Monday, September 22, 2014
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The 10 worst contracts in the NFC East

With Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones presiding over 50 percent of the NFC East, the most popular division in football has seen its share of awful contracts.

The 10 worst contracts in the NFC East

Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

With Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones presiding over 50 percent of the NFC East, the most popular division in football has seen its share of awful contracts in the last decade, with Albert Haynesworth probably being the poster child for bad cap management. At the present time, the number of egregiously bad contracts are down, although there are still some pretty bad ones.

Here are the 10 worst contracts, factoring in the ease with which teams can get out of them (For example, DeMeco Ryans will count for $6.9 million this season, but the Eagles can cut him at any time with no penalty, which doesn't make it a bad contract).

10) Riley Cooper, WR, Eagles:  The Eagles signed Cooper and Jeremy Maclin with a sense of urgency before free agency began, knowing full well that the were going to get rid of DeSean Jackson. The trade-off for being able to lock players up to long-term deals before they hit the open market is to overpay them, which is what the Eagles did with Cooper. While Cooper had a breakout season of sorts in 2013, he's certainly not a proven commodity after racking up just 1,514 career receiving yards in 4 years, but he was paid like one (5 years, $22 million).

*For full disclosure, the Eagles don't really have any awful contracts, and I felt like I had to shoehorn at least one in here.

9) Eli Manning, QB, Giants: There was a lot of this last season...

#27INTs, to be exact. Eli Manning is soon to be one of the most overrated Hall of Famers in NFL history. For now, he will count for $20.4 million against the cap in 2014, although the Giants can get out of that whenever they want (not that they will).

8) DeAngelo Hall, CB, Redskins: This is more of a lifetime achievement placement, as it is hard to think of many players in the history of the NFL who have made more undeserved money over the course of a career than DeAngelo Hall. In February, Hall signed a 4-year contract extension worth $17 million. Redskins followers swear that Hall is underrated, but I just don't see it. He's a below-average starting CB. Hall remains overpaid, but at least not as egregiously as he's been in the past.

7) Mathias Kiwanuka, OLB/DE, Giants: Kiwanuka has never really settled in at one position in the NFL, and it's difficult to figure out where to place the blame for that. However, no matter where he has played, Kiwanuka just hasn't been very good for the Giants, and he'll count for $5 million against the cap in 2014.

6) Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Giants: DRC can either be good, like he was in Denver under ideal circumstances in 2013. Or he can be uninterested, like he was in the mess that was the Eagles' 2012 season. The Giants will soon see which version of DRC they'll get, and they're paying a lot to find out. DRC signed a 5-year, $35-million deal with the Giants, and they're essentially committed to him through 2016, at a minimum. DRC will have cap numbers of $7,250,000 in 2015, and $8,000,000 in 2016. That is a lot of faith in a guy who was talking about retiring a few months ago. 

5) Kyle Orton, QB, Cowboys: Speaking of retirement, at one point this offseason, the Cowboys didn't know whether or not Orton was going to retire. Orton is a decent backup QB, but I'll bet Dallas secretly wanted him to retire, so they could get his $4.4 million cap hit off their books.

4) Brian Orakpo, OLB, Redskins: The Redskins had a tough decision to face this offseason. Should they have franchise-tagged Orakpo, keeping one of their only good players on defense in place, knowing that he's not worth the $11,455,000 cost to do so? Or should they have bitten the bullet, let him test the free agent market, and risked losing him? They chose the former, and the bottom line is that they're overpaying a guy they'll have to make the same decision on next offseason.

3) Will Beatty, OT, Giants: According to Pro Football Focus, Beatty gave up more sacks (13) than any offensive lineman in the NFL in 2013. His cap number in 2014 is $7.4 million, and will only continue to grow. 

2) Brandon Carr, CB, Cowboys: Carr signed a 5 year, $50 million deal with the Cowboys in March 2012. In 2 seasons in Dallas, he has 6 total INTs, and has not been the impact player his salary says he should be. Carr was 6th among CBs with 15 missed tackles in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus.

1) Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys: It's easy (and accurate) to say that Tony Romo has one career playoff win, but he is a good QB, and he has carried the Cowboys in recent years. However, he is recovering from back surgery and there is a possibility he may be on the way to a sharp decline. With that in mind, his contract is an abomination.

The Cowboys can't get out of that deal until 2017, at the earliest. It could be even further down the line if the Cowboys have to restructure his contract next offseason to lower his almost $28 million cap hit in 2015.

Jerry Jones, please live to be 150.

Today is Tony Romo's birthday, by the way. He's 34.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski

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