win-loss record as a Raider was an abysmal 7-21.

3. Desmond Howard (1997

After his MVP performance in Super Bowl XXXI with the Packers, Howard parlayed his newfound success into a four-year, $6 million deal with the Raiders. The Raiders thought they were getting an explosive playmaker in the former Heisman Trophy winner, but Howard turned out to be nothing more than an overpaid special teams player. Howard led the league in kickoff returns in his first season with 61 and compiled 1,318 yards. However, he failed to find the endzone and was practically useless as a receiver.

2. Larry Brown (1996)

Brown was the original Desmond Howard. After an MVP performance with the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX, the Raiders signed Brown to what was then a lucrative deal of $12.5 million ($3.5 million signing bonus) for five years. In short, it was a complete disaster for the Raiders. In only two seasons, Brown played only 12 games and recorded one interception.

1. Javon Walker (2008)

It goes without saying that Javon Walker's signing was the worst signing in Raiders history, and quite possibly the worst in league history as well. Walker was released earlier this month and the wounds are still fresh. In 2008, he signed a six-year deal worth an astounding $55 million ($16 million guaranteed).

The team thought Walker could assume the role of a number one receiver, after having been one year removed from a season in which he caught 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

However, Walker essentially played only one season as a Raider, catching a mere 15 passes for 196 yards and one touchdown. Furthermore, he was a distraction off the field, what with his highly publicized episode in Las Vegas and his decision to have knee surgery without informing the team.

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