Archive for the ‘NFL Contract/Money’ Category


It is a well known statistic that 78% of NFL players end up being broke after they retire from football.  There are numerous reasons why this happens, but the biggest one is that the average NFL player will only play about 5 years.  So that means that NFL players are retiring before they are 30 and then have to figure out how to live on their salary until they die.  So if a player makes $20 million in 5 years, that sounds like it would plenty of money.  But to think of how these players spend their money, the investments they try to make, and trying to help their families makes them go broke.  Obviously players who grow up with nothing are going to want everything so it is obvious that once these players make millions, they are going to want to spend it. 

It is easy to be in our position and say “how did they lose all their money?”  But I can imagine that it is very hard to say no to family and friends when you know you can help them.  Most players will try to make investments with their money and most of them will never pan out.  One thing to remember is that an NFL contract is no guaranteed; the signing bonuses are guaranteed, but the actual contract is something that has to be earned.  So if a player signs a $10 million 2 year contract with a signing bonus of $500,000; then they are only guaranteed the $500,000 and the rest is based on health and performance.  Below is the NFL players that have either gone bankrupt or lost the majority of their money (in no particular order).

1. Bernie Kosar – Kosar did not have the best NFL career, but during the years that he played he made a lot of money.  He had an issue with his family controlling his money and then a string of bad investments.  He attempted to open up a steak house and dumped a ton of money into it, just for it to never open.  He also invested money into some arena football teams, only to never see a return on it.  After several other failed investments he had to file bankruptcy declaring over $18 million in debt.

2. Michael Vick – Everyone knows this story and during his career he has earned over $130 million, and due to his bad decisions he is now flat broke.  After going to jail because of the dog fighting incident he ended up having to pay millions back to the Falcons and had to sell off multiple homes and valuables just to end up broke.  He went to jail and some family members lived in his homes, but when he was released from jail he was broke and jobless.  Vick also had some other failed investments during his initial years.  He was given another chance in the NFL by the Eagles, but he still had to file a bankruptcy to get his finances back in order.

3. Travis Henry – I am going to start this by saying 9 kids with 9 women; so child support was a big factor in all of this.  He was also prosecuted for trafficking cocaine and sentanced to prison.  By going to prison he forfeited a $25 million contract with the Broncos, and this is after he had already earned over $20 million.  He is now broke.

4. Andre Rison – Rison could have been a better receiver had he not been so focused on money and his reputation.  He would spend over $5000 in one night at a club, or spend $300,000 on bling bling to impress his team mates, or by a new car because he wanted to look good when pulling up to practice.  He also made a large number of bad investments from music deals, to restaurants, to night clubs.  Rison was once worth well over $35 million and now he has nothing to show for it.

5. Dan Marino – I was shocked to see him on this list because he is the best QB of all time, and is still on TV covering NFL games.  Everyone knows the issue with the love child he had with another woman that must have cost him a lot of money.  But one of the biggest blunders was Digital Domain where he bought over a million shares of the company.  The company recently went bankrupt and so all of Marinos shares are worthless.  According to Marino that is over $14 million was lost.

6. Vince Young – This is one of the sadder stories of the NFL because right out of college Vince Young signed a huge contract with the Titans and now he is broke and out of a job.  In 2006 he signed a contract for $58 million and $25 million was guaranteed money.  Young did not just have one bad investment; it was multiple bad investments combined with a financial adviser squandered away over $5.5 million that is unaccounted for.  Back in his early days he would spend over $5,000 a week just on dinner.  Young never really performed the way we all expected and now he is trying to make a comeback to earn that money back.

7. Lawrence Taylor – A lot of people know what happened here, but it is very sad to see one of the best defensive players ever to be broke.  Taylor enjoyed spending money on women, drugs, and high society things.  Once his career was over he went to jail three time, had a terrible cocaine problem, and was involved in selling drugs and guns.  In his career he earned over $50 million dollars and he eventually had to file bankruptcy in 1998.

8. Deuce McAllister – You won’t see Deuce in the Hall of Fame, but he earned over $70 million during his years with the Saints.  He owned a car dealership that he poured millions of dollars into, just for it to go bankrupt.  He also got into trouble a night club where he assaulted 2 security guards; that was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.  And he is now being sued by Nissan, due to back payments on his cars. 

