Top 10 Overpaid Players
For clarity I have taken all my figures for salary from Spotrac as I found it to be the easiest central database of salaries, I also chose my criteria to be Cap Hits rather than base salary or guaranteed money.
I’ve tried to look at this from a few angles but the list pretty much boils down to some players who I think are sitting on a big salary thanks to reputation who won’t deliver to that level this season or players who I think are good and will perform in 2015 but relative to other players in their position are being given far more money. I’ve tried my best to not just concentrate on QB’s, WR’s and RB’s who dominate the big money contracts and garner headline news but obviously a fair few of these guys will be in the top 10.
So without further ado here we go in reverse order;
10. Adrian Peterson, RB Vikings $15.4million Cap Hit 2015
Ok so this might be one of the most controversial picks on this list sneaking in at number 10. We all know what AD can be capable of on his day, one of the greatest running backs of all time and you’d not bet against him smashing another 1000+ yard season into the books in 2015. However you also have to consider he’s effectively missed a full season of football, is 30 years old with 10,000 NFL yards on his clock and has had to come back from ACL & MCL tears. Not to mention his recent OTA absences and general media frenzy that surrounds him following the off field issues last season. Looking at the figures he’s the16th highest paid player in the NFL, $6million more than the next RB, 3x DeMarco Murray salary or nearly 2x Jamaal Charles. Basically you could have a backfield of McCoy & Murray and still have a few million change. He’s only worth this money to a Vikings team with no other talent in it and if I was building a franchise tomorrow I couldn’t justify this guy’s paycheck when you can get the same job done for a third of the price.
9. Mike Scifres P Chargers $4.3million Cap Hit 2015
He’s a Punter and he counts for $4.3million. What? You want more? Ok so he was voted the Chargers 2012 player of the season, I think that says a lot more about the Chargers in 2012 than it does about Mike Scifres, bless his cotton socks. Seriously though from what I can gather he’s a pretty good punter, reliable and holds a few records so just what you want from a guy you bring on to get you out of a bind and give your defence the best chance possible. But he’s a punter, I reckon you could get a pretty decent one for a quarter of that salary and then you consider that Russell Wilson and Odell Beckham Jr will take home less than that combined this season, you can’t tell me that doesn’t make him overpaid.
8. Antonio Gates TE Chargers $9.7million Cap Hit 2015
What is this pick on Charger day? Ah relax you Bolts fans this is probably the most anyone writes about you guys until you have a shot at spoiling the Bronco’s or Chief’s run at a bye week in the playoffs. Anyway, lets talk about good old reliable, dependable and old Antonio Gates… he’ll be 35 when he starts his 13th season as a pro in the autumn and he’ll be trousering a fine wedge of cash while he does it. Best part of $10million to a guy who is in the twilight of his career, despite his 12 TD receptions last year I don’t see 2015 being anywhere near as productive and certainly not enough to warrant him being the 2nd highest paid Tight End in the league. That’s right, he’s picking up $1million more than The Gronk and nearly $2million more than Jimmy Graham. Now I’ll grant you that with those comparisons and Antonio being the 2nd highest paid TE in the league it begs the question why he’s on the list and not the highest paid Tight End…. Well….
7. Julius Thomas TE Jaguars $10.3million Cap Hit 2015
I almost passed him by, swayed by his help in my fantasy team in 2013 and his headline TD numbers when Peyton was in prime gunslinger mode early in 2014 I just figured that he had been impressive, I never checked I just assumed. I was wrong. His drop off in 2014 was quite pronounced, ok he got 12 TD’s again but a mere 43 receptions and less than 500 yards from 10 games started. In a recent podcast we discussed the value of paying Odell Beckham Jr good money as he has only had 1 good season and hasn’t proved his worth yet but it looks like the Jaguars are willing to throw $10million a year his way on the back of a couple of good seasons. A couple of seasons alongside Peyton Manning and being the odd one out while most defences lost their minds trying to cover Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and chums. I think now he’s moved on to the Jaguars and The Bortlenator hurling him the rock he will in no way justify his new found bank balance.
6. Vincent Jackson WR Buccaneers $12.2million Cap Hit 2015
4th highest paid WR in the league, let that one sink in for a minute. If you were to lay out your top 10 WR in the league at the moment where would Jackson sit? Not on the list, that’s where. If you were feeling generous you might try and make an argument for top 20 but even then I think there are better players out there. To his credit he still pulls in 1000 yard seasons and whilst he is the only real target in Tampa Bay (before Mike Evans emergence anyway) he’s also had some pretty poor QB’s in the past few years. But at 32 his days are starting to be numbered and I can’t see him hitting 1000 yards again in 2015, whilst that may not be reason enough to throw him out the door marked “Good luck in your future endeavours” it certainly doesn’t encourage anyone to start throwing him more money than Jordy Nelson & Randall Cobb get combined.
