The NFL's 10 Biggest Contract Albatrosses

Jeff KayerCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2012

The NFL's 10 Biggest Contract Albatrosses

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    The NFL season is officially underway, and with that comes taking a look at every team's roster.  It is not a coincidence that teams that often succeed in this league are the ones that manage their cap the best.

    You don't see a team like the New York Giants or New England Patriots wasting millions of dollars on bad starters or even worse...backups.

    But sadly for some teams, they're allocating precious dollars towards guys who just cannot earn their salary. 

    Who are the worst offenders?  Let's take a look.

Greg Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars. 2012 Salary: $3.4 Million

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    I really have no problem with Greg Jones but when you look at his statistics, I really do not care if he is employed to mainly be a blocker, the guy simply does not deserve to be the highest paid fullback in the NFL.

    Consider the fact the team has another fullback in Montell Owens that is signed long term, making over $1 million this season.

    While there may be salaries in this league that are far more expensive than Jones's, to me, this is one of the worst contracts in the league.

Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns. 2012 Salary: $3.8 Million

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    I think it tells you a lot of things about the Browns, that Dawson, now 37 years old, is the fourth-highest paid player on the team despite the fact he is their kicker.

    It says to me just how little talent the team has, how much they have to pay a long time player to stay in Cleveland, and sadly, just how important a kicker is to a team devoid of offensive talent.

    Dawson has been a good soldier for the Browns but at 37, he has no right to be the highest paid kicker in the NFL much less the fourth-highest paid player on the team.

Shawne Merriman, Buffalo Bills. 2012 Salary: $4 Million

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    Shawne Merriman used to be one of the more gifted players in the NFL.  He was a feared linebacker who was always a threat to sack the opposition.

    But thanks to injuries and issues with steroids, the guy has 53 tackles and five sacks....in four seasons. 

    In fact, if you go by his 2012 salary, if he were to repeat his stats of last season he would make $800,000 per game, or $444,444 per tackle.

    That, to me, screams a horrible horrible contract. 

Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks. 2012 Salary: $6 Million

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    Last year, the Seattle Seahawks brought in Zach Miller believing they were getting the tight end that was a consistent Pro Bowl candidate.  Instead he was a giant dud, catching only 25 receptions, 233 yards and a whopping zero touchdowns.

    And now Kellen Winslow Jr. is in town to take his job.  Despite all this, Miller will be one of the highest paid tight ends in football. 

    Unlike some on this list, Miller could turn it around and prove he still has the elite talent Seattle expected.  But right now, he seems like a terrible investment. 

Santonio Holmes, New York Jets. 2012 Salary: $7.75 Million

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    Santonio Holmes is one of the more frustrating players in the entire league.  He has the talent to catch one of the more amazing passes in NFL history in the Super Bowl.  But he also has the immaturity to help create turmoil as seen in the Jets last game of 2011.

    With his constant antics, he is more of a headache than a No. 1 receiver and he does not deserve to be the fifth-highest paid receiver in the entire league.

Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos. 2012 Salary: $8 Million

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    Champ Bailey has been a solid NFL player from almost the moment he stepped onto an NFL field.  In fact, Bailey is still a very decent player today at 34 years of age, a time when many players begin to fizzle out of the league.

    But Bailey at this point should not be the third-highest paid cornerback in the league.  The contract he has now pays him way too much money considering at some point, maybe even this year, he'll be unable to match up with the opposition's best receivers.

    Bailey isn't a waste of space like a few might be on this list, but at this point in his career, he should probably be earning less than half of his 2012 salary. 

Anthony Spencer, Dallas Cowboys. 2012 Salary: $8.85 Million

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    Anthony Spencer is a very good linebacker in the NFL.  He put up solid numbers last year with 66 tackles and six sacks.  He is a mainstay on a good Cowboys defense.

    But is he good enough to deserve to be the second-highest paid linebacker in the NFL this year?  No...no....no

    Spencer is set to earn $8.85 million this year, and while he may be a good linebacker, he's not anywhere near elite. 

Brent Grimes, Atlanta Falcons. 2012 Salary: $10.28 Million

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    Let me be the first to say I am happy for Brent Grimes.  I actually went to school with Grimes, the Division II school Shippensburg University.  Undrafted, Grimes worked his way up through NFL Europe and earned a spot on the Falcons roster in 2007.

    Since then, he has catapulted up the depth chart to become the team's No. 1 cornerback.  He has even made the Pro Bowl.

    But despite all of this, the guy just isn't at a level with the elite cornerbacks in football like Nnamdi Asomugha and Darrelle Revis. 

    Grimes is a great story and proof that dreams can come true if you bust your butt.  I just do not believe the Falcons are getting good value here.

Trent Williams, Washington Redskins. 2012 Salary: $11 Million

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    This, my friends, is one of the worst contracts in football.

    Trent Williams in two years has not played a full NFL season, yet he is set to become the second-highest paid offensive tackle in the league this year. 

    There really is not much more that needs to be said.  He is being tremendously over paid for the kind of production he has brought to the league so far.  And to make things worse, he got suspended for four games last year for failing a drug test

    $11 million might be justified if you are a player like Joe Thomas.  Williams, on the other hand, should be making less than half of what he'll make in 2012. 

Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts. 2012 Salary: $14.03 Million

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    Dwight Freeney is a guy that may be going into Canton after he retires.  He has been that good and was an absolute freak for a number of years.  But at 32-years-old, his time as a premiere defensive end is coming to an end, and his numbers show it.

    His numbers have gone down for two straight years and other than his 8.5sacks, he only had 11.5 other total tackles.

    Though his stats may be taking a hit, his salary sure is not.  Freeney is not only going to be the highest paid defensive end this year, he is going to be the second-highest paid player in the NFL period.

    Considering he is likely to put up numbers that are equal to guys making half his salary, Freeney clearly has one of the worst contracts in the NFL.