There are so many variables and outside factors that effect what type of a career an NFL players will have. One year they could be one of the best in the game, and the next, they could be absolutely terrible.
That's what makes it so hard to put a dollar sign on a player. It's why negotiations don't happen overnight. Long-term contracts typically include a great deal of guaranteed money. That means, no matter how bad a player is, he will still get every cent of money that is labeled guaranteed.
We've seen some pretty outrageous deals made in the NFL, especially in recent years. Most of the time, a team ends up paying a player way too much money for performance, or because they want to make sure no other team swoops in and steals them.
The free-agent period is nothing like it used to be. Players have little allegiance to teams, and money is thrown around like it's nothing. This creates some of the most mammoth sized and absurd contracts.
In some cases, we also see smaller contracts paid to aging players who simply don't deserve the price tag a team as placed on them. There is at least one athlete on each team who isn't worth the money they make, and some cases, there are several. One NFL team has three of the 15 players on this list.
Then there are guys like Darrelle Revis. Year-in and year-out he somehow manages to get the best offers. Offers most athletes at his position couldn't even dream of. This is called being a premium negotiator.
Is he worth the money he's making? You be the judge, because he will start out the list of the Top 15 Players Who Are Making Way Too Much Money.
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15 Darrelle Revis
This offseason, the New York Jets brought back star cornerback Darrelle Revis for a rather hefty price.
Revis agreed to a five year deal worth up to 70 million, with 39 million of that guaranteed. You heard that right. 39 of it is GUARANTEED. It's the most a cornerback has been paid.
That's an overpay if I've ever seen one, but it was the right move for the Jets fow two reason. 1) It was the only way they would have signed Revis. 2) He is pretty darn close to being worth that much money.
The only reason he might not be? Because that's quarterback money. Cornerbacks don't influence games enough, in my opinion, to make that much. Revis is a special case, though.
14 Sam Bradford
Generally, you don't want to pay a ton of money to a quarterback who has torn both of his ACL's. Risky wouldn't even be a good word to describe how crazy that is.
Chip Kelly thinks otherwise, trading Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, and taking on the final year of six year, 50 million guaranteed contract. It isn't the worst move in the world considering there was only a year left, but Bradford is definitely making more than he should be at the moment. He hasn't been very impressive in Philly, anyway.
13 Davon House
Davon House was a solid cornerback and play-maker for the Green Bay Packers during the first four year's of his career but started just 14 games and played on just 37 percent of the Packers defensive snaps in 2014.
House certainly had potential, but the Jacksonville Jaguars shockingly signed him to a four-year contract worth 6.25 million a year.
House has shown some flashes but has mostly struggled. It's hard to believe that head coach Gus Bradley really thought he could be a number one corner with his lack of experience.
12 Joe Haden
For his first four seasons, Joe Haden looked to be everything as advertised. The Cleveland Browns took him with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft with the hopes that he would be a true shutdown corner, and he delivered.
His off the charts play earned him a lucrative extension in 2014 of five-years, and nearly 70 million dollars.
2015 has been a different story for Haden, as he was consistently burned before ending his season in early November with a brutal concussion.
11 Andre Johnson
The Indianapolis Colts did not sign veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson to a long-term deal, but 21 million over three years with 10 million guaranteed was a lot of cheddar for a player who was showing his age (34 years-old).
Johnson has been almost non-existent this year, and it would be a surprise if the Colts didn't let him loose this offseason. Johnson has just 34 receptions in 2015, not even half of what he had with the Houston Texans last year.
10 Alex Smith
When you think of average, the name Alex Smith comes to mind. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is a check-down machine who makes minimal mistakes but rarely makes big time throws down-the-field.
The Chiefs thought that it would be smart to extend his contract to four-years in 2014, with 45 million of the 68 million contract guaranteed.
Look, I get that he ensures security and experience, but if you want to win a super bowl one day, Smith is not the guy. His talent level does not match the contract. Not even close.
9 Pierre Garcon
Quarterbacks such as the great Peyton Manning often help below average wide receivers earn ridiculous contracts. We can add Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon to that mix. In 2012, he signed five-year contract worth up to 42.5 million, with 20.5 of it guaranteed.
In 2013, Garcon looked to be worth every penny, leading the the NFL in receptions with 113. He caught passes from rookie sensation Robert Griffin III that year. Griffin suffered a torn ACL at the end of the year, and he hasn't been the same since. The same can be said for Garcon.
