Sports

Star Athletes Who Never Came Close To Earning Their Massive Contracts

Darren - July 1, 2021
Sports

Star Athletes Who Never Came Close To Earning Their Massive Contracts

Darren - July 1, 2021
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

22. Kenyon Martin

There’s no doubt Martin had a decent career. However, the power forward never reached his full potential. The reason for this was because he suffered some bad injuries during his time with the Nuggets. That’s the reason why he makes this list because he made massive money during his time in Denver. He was bringing in the dollars like they were about to expire.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Martin’s knees were as reliable as an alcoholic in a brewery. He endured some terrible problems in both of them and spent a lot of time on the sidelines. Despite this, he was earning a lot of money because of his six-year contract worth $83 million. In hindsight, this was a terrible deal for the Nuggets because of his minimal impact. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

21. Alistair Overeem

Overeem had a glittering MMA career. He made his name with PRIDE and K-1 before joining the UFC. While he never won the heavyweight title, he became a fan favorite. Meanwhile, he was earning some of the biggest paychecks in the organization. This was great when he was at his peak, but not so good when he went into decline. In a sport where promoters prefer to underpay fighters, Overeem went the other way.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

In short, the Dutch star took home between $500,000 and $700,000 dollars per fight. This was a staggering amount of money and also made him one of the company’s highest earners. Finally, in 2021, the UFC cut him because it simply wasn’t worth paying him that much. A new generation of fans didn’t remember his previous brilliance of years past. They were paying for nostalgia but it reached its expiry date.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

20. Matt Cassel

Tom Brady was New England’s quarterback for 20 seasons. Throughout that period, Cassel was the only other signal-caller to play the majority of a season. When Brady missed 2008 with injury, Cassel became the starter. The Pats finished with an 11-5 record and narrowly missed the playoffs. However, Cassel enhanced his reputation because of his performances.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs decided to take the plunge. To sum up, it was disastrous. He was earning $11 million per season in Missouri despite the team’s dire performances. Cassel threw 16 interceptions in his first season with the franchise and didn’t improve. It was a dark time for Kansas because they had no hope of winning with Cassel as their starter.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

19. Chris Davis

Davis’s last great season with the Baltimore Orioles was back in 2015. That was before the franchise decided to make him one of the highest-paid players in MLB. The more we look at his contract, the worse it appears. In fact, many analysts regard the hitter as MLB’s worst-ever contract bust. That’s a dire tag, but unfortunately, Davis is definitely worthy of this dubious honor.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He was a two-time MLB hit leader and this convinced Baltimore to hand him a $168 million extension. To sum up, this proved ludicrous. Since the contract, Davis broke the record for the longest hitless streak in MLB history. The previous record was 0-for-46. Somehow, Davis extended his to 0-for-54. Finally, he broke that streak against the Red Sox. In the end, he became a parody of a baseball player.

Mandatory Credit: GOAL

18. Oscar

Oscar was one of the most Chinese Super League’s most surprising signings when he joined Shanghai in 2016. The Brazilian midfielder was a regular starter for Chelsea at the highest level of the sport. But when Shanghai swooped, he found himself unable to turn down the riches available. It was a choice between enhancing his legacy or ensuring his family’s financial security for generations.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

In the end, he went for the latter option. Shanghai agreed to pay him almost $500,000 per week. It was insane money and it’s difficult to say he was earning it because of the league’s standard. In recent years, China changed its laws to prevent clubs from throwing obscene money at overseas players. This was because it was obviously unsustainable and saw some teams go out of business.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

17. Greg Oden

Oden had one of the most disappointing careers in NBA history. The Portland Trail Blazers used the first overall pick on him in 2007 after he had an amazing season for Ohio State. Then, he had knee surgery and missed the entire year. Things didn’t get much better for Oden. The seven-footer had all of the physical qualities to achieve greatness but couldn’t stay on the court.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Finally, Portland lost patience and waived him because they couldn’t keep him fit. But the crazy thing was that he earned $231,646 per game played. Meanwhile, Oden went three years between NBA games before playing for the Miami Heat. That was probably the best season of his pro career because he helped them to the Finals. They didn’t win but fans saw glimpses of what Oden could do.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

16. Javon Walker

The NFL is a dangerous business and players deteriorate very quickly. Walker is a fine example of this situation because he was great for Green Bay. This convinced the Denver Broncos to bring the wide receiver to Colorado. However, there was a major risk involved because Walker was coming off an ACL tear. No one knew how effective he would be after this injury.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

For some reason, the Broncos still wanted to pay Walker $40 million to play for them. It would have been rude of him to say no, so he signed the contract. Unfortunately, his time in Denver was an unmitigated disaster. As well as playing poorly, Walker was in the same car as Darrent Williams when the latter died in a shooting. Needless to say, this had a profound impact on Walker.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

