Jairus Byrd earned his reputation as one of the league's best ball-hawking safeties during his time in Buffalo. Before the 2014 season, he signed a six-year deal with the Saints with $28 million guaranteed. His first year in New Orleans ended quickly, as Byrd tore a knee ligament after only playing in four games, hardly justifying the salary cap gymnastics required by the Saints front office to sign Byrd.
2 of 29Simon Bruty/SI
Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (2014)
A former second-round pick, Toby Gerhart signed a three-year deal with Jacksonville worth $4.5 million in guaranteed money. But his relatively cheap contract couldn't make-up for an abysmal season for the Jaguars. Gerhart suited up for 14 games and yet seemed invisible on the field. He carried the ball 101 times for a paltry 3.2 yards per carry, and Jacksonville had one of the worst offenses in the league.
3 of 29Elise Amendola/AP
Lamarr Houston, DE, Chicago Bears (2014)
The Bears signed Lamarr Houston (five years, $15 million in guarantees) before the 2014 season as a potential replacement for Julius Peppers. Instead, Houston was a contributor to a disastrous Chicago defense. After going sack-less for half the season, Houston finally registered his first sack during a blowout loss at the hands of the Patriots—and tore his ACL while celebrating it.
4 of 29Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Michael Oher, OT, Tennessee Titans (2014)
Michael Oher signed a four-year, $20 million deal with the Titans before 2014 that ended up lasting only 11 games. Oher hurt his a toe and ended the season on injured reserve. His absence probably didn't hurt Tennessee, as Oher was ranked the fifth worst offensive tackle out of 78 according to Pro Football Focus.
5 of 29Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Matt Flynn, QB, Seattle Seahawks (2012)
Flynn seemed like he would be a career backup until the final game of the 2011 regular season. With Green Bay's No. 1 playoff seed secure and starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers resting on the bench, Flynn posted one of the best passing games statistically in Packers history. Flynn thrashed a playoff-bound Detroit Lions team, throwing for 480 yards (a franchise record) and six touchdowns (tied for a franchise record) in a 45-41 Green Bay win. The Seahawks proceeded to sign Flynn to a three-year, $26 million deal in the offseason, but he proceeded to lose the starting role during the preseason to rookie Russell Wilson. Flynn only attempted nine passes in his one-year stay with Seattle.
6 of 29Al Tielemans/SI
Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Philadelphia Eagles (2011)
When the Eagles signed All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to a five-year, $60 million contract in 2011, Philadelphia looked like a Super Bowl contender. Asomugha had played eight years in Oakland, where he was a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro. Instead, Asomugha did not live up to the hype, and the Eagles failed to make the playoffs in either of his two seasons in Philadelphia. The Eagles released Asomugha during the 2013 offseason.
7 of 29David Bergman/SI
Albert Haynesworth, DT, Washington Redskins (2009)
Haynesworth was an All-Pro defensive tackle for the Tennessee Titans in 2007 and 2008 before he was signed to a seven-year, $100 million contract -- including an NFL record $41 million guaranteed -- by the Washington Redskins during the 2009 offseason. But the Haynesworth Era in Washington turned out to be a debacle. He failed to live up to expectations in his first season and then entered a loud public spat with new Redskins coach Mike Shanahan prior to the 2010 season, during which Haynesworth only played eight games and started none. Shanahan eventually shipped Haynesworth to the Patriots for a fifth-round draft pick in 2011.
8 of 29Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Javon Walker, WR, Oakland Raiders (2008)
Walker was signed to a six-year, $55 million deal by the Oakland Raiders during the 2008 offseason after a poor season in Denver, where the receiver only played in eight games and failed to catch a single touchdown. Walker had previously played four years in Green Bay, including a Pro Bowl season in 2004, but he arrived in Oakland having dealt with injury issues two of the previous three seasons. Walker only lasted two years with the Raiders, playing in a combined 11 games in two seasons and catching only one touchdown. He failed to record a single reception in 2009 and was released.
