These are the worst contracts in terms of the team. Rookie contracts are not included.
10. Janoris Jenkins
The whole sports world seemed a little stunned when Jenkins signed his new, lucrative deal with the Giants. $62.5 million over five years is certainly enough compensation for his work over four years, but is it a little too much? It definitely is. Jenkins was always a decent cornerback, and I was actually a huge fan of him in St. Louis. Jenkins was, and still is, known for taking chances in coverage, and sometimes they pay off, while other times they result in touchdowns. I can understand the reason why the Giants signed him: They needed help at cornerback and just on defense in general, and Jenkins was one of the top corners on the market. You can’t fault New York for signing him, but you can definitely fault them for signing a middle-of-the-pack corner on a huge deal like that.
9. Randall Cobb
Cobb was supposed to step up and improve on his 1,200+ yard campaign in 2014 last season when Jordy Nelson went down with an injury. The Packers signed him to a deal that would give him $10 million per year because they thought that he was on track to become one of the top slot receivers in the NFL. Things didn’t work out that way. Instead, Cobb lowered his level of play to those around him, and finished with a mediocre 829 yards and 6 touchdowns, half of his total from the season before. If there’s any positive, it’s that Nelson will be back next year to hopefully elevate Cobb to his 2014 level, but the entire NFL learned that Cobb is not ready to become a No. 1 target. The Packers learned the hard way by paying him like one.
8. Tyrone Crawford
As a Cowboys fan, I cringe whenever I see this contract. $45 million over 5 years for a player that had played two of his first three seasons in the NFL. At that point, he had totaled a total of, wait for it, 3 sacks in his NFL career. Tyrone Crawford totaled 5 sacks in 2015 to bring his career total to 8 sacks in 4 years. This deal felt very forced when it was signed. The Cowboys were low on defensive tackles and needed to make sure that they could keep some of their current defensive line for the future, so they were willing to overpay Crawford. Hopefully Crawford can elevate his game to match his contract, but so far, it doesn’t look like that will ever happen.
7. Ndamukong Suh
Suh is a great player and he is still a Top 5 defensive tackle. Suh’s stats went down last year, and obviously, they would. He was getting double-teamed on almost every single play. Suh came in with so much hype to Miami that he would never be able to live up to it. Even though Suh is a great player, he isn’t worth a six-year $114 million contract. Last year he only got payed $6 million, and this year, he will receive $12 million. The way that the money is spread out makes the first two years of the deal a very good deal for the Dolphins, but check out the next four years. $19 million in 2017, $26 million in 2018, $28 million in 2019, and $22 million in 2020. Unless Suh puts up 15 sacks every year, I don’t see him ever living up to this deal. It’s not that he isn’t a great player, but no defensive player in the NFL right now will be worth that money.
6. Lane Johnson
Lane Johnson is a good right tackle, don’t get me wrong. He is probably the most athletically gifted right tackle, if not offensive lineman, in the league, but I don’t think that the Eagles knew what right tackles were going for when they signed Johnson to a five-year extension worth $56 million. The highest paid right tackle before Johnson’s contract was Bryan Bulaga, and he was getting $6.75 per year. I understand that the Eagles wanted to make Johnson the highest-paid right tackle, but Johnson exceeds the highest average salary by $5 million. He almost doubles Bryan Bulaga’s average salary. The Eagles have locked up a good player, but did they really need to separate him that far from all of the other right tackles?
5. Jairus Byrd
There was a day when Jairus Byrd was the top safety on the market and everyone wanted him. Whoever snatched him up would instantly improve their entire defense. Two years later, people are starting to forget about Byrd. After sitting out for 12 games during his debut season in New Orleans, people started to wonder whether the Saints made the right decision by giving him $9 million per year, currently only $1 million behind the highest paid safety in the league. Things got worse in the second season. Byrd finally snagged an interception, but it was the only one that he managed to get the entire season, and his entire career with the Saints thus far. It wasn’t that Byrd had a bad season. He is a legitimate NFL starter, but my concern was that we were seeing a healthy Jairus Byrd in 2015 and we weren’t getting the production that we were accustomed to seeing from him. Byrd has one more season to prove his value to the Saints, but for right now, this is an absolutely terrible contact for the Saints.
4. Joe Flacco
Talk about cashing in at the right time. After winning the Super Bowl and having a postseason in which he threw no interceptions, Flacco received a contract that gave him $22 million per year. The contract came with a lot of criticism, and it still does. Every time that Flacco gets injured or throws an interception, the first thing that everyone is thinking is ‘Wow! That guy is getting an average of $22 million every year”. Granted, Flacco hasn’t been a terrible quarterback, but aside from that one season where he won the Super Bowl, he has been the definition of a middle-of-the-pack quarterback. Since his Super Bowl win, Flacco has only taken the Ravens back to the Playoffs one time, and he has only one playoff victory since. I know that quarterbacks get the big money, but this contract will go down in history as a clear example of a team whose eyes were WAY too big for their wallets.
3. Eric Fisher
As of a few days ago, Eric Fisher signed a four-year $48 million contract extension with the Chiefs. Fisher pretty much sums up the 2013 NFL Draft class, which was one of the worst in NFL history. The former No. 1 overall pick has put in nothing but poor to mediocre work for Chiefs, and they decide to reward him with a contract that makes him the fourth-highest paid left tackle in the business. Eric Fisher is barely considered a starting-quality left tackle, so this contract is a mind-boggling one. I wanted to put this contract higher up on the list, but I have to admit that there is still a small glimmer of hope for him. The chance of Fisher ever living up to his billing as the No. 1 overall pick is about the same as winning the lottery, getting struck by lightning, and finding out that you have a perfect bracket, all at the same time. I have no idea why the Chiefs granted him with this deal, but I can’t see him ever living up to this.
2. Byron Maxwell
Maxwell is the 8th highest paid corner in football. Take that in for a second. If Maxwell wasn’t playing on a defense with Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor two years ago, I doubt many fans would even know who he was. The blame falls on two organizations for this one. The Eagles made initial move to sign him to a deal that grants him $10.5 million per year. Like I said before, if he wasn’t wearing a Seahawks uniform the year before, he would’ve signed a deal that gave him around $6 million per year. The Dolphins were the ones who accepted a trade to get Maxwell and Kiko Alonso, which gives them 50% of the blame for this one. Kiko could end up regaining his form from his rookie year, which makes it a very good bet, but Maxwell is not even a top-25 corner and he somehow has slipped through the cracks of stardom and is making eight figures a year. I have no idea why the Dolphins would want to overpay him.
1. Sam Bradford
The Eagles make another appearance on my list, and they come in at No. 1. He is 19th highest paid quarterback, which is actually around where he deserves to be, but the context of this signing makes it terrible. First of all, the Eagles were going to take a quarterback in the NFL Draft, whether it be Paxton Lynch or trading up to get Wentz, so the reason why they decided to pay Bradford $17.5 million per year is completely unknown to me. He is basically just going to be stealing snaps from whatever promising rookie quarterback they were going to get in the draft. They ended up getting Wentz, the second-best quarterback in the class. For the next two years, Wentz will have hold a clipboard while the Eagles have a mediocre quarterback trot out for them week after week. I will never understand why the Eagles did this, but I guess that’s why it makes it to No. 1 on my list.