9. Raghib “Rocket” Ismael – Ismael never had to file a bankruptcy and he never served any jail time, but he made some terrible investment moves.  He played in the Canadian League and in the NFL and earned over $20 million dollars.  He made bad investments such as movie theaters, cafes, cosmetics, and restaurants.  He is now a broadcaster on the radio.


There have already been some huge contracts in the history of the NFL, but it seems like every season someone becomes the new “highest paid athlete”.  I am not saying that these players have not earned a big contract, but sometimes it seems like they over pay these players just so they will not go to another team.  It sometimes feels like players are now chasing money and not chasing the Hall of Fame.  Below are the highest paid NFL players in 2013…so far (the amount included is per year).

1. Joe Flacco (Ravens) – Flacco just took his team to the Super Bowl and he was named the Super Bowl MVP.  Sounds impressive right?  I really don’t think so.  Joe has been a decent QB since joining the Ravens, but 2012 was the first year he took the team to the Super Bowl, and most experts will say that Flacco is a mediocre QB at best.  So the fact that the Ravens gave him a $20,100,000 contract really shocked me.  He is going to have to prove that he is worth that amount in the upcoming seasons.

2. Drew Brees (Saints) – Now this may seem hypocritical; but Brees is a QB that has proven his worth for a long time.  So the fact that he has a $20,000,000 contract doesn’t shock me.  Brees has won a Super Bowl with the Saints and he is considered by most to be one of the best QBs of our time.  Brees has been to numerous Pro Bowls, won numerous awards, and took a struggling Saints team to the Super Bowl.  Brees has been setting and breaking NFL records over the last few seasons and he is a perfect role model for young players everywhere.

3. Peyton Manning (Broncos) – Manning is a future Hall of Famer and after a serious neck injury a few seasons ago everyone thought he was done.  Manning has proven that he is still an elite QB so the fact that the Broncos have him on a $19,200,000 contract does not shock me.  There were a lot of questions about Manning before the 2012 season started and he shocked the world by taking the Broncos to the playoffs.  Manning is now surrounded by players in Denver and the Broncos will be in the Super Bowl hunt in 2013.

4. Tony Romo (Cowboys) – Romo has been an up and down QB since coming into the NFL.  He has not been good in the playoffs and he is not consistent in his passing.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say; “I don’t think Romo is worth $18,000.000 per year.”  The Cowboys have had one playoff win in the last 5 years and that has been with Romo leading the team.  With Romo accepting this huge contract he really is in a make or break season.  If he has another inconsistent season I think the Cowboys might finally be done with him.  The good news is that the Cowboys have a some what easy schedule in 2013.

5. Calvin Johnson (Lions) – Megatron has earned a big contract and he is a power house when it comes to catching the ball.  The Lions have Johnson for $16,200,000 and Calvin has been busting his butt to show the league that he is worth that.  Johnson did re-structure his contract with the Lions recently, but he will still be one of the highest paid players in the NFL.

+Other Players with Large Contracts+
Eli Manning (Giants) – $16,200,000
Larry Fitzgerald – $16,140,000
Mario Williams (Bills) – $16,000,000
Matt Schaub (Texans) – $15,500,000
Philip Rivers (Chargers) – $15,300,000
Jay Cutler (Bears) – $14,600,000
Adrian Peterson (Vikings) – $14,300,000
Julius Peppers (Bears) – $14,000,000
Chris Johnson (Titans) – $13,400,000
Darrelle Revis (Bucs) – $13,000,000

In the NFL there are some teams that will pay crazy amounts to get players on their team.  The fact that some players are greedy doesn’t help either.  And it seems like every year the contracts get larger and larger and players get greedier and greedier.  It still baffles me the amounts of money that players will demand out of their current teams or ask from another team.  And it’s very shocking that some franchises will offer these absurd contracts to players.  Without further hesitation; here is my list of the most absurd contracts in NFL History (in no particular order).

1. Calvin Johnson (Lions) – The Lions gave Johnson an 8 year $150.5 million dollar deal.  Now Johnson is an amazing receiver and is the heart and soul of the Lions offense, but it begs the question, “is Johnson worth that much?”  I think he deserves a big contract but this monster of a deal I think is too much for any player.  Even with him breaking Jerry Rices receiving record in 2012 he still is not worth that much. 

