Success in modern pro sports often comes down to shrewd salary cap management. In recent years, we’ve seen NFL teams execute victories in free agency that helped fuel Super Bowl runs—like the Patriots inking Stephon Gilmore in 2017 and Chiefs getting Tyrann Mathieu in 2019.
But for every Gilmore and Mathieu, there are just as many signings that don’t go according to plan. Think of the Jets giving Le’Veon Bell a four-year, $52 million deal in 2019 (he now makes $1 million on a one-year deal with the Chiefs), or the Jaguars giving Nick Foles a four-year, $88 million contract that same summer.
It’s no coincidence those two franchises are languishing at the bottom of the league.
The takeaway is simple: when you’re going to back up the Brink’s truck, you’d better make sure it’s for the right player. A number of teams, unfortunately, recently made miscalculations and are now regretting the massive paydays they handed out to key players. These are deals that could hamstring a franchises for years.
Below, we run through the five worst contracts in the NFL right now.