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June 09, 2019

The 10 worst contracts in the NFC East

Eagles NFL
060919EliManning Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Eli Manning and Odell Beckham will cost the Giants a combined $39,200,000 in 2019.

Making fun of stupid general managers is just good old fashioned fun, so let's do that here! Here are my top 10 worst contracts in the NFC East. Let the hate mail flow. (Contract details via overthecap.com.)

10) Alec Ogletree, Giants: Technically, the Rams gave Ogletree his four-year, $42 million deal in 2017 after he was a Second-Team All-Pro in 2016. The Giants traded for that contract in 2018, and he was a below average starting linebacker for them last season. Ogletree is the fourth-highest paid inside linebacker in the NFL.

9) La'el Collins, Cowboys: After some unfortunate circumstances, the Cowboys nabbed Collins as an undrafted free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft, when some felt that he was a first-round prospect. Not only did they get a highly-rated player for nothing, they weren't going to have to pay him much for four years.

Collins originally signed a three-year contract as a UDFA, and would have become a restricted free agent in 2018. The cost to slap a second-round tender on him at the that time would have been $2.914 million. Instead, during the 2017 offseason, the Cowboys gave him a senseless two year extension through 2019 worth $15.4 million.

Why "senseless?" Well, if you take the total amount of the two-year extension (again, $15.4 million), minus the $2.914 million they could have paid him as a restricted free agent in 2018, it could be stated that the Cowboys essentially agreed to a one-year extension in 2019 worth $12.486 million, at a time (in 2017) when the highest cap number for a RT was $10 million (Sebastian Vollmer).

Now, that contract would have been fine, maybe, if Collins were some kind of elite RT. Except he's not, and never was by any wild stretch. According to Bob Sturm of The Athletic, Collins was responsible for nine sacks last season.

8) Landon Collins, Washington: I mean, he's a box safety and the Washington team gave him $14 million/year. 

7) Josh Norman, Washington: Five years, $75 million for a guy who used to be really good. It's not often that a guy who signed his deal three ago is still the highest-paid player at his position in the league, but that's what Norman was until the Dolphins' Xavien Howard narrowly eclipsed him in May. 

6) Nate Solder, Giants: Considering how awful their offensive line was in 2017, particularly with Ereck Flowers at left tackle, the Giants clearly felt like adding a competent left tackle during the 2018 offseason was worth the price of not having to worry about some RDE wrecking the game from week to week. And so, they made Solder, a good, but certainly not great offensive tackle the highest-paid (at the time) offensive lineman in the NFL. The deal? Four years, $62 million.

Of course, Solder is now 31 years old and by the time the Giants are good again -- which won't be anytime soon -- Solder will be long gone.


MORE: What They're Saying: Wentz deal is a gamble, but potential huge savings


5) Paul Richardson, Washington: When Washington lost DeSean Jackson's ability to stretch opposing defenses, their offense took a hit, and their pursuit of a suitable replacement was understandable. However, they massively overpaid for the speedy Richardson during the 2018 offseason, when they handed him a five-year contract worth $40 million. 

In four seasons in Seattle, Richardson had 93 catches for 1,302 yards and 8 TDs. He had his best season in 2017, when he had 44 catches for 703 yards and 6 TDs. 

In seven games last year, Richardson had 20 catches for 262 yards and 2 TDs, before being lost for the season with a shoulder injury.

4) Tyrone Crawford, Cowboys: In 2015, at a time when he had just three career sacks, the Cowboys handed Crawford a extremely puzzling five-year deal worth $45 million. He'll count for $10,100,000 against the cap in 2019. He has averaged fewer than 5 sacks per year over that span, and hasn't made up for that lack of production with a high number of pressures, QB hits, or stellar run defense. 

3) Alex Smith, Washington: Bruce Allen traded for Smith, giving up a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller in the process, thus ending the 'Kurt' Cousins era in D.C. While I wholeheartedly endorse the decision to give up on Cousins -- and Smith, by all accounts is a good guy and respected teammate -- his four-year, $94 million extension wasn't the answer either. 

Who knew a then-34-year-old mobile quarterback with below-average arm strength wouldn't age well? Of course, Smith suffered a horrific injury in 2018 that may very well end his career, but he wasn't exactly good last season before that occurred. Washington is now stuck with a $20,400,000 cap number for Smith in 2019.

2) Eli Manning, Giants: Over the last six seasons, Eli Manning has a record of 38-57 in 95 starts, and was one-and-done the one year during that span in which the Giants made the playoffs. He was never a great quarterback, but at one time he was at least a top-half-of-the-league starter, with two improbable Super Bowl runs under his belt. 

Over the last six years, 36 quarterbacks have at least 1000 passing attempts. Manning has been one of the worst among those 36 quarterbacks over that period. Here's where he ranks:

 Eli ManningStat Rank 
 Completion percentage62.4% 24 
 TD percentage4.2 26 
 INT percentage2.7 32nd worst 
QB rating 85.9 30 
 Yards per attempt6.96 30 


The Giants could have released Manning this offseason and saved $17 million on the salary cap, but instead opted to pay him a $5 million roster bonus, thus guaranteeing his roster spot. I'm not sure if the Giants actually believe themselves when they say he's still a good quarterback, or if it's just an irrational loyalty they feel they owe him, but whatever it is, his $23,200,000 on the 2019 salary cap is an awful use a resources for a team that is going nowhere.

1) The ghost of Odell Beckham Jr., (formerly) Giants: In terms of what they received in return, we'll be generous and say that the Giants got 50 cents on the dollar when they traded away Beckham. However, what is often forgotten is that he'll also count for $16 million on the Giants' salary cap in 2019, lol. 

***To note, I really tried to shoehorn an Eagles player in there, but... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Nelson Agholor? Rodney McLeod, maybe? Andrew Sendejo, because he may cancel out a compensatory pick? I just couldn't justify it. 


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