Denver Broncos April Fools: 5 worst free-agent signings ever
No. 1: Daryl Gardener
Daryl Gardener is the worst free-agent signing ever by the Broncos.
Another former first-round pick. Gardener put together six good seasons with the Miami Dolphins before spending a season with the Washington Redskins.
His time in Denver can best be described as turbulent and weird.
Gardener got nearly $35 million for seven years, but he managed to play in just five games. That summer, he injured his wrist getting into a fight at a restaurant. Later that year, he was suspended two different times for conduct detrimental to the team, most notably talking ill of head coach Mike Shanahan on a radio show.
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Gardener didn’t ever exhibit the desire to play for the Broncos, which was unfortunate because he was a physical specimen to be sure. He stood 6-foot-6 and weighed nearly 300 pounds. He had supreme athleticism to go with it.
But the Broncos could not put up with all the distractions and it’s impossible to blame them for that. He was released by the team just months after agreeing to the deal with the team and would never play football again.
For these reasons, he is an easy choice as the worst free-agent signing in team history.
But we can’t be completely negative against Gardener. Since leaving football, he took up competitive bodybuilding and aimed to create a direction in his life that would help kids who were less fortunate.
That said, Gardener is a good example of how a bad free-agent contract looks. The team almost instantly regretted this one.