The 25 Biggest Freeloaders in Sports

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIJune 24, 2011

The 25 Biggest Freeloaders in Sports

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    Everybody hates a freeloader.

    Merriam-Webster’s dictionary describes the term freeload as: to impose upon another's generosity or hospitality without sharing in the cost or responsibility involved: sponge.

    We all know a freeloader, support a freeloader or actually are a freeloader (the first step is denial—just face it).

    Even though freeloaders are annoying in general, the worst kinds are the professional athletes.

    You know, that guy who sits on the end of the bench and makes more money in one season than half of your family combined?

    Even worse are the players who have been on the IR for 15 years and are still collecting fat checks.

    But even worse than those losers are the “superstar” or “impact” free agents that got paid way too much money to underachieve for your favorite team.

    Freeloaders suck.

    Here are the 25 biggest freeloaders in sports.

25. Michael Redd

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    Michael Redd was one of the most dominant scorers in the NBA a few years ago.

    Now, because of injury he has been relegated to nothing more than an urban legend.

    An urban legend that will be making about $18.3 million more than most urban legends, including myself, may I add.

24. Vince Carter

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    Vince Carter was awesome when he was dunking over seven-footers with the Raptors, sweet when he was hitting long-range shots with the Nets and vintage with the Magic.

    At $18.9 million on the season right now, he is just dumb, and that is why the Suns will opt to buy him out.

23. Jay Cutler

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    Cutler was traded to the Bears in 2009 and was supposed to be quarterback savior of Chicago.

    The Bears extended the rookie contract that Cutler received from the Broncos in a three-year, $30 million extension to keep him a Bear until 2013.

    Many interceptions and a bailout on the NFC Championship Game later, Bears fans are actually starting to wonder if they should look forward to 2013.

22. Shaun Rogers

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    Rogers signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the New Orleans Saints.

    Let me tell you right now: Shaun Rogers used up all the gas he had left in the tank while he was in Detroit making it rain in the clubs.

    He’s not worth $4, let alone $4 million!

21. Peja Stojakovic

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    Peja made just over $700,000 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks championship team, which is reasonable, but let’s not be too quick to forget the over $31 million, five-year contract that he signed with Indiana back in 2006.

    He was consequently dealt to New Orleans in a sign-and-trade, then traded to Toronto and then released in January of 2011.

    That’s a whole lot of money for trade bait!

20. Dan Orlovsky

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    The Houston Texans signed this guy to a three-year, $9.15 million deal with just over $2 million guaranteed to be a backup.

    Keep in mind this is the very same Dan Orlovsky that ran straight back and out of the end zone as a member of the Detroit Lions

    He doesn’t deserve any money, let alone that much.

19. Dan Gadzuric

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    Gadzuric is earning just over $7 million a year and is about as productive as a wet mop during halftime.

    In other news, most of us are struggling to pay our bills...

18. Magglio Ordonez

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    Magglio Ordonez, who was once a proud and prominent member of the Detroit Tigers organization, has spent the past season or two battling injury and a plummeting batting average.

    Ordonez triggered an option in his contract last season by reaching 540 plate appearances. Ordonez was then entitled to weigh the Tigers down for another season at $15 million with no buyout option available for 2012.

17. Derek Jeter

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    All right, so this one might cause some controversy, but I’m all up for it.

    Derek Jeter is a Hall of Fame player and one of the best shortstops of our time.

    There, I said it.

    On the other hand, he is also 36 years old, rapidly declining as far as play is concerned and just got a three-year, $51 million contract before this season began.

    I’m sorry—this may seem justified right now, but I have severe doubts that his play is going to hold up enough for this contract to make sense in the long term for the Yankees.

    Whatever happened to the hometown discount?!

16. Rashard Lewis

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    Lewis signed a six-year deal with the Orlando Magic in 2007 worth more than $110 million.

    Since 2010, the contract is set to increase for three seasons. Unfortunately, it looks like Lewis’ level of play is set to decrease.

    He is going to make $23.7 million in 2012.

15. Kelvin Hayden

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    Hayden was given a five-year, $43 million contract to play corner for the Indianapolis Colts.

    Now, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I must ask: Is Kelvin Hayden worth $43 million?

    End of slide.

14. Charlie Villanueva

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    Back in 2009, Pistons head man Joe Dumars felt it best to “get ahead” of the impending free-agent scurry of LeBron James and friends.

