While we firmly believe that the players in the National Football League (as a whole) are underpaid, there are also instances where they stick it to their respective franchises, fiscally speaking. Sometimes teams pay a premium for player with immense potential; sometimes they pay a hefty price for an aging star; and sometimes they just flat-out do a terrible job of structuring contracts. The reasoning behind each situation differs, but the following 11 players have the worst contracts in the NFL today.
1. Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Total contract value: Six years, $125 million (including extension)
2016 salary cap hit: $22.55 million
Back in 2012, Joe Flacco bet on himself and won big. Going into that season, the Ravens made a modest long-term contract extension offer to the former Delaware quarterback, which Flacco decided to turn down. He went on to have a mediocre regular season, but thanks in large part to a dominating defense, the Ravens were able to win the AFC North with a 10-6 overall record. Once the postseason began, Flacco stole the show. He went on an absolute tear throughout the playoffs, playing the best football of his career, and ultimately led the Ravens to a victory in Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens have been paying for it — literally — ever since.
Flacco was three years into the six-year, $120.6 million deal he landed following his Super Bowl triumph when he signed his three-year, $66.4 million contract extension this offseason. Now, he essentially has a new six-year, $125 million deal that will keep him in Baltimore through the 2021 season. To be brutally honest, the Ravens got the short end of the stick with this contract.
Outside of his outstanding play during the 2012 postseason, Flacco has been an average quarterback at best during his eight-year NFL career. The Ravens are going to quickly figure out (if they haven’t already) that having an average quarterback eat up this much salary cap space is bad for business.