5. Jared Allen LB Bears $12.5million Cap Hit 2015
Ok so full disclosure is he’s only getting $1million guaranteed. Sounds good in theory but he’s still sitting on a massive cap hit and he seems to be a fixture in the Bears team so it’s probably a moot point. So with that out of the way lets look at Jared Allen in 2015. Rose tinted glasses off he is 33 years of age, coming off his worst career year for sacks in a team that was struggling and now he’s being asked to move to Outside Linebacker from Defensive End for the first time in his NFL career….. it’s asking a lot for him to justify the cap hit he’s giving the Bears. In his pomp he was a terrifying sight heading after a Quarterback (often Jay Cutler) scrambling for his life and last year he wasn’t coming into the season in the best of health but I am struggling to see him making much of an impact in 2015.
4. Sam Bradford QB Eagles $12.9million Cap Hit 2015
Poor Sam Bradford seems to be as full of potential as he is full of bad luck with injuries. His off season seemed to be spent used as a make weight in a Chip Kelly draft day trade gamble that never happened and now he’s sitting in Philadelphia alongside two ex-NY Jet Quarterbacks more famous for their failure than their success. It’s also worth looking at the number of injuries Eagles QB’s have had the past couple of seasons and eye up the progress of Sam’s recovery from last year’s season ending ACL tear. All of it adds up, it doesn’t add up however to nearly $13million taken out of the cap room, 16th out of the Quarterbacks in the league or the best part of double Andrew Luck’s salary. In fact the massive salary (mostly guaranteed) seems to be the main reason people view him as a starter over Mark “Incentives Based” Sanchez and if that is the main reason you’re winning the job over a man who brought “Buttfumble” into the vocabulary then you’re easily overpaid in my book.
3. Eli Manning QB Giants $19.7million Cap Hit 2015
This pains me as a Giants fan. I watched Eli clutch play us to 2 Superbowl victories and have held firm to my belief that he’ll come good again as soon as we get an Offensive Line that doesn’t resemble Swiss Cheese. But that is a lot easier to cling to when Eli isn’t being paid the best part of $20million a year to throw more interceptions than anyone else in the league. If OBJ hadn’t rolled up with his one handed grab and amazing rookie season I dread to think how bad 2014 could have been. This is Eli’s final year of his contract which was signed around the same time Ben Roethlisberger got his big deal and all in all everyone agreed Eli was the better QB of the two and deserved a deal on a par. Now I think you’d be hard pressed to give Eli another big money deal unless he pulls out an amazing 2015. However, he does always have that potential and the Giants have two of the best WR’s in the league on their day which will give Manning his best chance of shining but if he wants to keep them both as his target in the next couple of years he’ll have to reduce his cut of the salary cap accordingly from his currently unjustified astronomical level as the 4th highest paid player in the league.
2. Ryan Clady LT Broncos $10.6million Cap Hit 2015
I thought long and hard about putting Clady on this list, it felt wrong to put a guy on here who’s just been unlucky with injury. But ultimately when you’re the 48th highest cap hit in the league you’ve got to back up that price and you can only do that if you can make it onto the field which Clady will not be doing in 2015. He also didn’t make it onto the field for 90% of 2013. As for 2014 he was a shadow of his contract earning year and with another season ending injury there’s nothing to say he’ll improve upon it in the future. Meanwhile this leaves the Broncos with a massive hole on the pitch and in the cap room which they can ill afford while trying to have one more shot at the SuperBowl with Peyton Manning.
1. Jay Cutler QB Bears $16.5million Cap Hit 2015
It’s an easy one, sorry. I wanted to have a shock number 1, a real controversial discussion point but Jay Cutler is living up to the hype as the most overpaid player in the NFL. 13th highest paid player overall and 9th highest paid QB poor old Jay is not producing numbers on the pitch anywhere near that level currently, hasn’t for a while and is not likely to in the future I suspect. I always had a soft spot for Cutler and think ultimately he’s been the victim of a terrible Bears team, head coach and offensive line. However they’d probably be in a much better position to rebuild if Jay wasn’t receiving such a hefty wad of cash into his bank account over the next couple of season. I think that he could take a 50% pay cut and still make this list at some level which speaks volumes to his current career trajectory and how far in first place he currently is.
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