    Signing Ben Gordon is looking iffy right now, but you can still see the potential.

    On the other hand, he gave Charlie Villanueva a five-year, $40 million deal, which was a no-no in my opinion.

    Since then Villanueva has had the occasional offensive outburst, but he prefers to jack up threes within 0.2 seconds of touching the ball every time, saunter down the court to play “defense” and would seemingly rather stick his finger in a pencil sharpener than get a rebound.

13. T.J. Ford

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    Ford was the eighth overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft.

    He hasn’t played a full season in eight years, and he is expected to make $8.5 million too much this season.

12. Roy Williams

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    In 2008, the Dallas Cowboys traded away first-, third- and sixth-round picks to the Detroit Lions in return for Roy Williams and a seventh-round pick.

    The Cowboys then proceeded to sign Williams to a five-year, $45 million deal with over $20 million of it guaranteed.

    In a related story, Jerry Jones likes really big TVs!

11. Elton Brand

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    The 76ers signed Elton Brand to a five-year, nearly $80 million contract back in 2008, when he was a perennial All-Star just hitting free agency and leaving the L.A. Clippers.

    Brand didn’t live up to the hype and struggled through injury for a good chunk of the contact.

    He apparently has realized that he has gotten old...

10. JaMarcus Russell

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    After he held out for his rookie contract, JaMarcus Russell signed with the Raiders for a six-year, $68 million contract with $38 million guaranteed.

    Russell is firmly out of the NFL now, and it looks like a good chunk of that money went to cough syrup.


9. Alex Smith

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    Now that Jim Harbaugh is the coach of the San Francisco 49ers, you would think some big changes were heading up the pipeline.

    Yet he is apparently talking very highly about the much-maligned quarterback, and talks are going on between San Francisco and Smith’s representatives.

    As a rookie, Smith signed a six-year, $49.5 million contract and then proceeded to do next to nothing.

8. Tony Romo

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    Back in 2007, Romo signed a six-year, $67.5 million contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys.

    It was a totally justified contract and still is today.

    I mean, all he has done is lead the Cowboys successfully to the playoffs, never choked once, stayed injury free and won a couple Super Bowls and league MVPs, right?!


    Unjustified money for what boils down to tabloid clippings about Jessica Simpson.

7. Scott Kazmir

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    Kazmir was an unmitigated disaster for the Angels.

    He has fallen apart due to injury, and the once big-time acquisition was released with little hope.

    The Angels had to eat his $14.5 million salary though.

6. Travis Hafner

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    Travis Hafner signed a four-year, $57 million contract extension back in 2007 with a club option for 2013.

    He’s been hurt for half of his career since that fateful day, and I highly doubt the Indians are going to pick up that club option...

5. Milton Bradley

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    Hey, remember when Milton Bradley was a good baseball player and had his own game or something, back in like 1964?

    Bradley is old and washed-up, suspended a game for bumping an umpire, ejected for arguing and booed just about every game for “dogging” it.

    Bradley was making $13 million this season.

    I’m sure Seattle felt real good eating that contract...

4. Alfonso Soriano

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    Cubbies fans are really regretting the eight-year, $136 million contract that they pretty much gift-wrapped to Soriano a few years back.

    Now he’s not awful, but he certainly doesn’t play up to par to his $18 million a year.

    If I only had a small percentage of that contract for every time he dropped a routine fly...

3. Adam Dunn

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    Dunn signed a four-year, $56 million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

    He has since gone on to hit .178 with seven homers.

    Talk about your misguided investments.

2. Albert Haynesworth

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    In one of the more lucrative—and now, looking back on it, ridiculous—contracts the NFL has seen, the Washington Redskins offered up a seven-year, $100 million contact to Albert Haynesworth.

    He showed a few games of potential but struggled with injury.

    Since then, he has been accused of sexual assault and road rage and has thrown just about every member of the Washington Redskins under the bus in an attempt to skip town.

    Good luck trying to trade away that contract...

1. Eddy Curry

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    One of Isiah Thomas’ many great moves as GM for the New York Knicks was picking up Eddy Curry and his $60 million contract in a sign-and-trade in 2005.

    Now, I would like to introduce you to the concept of sarcasm.

    Honestly, Curry is going to be making $11 million this year equaling about the production of a ham sandwich. He’s played 10 games in the past three seasons.

    Winner winner all too expensive chicken dinner.

    Follow Andrew on Twitter: @AKonSports