The Worst Contracts In The NFL


Receiving a big payday from your respective franchise has to be a great feeling, after all the blood, sweat and tears. Not only do these guys have a lifetime of financial security, but they have the confidence and backing of their respective organizations.

For the teams, there’s always a risk in putting all your chips down on the table. You don’t want to give a guy this enormous contract extension and see his performance diminish.

These five NFL teams are currently living in regret.

Jay Cutler, QB (Bears) – Whether it’s fair or not, Cutler is the poster boy of this column. The 31-year old agreed to an seven-year, $126 million deal earlier this year. The timing of the deal seemed odd, considering Cutler missed five games due to injury and his quarterback rating was only 89.2, which is pretty good, but it’s not $126 million good.

Despite the off-season criticism, Cutler had his chance to silence the critics this season. Cutler was doing just that at the beginning of the season. He threw for 10 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions in September, but since then, his touchdown to interception ratio is 18 to 14.

Cutler’s poor play has resulted in his benching and fluid trade rumors.

“Yeah, you sign a seven-year deal and you think you’re going to be here a while,” Cutler said in his press conference after his benching. “I’m still hopeful that that’s going to ring true, that we’ll have another shot at this. But after that last game, a lot could happen and we’ll say we’ve prepared for it.”

Only time will tell if Cutler remains in Chicago or not.

Dwayne Bowe, WR (Chiefs) – You’ll be hard pressed to find a receiver that’s regressed as much as Bowe over the past couple of seasons. During his lone pro-bowl year in 2010, Bowe had 15 receiving touchdowns. Since then, the 6-foot-2 receiver has only accumulated 13 touchdowns, with zero this season.

Not being able to produce on the field is one thing, but when you bring extra baggage off the field, you become a cancer in the locker room. Bowe has a history of being cited for marijuana possession. He was suspended for the season opener against Tennessee for that very reason.

Bowe signed an five-year, $56 million extension last year. Hopefully for the Chiefs sake, Bowe is able to turn things around.

Colin Kaepernick, QB (49ers) – During the past two seasons, Kaepernick has thrown for 31 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions. This season has been a totally different story, however.

Kaepernick currently has 16 touchdowns to 10 interceptions with a quarterback rating of 84.9. At the same time, Kap has been sacked 49 times, which surpasses last year’s total of 39 sacks.

During the summer, San Francisco gave Kap an six-year, $126 million contract extension.

Michael Johnson, DE (Buccaneers) – Despite showing signs of regression last season after only getting 3.5 sacks, Tampa Bay decided to sign Michael Johnson to a five-year deal worth $43.7 million.

Johnson has missed a couple games due to injury, but in 12 games, he’s only gathered three sacks. He’s a far cry from the player he was two years ago, when he totaled 11 sacks with the Bengals.

With Tampa Bay in rebuild mode, they’ll need Johnson to start producing a lot more moving forward.

Andy Dalton, QB (Bengals) – The 27-year old quarterback is greatly benefiting from having one of the best defenses on his side as well as superstar receiver A.J. Green. Dalton received a massive contract extension before the season. $115 million over the next five years to be exact.

Dalton has done very little to make Cincinnati fans comfortable with the marriage. His touchdown to interception ratio is 15 to 14 with a quarterback rating of 82.9.

A.J. Green, Dalton’s favorite target has accumulated nearly 1,000 yards in only 11 games.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.