2. Michael Vick (Falcons) – In 2005 the Falcons signed Vick to a $130 million dollar contract.  This had to have been one of the biggest mistakes the NFL has ever made.  Now the Falcons could not look into the future, but the mistakes that Vick made over his career has made him a laughing stock in the NFL.  After the dog fighting incident and Vick was released from jail he was picked up by the Eagles to try and revive his career and we are still waiting to see if he can pick himself back up.  Vick has always been a play maker, but he is not reliable in the long term.

3. Carson Palmer (Bengals) – There was once a time when Palmer was a good QB for the Bengals and in 2006 the Bengals signed him to a 9 year $119.75 million dollar contract.  Now had Palmer kept playing good football he may not have made this list, but with all the injuries and interceptions he has turned out to be an overrated and over paid QB.  He was picked up by the Raiders and didn’t really do much, and he has now been traded to the Cardinals.  Palmer will never see another contract like he had ever again, but he still has a chance to revive his career in Arizona.

4. Donovan McNabb (Eagles) – For a period of time McNabb was an incredible QB for the Eagles.  He eventually fell off the map, but people forget that McNabb turned the Eagles from a losing team to a playoff team.  So in 2002 Philadelphia signed McNabb to a $115 million dollar contract over 12 years.  So at the time he was the highest paid QB at the time.  It is too bad that he ended up ending his career on a bad note, but at the time McNabb was worth that money.

5. Albert Haynesworth (Redskins) – This is one of the biggest contract flops in NFL history.  Haynesworth had an amazing 2008 season so the Redskins decided to sign him to a ridiculous contract worth $100 million dollars over 7 season.  He ended up only playing two of those seasons before everyone gave up on him.  Even though it was not the largest contract; this Haynesworth contract is going to go down in history as one of the most absurd contracts ever.

6. Mario Williams (Bills) – Williams was a first overall draft pick that has not totally lived up to the hype while he was in Houston.  So naturally the Bills think he is worth $100 million dollars over 6 years.  Williams still has not produced in Buffalo so I am not sure why the Bills are still paying him this amount of money.  Now Williams is a terrific pass rusher, but I really don’t think he is worth this much money.

7. Drew Bledsoe (Patriots) – The Patriots really wanted Bledsoe back in 2001 so they threw a lot of money at him in the amount of $103 million dollars over 10 years.  Now, what makes this more annoying is that in 2001 Bledsoe got hurt in the first game and was replaced by a no named QB called Tom Brady.  Since then Bledsoe was not worth a dollar because Tom Brady has made the Patriots a powerful team.  So this was one of the dumb decisions the Patriots have made.

8. Daunte Culpepper (Vikings) – In 2003 the Vikings popped a $102 million dollar contract over 10 seasons.  Now why would the Vikings do this?  Culpepper actually had a few seasons where he did very well, but he only did well because he had a receiver named Randy Moss.  As soon as Moss was gone, Culpepper fell to crap and was not performing anywhere close to his previous seasons.  He only played until 2006 with the Vikings until he bounced around to a few teams and then just fell off the face of the earth.

9. Sam Bradford (Rams) – Bradford was made the highest paid rookie of all time in 2010 by signing a $78 million dollar contract over 6 seasons.  Now Bradford is a sharp passer, but he had not proved himself yet to earn a contract that large.  He has not made the Rams any better yet so maybe if he turns that club around then he will be worth that much.  In my opinion the Rams could have signed him for about half of what they really got him for.

10. Shaun Alexander (Seahawks) – It will always amaze me how fast Alexander went from best running back in the NFL, to being out of a job.  In 2005 Alexander had a fantastic season by rushing for 1,880 yards and 27 TDs; so the Seahawks decided to give him a $62 million dollar contract over 8 seasons.  From the moment he signed that contract he battled injuries until he finally couldn’t do it anymore.  Alexander is a sad story because he could have had a much longer career, but because he had the injuries it was cut short and the contract was a flop.

This is part two of the highest paid NFL players; this time we are going over the defense.  Defensive players have a lot more to worry about recently because there are so many rules preventing them from playing defense.  Even with that in mind there are some very high pay checks in this list.  Just like the last list I will go over every defensive position.

