ESPN’s John Clayton has posted his top 10 worst contracts list in the NFL.
I would look at most of these deals different than Clayton. For one I don’t agree with his logic. Technically Mark Sanchez is just as many games into his new contract as Mario Williams, yet he gives Williams an incomplete because it’s so few games. Mind you Sanchez will likely see no more than a few million in extension dollars as the extension was more about salary cap relief than actual new money. Sanchez’ salary, as was Matt Cassel’s, who is also on the list, were in line with the market for second tier QBs. Williams created a new market coming off an injury and has a history of not being anywhere near a top 10 pass rusher in the league. Bad decisions on Sanchez and Cassel? Absolutely. Bad contracts, I’m not so sure.
The players that stand out on his list, that I would fully agree with, are Chris Johnson of the Titans and DeAngelo Williams of the Panthers. Those were contracts that defied logic, specifically the Williams contract. Johnson was a decision I would not have made simply due to the normal history of running backs, something I had looked at last season, but at least he was a top player at the time. Williams wasn’t even close to being a top player and was coming off injury, a career killer to a running back. Carolina, in general, has some of the worst contracts in the NFL right now.
Mike Vick was overpayment on a small sample of spectacular performances. The one reason I would hesitate a little on calling it a bad deal is because the Eagles left themselves an out after just two years, one of which he was set to play on the franchise tag anyway, to get away from the contract. He was going to play for $16 million in 2011 and if they tagged him again would have cost them $19.2 million. The Eagles actual cash spend will be $32.5 million for Vick for those same two years. He will carry a dead money charge in 2013 of just $4.2 million. The Eagles certainly overpaid, but is it that much? The answer is no.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.