Blog Entry

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

Posted on: October 12, 2010 4:35 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 5:37 pm
J. Delhomme is making more than $19 million this year. He's probably not worth it (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I saw a stunning stat on Twitter as the Browns mucked their way to a loss against the Falcons this past Sunday. It had to do with how much money QB Jake Delhomme is pulling in this year. Naturally, the number is ridiculous, as I’ll detail further in the below paragraphs.

But it gave me the idea for the newest edition of Top Ten With a Twist. Who are the most overpaid players in the game today? By overpaid, I mean the players who are either busts or has-beens or guys who simply found an owner who decided that spending tens of millions of dollars on a problem child was the way to go.

I’m not talking about rookies like Sam Bradford. Of course, the first-round NFL draft picks are overpaid, but at this point, I’m not including them on this list (it’d be an entirely new list altogether). Instead, I’m including guys like Delhomme – either guys who have been around the league for a while who are getting a good payday because they were good at one time, or guys who were supposed to be good but haven’t shown it.

Be forewarned: the salaries we’ll discuss might make you a little nauseous. So, pop a Dramamine or two and let’s go.

10. Eli Manning, QB, Giants: Before last season, you’ll recall, Manning signed a seven-year deal worth $106.9 million that pays him an average of about $15 million from 2009 through 2015, and that doesn’t include his endorsement deals. There’s little doubt that Manning is the most important player on the team, but is he really worth the money? I’m not saying Manning isn’t good, because he is a good quarterback. But he’s not an elite top-five kind of guy, and he’s making elite top-five kind of money. For what it’s worth, he currently makes more than his brother, Peyton (and his oldest brother, Cooper, for that matter).

9. Marvin Austin, DT, Tar Heels: OK, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves if we’re talking NFL. But look at the damage Austin – well, the recruitment of Austin – has done already and look how much money it’s cost the people around him. Austin apparently accepted gifts and other improper benefits from agents (the NCAA determined it was worth between $10,000-$13,000). As a result, Austin was kicked off the team Monday and UNC teammates Robert Quinn and Greg Little have been made permanently ineligible, the NCAA has brought up academic violations, coach Butch Davis might get fired, the Tar Heels football program has been set back in a major way, and the school in general has taken a hit to its reputation. That’s quite a bit of money Austin indirectly is costing everybody, and as one of my colleague says, “And he hasn’t even played yet!”

8. Joey Porter, LB, Cardinals: Blame the team in this case instead of the player. The team which gave a 33-year-old LB a three-year deal for $17.5 million which could max out at $24.5 million. Porter was coming off a pretty good season in Miami in 2009, where he recorded nine sacks in 14 games. This year, though, has been a rough one. He’s recorded 16 solo tackles, good for 10th on the team, and he’s only recorded one sack through the team’s first five games. No doubt that Porter has had a standout career, but there’s also little doubt that he’s not the player he once was. He’s still making good bank for it, though.

7. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants: Perhaps if Jacobs had been signed as a discus hurler, his four-year, $25 million extension that he signed before last season would have made sense. Instead, Jacobs is solely a RB who’s gained 172 yards in the team’s first five games and who’s lost his starting position (for the record, in 2009, his attempts rose from the 2008 season, but his yards gained fell and his touchdowns dropped from 15 to five). Plus, you had the throwing-his-helmet-into-the-crowd incident at the Indianapolis game. The $15 million he was guaranteed doesn’t look so good now.

6. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders: We’re not discussing rookies in this list, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about second-year players (or players that are still in college, I suppose). For some reason, the Raiders took him with the seventh pick in the 2009 Draft, and then they blew up the slotting system by awarding him a five-year contract worth $38.25 million ($23.5 million guaranteed). He promptly went out and caught nine passes in 11 games. This year, he’s got 11 catches through five games, so that’s an improvement. Good thing the Raiders took Heyward-Bey instead of, say, Jeremy Maclin.

5. Tyson Jackson, DE, Chiefs: He was the third overall pick of the 2009 Draft, and while he wasn’t great last year – hell, he wasn’t even decent – he wasn’t the worst bust in the history of the Draft. It could be argued that he wasn’t nearly as bad as Glenn Dorsey, the Chiefs 2008 first-round pick who had tallied exactly two sacks in his first two years. But Dorsey is playing better this year, while Jackson – 38 tackles last year but zero sacks – has been out with a sprained MCL. At this point, he’s a big disappointment.

A. Smith still hasn't won a starting job with Cincinnati (Getty). 4. Andre Smith, OL, Bengals: The one thing I’ll always remember about Smith – aside from the whole running-the-40-shirtless-at-his-pro
thing – is that after he signed his contract for $21 million on HBO’s Hard Knocks, his agent turned to him and said, “Congratulations. You’re a millionaire now.” Yep, that’s pretty much how he’s acted the past two years in Cincinnati. He’s been overweight, and his work ethic has been questioned. He only played in six games last season, starting one, and he still can’t be used as an every-play offensive lineman. Dennis Roland, who’s much less talented than Smith, has been starting ahead of him.

3. Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs: One good year can get you a big contract, and for proof, look no further than Cassel. In 2008, he led the Patriots to a 11-5 record while completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. After New England QB Tom Brady returned, Cassel signed with the Chiefs for a six-year, $63 million deal with $28 million guaranteed. Not bad for a career backup in the NFL and in college at USC. This year, he’s completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 650 yards (about 162.5 yards per game), four TDs and three INTs. That’s not much production for a guy being paid a lot of money.