9 of 29Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Ahman Green, RB, Houston Texans (2007)
The Texans wanted a back who could handle the bulk of the running game, so they signed the Packers' all-time leading rusher. The injury-prone Green played in only 14 games in two seasons, rushing for a meager 554 yards.
10 of 29Al Tielemans/SI
Adam Archuleta, SS, Washington Redskins (2006)
The former first-round pick played five good seasons in St. Louis, even racking up 116 total tackles in 2002. In 2006, the Redskins made Archuleta the highest-paid safety in the league, gifting him with a six-year, $30 million contract. But Archuleta failed to live up to expectations in Washington and only started seven games. After one year, Washington traded Archuleta to Chicago, where the safety played one year before retiring.
11 of 29Ron Schwane/Icon SMI
Jeff Garcia, QB, Cleveland Browns (2004)
Enticed by Garcia's three Pro Bowl appearances as a 49er, the Browns offered him a lucrative four-year, $25 million contract. But from the get-go, Garcia was a poor fit in Cleveland, clashing with head coach Butch Davis and offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie. He played in just 10 games with the Browns, in which they went a meager 3-7.
12 of 29Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Kerry Collins, QB, Oakland Raiders (2004)
Upon his release from the Giants, Collins signed a three-year, $16.82 million deal. When Rich Gannon went down with an injury in 2004, Collins took over, throwing 21 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. While his numbers improved in 2005, Collins won just seven games in two years, and was cut at the end of the '05 season.
13 of 29Chuck Solomon/SI
Jevon Kearse, DE, Philadelphia Eagles (2004)
The speedy defensive end's first two years in Philadelphia were successful, but in 2006 he suffered a knee injury that limited him to just two games. Eleven games into the next season he lost the starting job to Juqua Thomas. Kearse was released in 2008, four years into his eight-year contract.
14 of 29Stan Liu/Icon SMI
David Boston, WR, San Diego Chargers (2003)
In his first and only season with the Chargers, Boston caught 70 passes for 880 yards and seven touchdowns, but was a locker room liability, arguing with teammate Reche Caldwell and head coach Marty Schottenheimer. The Chargers won only four games and Boston was released.
15 of 29Al Tielemans/SI
Deion Sanders, CB, Washington Redskins (2000)
Sanders did not play poorly in his one and only season for Washington, but the Redskins grossly overpaid for the aged cornerback. Owner Dan Snyder gave Sanders an eight-year, $56 million deal -- with an $8 million signing bonus -- but he was not the same player who had made eight out of the previous nine Pro Bowls.
16 of 29AP
Chuck Smith, DE, Carolina Panthers (2000)
Poor Chuck Smith inherited the curse of Nate Odomes when he agreed to a five-year, $21 million deal with the Panthers. Smith, who finished his career in Atlanta as the franchise's all-time leader in sacks (58.5), played only two games for the Panthers. Hampered by a knee injury, he retired at the end of the season.
17 of 29Bob Rosato/SI
Lawrence Phillips, RB, San Francisco 49ers (1999)
Phillips earns a spot on the list for making a catastrophic boneheaded mistake in just half a season with the 49ers. His missed block on cornerback Aeneas Williams ultimately resulted in a career-ending concussion for quarterback Steve Young. Phillips was suspended halfway through the season and released at its close.
18 of 29AP
Dale Carter, CB, Denver Broncos (1999)
Carter was a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the Chiefs and a three-time arrestee, but the Broncos felt his talent outweighed his off-field misbehavior. He was offered a four-year, $22.8 million deal with Denver and became the NFL's most expensive defensive back. After an unimpressive first season, Carter was suspended the entire 2000 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy for the fourth time. He was released in the middle of the 2001 season.
19 of 29Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Chester McGlockton, DT, Kansas City Chiefs (1998)
Prior to signing, McGlockton had been to four straight Pro Bowls as a Raider. But as soon as he came to Arrowhead Stadium, his production took a nosedive. McGlockton made only seven sacks in three years with the Chiefs and averaged 35.7 tackles per year.