Defensive Ends
1. Dwight Freeney (Colts) – $17 million
2. Jared Allen (Vikings) – $15.5 million
3. Elvis Dumervill (Broncos) – $12.6 million
4. Julius Peppers (Bears) – $12.4 million
Defensive ends have become an important prat in the NFL due to teams now running the read option and for outside pass rushing.  Only a few guys on this list have actually lived up to the expectation.  Freeney has not been on top of his game the last few seasons and now he is in the free agency pool.  Jared Allen and Dumervill have proven that they are worth that much money by being sack machines.  Peppers gets kind of lost in that Bears defense but in 2012 he still had 11.5 sacks and 39 tackles.

Defensive Tackles
1. Ahtyba Rubin (Browns) – $9.3 million
2. Ndamukong Suh (Lions) – $9.25 million
3. Kevin Williams (Vikings) – $8.4 million
Defensive tackles are easily forgotten about because they are in the trenches, but they are an important part of any defense for run stopping and freeing up gaps for linebackers to blitz through.  All these guys have done there job in 2012, but Suh has been kind of a problem child since getting into the NFL.  He still does his job (when he is not suspended), but he would probably actually get paid more if he wasn’t such a hot head.

Outside Linebackers
1. Tamb Hali (Chiefs) – $14.25 million
2. Karlos Dansby (Dolphins) – $12 million
3. Terrell Suggs (Ravens) – $11.5 million
4. Demarcus Ware (Cowboys) – $9 million
I can honestly say that all these boys earned their paychecks.  Dansby in 2012 had over 100 tackles, Suggs came off an injury to have 2 sacks and 22 tackles, Hali had 51 tackles and 9 sacks, and Ware had 11.5 sacks and 56 tackles.  The OLB position is a tricky one because you have to be a pass rusher, run stopper, and defend passes. 

Inside Linebackers
1. Patrick Willis (49ers) – $17.6 million
2. David Harris (Jets) – $11.9 million
3. Brian Urlacher (Bears) – $9.2 million
The ILB is the QB of the defense so it makes sense on why these guys get paid the big bucks.  Both Willis and Harris had amazing 2012 seasons by having over 100 tackles and being the leader of their defenses.  Even with Urlacher being up there in age he still was a dominating presence on Chicagos defense, but was 68 tackles worth $9 million?  The Bears didn’t think so; now in 2013 Urlacher is looking for work.

1. Darrelle Revis (Jets) – $12.1 million
2. Charles Woodson (Packers) – $11.5 million
3. Nnamdi Asomugha (Eagles) – $11 million
4. Brent Grimes (Falcons) – $10.2 million
5. Chris Gamble (Panthers) – $9.9 million
What’s interesting about this group of men is that all of them are looking for new contracts.  They are all talented DBs, but I think the NFL is noticing that this position is very overpaid and for what?  Asomugha just got signed by the 49ers for a large pay cut and Grimes got picked up by Miami.  Woodson, Gamble, and Revis are still trying to find a team, but they are unwilling to take the pay cut that they need to.

Free Safety
1. Quintin Mikell (Rams) – $10 million
2. Antrel Rolle (Giants) – $9 million
3. Eric Weddle (Chargers) – $7.6 million
These guys all earned their money as well.  Mikell had 101 tackles in 2012, Rolle had 96 tackles and 2 picks, and Weddle had 97 tackles and 3 picks.  They may not get paid as much as some defensive players that are just mediocre, but they are having huge impacts on their respective defenses.

Strong Safeties
1. Adrian Wilson (Cardinals) – $10.5 million
2. Troy Polamalu (Steelers) – $8.8 million
3. Roman Harper (Saints) – $6.25 million
The only one that I feel earned they pay was Harper.  He racked up 115 tackles and 2 picks.  Wilson and Polamalu were both fighting injuries so their numbers were down in 2012.  This is another position that I feel is overpaid due to the fact that there are numerous safeties that are making much less than these guys and getting better results.

NOTE: Following players are not included as they are franchised players that are unsigned.
DE Cliff Avril, Lions – $10,605,000
 FS Dashon Goldson, 49ers – $6,212,000
 FS Michael Griffin, Titans – $6,212,000

2012 was a banner year for players making a ton of money.  I will never understand why someone needs to get paid millions of dollars a year to play a sport, but that’s neither here no there.  I broke down the top salaries for each position in the NFL in 2012 so you can see how much each position/player is making a year (and then claim they are broke or whine for more money).