15. Naby Keita

Keita joined Liverpool with a glowing reputation. The team was so desperate to sign him that they agreed to pay over $60 million. Then, they loaned him back to his German team RB Leipzig. Finally, he arrived in England and fans licked their lips in anticipation. But he never produced on a weekly basis. To sum up, Keita’s injury record is one of the most miserable ever.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

He can’t stay fit. The Guinean is earning $150,000 per week at Anfield but barely steps onto the playing field. This makes him a figure of frustration for fans because they feel that he isn’t contributing. It’s disappointing because he has shown flashes of his ability. Unfortunately, the midfield dynamo hasn’t achieved this on a consistent basis. His future is as muddled as his medical record.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

14. Nick Foles

In 2019, the Jacksonville Jaguars made the fateful decision to sign Foles. The quarterback became a hero for the Philadelphia Eagles after he played an integral role in their Super Bowl win. However, they obviously missed the fact that he was a career backup. So why did they feel the need to hand him an $88 million contract?

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The worst part of this is that Foles only played four games for the Jaguars. In short, their fans didn’t think Foles was earning his money. But it wasn’t entirely his fault. As the old adage goes, don’t hate the player; hate the game. Foles departed Florida for the Chicago Bears in 2020 and took over as a starter there. But that wasn’t to say he played well there either because he didn’t.

Rockets hire former NBA center DeSagana Diop as assistant coach
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

13. DeSagna Diop

Most people won’t be very familiar with Diop because he wasn’t a special NBA player. The Senegalese player was a giant but that was his main redeeming quality. He played for a number of franchises without really making his mark anywhere. However, there must be something in the water in Dallas because they made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. His contract was terrible for the franchise.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Diop played just 34 games for Dallas despite the fact that he signed a three-year deal. They shipped him off to the Charlotte Bobcats. However, he finished his $32 million deal in Charlotte, so he made all of his money. It was agonizing for Dallas because Diop was earning a fortune while playing for a different franchise. This was incredibly dumb, but that’s sports politics.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

12. Kepa Arrizabalaga

After Thibaut Courtois left Chelsea for Real Madrid, the club required an elite replacement. They settled on the Athletic Bilbao youngster Kepa. The Spaniard became the most expensive goalkeeper in the world after Chelsea paid $85 million for his services. Meanwhile, they agreed on a contract of $77 million over seven years. It was a great deal for him but he definitely hasn’t earned his money.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

First of all, he isn’t in the world-class bracket that Chelsea paid for. He frequently makes costly mistakes and this caused the club to replace him with Eduoard Mendy. Suddenly, Chelsea had one of their biggest earners sitting on the bench every week. Furthermore, Kepa demonstrated an attitude problem. In one cup final, he refused to come off the field against his coach’s wishes.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

11. CM Punk

Former WWE star CM Punk (Phil Brooks) signed a contract with the UFC in 2014. The promotion’s logic was that the pro-wrestler would bring casual eyes to their events. It took Punk two years to make his UFC debut as he prepared for the event. Finally, he took on Mickey Gall and lost by rear-naked choke. But Punk made about one million dollars from the event.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

His take-home pay and endorsements were worth a lot of money. This meant that he was earning thousands of dollars for every minute he spent in the cage. Punk only fought once more but couldn’t get an elusive win. He suffered a miserable, crushing defeat to Mike Jackson in 2018. In the end, fans called him one of the worst fighters in the history of the promotion.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. Daunte Culpepper

Culpepper an outstanding season in his NFL career. In 2004, he broke the 4,000 passing yard mark and threw 39 touchdown passes in the most productive year of his time in Minnesota. There is always an element of risk in extending a player’s contract if they’ve only had one great season. But the Vikings believed that Culpepper had broken through a ceiling.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He signed a 10-year contract worth $102 million dollars. Unfortunately, it all went downhill again after that. Needless to say, the Vikings traded him after one more season. Furthermore, this left them with a ton of dead-cap money. He was earning money from the Vikings while playing in Oakland and Detroit. It was a disaster of a contract.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

9. Gordon Hayward

The Boston Celtics love to waste money. Hayward and his agent exploited this to their benefit when he signed a contract with the franchise in 2017. After an All-Star season with the Utah Jazz, Hayward used his momentum to pen a massive deal. His four-year contract was worth about $128 million. Then, it was too bad for Boston that he broke his leg soon after.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

In short, it’s not easy to play basketball with a broken leg. Even when Hayward returned, he didn’t feature very often for the team. It wasn’t Hayward’s fault but the fact was that he was earning a lot of money for doing very little. Meanwhile, things became even crazier when the Celtics made him a part of a sign and trade deal with Charlotte. This was worth another cool $100 million.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Carson Wentz

Wentz suffered one of the most bizarre deteriorations in recent NFL history. The former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback won a Super Bowl with the franchise. After this season, the top brass decided to extend his contract. However, in 2020, his numbers went completely off the cliff with career-lows across the board. These included 15 interceptions, the worst total in the NFL. Meanwhile, he was earning multiple millions of dollars.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

