15 worst free agent signings in Denver Broncos franchise history
14. Eddie Kennison, WR (2001)
The Denver Broncos signed wide receiver Eddie Kennison in the 2001 offseason as they were attempting to make their way back to prominence following their win over the Falcons in the Super Bowl in the 1998-99 season.
Obviously at this point, John Elway had retired. Brian Griese was running the show. The Broncos still had Ed McCaffrey and Rod Smith at the receiver position but they signed Kennison to a two-year deal worth $1.5 million with a $500,000 guarantee.
Early in the season, Ed McCaffrey was dealing with an injury that caused Kennison to be thrust into the starting lineup with Rod Smith, but the potential the Broncos had seen in him the first four years of his NFL career failed to show itself in orange and blue. He wasn't playing well at all, and then left the team completely, saying he'd lost his love for the game. It was later revealed that there were things going on in Kennison's personal and family life that may have led to his asking for a release, but the Broncos were left hanging big time on this one.
What makes this free agent signing so bad is not just that Kennison left the team abruptly as they were trying to regain prominence, but the fact that he almost immediately signed with the Kansas City Chiefs -- one of the Broncos' top rivals -- and was productive for them right away. He signed in Kansas City on a two-year deal worth $4.5 million in total money with more than $3 million guaranteed.
As time would pass, Kennison would prove himself to be an outstanding and consistent receiver. He had five very productive seasons as a member of the Chiefs from 2002-06, averaging nearly 1,000 yards per year.