1. Peyton Manning (Broncos) – $18 million
2. Mathew Stafford (Lions) – $17.25 million
3. Philip Rivers (Chargers) – $15.3 million
4. Michael Vick (Eagles) – $14.7 million
5. Tom Brady (Patriots) – $13.7 million
On this list I only see two of these players that actually earned their money.  Peyton had an outstanding 2012 season and earned 2012 Comeback Player of the Year, and Tom Brady threw 34 TDs.  Vick spent most of the season injured or turning the ball over to the other team.  While Stafford had a very dismal season trying to match his 2011 season.  Rivers fell off the map by throwing 15 INTs and fumbling the ball 13 times.  Now Bradford didn’t too terrible but was it really worth $15 million?

Running Backs
1. Adrian Peterson (Vikings) – $12.7 million
2. Chris Johnson (Titans) – $12 million
3. Steven Jackson (Rams) – $9.2 million
4. DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) – $8.4 million
5. Arian Foster (Texans) – $8 million
Now everyone knows that AP earned every dollar he made in 2012 by coming back from a knee injury and almost breaking the NFL single season rushing yard record, and Arian Foster rushed 15 TDs and over 1,400 yards to earn his pay check.  Chris Johnson still does his job, but he does it while whining and being inconsistent.  DeAngelo fell off the map and for a minute I forgot he was still playing.  Jackson still had a solid season but it’s hard to justify paying $9million on your RB and $15 million on your QB and still have a terrible team.

Full Backs
1. Vonta Leach (Ravens) – $4.3 million
2. Michael Robinson (Seahawks) – $2.5 million
3. John Kuhn (Packers) – $1.9 million
The fullback position is a dying one, most teams don’t even use a fullback anymore.  To me, fullbacks are just more agile offensive lineman who do all the dirty work so the running backs can score, or so the quarterback can throw for a TD.  It’s rare to see a FB rumbling down the field anymore.

Wide Receivers
1. Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) – $13.25
2. Vincent Jackson (Bucs) – $13 million
3. Darrius Heyward-Bey (Raiders) – $10.4 million
4. Wes Welker (Patriots) – $9.5 million
5. Brandon Marshall (Bears) – $9.3 million
6. Calvin “Megatron” Johnson (Lions) – $8.9 million
For some reason I am ok with these players making the money they made; except Heyward-Bey.  Raiders are notorious for making bad decisions and they made another one with Heyward-Bey by paying him that much.  All the other receivers on this list had a great 2012 season and did their jobs.  Since the league is becoming more of a passing league receivers are getting higher pay days and to be a WR in the NFL can be pretty dangerous (even with all the silly rules).

Tight Ends
1. Zach Miller (Seahawks) – $9 million
2. Vernon Davis (49ers) – $8 million
3. Marcades Lewis (Jaguars) – $7.2 million
4. Tony Gonzalez (Falcons) – $6.9 million
Everyone notice the big BUST at the top of this list?  Zach Miller was moved from the Raiders over to the Seahawks and was given a monster contract only to have a so so year in 2012 by having 38 catches and 3 TDs.  The other eye sore on this list is Lewis; now I know the Jaguars didn’t have much of a QB in 2012 but Lewis had a bunch of drops tha could have helped what little stats that he had in 2012.  Gonzalez has earned every pay check he has ever received; he is a future Hall of Famer and has earned it.

Offensive Lineman
1. Carl Nicks (Bucs) – $12.5 million
2. Jake Long (Dolphins) – $11.2 million
3. Trent Williams (Redskins) – $11 million
4. Joe Thomas (Browns) – $10.5 million
5. Jason Smith (Rams) – $10 millions
Now I have a hard time saying offensive lineman should be paid less because I used to be an offensive lineman in high school and college and I understand the pounding that these big boys have to go through.  Offensive lineman need to be the strongest on the field, protect the QB at all costs, and smash into someone every play.  Everyone wants to see the skilled positions score the TDs and spin moves; but nothing on the football field would happen without these big boys doing all the dirty work.

NOTE: Following players are not included as they are franchised players that are unsigned.
 QB Drew Brees, Saints – $16,371,000 (Exclusive)
 RB Ray Rice, Ravens – $7,420,000
 RB Matt Forte, Bears – $7,420,000
 WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs – $9,515,000