The following year, he recorded just 68 receptions, and his numbers have not improved this season.
8 Eli Manning
Let me start by saying that Eli Manning has more than earned his four year contract worth up to 84 million, with 65 million guaranteed. He engineered two improbable Super Bowl runs in 2007 and 2010. The '07 win coming against the 18-0 New England Patriots.
He has been clutch when it counts, and has achieved things that so many NFL quarterbacks spend their entire careers chasing only to come up empty.
With that being said, the amount the 34 year old up-and-down quarterback is making is still way too much. It doesn't mean that I disagree with the deal the Giants made him, but he isn't as good as the contract offers.
7 Colin Kaepernick
In just three year's as an NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick took the league by storm by leading the San Francisco 49ers to two NFC Conference title games, and one Super Bowl appearance.
Kaepernick earned himself a contract of 126 million in 2014, with 60 of that being guaranteed. At the time, it was well-deserved. Now, it's not looking so good.
Kaepernick hit an all-time low this season when he was benched for backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Yes, the same Blaine Gabbert who wasn't good enough to start for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Go figure.
6 Byron Maxwell
The Philadelphia Eagles were in desperate need for a shutdown cornerback heading into the 2015-16 season.
One of the hottest players in the free-agent market was Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell. He was solid as a Seahawk, and that was enough to convince the Eagles to throw 63 million, 25 guaranteed for over six years at him.
There was worry that Philadelphia overpaid for a guy who may have been the product of a great defense. Those worries became a reality this year as Maxwell has been okay at times, but has not lived up to the billing.
5 DeMarco Murray
Coming off a season where he racked up 1,845 yards on the ground for 13 touchdowns with the Dallas Cowboys, DeMarco Murray was bound to land a massive contract. The 27 year-old star was in his prime, and seemed to have a couple of stellar year's left.
The Philadelphia Eagles paid the man, signing Murray to a five-year, 40 million dollar contract with 18 million guaranteed. There were questions about whether or not the former Dallas star would fit into the Eagles system.
Those questions have been answered, and if you're an Eagles fan, it hasn't been pretty. In fact, it's gotten so bad that Chip Kelly has benched Murray in favor of Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.
4 Ndamukong Suh
If I told you that a player was signed this offseason to a contact worth up to 114 million, with nearly 60 million of it guaranteed, what position would you guess that player played?
Quarterback, right? There's no way anyone could make that not much and NOT play quarterback.
Somehow, someway, the Miami Dolphins thought it would be a good idea to sing former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to that absurd contract. He was clearly the best defensive lineman in all of football, and that was surely the only way the Dolphins would acquire an athlete of his caliber, but was it worth it?
3 Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler has won one postseason game in his entire career. A home bout with the Seattle Seahawks, a team that made it to the playoffs despite finishing under .500.
The underwhelming, turnover prone Cutler has a laughable contract worth up to 126 million, 54 of that being guaranteed. The Bears can cut him in 2016 without having to pay anymore than the guaranteed amount, but my oh my, that is far too much money for a quarterback that has been so erratic throughout his career.
The contract made absolutely no sense for Chicago, who seem to be inching farther and farther away from relevancy each season.
2 Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace is in the midst of a five-year contract worth up to 60 million, with 30 million guaranteed.
The Miami Dolphins made the deal with Wallace, but smartly passed it off to the Minnesota Vikings.
Once a deep threat for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wallace has fallen way off the map and is a below average NFL talent. He's currently on pace for his worst season since his rookie year in 2009. The Dolphins were smart to get rid of that mess.
1 Joe Flacco
The numbers don't lie, Joe Flacco has been an extremely successfull quarterback in the NFL. He became the first quarterback ever to make the playoffs in his first five NFL season, including a Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers in 2012, in which he was crowned MVP.
But, is he worth the 2013 contract he signed? The one that is worth up to 120.6 million. A contract that is so absurdly high, that it makes the New Jersey native the second highest paid quarterback in the entire NFL.
No. It just doesn't make any sense.
I'm sure there were stipulations that Flacco's agent had with the team based off winning the Super Bowl, but there is no possible way that he is worth that much. I have a hard time believing any player in the league is worth that much. Tom Brady has four Super Bowl rings and he isn't even paid that much.
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