There are several ways for an NFL team to show faith in a player.
A team could sign him to an expensive contract or give up significant draft picks for him, or they could throw years and cash at his feet in the hopes of landing a big-name free agent.
Behind the scenes, those teams hold their breath. The NFL is a perilous league, with injuries and other misfortune waiting to happen to anybody. Sometimes those deals work out. Sometimes—oftentimes—they don't.
There's a reason the Matt Fortes don't instantly get the contracts they want. We saw it when we saw the injury to, well, Matt Forte. Players get hurt. It's risky to commit to someone because he could get injured.
Or he could simply not be as good as you thought he was when you gave him all that guaranteed money.
The following are players who were given that trust before this season and, to date, have fallen way short of the expectations.
The 2011 season may not have been what they expected, but, for their teams' sakes, it'll only be an aberration.