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Donovan McNabb Contract: Is He Now the NFL's Most Overpaid Player?

Elliott PohnlFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2010

Donovan McNabb Contract: Is He Now the NFL's Most Overpaid Player?

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Donovan McNabb contract rumors were heating up Monday, but few expected a deal to actually get done prior to Washington's clash with Philadelphia.

    On the heels of his benching late in the Redskins' loss to the Lions, the timing of McNabb's new contract was hardly the biggest surprise to come out of Landover today.

    According to Michael Smith of ESPN, McNabb and the Redskins have agreed on a five-year deal worth an incredible $78 million.

    Talk about a reversal of fortune.

    Dan Snyder's latest risky investment is reportedly owed $40 million in guaranteed money and $10 million in potential incentives.

    That's a lot of scratch for a 34-year-old quarterback.

    McNabb's new deal appears to be a disaster waiting to happen, but is it really the worst contract in the NFL?

    Here's a look at 15 of the NFL's most overpaid players based on performance.

Honorable Mention: Dan Orlovsky, Houston Texans

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Not exactly a household name, which is exactly why the former Detroit Lion makes this list.

    Worried about Matt Schaub's durability, the Texans inked Orlovsky to a three-year, $9.15 million deal before the start of last season.

    He promptly failed to appear in a game and was bumped to the third-string quarterback spot before the end of the year.

    That might be why Houston restructured his deal in September 2010.

    Orlovsky is now slated to make $855,000 this season with room for incentives.

    Under the new deal, he will still make $1.25 million in 2011 before his contract comes off the books.

    Not exactly a great return on investment.

No. 15: Brandon Manumaleuna, Chicago Bears

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed five-year, $15 deal before start of the 2010 season with Chicago.

    As much as the Bears run the ball under Mike Martz, the signing of the blocking tight end Manumaleuna at a fairly lofty price made very little sense.

    The only possible explanation was Chicago's apparent attempt to trade the inconsistent Greg Olsen, who doesn't fit into Martz's offense known for ignoring tight ends.

    Manumaleuna has caught two passes all season and made little impact as a blocker in the running game.

No. 14: Julian Peterson, Detroit Lions

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a seven-year, $54 million contract in 2006 with Seattle.

    Peterson has had some very productive seasons in the NFL, but he is entering the twilight of his career and adds little to Detroit's defense.

    It's difficult to quantify the notion of "veteran leadership" when it comes to evaluating a player's worth.

    For the moment, Detroit is content to pay him $7.5 million to be a below-average linebacker.

No. 13: Tommy Kelly, Oakland Raiders

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a seven-year, $50.5 million deal in 2008 with Oakland.

    With the defensive tackle on the way to his best season in the NFL, it's easy to ignore what is one of the strangest contracts for defensive lineman in the entire league.

    The Raiders wanted to fortify the middle of the defensive line, and locking up Kelly was the first step.

    He responded to the new deal by producing inconsistent results in both 2008 and 2009.

    Kelly has already set a career high with five sacks this season, but it remains to be seen if he will ever live up to his lofty salary.

No. 12: Jake Delhomme, Cleveland Browns

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a two-year, $12.4 million deal with Cleveland before this season.  Also owed $12.7 million from the Carolina Panthers.  He is making just under $20 million combined in 2010.

    Delhomme's ridiculous contract extension with the Panthers proved to be a disaster just one year into the deal, leading to his release.

    The Browns didn't necessarily overpay for the oft-injured quarterback, otherwise he would be ranked higher on this list.

    With Colt McCoy looking good in his rookie season, Delhomme might have a hard time getting back on the field again in Cleveland.

No. 11: Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a five-year, $49.7 million contract in 2009 with Chicago.

    You can't argue with Culter's incredible arm strength or his potential to improve.

    At the same time, it's difficult to justify paying the crabby quarterback millions to do much more good than bad.

    Unless he can finally stop throwing the ball to the wrong team, Cutler's deal will start to look like bad money.

    Don't be surprised if he also becomes injured money if Chicago doesn't improve its protection issues.

