Please read my B/R colleague, Timothy Hockemeyer's take on this same subject.
While there is no Albert Haynesworth on the Chicago Bears roster, there are some highly paid players. Let's take a look at who the most overpaid are.
Compared to other major professional sports, NFL players are not as overpaid as you may think, Haynesworth notwithstanding.
The only guaranteed portion of their contracts are the singing bonuses. They can be cut at any time and teams often only have to pay for service time accrued.
Plus, careers are a lot shorter in the NFL than in some other sports, such as MLB for example. And the long-term implication of playing such a violent sport often leaves disastrous consequences.
Still, it's a lot of money to you and me. And since we help pay for the salaries, in part, through merchandise sales, tickets, TV viewing and concessions, it is only fair that we call out any player making more money than his performance warrants.
When given this assignment, I looked at both "cap" numbers and actual salary. In an effort to circumvent the salary cap, teams often play around with salaries, resulting in cap numbers that look far different from actual salary.
At first blush, the Bears don't really have any seriously overpaid players. But when digging deep and being honest, the results don't always match the salary as compared with other players in the league.