Lessons to learn from NFL’s $100m contracts

Joe Flacco is the latest QB to join the $100 million club.
Patrick Semansky/AP
Joe Flacco is the latest QB to join the $100 million club.

The Ravens had to pay up to keep Joe Flacco, giving him the third-richest contract in NFL history. Seven of the 13 $100 million deals ever signed are on the books for 2013, and the other six show you can’t expect such contracts to be worth their price tag.

A look at the deals:

WR Calvin Johnson, Lions; $132m over 8 years (2012); Off to a record-setting start with 1,964 receiving yards last season.


QB Michael Vick, Falcons; $130m over 10 years (2005); Vick played only two years before his deal was voided for his arrest.

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QB Joe Flacco, Ravens; $120.6m over 6 years (2013); Earned his payday with five straight playoffs and a Super Bowl ring.

WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals; $120m over 8 years (2011); Catches are down last two years but he hasn’t had a viable QB.

QB Carson Palmer, Bengals; $119m over 9 years (2006); Suffered playoff knee injury just two weeks after signing contract.

QB Drew Bledsoe, Patriots; $103m over 10 years (2001); Career lasted only six more years (one franchise-altering year in N.E.).


QB Daunte Culpepper, Vikings; $102m over 10 years (2003); A big ‘04 season was followed by injury that ended stardom days.

QB Brett Favre, Packers; $100m over 10 years (2001); Played seven highly productive years in Green Bay under the contract.

RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings; $100m over 7 years (2011); Worries of his knee injury in ‘11 were answered by 2,097-yard season.

DT Albert Haynesworth, Redskins; $100m over 7 years (2009); Nothing but trouble for the player, and his three teams after deal.

QB Michael Vick, Eagles; $100m over 6 years (2011); Philly overpaid for a fragile QB with an 81.8 rating last two years.


DT Mario Williams, Bills; $100m over 6 years (2012); In first year of investment, Buffalo got a team-high 10.5 sacks

QB Drew Brees, Saints; $100m over 5 years (2012); Couldn’t match ‘12 levels but still led NFL in yards and TD passes