2. Albert Haynesworth, NT, Redskins: You thought I was going to put Haynesworth No. 1, didn’t you? While we’ve spent so much time on Haynesworth and the $100 million contract and the tens of millions of dollars of guaranteed money, he’s begun to play better lately (he sat out this past week, though, after the death of his brother). Surely, he’s not worth the money, but considering some thought he could have been released from the Washington squad at this point, the fact he’s still playing is sort of a win. Sort of. Still, it’s hard to overlook the fact he’s made six tackles and recorded exactly zero sacks this season.

1. Jake Delhomme, QB, Browns: Ah, the impetus for this column in the first place. Delhomme, between what the Browns and his former team, the Panthers, are paying him, is making $19.7 million this season. Doesn’t that number just absolutely blow you away? He started the first game of the season but was lost for three games with an ankle injury. Then, he backed up Seneca Wallace against the Falcons on Sunday, replaced him when he went out with an ankle injury and then reinjured his own ankle. He’s likely to be out for a while now. On the year, he’s 33 of 60 for 324 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. Not real good. Not a real good return on Cleveland’s money either.

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Since: Sep 21, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2010 8:28 am

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

Thank God you said it! Jacobs is understandable, especially since he's backing Ahmad this season, but Eli on this list is ridiculous.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2010 7:15 am

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

Overpaid?  So what?  The owners will simply raise ticket prices and charge advertisers more which is indirectly passed on to us consumers.  And we'll bend over a little more and smile a little more.  Need to sell our schools short to finance an exclusive-use stadium that will be used only 10 times per year but claim to "energize" the area economy?  No problem.

Since: May 16, 2010
Posted on: October 13, 2010 5:58 am

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

 who cares 

Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2010 3:29 am

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

  • If Favre makes more than minimum wage he should be on this list.  Interceptions and fumbles.

Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: October 12, 2010 10:57 pm

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

Can't argue that all NFL players are overpaid.  We the fans are why they make the money they make.  So if you don't want them to make that kind of money, then stop watching.  In fact the whole country will have to stop watching the NFL.  That won't happen.  I love it, and most of the other people out there love it.  The teams budget is on how much they make each year from who?  the fans.   Enough said.  Bear Down.   and note:  Julius Peppers isn't overpaid either.  having a hell of a year!  

Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: October 12, 2010 10:53 pm

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

He's overpaid bro.   You are obviously a bias New York Giants fan.   OOH, he won a Superbowl MVP, so what?  He had a good game, in fact the game of his career.  His brother and Dad made most of that money for him, with his last name being Manning.  He didn't earn it.  Does Dion Branch deserve a 50 million dollar contract because he was a Superbowl MVP?  I don't think so.  In fact that just got him released.  Manning being a Superbowl MVP doesn't tell me anything, try another arguement.  ELI is NOT AN ELITE QB but making elite money.  In fact ELI will NEVER be an ELITE QB.  Sorry bro, save the arguement for people who care.  OH WAIT only other GIANTS fans care.

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2010 10:32 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2010 10:22 pm

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

This list is ridiculous. Heyward-Bey had Jamarcus Russel as his QB last year. You listed a kid still in college. You listed Eli Manning who has won a super bowl, made the pro bowl, and is solid. How about every player in the NFL is overpaid? I really don't really think any of them deserve that kind of money to play a unnecessary role in progressing society or maintaining it. You should also place yourself on this list because it is a waste of time I won't get back. 

Since: Mar 6, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:44 pm

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

Not sure how Eli Manning made this list. How can a pro bowler/Super Bowl MVP in the prime of his career be considered overpaid? He's only missed the playoffs twice in his 7 year career and his numbers are still improving every year. You can argue that he's not a top 5 QB all you want, but your arguments wouldn't be very strong. The list of elite QBs usually goes P. Manning, Brady, Brees, Rivers, Rodgers, Schaub, Roethlisberger...but I don't see how Rivers, Rodgers, or Schaub can be put ahead of Eli on this list. They all have plenty of weapons around them yet Rivers is a choke artist when it counts in January, Rodgers has yet to prove himself in the playoffs, and you can't even mention Schaub and playoffs in the same sentence unless you're talking about his days riding the pine behind Vick in Atlanta.

Eli can make all the throws, he's improved on his turnover problems (although this year is a bit of an anomoly since he has 4 interceptions that bounced off his receiver's hands that even the most adamant Eli hater couldn't pin on him), he's clutch when needed in a come back situation, threw for 4,000+ yards and 27 TDs last season with only 14 ints and a 62% completion rate, is on pace for 4,000+ this year wiht similar TD numbers and a better completion % of 64%. Tell me how any of that puts him below the guys who are typically considered "elite" or ahead of Eli on the list of QBs. The bottom line is there will always be haters out there like this douche bag sports writer who will never give Eli the credit he is due simply because he didn't want to play in San Diego...even though it looks like he made the right choice since he has a ring and several playoff appearances while Rivers has done jack shit with better talent around him. Not to mention AJ Smith doesn't seem like the best GM to work for when it comes time for contract negotiations. Give the guy a break and more importantly give him his due...God knows he's earned it. Overpaid? I think not!

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:35 pm

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

I would put Haynesworth # 1 and move Delhomme back to 2.  Jake gets a couple of points just because he really wishes he was better, and could help the team.  Albert? enough said!

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