Top Ten Worst Contracts of the 2014 NFL Off-Season
Learn About the Worst Contracts of This Year's NFL Off-Season
2014 NFL Off-Season
Over the past couple of weeks, two of the largest CB contracts in NFL history have been signed. The Seahawks’ Richard Sherman will receive a guaranteed $40 million, while the Browns’ Joe Haden will make bank with a guaranteed $45 million. Given the intense debate regarding whether or not these huge contracts are worth it, I thought we’d take a look at the ten worst contracts of the 2014 off-season so far. Keep in mind that these aren’t necessarily bad players; their contractual agreements simply make no sense for one reason or another.
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1. I haven’t liked this signing from the start, which is why it leads my list. The Oakland Raiders had $60 million in cap space this off-season and the New York Jets weren’t far behind. The Jets, wisely for once, opted to let OT Austin Howard go. Oakland jumped right in, offering Howard a 5-year $30 million ($15 million guaranteed) contract. This is a decided overpayment; Howard’s numbers (he allowed 10 sacks and 31 hurries in 2012) simply don’t match his new pay grade.
2. The Detroit Lions opted to sign 29-year-old TE Brandon Pettigrew to a 4-year, $16 million ($8 million guaranteed) deal. This is one of the most illogical things I’ve ever heard. Pettigrew had exactly 2…yes, 2….TD receptions in 2013 and the Lions have a laundry list of other needs. They lost me on this one.
3. DE Tyson Jackson, who the Kansas City Chiefs took 3rd overall in the 2009 draft, was hyped at one point in time. This tuned out to translate to overhyped. During Jackson’s time at KC, he recorded just 9 sacks. The Atlanta Falcons, desperate to build a 3-4 defense, snapped him up this off-season, to the tune of a 5-year, $25 million ($11 million guaranteed) contract.
4. The Tennessee Titans seemed bent on signing OT Michael Oher no matter what. While the blockbuster The Blind Side made Oher a household name, he isn’t as…well, good…as people seem to like to pretend he is. In 2013, Oher allowed 42 hurries and 8 sacks and he’s never allowed fewer than 5 sacks in a single season. The Titans signed Oher to a 4-year, $20 million ($9.5 million guaranteed) contract. Smells like a bad value to me.
5. The Cleveland Browns, as always, made some confusing free agency decisions. This one, however, takes the cake in my book. The team cut LB D’Qwell Jackson, then promptly proceeded to sign LB Karlos Dansby in his place. There’s nothing wrong with Dansby on the field and he’ll probably look good this season. However, signing a 33-year-old lineman to a $24 million, 4-year contract makes about as much sense as trying to convince Jerry Jones that hiring a GM other than himself is a good idea. Strike one, Cleveland.
6. I don’t think G Zane Beadles is a bad fit at Jacksonville. The Jags need help at this position (and most other positions, to be frank), but the 4-year, $30 million ($13 million guaranteed) contract they gave Beadles is befuddling. This is a lot of moolah to commit to a G, especially when your club has a litany of other pressing needs that could stand to be addressed. To the Jags’ credit, they did take care of some issues during the draft; the Blake Bortles selection, for example, should prove advantageous.
7. The Indianapolis Colts decided that keeping CB Vontae Davis was priority numero uno during the 2014 off-season (they did, after all, give up a 2nd round pick and a conditional 6th round pick in a trade for him with the Miami Dolphins.) Signing Davis to a 4-year, $39 million ($20 million guaranteed) contract is excessive, though. Davis is a solid CB who has had elite moments, but paying him like he’s the next Richard Sherman doesn’t compute.
8. Philadelphia Eagles WR Riley Cooper had 8 TDs and averaged 17.8 yards per catch in 2013. Even before the DeSean Jackson debacle, Chip Kelly and his crew knew they wanted to keep Cooper around, so they signed him to a 5-year, $25 million ($10 million guaranteed) contract before the league year even officially began. In hindsight, the Eagles paid Cooper more than the market value for WRs this off-season. The Colts, for comparison, signed WR Hakeem Nicks (who, granted, had not a single TD in 2013) to a 1-year, $3.5 million deal.
9. Even though CB Aqib Talib is coming off of an injury, he was still one of the top free agents in this year’s class. When the New England Patriots let him go, John Elway swooped in with an offer that Talib and his agents really couldn’t refuse. The Broncos signed Talib to a 6-year, $57 million contract with $26 million (or $11.5 million, depending on which reports you trust) guaranteed. Talib fills a need for a the Broncos, to be sure, but this is a terrible value, especially considering that the Pats signed Darrelle Revis (an even better player than Talib) for less.
10. Y’all know I love, love, love S Jairus Byrd at the New Orleans Saints alongside Kenny Vacarro, but that doesn’t mean the structure of Byrd’s deal isn’t confusing. Due to the back-loaded nature of Byrd’s contract, the Saints could run into problems when they want (need?) to re-sign franchised TE Jimmy Graham next season. It seems like The Big Easy’s front office may have gotten a little too caught-up in the here and now when Byrd became available.