- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 28, 2009

The NFL’s $100 million men

Albert Haynesworth became the seventh NFL player to sign a contract worth $100 million or more, and the first nonquarterback. Here is the list of the largest contracts in league history and what each player has done after signing the contract.

Player, teamLength (years)Total salaryAnnual salary

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Michael Vick, ATL10 years (2005-14)$167 million$16.7 million

Outcome: Vick played just two seasons after signing his record deal, with the Falcons missing the playoffs both years. He’s finishing a 23-month prison sentence for bankrolling a dogfighting operation and is contemplating a return to the NFL next season.

Peyton Manning, IND7 years (2005-11)$132.5 million$18.9 million

Outcome: With four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and a victory in Super Bowl XLI, it’s safe to say this deal has paid off handsomely for the Colts. Before his career is over, Manning might end up breaking every conceivable passing record. However, the Colts’ championship window may have closed.

Carson Palmer, CIN9 years (2006-14)$119.7 million$13.3 million

Outcome: This move was viewed as a risk, with Palmer coming off a serious knee injury. And the results have been mixed, at best. Palmer has thrown 57 touchdown passes and 37 interceptions during his deal but played in just four games in 2008, and the Bengals have missed the playoffs all three years.

Donovan McNabb, PHI12 years (2002-13)$115 million$9.6 million

Outcome: On one hand, the Eagles have made four NFC championship game appearances and reached a Super Bowl (a loss to New England in XXXIX). On the other hand, his relationship with the fans and coach Andy Reid has grown cold at times, and there has been talk of the team releasing him.

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT8 years (2008-15)$102 million$12.7 million

Outcome: One year into the deal, it’s so far, so good for the Steelers. Roethlisberger led a game-winning drive to defeat Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII. If Roethlisberger stays healthy, the possibility exists for the Steelers to challenge for several more Super Bowls.

Brett Favre, GB10 years (2001-10)$100 million$10 million

Outcome: Favre broke almost every NFL passing record while wearing a Packers uniform but wore out his welcome with several retirement false starts and a forced trade to the New York Jets. He has retired, possibly for the last time, after failing to make the playoffs last season with the Jets.

Albert Haynesworth, WAS7 years (2009-16)$100 million$14.3 million

Outlook: It remains to be seen. If Haynesworth can reproduce the last two seasons he had with the Titans, the contract could be worth it. If not, it likely will be an albatross around the team’s neck. The key will be keeping Haynesworth healthy and motivated.

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