Welcome to my GML Special, where we look back at the top five free agent contracts given out last year. Yes if you noticed I ignored the tight ends because it was clearly not deep enough or important enough last offseason. What you can expect to find here is a list of the top 5 highest contracts given out and see if those deals were actually worth it. Find out the winners and losers who had too much money to spend. We start off the walk down memory lane with the MOST important position in all of football, the quarterback. It has been relatively dry well for teams looking into free agency for a starter as indicative of the top five biggest contracts offered. Quarterbacks: 1. Denver Broncos sign Matt Flynn $7,500,000 2. New York Jets sign Alex Smith $4,100,000 3. Oakland Raiders sign Jason Campbell $2,000,000 4. Kansas City Chiefs sign Kyle Orton $1,000,000 5. Buffalo Bills sign Chad Henne $600,000 In hindsight it can be argued that the Jets got the best deal with Alex Smith going 6-2 in 10 games with a 104.1 QBR and 70% completion rate. The goose egg fell into Denver's lap as it was expected Matt Flynn would find a starting job, but instead found himself the highest paid backup this season. How will this years crop do compared to last offseason? I expect an upturn but not much with marquee names being Kevin Kolb, Matt Cassell and Mark Sanchez. If Joe Flacco is not franchised then we could see Peyton Manning money thrown around. Running Backs: 1. Pittsburgh Steelers sign Marshawn Lynch $5,400,000 2. Oakland Raiders sign Michael Bush $5,000,000 3. Dallas Cowboys sign BenJarvus Green-Ellis $3,800,000 4. Denver Broncos sign Mike Tolbert $3,500,000 Broncos Quarterbacks isn't the only position that has seen a downward trend of money spent. Due to a lack of star power the running backs only made modest money compared to their defensive counterparts. The Steelers are arguably the winner by spending under $6 million on a 3 down feature back. Dallas also got their money worth as Green-Ellis proved productive enough to earn his modest $3.8 Million contract. Once again the Broncos lose out as Tolbert was the least effective of the top signings. Special note several throwaway running backs tied for fifth highest salary at a mere $500 thousand including Jacob Hester, Tony Fiammenta and Cedric Benson. Wide Receiver: 1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign Marques Colston - $16,000,000 2. Arizona Cardinals sign Mario Manningham - $7,500,000 3. Indianapolis Colts sign Laurent Robinson - $6,750,000 4. Washington Redskins sign Robert Meachem - $6,000,000 5. Indianapolis Colts sign Early Doucet - $5,500,000 It has become a passing league, which is why we see a decline in salary for running backs. However, if you're a pass catcher you will get paid. Colston demanded franchise money and walked away with $16 million and out of the group earned his pay check. The losers here happened to be the Colts who lost out twice by overpaying both Laurent Robinson and Early Doucet a combined $12 million. What kind of production did that net Indianapolis? Roughly 50 catches for 459 yards. Of course the Cardinals and Redskins did not fair any better with their signings. Offensive Line: 1. Cincinnati Bengals sign Carl Nicks $11,300,000 2. Oakland Raiders sign Demetrius Bell $10,000,000 3. Pittsburgh Steelers sign Ben Grubbs $9,500,000 4. New Orleans Saints sign Evan Mathis $7,000,000 5. St Louis Rams sign Chris Myers $6,000,000 5. Buffalo Bills sign Scott Wells $6,000,000 If you can protect a quarterback expect a big pay day this offseason. Last year there was some big money thrown around and in this case it was a close call on who won the best signing as Ben Grubbs and Chris Myers played to their contracts worth. Meanwhile Buffalo, Oakland and Cincinnati can be considered the losers as both Wells and Nicks only played 7 games, while Bell only started 4. I admit, I'm not an expert without my PFF numbers so I will leave it up to you my loyal readers. Defensive Line: 1. Buffalo Bills sign Calais Campbell - $16,000,000 2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign Robert Mathis - $11,000,000 3. Washington Redskins sign John Abraham - $10,000,000 4. Carolina Panthers sign Cliff Avril - $9,000,000 5. San Diego Chargers sign Mark Anderson - $7,500,000 Did you notice a trend with this list? Run stoppers make no money. Buffalo came out last year and threw down as much money as they could in Calais lap and he responded with close to 60 tackles and 6.5 sacks, would you pay $16 million for that kind of production? It's debateable as the 3rd and 4th signees managed to get 10 sacks and 9.5 sacks respectively. I can't decide who the winner was, but I can definitely tell you that the Chargers overpaid for the 10 tackles and 1 sack they got from Mark Anderson. Linebackers: 1. Washington Redskins sign Stephen Tulloch - $9,500,000 2. New York Giants sign Anthony Spencer - $8,500,000 3. Denver Broncos sign Wesley Woodyard - $5,500,000 4. St Louis Rams sign EJ Henderson - $5,500,000 5. Chicago Bears sign DeAndre Levy - $5,500,000 Once again if your job doesn't involve the quarterback you tend to not make the kind of money that can be thrown around in the GML. Tulloch is a tackling machine, though he had a down year he still walked away with 112 tackles. In my mind the best money spent was on Anthony Spencer with his 95 tackles and 11 sacks. I hear he will be on the free agent market this year and should command over $10 million easily. Remember you can never have too many edge rushers. You can call the Rams the St Losers here as they paid over $5 million for EJ Henderson to sit at home, this signing gets the Kiper Free Agency Flusher award. Hopefully the newest GM of the Rams doesn't have this kind of luck. Though I will make special note that the Cleveland Browns paid Javon Belcher $1.25 million last offseason... there were no winners in that signing. Defensive Backs: 1. Oakland Raiders sign Cortland Finnegan - $15,500,000 2. Cincinnati Bengals sign Brent Grimes - $10,300,000 3. Oakland Raiders sign Tyvon Branch - $10,000,000 4. Baltimore Ravens sign LaRon Landry - $9,000,000 5. New York Giants sign Carlos Rogers - $8,500,000 There is no position that will get more money than the defensive backs. This is the most spotlighted position as they are expected to shutdown the passing game. Was it worth spending $25 million on two players? Nearly a third of the Raiders salary cap was used on defensive backs, regardless of how productive they were individually it is hard to give any kind of win to the Raiders, but are they really losers either for having one of the top 10 CBs in the league? There is much debate on the position so once again I leave it up to you to decide who won and who lost. Don't forget to come back as I, Peter Kiper the GML expect guides you through the upcoming Free Agency with my predictions on where the money will be spent and who will be throwing it around. If you want a more in depth look at GML free agency in the past 2-3 seasons, subscribe below and let me know.