NFL Trade Talk: Nate Clements and the NFL's 10 Most Untradeable Contracts
The NFL is guilty of a lot of things, but one of the biggest mistakes teams make over and over is signing players to gargantuan contracts.
These contracts are so expensive, and usually for so many years, that the player becomes untradeable down the road if things go bad.
Things go bad in the NFL frequently because of one or two bad seasons that cause a coaching or front office change that results in the player in question not having a role in the new schemes being implemented.
That player then finds himself in a bad position because his contract makes him bad trade bait, and the team either is stuck with a player it no longer wants, or cuts an otherwise valuable asset and gets nothing in return.
Here is a look at some untradeable contracts around the league.
10. Marcus Trufant
The Seattle Seahawks are going younger, and Marcus Trufant just turned 30.
Trufant signed a six-year, $50.2 million deal with the Seahawks prior to the 2008 season. With three years left on that deal, Trufant may be hard to move should the Seahawks' youth movement continue.
9. Brandon Jacobs
Brandon Jacobs will be 29 once the 2011 season starts and he has two years and $9.55 million left on a $25 million deal.
The Giants may be looking for a new running back in the draft and Ahmad Bradshaw is a free agent. While Tom Coughlin said he wants to get the ball into Jacobs' hands more, if a rookie running back comes in and lights the place up, Jacobs becomes expendable.
As long as someone is willing to pick up the final year of a contract of a running back who will turn 30 before the 2012 season.
8. Will Smith
Will Smith signed a six-year, $70 million extension prior to the 2008 season. With three years left on that contract, the Saints are re-tooling their defense and Smith was arrested for domestic violence late last year.
The Saints may lose Smith for part of the 2011 season should Roger Goodell decide to apply the personal conduct policy.
Smith's contract makes him very hard to trade should the Saints decide to move on.
7. Nate Clements
Nate Clements signed an eight-year, $80 million contract prior to the 2007 season. While he spent a good portion of the 2009 season injured, his numbers have not lived up to the contract.
An identified "need" for the 49ers going into the draft in April is a cornerback, and a large part of that need is because Clements is not performing as well as his contract demands.
6. Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall was traded to the Dolphins prior to last season and signed a four-year extension valued at $47.5 million.
After a very disappointing 2010 campaign, Marshall has not been shy about his frustration with the team. Now the Dolphins have a new offensive coordinator who showed he can't effectively use wide receivers in two years in Cleveland.
Marshall will be barking for a trade again, and the Dolphins will be stuck with an unhappy wide receiver their offensive coordinator will not use.
5. Bernard Berrian
Bernard Berrian signed a six-year, $42 million contract with the Vikings prior to the 2008 season.
Since then, it has been diminishing returns for the Vikings. Berrian battled injuries in 2009 and was invisible for a good portion of 2010, only getting 28 receptions for 252 yards and no touchdowns.
With the Vikings getting a makeover, Berrian has to improve this year. The size of Berrian's contract will make any transaction difficult, especially considering his drop in production.
4. Steve Smith
The Carolina Panthers have a very disgruntled wide receiver in Steve Smith.
Smith, whose contract numbers are not available, signed an extention through the 2012 season that reportedly made him one of the top five highest-paid receivers in the league, according to his agent.
With two years left on the contract and a new head coach, Smith's attitude, behavior and poor performance make his contract an issue.
The problem is it will be an issue for any team the Panthers might shop him to.
3. Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer wants out of Cincinnati. He is threatening retirement if they do not give in to his trade demands.
But look at his contract: He is scheduled to make $11.5 million this year, $11.5 million in 2012, $13 million in 2013 and a whopping $14 million in 2014.
While Palmer is a good quarterback, injuries and inconsistency make that contract seem a bit extreme, especially the last two years.
There are worse contracts, but with the questions surrounding Palmer's health, it is enough to scare some of the interested teams off the trail.
2. Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb signed a five-year extension worth $78 million ($3.5 million guaranteed) with a chance to make it $88 million by completing incentives.
Those incentives never will be made at this point, but this still is a big contract. Even worse, it was signed after McNabb was benched and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder appeared to do the deal as a way of saying, "I'm sorry we benched you."
But McNabb is 34 years old, has a history of folding under playoff pressure and was not very good before his benching in 2010.
McNabb can get one more shot, but his contract limits his options.
1. Albert Haynesworth
Albert Haynesworth signed a seven-year, $100 million contract prior to the 2009 season.
The Redskins struggled in 2009 and Haynesworth immediately began barking that he couldn't keep playing for the Redskins "under these conditions."
The Redskins hired Mike Shanahan to coach the team in 2010, who switched the Redskins' defensive scheme, and Haynesworth basically quit.
He took the roster bonus last year and then refused to participate in the offseason program. He showed up late and out of shape to training camp, refused to enter the game and eventually was suspended for the final four games of the season.
The Redskins have an albatross on their roster and no team even seems remotely interested in taking the "me first" defensive tackle off of their hands.