Monday, April 22, 2024

Top 10 Worst Contracts In Sports History

Some of the professional athletes have earned more during one year than 90% of people have earned in their lives. These big contracts are sometimes worth that amount of money, but sometimes, they are just a complete bust. A player can be given a smaller contract as a Rookie until he proves his worth and then proposed with a much bigger one. Also, the team can sign a player who is as promising as he can be for the huge amount of money, but then he ends up as a big disappointment. The main reason for this is the fact that there is no way to predict how a player will turn out. In conclusion, contracts can be a very tricky thing. Here is our top 10 list of the worst contracts in the history of the sport.

10) Michael Vick

Michael Vick The NFL has a great selection of talented athletes, but also, every NFL roster has a great number of players and just a few of them can make a nine digit salary. Michael Vick was one of the few. During his professional career, he managed to sign not one but two 9 digit contracts. In 2004, he first signed a 130 million dollar contract with the Falcons and after six years Vick snagged a 100 million dollar contract with the Eagles. But then, Michael has forgotten how to hold a ball. He made so many fumbles that he decided to carry the football everywhere he was going. It is not what you expect from a quarterback worth 100 million dollars. In addition, Michael was convicted for his participation in dog fights.

9) Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander The MLB team, the Detroit Tigers, signed an astronomical contract with Justin Verlander in 2013. The contract was signed for seven years and was worth 180 million dollars, which made Verlander the highest paid pitcher in the history of the MLB. Since then, he has constantly played at a much lower level than his best and also we can’t ignore his age. He was about 30 years old when he signed it and will be just under 40 when the contract finishes. Whether he gets injured, tires out or just play at his average till the end of his career, we can all agree that it wasn’t the smartest deal for the Tigers.

8) Matt Flynn

Matt Flynn Seattle Seahawks desperately needed quarterback back in 2012. They decided to lock down Matt Flynn, so they sweetened the pot. It wasn’t an astronomical deal, but it was still impressive. Matt signed a three year contract that was worth a little less than 20 million dollars. So, it was expected that Flynn would seize the starter position in the pack of quarterbacks consisting of Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson and himself. But then the problem occurred. As Wilson outclassed those two and became a starter, the Seahawks traded Matt to the Raiders only a year after the signing. The Seahawks surelly regrets their mistake, but they can be happy with having Wilson.

7) Allan Houston

Allan Houston Have you ever wondered, how to get paid for sitting on the bench? If you don’t know the answer, just ask Allan. Houston signed a six year contract with the Knicks, which was worth 100 million dollars. However, after playing at a pretty high level for two years, his knee problems kicked in. In the last two years of his contract, Houston hasn’t played a single game. As the Knicks still had to keep paying, he got millions of dollars just for watching the game from the bench. Well, we can’t say that it was his fault due to the injuries, but teams should take player’s injuries before the signing under a really good consideration.

6) Ilya Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk The Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract story is incredible. He signed a contract with the NHL team the Devils, worth 100 million dollars. If you guessed that the contract was 5 to 6 years long, you are wrong. He signed a 15 year long contract and it was after he rejected the first 17 year deal for 102 million dollars, for which he said was just too long. The NHL penalized the Devils for the original deal, as an attempt of the violation of the salary cap rules. After the retirement of Kovalchuk from the NHL just a few years after the signing, they eased the punishment for the Devils.

5) Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas Gilbert Arenas signed a six year contract with the Wizards, worth 111 million dollars and had a great number of fans that were rooting for him. He was a superstar who buried shots from all over the court. In three consecutive years, he was in the top ten scorers, which almost made his enormous contract worth it. But then, he has done maybe the stupidest thing that the professional athlete can make. While in the Wizards changing room, he decided to pull out the guns. In addition to that, he also had some trouble with his knees. Arenas is now playing in China, because no one wants him in the NBA. That contract must hurt very much.

4) JaMarcus Russell

JaMarcus Russell JaMarcus Rusell was the first overall pick of the 2007 draft and the Oakland Raiders thought that he would be their golden ticket. He signed a huge contract for someone who never played in the NFL. The six year contract was worth 68 million dollars. Oakland took a huge risk of giving that amount of money to a rookie, but the problem was that the other things also became a little too big. JaMarcus was constantly gaining weight and at one point he had a little less than 300 pounds. His performance was getting much worse and after he was arrested for possession of illegal substance, the Raiders let him go.

3) Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols Professional sports usually have a restriction, which limits the amount of money spent by a certain team or signing of contracts. This rule is called a salary cap. However, this rule is not quite applied, when we talk about baseball. There are just a few contracts that are worth more than they should be and here is an example. Albert Pujols signed a 10 year contract with the Angels, worth more than 250 million dollars. Due to his incredible skills and athleticism, we could probably say that it was worth the money spent, but there is one problem. In the final year of his contract, Pujols will be 42 years old. No matter how good a player is, ages surely have impact on athletes and it is a really foolish thing to pay that amount of money for a player who maybe won’t be able to play.

2) Amar’e Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire No matter how hard the Knicks tried to get rid of this guy, they just couldn’t do it. Amar’e Stoudemire was maybe the worst mistake that Knicks ever made. No team in the NBA was willing to pay out the remaining 65 million dollars of his contract because of his knee injury, which made him a very risky choice. So, the Knicks were forced to keep Stoudemire on the roster as he underwent multiple surgeries trying to fix the knees. What makes it even worse is the fact that he wasn’t insured for injury, which made him a ticking time bomb that no one wanted to touch.

1) Rick DiPietro

Rick DiPietro When it comes to NHL contracts, there is just one rule you really need to obey. Don’t sign contracts that last decades. No matter how good someone is, in the world of professional sports, a few years mean a lot and can make a big difference. Rick DiPietro’s yearly salary was around 4 million dollars, which is a reasonable one. But again, you can’t sign a player to a fifteen year contract, it just never works. After he signed for the Islanders, due to his injuries, he was bought out just six years after. He played less than a half of his contract duration and Islanders lost a lot of money.

Well, this is our top 10 list of the worst contracts in the history of the sport. Do you agree with us? Have you heard of some interesting mistakes made by professional teams? Leave your opinion in the comment section below.



Part-time freelancer, part-time procrastinator. Interested in all things tech, cryptocurrency, fitness and drinking copious amounts of coffee.


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