The Most Overpaid Defensive NFL Players of 2016

AntoineBetheaTyMontgomeryGreenBayPackers tY15exB3eJl 560x373Defense wins championships, plain and simple. In the history of the NFL, there are only a few times that a team won the Super Bowl and had a terrible defense, only a few. So no matter how good a team’s offense is, without great players on the other side of the ball stopping their opponent, it is all for nothing.

So when it comes to signing defensive players, owners around the NFL tend to overpay for them just to make sure they stick around for the long haul and not jet off once their rookie contract is up. But most of the times, the defensive players are being signed for what they could do and not for what everyone knows they can do.

That is when you end up having low quality overpaid players on your team. Some of these guys you are about to see aren’t terrible players but they are also not worthy of the dollars they are making right now. Here is our list for the NFL’s most overpaid defensive players of 2016.

DE – Vinny Curry, Philadelphia Eagles

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  • Contract: 5-yr/$47.25 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $3 million
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 24th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 0 (32)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 31 Tkls, 12.5 Sacks, 4 FF
  • Where’s the Beef? There isn’t too many options for the Eagles at this point so when they re-signed Vinny Curry for this massive deal, they must have been thinking it was a good investment. But after four seasons in the NFL, he just isn’t proving that he is worth $47 million.

DE – Olivier Vernon, New York Giants

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  • Contract: 5-yr/$85 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $13 million
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 10th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 32 (32)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 108 Tkls, 14.0 Sacks, 2 FF
  • Where’s the Beef? At $85 million, Olivier Vernon should be one of the best Defensive Ends in the NFL, but he isn’t even the best DE on his team, the New York Giants. He is going to cause some problems for the Giants in the next few seasons if he doesn’t live up to the 2013 season where he had 11.5 sacks and simply dominated the line. Otherwise, he is nothing more than a good player earning way too much money.

DT – Tyrone Crawford, Dallas Cowboys

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  • Contract: 5-yr/$45 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $4.35 million
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 65th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 31 (31)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 70 Tkls, 8.0 Sacks, 3 Pass Deflections
  • Where’s the Beef? The Dallas Cowboys have much bigger problems than worrying about all the bad contracts they signed over the past few years. Tyrone Crawford is just starting to become a player of value, but not yet.

DT – Corey Liuget, San Diego Chargers

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  • Contract: 5-yr/$51.25 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $10 million
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 36th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 26 (27)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 91 Tkls, 7.5 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 TD
  • Where’s the Beef? It doesn’t look good when a defensive player is the cause of the second highest cap hit on the Chargers when he is not the best player on that side of the ball. He isn’t even in the top 4.

LB – Ahmad Brooks, San Francisco 49ers

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  • Contract: 6-yr/$40.4 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $8.005 million
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 98th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 27 (27)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 72 Tkls, 12.5 Sacks, 2 FR
  • Where’s the Beef? Ahmad Brooks signed the 6-year deal back in 2012 after only one season of showing off his talents to the 49ers. $40 million is a lot of money for a defensive linebacker that hasn’t played a full season since 2013. He should be making about $13 million less to match his performance.

LB – Brian Cushing, Houston Texans

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  • Contract: 6-yr/$52.5 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $9,047,500
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 47th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 30 (30)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 182 Tkls, 1.0 Sacks, 2 FF
  • Where’s the Beef? At one point, Brian Cushing was the best linebacker in the NFL. But his career started to derail when he got injured in 2012 and 2013, missing most of the season. He also dealt with the failed drug test that caused him to battle with allegations of steroid use. He did manage to play a full season for the first time since 2011 and wound up with 111 tackles. So maybe he will return to his old form and this contract will be justified.

CB – Byron Maxwell, Philadelphia Eagles

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  • Contract: 6-yr/$63 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $8.5 million
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 50th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 26 (27)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 114 Tkls, 4 INTs, 2 FF, 2 FR
  • Where’s the Beef? The Philadelphia Eagles must know something we don’t because Byron Maxwell is not the 5th best cornerback of the NFL, as his new contract would indicate. He has turned into a trend amongst NFL owners where they pay a player that is about to breakout with the hope that he turns into an elite CB. Don’t get us wrong, Byron Maxwell is good but he isn’t the fifth best, not yet.

CB – Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants

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  • Contract: 5-yr/$62.5 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $8 million
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 40th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 28 (29)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 123 Tkls, 5 INTs, 3 FF
  • Where’s the Beef? The Giants went a little nuts trying to build their defense up so when they signed Janoris Jenkins for $62.5 million, it made sense. They were not thinking about the long term issues that his contract is going to cause when that cap hit doubles next season but that is on them.

S – Jairus Byrd, New Orleans Saints

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  • Contract: 6-yr/$54 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $10.9 million
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 69th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 16 (17)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 65 Tkls, 1.0 Sacks, 1 INT, 2 FF
  • Where’s the Beef? The Saints have been struggling with the salary cap for years now but somehow they have continued to sign big name players to great contracts. The only problem is, Jairus Byrd hasn’t lived up to the player he was in Buffalo and has battled injuries for two seasons now.

S – Antoine Bethea, San Francisco 49ers

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  • Contract: 4-yr/$21 million
  • ’16 Cap Hit: $6.025 million
  • ’16 Positional Ranking: 15th
  • 2-Yr Games Started (Games): 23 (23)
  • 2-Yr Statistical Look: 103 Tkls, 2.0 Sacks, 4 INTs
  • Where’s the Beef? At 32 years of age, Antoine Bethea isn’t getting any younger so every time he plays, he is battling the clock. After a good 2014 season, his first in San Francisco, he dealt with a ton of problems in 2015 and ended up only playing 7 games. It could be tough to see him return to his former Colts days. He would have to if he wants to earn that paper check.