No. 10: Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a six-year, $63 million deal in 2009 with Kansas City.

    This one is really a head scratcher.

    Cassel had his moments while filling in for the injured Tom Brady, but there's no doubt Kansas City jumped the gun by giving him such a massive contract without having a great body of work to go on.

    Don't be surprised if the Chiefs target a young quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft.

No. 9: Clinton Portis, Washington Redskins

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    Larry French/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed an eight-year, $50 million contract in 2004 with Washington.

    Eight years is an awful long time for a running back to stay healthy.

    After several consistent seasons featuring a heavy workload, Portis' body has started to break down in recent years.

    The veteran is making nearly $8 million this season and could end up holding the 'Skins hostage for two more years.

No. 8: Randy Moss, Tennesee Titans

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a three-year, $27 million deal in 2008 with New England.

    Moss is making $6.4 million this season to do very little besides stir up controversy.

    He might still draw extra coverage from opponents, but at some point he will actually have to begin making plays.

    Despite playing in a contract year, Moss doesn't seem to have any sense of urgency.

No. 7: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed six-year, $72 million rookie deal in 2009 with Detroit.

    Stafford just can't seem to stay healthy.

    After not missing a single game to injury in either high school or college, Stafford has been banged up throughout his young NFL career.

    Unless the Lions can keep him on the field, the franchise might be forced to begin looking for another cornerstone under center.

    The real problem with the contract is the $41.7 million in guaranteed money the Lions gave to the top-overall pick of the 2009 draft.

    Next year could be a make or break season for Stafford in Detroit.

No. 6: Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a six-year, $52.5 million rookie deal in 2006 with New Orleans.

    Bush was supposed to be the next great running back in the NFL.

    At least, that's what his highlight-reel college career and big contract suggested.

    Instead, he has turned out to be a decent punt returner and solid third down back.

    Like so many others on this list, he just can't seem to stay on the field.

No. 5: Vince Young, Tennessee Titans

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a six-year, $58 million rookie deal in 2006 with Tennessee.

    Like fellow class of 2006 member Reggie Bush, Vince Young's NFL career has been filled with more bad than good.

    Thanks to a massive roster bonus, Young is slated to earn over $14 million in 2010.

    It's a good thing Kerry Collins' aging body has seen about enough, otherwise Young might have finished the season standing on the sidelines.

No. 4: Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a one-year, $16 million dollar contract in 2010 with Minnesota.  He could up to $20 million if he meets certain incentives.

    Brett Favre has held the Vikings hostage ever since he began waffling on retirement this summer.

    In the end, he ended up returning to the tune of $16 million with more bonus money on the table.

    The results have been nothing short of awful.

    Favre's feud with Brad Childress has been a running theme throughout a dismal season in Minnesota.

    Throw in the distraction of the Jenn Sterger fiasco and declining performance on the field, and you get a huge waste of money.

No. 3: Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a five-year, $78 million deal including a reported $40 million in guaranteed money with Washington.

    Already on the downside of his career, McNabb's new deal really makes very little sense.

    At the same time, it can't be called a complete failure until more results are available.

    If McNabb doesn't stay healthy at age 34, Dan Snyder's latest lucrative contract could go down in infamy.

No. 2: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a six-year, $118 million extension through 2014 with Cincinnati.

    Palmer's performance just hasn't been the same in recent years as the hits have kept adding up.

    He still has his moments from time to time, but he no longer looks like the All-Pro quarterback he once was.

    Now, with the Bengals in need of an extreme makeover, Palmer's contract will cripple the franchise for years to come.

No. 1: Albert Haynesworth, Washington Redskins

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Contract: Signed a seven-year, $100 million deal in 2009 with Washington; $41 million of the contract was guaranteed.

    Dan Snyder has done plenty of silly things as the owner of the Redskins, none more so than giving Albert Haynesworth a ridiculous extension.

    The move threatens to handcuff the 'Skins franchise for years to come.

    Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Haynesworth has the desire to resurrect his career.

    With that kind of money, it's probably not very easy to find motivation.

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