Many people expected the Kansas City Chiefs to extend the contract of franchise NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes. However, they were caught off guard with the duration and the amount of money involved in the record-breaking deal. Many other teams are generous employers too, although sometimes for the wrong players.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 most overpaid players in the NFL today:
10. Olivier Vernon, DE (Browns)
Vernon was listed as the player with the least damage dealt with his team because of his restructured contract. The 29-year old defensive end agreed to take a pay cut from $15.5 million down to $11 million.
He can make things work once he gets to be consistent and healthy at the same time. Over the past three seasons, Vernon has missed a total of 15 games due to injury. This includes five missed games last season during his debut year as a Cleveland Brown. His contract’s worth will be validated once we see his numbers by the end of the 2020 season.
9. Leonard Fournette, RB (Jaguars)
When Leonard Fournette first came to the NFL and the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2017, he was looking like their running back of the future. The former fourth overall pick underperformed in his first few seasons with the team which caused the front office to not pick up the fifth-year option of his rookie contract.
The former LSU Tiger will be able to test free-agency waters after the 2020 season but not before the team gets dealt with one more giant cap hit. Fournette’s $8.6 million hit in 2020 is on the top five among all NFL running backs for the upcoming season, horrible for a player who isn’t performing like a top-five running back.
8. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings)
Kirk Cousins appears to be a favorite in the Vikings head office as he signed yet again a massive two-year, $66 million contract with the team. I am not certain whether that amount of money will be worth paying a top-15 quarterback in the league.
However, we have yet to see him deliver to carry his team deep in the playoffs, much more a Super Bowl appearance. With wide receiver Stefon Diggs leaving the team this offseason, it will truly test the capabilities of Cousins if he can bring his Vikings squad to uncharted territory in the NFL.
7. David Johnson, RB (Texans)
David Johnson may be known by many as the player traded in exchange for star wide receiver Deandre Hopkins. Back in 2018, the Arizona Cardinals made Johnson one of the highest-paid running backs in the league. The two sides agreed on a three-year contract extension worth up to $45 million.
However, Johnson never panned out the way the Cardinals hoped him to be. Looking back, it may be one of the worst NFL contracts in recent memory. Luckily for them, Bill O’Brien called their number and saved them from the trouble.
As for the Texans, not only did they lose their best wideout, but they’re now stuck with Johnson’s $11.2 million cap hit this year, which is the second-highest among all running backs in the NFL.
6. Jared Goff, QB (Rams)
Jared Goff isn’t particularly a bad NFL quarterback. However, he was just not worth the money the Los Angeles Rams are paying him. With that paycheck, they can go after some of the league’s best quarterbacks instead.
Goff signed a four-year, $134 million extension last September with $110 million guaranteed, the second-most in NFL history just below the Mahomes deal. The veteran gunslinger had the fourth-most interceptions in 2019 while looking mostly below average all season.
It will take a whole other approach for the Rams to win another Super Bowl, particularly by not putting all their eggs in one basket. This has been the trend as they made Todd Gurley the highest-paid running back two years ago but ended up releasing him this offseason. They also traded multiple first-round picks for cornerback Jalen Ramsey on top of Goff’s huge contract.
Their big-money moves have not yet landed them a Super Bowl trophy thus far. If the team chooses to proceed with this approach, they better be ready to embrace the possible risks associated with all these moves.
5. Nick Foles, QB (Bears)
Nick Foles became a journeyman for the majority of his NFL career, regularly bouncing from team to team.
Foles landed on the Rams, Chiefs, Eagles (again), and the Jaguars. He abruptly suffered a broken clavicle in his debut game in Jacksonville. Since then, rookie Gardner Minshew then took over the starting role from him and never looked back.
He signed a four-year, $88 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019, leaving a lot of money for the Bears to take on. Fortunately for the Bears, they were able to restructure his contract and will inherit the final three-years of Nick Foles’ deal, which pays a base value of $50M.
However, I do think that he does not bring enough to the table to be valued at this price tag. Only time will tell if he and his lucrative contract can lift the Chicago Bears back to the playoff picture next season.
4. Le’Veon Bell, RB (Jets)
Le’Veon Bell is an undoubted talent stuck in the wrong situation and team. Since adding the star ball-carrier prior to the 2019 season, the lackluster Jets offense more or less stayed the same.
The Jets gave Bell a four-year, $52.5 million deal last season and were hoping that they’d get more than 3.2 yards per carry from him. Unfortunately, that was all he said last season. However, I do think that the organization can get the most out of Bell’s contract once they get to surround him with better pieces.
3. Malcolm Butler, CB (Titans)
Malcolm Butler has been in Tennessee since March 2018, when he inked a five-year, $61 million deal. Upon acquiring him, Butler struggled to make his presence felt in the Titans’ defensive line. The following year, he couldn’t stay healthy as he only played in 9 games in 2019.
It will be hard for the Titans to locate a trade partner who would be willing to take on his awful contract. For now, they will have to hope that Butler will get back on track and step up his level of play for the upcoming seasons.
2. Nate Solder, LT (Giants)
Back in 2018, the New York Giants made Nate Solder the highest-paid left tackle in NFL history. However, it didn’t turn out as they could have hoped. According to Pro Focus, the left tackle surrendered 11 sacks last year, which caused quarterback Daniel Jones to be chased around by the opposing defensive line more often than not.
Nate Solder’s huge contract and low level of productivity are some of the reasons why Big Blue opted to seek an upgrade in the position. The Giants went on to select Georgia LT Andrew Thomas with the fourth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
1. Jacoby Brissett, QB (Colts)
Jacoby Brissett tops this list to be the recipient of a not-so-good recognition. He spent the majority of his career under the shadows of some marquee quarterbacks including Tom Brady and Andrew Luck. With the recent acquisition of veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett was once again relegated to the backseat.
However, despite the given backup role, he still earns more than the other starting quarterbacks in the league. He is coming in at $21.4 million next season, ranking 12th among all quarterbacks. The valuation that he is coming in is extremely expensive for a second-string playmaker.
Brissett may see some action from time to time but it is highly unlikely for him to take the starting job from Rivers. The long-time Los Angeles Chargers quarterback has started 224 consecutive regular-season games dating back to 2006.