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.

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

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

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of