For the majority of teams, we’re only six weeks removed from the NFL offseason. With that in mind and with it becoming apparent which players are headed toward very disappointing seasons, let’s look at five contracts destined to become albatrosses very soon.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz: The NFL’s current leader in interceptions, fumbles, and sacks hasn’t posted a single triple-digit passer rating all season. He’s been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league all year, and it’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever get it back. Unfortunately for the Eagles, his 2021 salary-cap hit is $34.7 million, and in order to move on in 2022, it would cost them another $24.5 million.
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan: The 2016 MVP hasn’t even been a Pro Bowler since then, and he’s thrown just 15 passes in 10 games this year. He’s just not getting it done in Atlanta, but he’ll cost the team an unreal $40.9 million in 2021. To move on when Ryan is 37 in 2022, it will cost the Falcons another $26.5 million. That’s a tough pill to swallow in a post-pandemic economy.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones: Oh boy. In terms of both health and productivity, the future Hall of Famer has hit somewhat of a wall in his age-31 season. It’s fair to wonder if he’s running out of gas, but a fairly new, extremely lucrative contract means he’ll be owed more than $23 million in 2021 and $19.2 million in 2022. By then, with Ryan’s deal also causing stress, the Falcons might just have to suck it up and pay $15.5 million to cut ties.
Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford: This will almost certainly be the 12th consecutive year in which the Lions will fail to experience any playoff success with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft. Stafford’s numbers have fallen off a cliff this season, and he turns 33 in February. That isn’t necessarily old for a quarterback, but Detroit might be low on patience. Still, the Lions owe Stafford $35 million in 2021 and another $28 million in 2022, unless they decide to hand him $24.9 million to go away.
Chicago Bears edge Khalil Mack: The five-time Pro Bowler remains a star, but he’s recorded just 15 sacks in his last 26 games, and the Bears look as though they’ll fail to win a playoff game for the third year in a row since acquiring Mack. He’ll turn 30 in a few months, but he’ll cost $26.6 million in 2021 and $27.2 million in 2022- unless the Bears pay $12 million to move on that offseason.