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6 Most Overpaid NFL Players in Free Agency

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IAugust 1, 2011

6 Most Overpaid NFL Players in Free Agency

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    Despite a restructure in the salary cap floor minimums and overall cap space, teams are still doing whatever they can to overspend on their roster members.

    Now, saying a team overpaid on a player is always a grey area from one person to the next, but some players’ contracts this season just have everyone wondering what the team’s front office was thinking when they inked the deal in the first place.

    And that is what I intend to look at today.

Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks

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    Contract: Five years, $41 million, $18.5 million guaranteed.

    Most of you should’ve known this was coming, and it seems just a bit too much to not only guarantee this guy a near $19 million as well as lock him up for $41 on a five-year stint.

    Aside from his stellar 2009 season—with Brett Favre at the helm, mind you—Rice was a pedestrian receiver at best, and coming off of major hip surgery, there is a lot to worry about in regard to his potential durability.

    In addition to the aforementioned, Charlie Whitehurst and/or Tarvaris Jackson are nowhere near the caliber quarterback Brett Favre was, making this deal a little absorbent at best.

    I know that Rice was looking for something as killer as this deal hands down, but I truly think Seattle overpaid for him.

Santonio Holmes, New York Jets

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    Contract: Five years, $50 million, $24 million guaranteed.

    If you remove his last year in Pittsburgh (79 catches for 1,248 yards and six TDs), Holmes is a player who doesn’t appear to be worth $50 million at all.

    The contract isn't the only problem either, as that guarantee is the second highest in the league next to Larry Fitzgerald, and let’s face it, Holmes is no Fitz.

    If you average out Holmes’ career, his numbers suggest he has done no better than a top tier tight end (52 catches for 833 yards and five TDs, minus 2009).

    And that is somehow worth $50 million?

    The worst part is Holmes actually LEFT money on the table just to re-sign, meaning he was actually looking for more than what he did get.

Jason Babin, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Contract: Five years, $28 million, $5.5 million guaranteed.

    Many people knew this was coming, and they were right on the money. They just didn’t know who was going to be the sucker to fork over the farm.

    Now, one could argue that the Eagles were desperate to grab another veteran defensive lineman, considering last year’s first-round pick Brandon Graham (knee injury) is headed for the PUP list, but the deal is an overpaid one nonetheless.

    2010 was Babin’s contract year, and he played like it was which is the concern here.

    Babin was already an Eagle once in 2009, and we all seen how that worked out, and the Eagles are banking on the fact that his familiarity with Titans position coach Jim Washburn in 2010 will justify the means.

    But up until last year Babin was a guy who not only bounced around the league but only garnered 17.5 sacks in six seasons!

    I hope the Eagles know what they’re doing here.

Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers

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    Contract: Five years, $40 million, $19 million guaranteed.

    The Chargers were basically forced into this one, but does that mean the guy is really worth a cool $40 million?

    Not really.

    This is now the richest contract in league history for a free agent safety that doesn’t exactly have a stellar turnover rate and is slightly above average against the run.

    For Chargers’ fans, I hope he earns every penny starting with the 2011 season.

Quincy Black, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Contract: Five years, $29 million, $11 million guaranteed.

    I think the Bucs may have panicked with this one as they offered a LB who is not a top tier guy near top tier money.

    With Barrett Ruud gone, the Bucs may have felt that they needed to stay on the accord of giving the veterans more money, but giving Black $6 million a year just seems to be a bit too much for a guy who hasn’t exactly commanded such money.

    Does it fill a void for Tampa? Yes. Could they have gone after a couple of other options that were better considerations like, oh I don’t know, Stephen Nicolas who signed for $17.5 million in Atlanta? Sure could’ve.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers

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    Contract: Five years, $43 million, $21 million guaranteed.

    This isn’t a question of whether or not Williams has talent but rather whether or not this deal will show itself to less value than it looked like on paper.

    Williams has played in a RBBC system for two years, and even with the lack of work in such an approach, the guy still couldn’t stay healthy.

    The other issue here is, who in their right mind guarantees a 28-year-old runningback $21 million, not to mention the deal itself keeps Jonathan Stewart’s untapped ability dormant for half a decade now.

    I’m sorry, I just don’t see the thinking here in the slightest bit, but hopefully for the Panthers and their fanbase, I wind up wrong.

    But I doubt it.

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