Many elite sports stars earn millions of dollars for their performances. Firstly, their franchises and teams pay them massive amounts of money. Then they receive image rights and huge endorsements. It’s a very lucrative business if an athlete makes it to the top of their sport. However, the reality is that many of these players just don’t earn the money they make.
Today we’ll look at 30 athletes who never came close to earning their massive contracts. Some of them were unproven rookies who franchises threw money at without waiting to see their level. Others were genuinely great players but suffered injuries or aged. There are also strange cases where teams paid over the odds for no apparent reason. Check out the list below via GiveMeSport and Work and Money.
30. Ryan Leaf
One of the most notorious draft busts in NFL history, Leaf never came close to earning his contract. Many people touted him as a better long-term prospect than Peyton Manning. But the second overall pick never lived up to expectations. In fact, the San Diego Chargers probably wished that he never existed because he was so poor for them. Leaf was volatile, inconsistent, and a drug addict to boot.
Somehow he made it through four NFL seasons, but they were a living nightmare for Chargers fans. Meanwhile, he spent five years in jail after robbing prescription drugs. It also didn’t help that they handed him a record $11 million signing-on bonus as part of his contract. As soon as he put pen to paper, he became a millionaire. However, he was a disaster in every way.