This is a statement a lot of husbands have said or thought, but some owners and GMs can’t fathom. These NFL contracts today can seem absolutely ridiculous. Flacco got $120.6 million, which has a cap hit of $31.15 million in 2017, but a measly $6.8 million hit this year. Even I can admit his deal is great … this year. Here’s a look at the worst contract, by cap hit, on each AFC South team.
For the Texans, Antonio Smith’s $9.5 million hit is a tough pill to swallow. Is he a good player? Yeah, he fits perfectly in the system, and has been productive. That being said, giving nearly 8% of the Texans salary cap to a man who had 7 sacks and 22 solo tackles is a bit high. Over his 4-year stint with the Texans, he has 21 sacks.
Sure, he has his ninja personality that we all love, but is it worth it? Probably not, but the Texans as a whole have a lot cap-friendly contracts, and his seems to stick out like a sore thumb. His cap hit is the 7th highest for defensive ends in the NFL, and for my money, Antonio should be receiving about $6.25 million as a cap hit. This hit would be more in line with his production and his future worth.
If the Texans have a lot of good contracts, the Colts have a lot of great ones. They have their franchise QB on the rookie wage scale for now and are paying their star receiver about ½ the cap hit as the Texans are. The contract that seems a bit steep is LaRon Landry’s $5.75 million hit. If the Colts get what Landry gave the Jets last year, they will probably be less than thrilled with the production. You may say, "but he was a pro-bowler last year." The only response I have for that line of thinking is, the pro bowl has lost its luster.
I think the Colts are expecting something he has yet to show. His 6 career interceptions are quite low for a starting safety in the NFL through 6, incomplete, seasons. His cap hit, albeit, is less than 5% of their total, but the hit is still the 8th highest in the NFL at his position. For the money he received, I would like to see at least 4 interceptions, which is double his season high over his career. I would like to see his cap hit somewhere in the $4 million dollar range. Does anyone really believe between him and Antoine Bethea, the Colts can receive over $11 million worth of production at the safety spot? Not this guy.
As for our lovable friends from the sunshine state, the metaphorical Jimmy Choos they came home with cost them $5.75 million. For Marcedes Lewis? Did you know he has a total contract for $34 million? His contract reeks of performance from his 2010 contract year. Lewis has been adequate as an NFL tight end. In fact, while looking at his stats, I am surprised at how consistent he has been. Unfortunately, it is consistently mediocre.
His 21 total touchdowns are a skewed stat, given those touchdowns total consists of 10 from his contract year. He also, outside of 2010, has no total higher than 5 in his 7 years of playing. He is a big body guy, who should get more attention in the red zone. He has a mediocre catch rate over his career of nearly 60%. All in all, he is a serviceable tight end, but should a serviceable tight end have the 6th highest cap hit? Certainly not, in my opinion, and I would be a lot more comfortable with him in the $3.75 million dollar range.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the Tennessee Titans impulse buy. Chris "CJ1.2K" Johnson is hitting the Titans for $12 million this year. Nearly 10% of their cap space is locked into an individual who is, at best exciting, and at worst mind-boggling. We all knew when that contract was signed, it was a poor one for the Titans, but I’m not sure they really had much of a choice.
He is the 2nd highest paid running back by cap hit this year, at $1.9 million less than Adrian Peterson. Chris Johnson is a good running back, I won’t say he’s not, but he’s not in the top 5. He has amassed nearly 7,000 yards in his career, but just like Marcedes Lewis, he is being paid for past performances. CJ will get his yards, but look for his TD numbers to diminish this year, with Shonn Greene being the short yardage guy. I would be a lot more comfortable with CJ around $5.5 million.
So that’s my list. Give me your thoughts! Am I right on, did I miss one, or am I just crazy?