By the end of the season, Jalen Hurts was the Eagles’ starter. Finally, the Eagles traded him to the Colts in exchange for a couple of picks. But they suffered a massive amount of dead-cap money in the process. His four-year deal was worth $128 million but he only spent one season of it with Philly. In the end, the franchise became a joke and Wentz was the punchline.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. Anderson Silva

Silva found himself in a similar position to Overeem. However, the Brazilian icon was one of the greatest fighters ever during his heyday. Insanely, he continued competing in MMA until he was 45. But while he had one of the biggest contracts in the sport, he suffered a major decline. Silva has the record for most consecutive wins in UFC history but that is in the past now.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Younger fans don’t recall his spell-binding wins. Instead, they focus on the fact that he lost seven of his last nine fights. This may seem unfair, but it is the reality of professional sports. Unlike Alistair Overeem, the UFC didn’t cut Silva. But they mutually agreed to end their relationship after Silva’s final contract expired. In the end, it was the right thing to do for both parties.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Bryant Reeves

Reeves is a Grizzlies’ cult hero. Many NBA fans regard him as a bust but his first three seasons for Vancouver were decent. The seven-footer had a massive and imposing frame to match his height. Unfortunately, his weight continued to balloon as his time in the league progressed. ‘Big Country’s’ displays for his franchise impressed them and convinced them to offer an extension.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

And that’s where it all went wrong for them. The gigantic center put pen to paper on a six-year extension worth $61.8 million. That’s a lot of money for a farm boy from Oklahoma. However, his form deteriorated and he had fitness issues despite earning millions of bucks. It’s a shame because he had so much potential but now people remember him as an expensive mistake.

Mandatory Credit: AS Sports

5. Phillipe Coutinho

Coutinho was electrifying for Liverpool, where he was their star player. The Brazilian’s form convinced Barcelona to drop $150 million dollars on him. Meanwhile, they agreed to pay him a whopping $20 million per year. But things didn’t go well for the attacking midfielder at the Camp Nou. He didn’t fit in and soon found himself on loan in Germany with Bayern Munich.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

But Barcelona was still paying him a crazy salary. It’s fair to say that he wasn’t exactly earning his money because he was featuring for another team. Then, they had to give Liverpool an extra incremental payment. This was because he met a Champion’s League appearances total. Their agreement didn’t specify that he had to make those appearances for Barcelona. However, he was still under contract so they had no choice.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. John Wall

Wall is clearly a very good player, but it’s too bad that the Wizards didn’t get the best of him. While he is elite on his day, Wall simply didn’t have enough days. He missed the entire 2019/20 season after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in his own home. Meanwhile, he was still earning millions of dollars from the injury list. It was even more disappointing because he missed a chunk of the previous season with knee problems.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Rubbing salt into Washington’s wounds was his four-year, $170 million extensions. In the end, he only played for two-and-a-half seasons of it while remaining under contract for the rest. It was a disastrous deal for the Wizards because they weren’t able to maximize his productivity. Finally, they traded him to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. Albert Haynesworth

Haynesworth was magnificent for the Tennessee Titans. After back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, he became a free agent. The Washington Redskins were desperate to sign him and duly did so. They successfully lured him with a seven-year contract worth $100 million. However, this proved to be one of the worst deals in the history of the franchise. Considering it was the Redskins, that’s horrendous.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But Haynesworth lost his drive and enthusiasm for football as soon as he put pen to paper. His weight ballooned like a polar bear before winter. Meanwhile, his attitude stank worse than a frat house after a party. Unfortunately, Haynesworth was still earning millions of dollars. Eventually, Washington shipped him off to the Patriots but the damage to their accounting was done.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez was electrifying for Arsenal after they signed him from Barcelona. However, the Chilean forward soon realized that he was never going to win anything meaningful with the London club. Manchester United showed interest in him and he responded enthusiastically. But it didn’t go well. In fact, Sanchez told the Sun that he wanted to return to Arsenal after his first practice in Manchester.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

However, at least he made a lot of money. United paid him over $500,00 per week including image rights and bonuses. Things became worse and eventually, the club accepted that they weren’t going to get the best out of him. So they shipped him out on loan to Inter Milan. While the Italians paid a loan fee for this privilege, United was still on the hook for the wages he was earning there.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Ben Simmons

On the face of it, Simmons has elite credentials. The former NBA Rookie of the Year was a three-time All-Star by 2021. But he received a lot of heat from Philadelphia fans because he didn’t deliver when it counted. They needed him to be a clutch player but he didn’t have that in his locker. The 76ers star had a dire display against the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals where his offense was at its worst.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

First, he was afraid to shoot and wasted vital opportunities to score. Then he missed easy chances, especially in Game Seven. Across the seven-game series, he attempted just three shots in the fourth quarter. He went missing when the team needed him to stand up and be counted. Philly fans are an unforgiving punch and Simmons felt the heat on social media.

Advertisement