Ranking the 5 worst NFL contracts ahead of the 2022 season

NFL 2022 - Browns QB Deshaun Watson is still facing multiple lawsuits in Texas.Syndication Akron Beacon Journal
NFL 2022 - Browns QB Deshaun Watson is still facing multiple lawsuits in Texas.Syndication Akron Beacon Journal /
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NFL 2022
NFL 2022; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jamal Adams (33) celebrates after hitting San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) for an incomplete pass during the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

There are plenty of bad contracts all around the NFL, but these five contracts stand out among the rest as the worst in the league in 2022.

There are plenty of bad contracts all across the NFL, but some deals stand out as certainly being worse than others.

Of course, in the same breath, it’s actually tough to call any contract in the NFL “bad” from the player’s perspective, because compared to other professional leagues, the NFL’s contract structures are almost all not fully guaranteed.

NFL teams have to deal with the salary cap and rosters bigger than 15-20 players, so deals are structured in a way that teams have a way to get “out” later on if things don’t work out and save some money.

Based on the physicality and longevity of NFL player careers, you could say that almost all NFL contracts are ‘bad’ from the player perspective when comparing them to other professional leagues.

With that being said, we’re looking at deals in the context of the NFL, not other pro sports.

Which five contracts are the worst in the league in 2022?

No. 5 worst contract in the NFL: Jamal Adams, S, Seattle Seahawks

4 years, $70.58 million, $38 million guaranteed

Jamal Adams signed this massive contract just before the start of the 2021 NFL season, and it’s hard to say at this point that the Seattle Seahawks could really have any sort of buyer’s remorse.

At an average annual value of $17.65 million per season, Jamal Adams is one of the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL but nobody really knows what position he is.

He’s not a traditional safety and he’s not a traditional linebacker, but he kind of plays both.

Seattle had to surrender multiple first-round picks to get Adams from the New York Jets, one of which was used to move up in the 2021 NFL Draft so the Jets could select offensive guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and the other used to select Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Because of the price paid to acquire Adams in a trade and to keep him around contractually, this is undoubtedly one of the worst contracts in the NFL.

Adams is paid like some star receivers, but his impact on the passing game is minimal by comparison.

He’s paid like a top-flight pass rusher, but he doesn’t give you double-digit sacks.

Coming in with the no. 61 biggest contract in the league in terms of average pay, Adams’ deal might end up being a very regrettable one for the Seahawks before too long.