NFL: Which Teams Spent the Most Money This Offseason?

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The National Football League is a multi-billion dollar business. If you need evidence, look at the massive television broadcasting contracts, the insanely high ticket revenue and merchandise sales totals around the league, and last but not least, the astronomically high cost of advertising during an NFL game. However, there may not be a more telling piece of evidence than the total amount of money teams spend on players every offseason. This past offseason, there wasn’t a team in the league that spent less than $100 million when it came to extending the contracts of their current players, signing free agents, signing draft picks, and signing undrafted free agents. Additionally, the bottom 25 percent of the teams in the league together combined to spend over $1 billion by themselves. For further reference, the team that spent the least this offseason was the Minnesota Vikings with a total of $108.3 million in new player expenditures. With that being said, it’s always more interesting to look at the teams that spent the most.

Most people would assume that the Indianapolis Colts, who added several big-name free agents this offseason, would rank fairly high on the list. In reality, they were only a middle-of-the-pack kind of team when it came to overall spending this offseason. That will likely change next offseason, though, when the time comes for them to sign Andrew Luck to a contract extension. Nonetheless, knowing that the Colts weren’t really big spenders this offseason, you may end up being surprised by some of the teams that made this list. Without further ado, Here is a look at the five NFL teams that spent the most total money on contract extensions, free agent signings, draft pick contracts, and signing undrafted free agents during the 2015 offseason.

5.  Seattle Seahawks

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
  • Total Money Spent:  $252,295,639
  • Largest Expenditures:
    • Russell Wilson, quarterback:  Four years, $87.6 million
    • Bobby Wagner, linebacker:  Four years, $43 million
    • Marshawn Lynch, running back:  Two Years, $24 million

The vast majority of Seattle’s spending came from extending the contracts of quarterback Russell Wilson, linebacker Bobby Wagner, and running back Marshawn Lynch. They spent roughly $28 million in total on free agent acquisitions, $21.9 million on draft pick contracts, and $25.3 million on undrafted free agents. Given the amount of money they spent this offseason, we would be surprised if the team figured out a way to be as frivolous next offseason.

4.  Jacksonville Jaguars

Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
  • Total Money Spent:  $261,904,756
  • Largest Expenditures:
    • Julius Thomas, tight end: Five years, $46 million
    • Jared Odrick, defensive tackle: Five years, $42.5 million
    • Davon House, cornerback: Four years, $24.5 million
    • Dante Fowler Jr., outside linebacker: Four years, $23.5 million
    • Dan Skuta, linebacker: Five years, $20.5 million

The Jaguars went on a shopping spree during free agency, spending a whopping $176.4 million on free agent talent alone. Given their draft slot, they also had a price group of draft picks that totaled $45.3 million in total money. Lastly, the team also spent a relatively modest $23.7 million on undrafted free agents. For as aggressive as they were the offseason, the Jaguars are actually projected to have more than enough cap space to be equally, if not more, aggressive next offseason.

3.  New York Jets

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
  • Total Money Spent:  $270,779,203
  • Largest Expenditures:
    • Darrelle Revis, cornerback: Five years, $70 million
    • Antonio Cromartie, cornerback: Four years, $32 million
    • Brandon Marshall, wide receiver: Three years, $26 million
    • Buster Skrine, cornerback: Four years, $25 million
    • David Harris, linebacker: Three years, $21.5 million
    • James Carpenter, offensive guard: Four years, $19.1 million
    • Leonard Williams, defensive end: Four years, $18.6 million

The Jets spent big money on players in every way possible this offseason. They spent just over $181 million on free agents, led by Darelle Revis’ $70 million contract, $35.2 million on draft picks, $19 million on undrafted free agents, and $49.5 million on contract extensions. The Jets did take some risks in spending big money this offseason, but they added several impact players in the process. Given that, we wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if the Jets end up being one of the NFL’s surprise teams in 2015.

2.  Kansas City Chiefs

Kyle Rivas/Getty Images
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images
  • Total Money Spent:  $308,461,543
  • Largest Expenditures:
    • Justin Houston, outside linebacker: Six years, $101 million
    • Jeremy Maclin, wide receiver: Five years, $55 million
    • Ben Grubbs, offensive guard: Four years, $24 million
    • Ron Parker, safety: Five years, $25 million
    • Marcus Peters, cornerback: Four years, $9.6 million

Justin Houston’s $101 million contract extension accounted for roughly one-third of the Chiefs 2015 offseason spending, but the team also spent big money during free agency on wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and safety Ron Parker. Kansas City quietly put together an impressive offseason, and if quarterback Alex Smith can play at a more consistent level this season, the Chiefs could find themselves back in the AFC playoffs in 2015.

1.  Miami Dolphins

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
  • Total Money Spent:  $459,798,408
  • Largest Expenditures:
    • Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle: Six years, $114.4 million
    • Ryan Tannehill, quarterback: Four years, $77 million
    • Mike Pouncey, center: Five years, $44.8 million
    • Jordan Cameron, tight end: Two years, $15 million
    • DeVante Parker, wide receiver: Four years, $10.9 million

The Dolphins spent close to $500 million on players this offseason. Their biggest expenditure was by far the free agency acquisition of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, but the contract extensions for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and center Mike Pouncey weren’t far behind. In total, the Dolphins spent $155.5 million on free agents, $126.3 million on contract extensions, $28 million on draft picks, and $28.4 million on undrafted free agents. Given their unenviable salary cap situation going forward, it is highly unlikely that the Dolphins will spend money on this level any time in the near future.

All salary cap data courtesy of Spotrac.