20 of 29Al Tielemans/SI
Dana Stubblefield, DT, Washington Redskins (1998)
The 'Skins swooped in on the NFL's reigning defensive MVP in 1998, offering a hefty six-year, $36 million deal that included an $8 million signing bonus. The highly touted defensive tackle quickly became part of a tradition of Redskins' free-agent busts. After Washington lost its first seven games in 1998, Stubblefield injured his knee and missed the rest of the season. He had only seven sacks in three seasons with the Redskins.
21 of 29Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Gabe Wilkins, DE, San Francisco 49ers (1998)
He had showed such freakish athleticism and incredible promise on the Super Bowl-winning Packers of the mid-90's that the 49ers had few doubts about signing him to a $4 million-a-year deal. But a lingering knee injury limited Wilkins to just 24 games and one sack in two years with the franchise.
22 of 29Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Yancey Thigpen, WR, Tennessee Oilers (1998)
The Oilers signed Thigpen to a five-year, $21 million deal, hoping he could make big plays for young quarterback Steve McNair. Thigpen proved to be well past his prime. In three years with Tennessee, he hauled in an average of 30.3 passes per year with only nine touchdowns. He retired after the 2000 season.
23 of 29Orlin Wagner/AP
Bert Emanuel, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1998)
The Bucs followed up the blunder of signing Alvin Harper by replacing him with yet another bust. Emanuel signed for $4 million a year after three straight 65-reception seasons in Atlanta, but his production dropped sharply. He caught 41 balls in 1998, only 21 in 1999, and was released after those two seasons.
24 of 29Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Neil O'Donnell, QB, New York Jets (1996)
Perhaps the Jets should have taken O'Donnell's miserable performance in Super Bowl XXX as a warning sign, but they didn't. Instead, they signed him to a five-year deal worth $25 million. In his first season as a Jet, O'Donnell separated his shoulder and started only six games as the Jets went 1-15. A year later, he was benched numerous times by head coach Bill Parcells for poor play, and released in the offseason.
25 of 29George Bridges/AP
Larry Brown, CB, Oakland Raiders (1996)
Fresh off a Super Bowl victory in which he was named MVP, Brown signed with the Raiders in 1996 for $12.5 million over five years. In his two years with the franchise, Brown played in just 12 games, started in only one, and earned a four-week suspension for ''conduct detrimental to the team.'' He was released in 1998.
26 of 29Phil Long/AP
Andre Rison, WR, Cleveland Browns (1995)
The four-time Pro Bowl receiver signed a five-year, $17 million deal, making him the highest paid receiver in NFL history at the time. But that season he had career lows in receptions (47), yards (701), touchdowns (3), receptions per game (2.9) and yards per game (43.8). He was released at the end of the season.
27 of 29John Iacono/SI
Alvin Harper, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1995)
Coming off two straight Super Bowl appearances with the Cowboys and a 1994 season in which he led the league with 24.9 yards-per-reception, Harper signed for big money with the Bucs. He caught 46 balls for 633 yards and two touchdowns his first season, but he never recaptured the big-play prowess he showed in Dallas. He was released after the following season.
28 of 29Robert Sorbo/AP
Nate Odomes, CB, Seattle Seahawks (1994)
One of the best defensive backs of the early '90's, Odomes literally signed away his career by accepting a deal with the Seahawks in 1994. He had been to four straight Super Bowls with the Bills, but never played a game in his two years with Seattle, injuring a knee before both seasons began. He retired shortly thereafter.
29 of 29Tom Hauck/Getty Images
Scott Mitchell, QB, Detroit Lions (1994)
With Barry Sanders in the backfield and the receiving tandem of Herman Moore and Brett Perriman at his disposal, Mitchell should have been great. But the three-year backup to Dan Marino had only one standout season in his five with the Lions. The other four he was mediocre, and twice the Lions were bounced in the first round of the playoffs due in large part to his poor performances.
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