20 NFL Players that Should Take Pay Cuts

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20 NFL Players that Should Take Pay Cuts

palmer
Kirby Lee-US Presswire

Now that the free agency market is set to open, there are a lot of players that are expected to get a big payday from their new teams. However, there are some that are already set with their current teams that are perhaps being paid a bit more than they should. And by a bit, we are talking in terms of millions, not like that lady in your HR department that makes a couple of thousand dollars more than she should.

While some teams will spend aggressively during the free agency period this Spring, there are some teams that need to gash salary quickly to set themselves up for comfortable cap room in the coming years. Not only would it help their teams out to take such a cut, but it would also allow them to play alongside new free agents that can get them over the hump to the Super Bowl.

Some of these players are good, but to get a top-level contract like Peyton Manning has, you need to play at Peyton Manning's level to deserve that type of cash. Others have underwhelmed so badly that it's a surprise that they are even paid at all.

Just a bit of a disclaimer before we start, if you are a fan of the Jets, Raiders or Chiefs, then you are not going to like this list at all. There are a lot of overpaid players on those three rosters and it is no coincidence that all three finished outside of the playoff hunt in the 2012 season.

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Vernon Davis

davis
Kirby Lee-US Presswire

It seems that when playoff time comes around, Davis does step up in a big way. However, he has faded in the past couple of regular seasons and it has put him in the overpaid department in the league.

He's making over $6 million in 2013 which puts him towards the top in the list of highest paid Tight Ends, but hasn't played at the same level consistently like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski or Tony Gonzalez over the past couple of years. He doesn't deserve to make half a million by any means, but $6 million is a bit much for his recent output.

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David Harris

harris
USA Today

I already warned you that there would be some Jets on here, and Harris isn't the last, but he is certainly worth being mentioned first. He's scheduled to make nearly $11 million in 2013 which is beyond reason.

He's not among the elite linebackers in the NFL, but he is being paid like it. His stats haven't backed up the salary and the deflating Jets defense starts with him as well. He's not the worst backer in the league, but definitely is underplaying his salary.

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Santonio Holmes

holmes
Steve Mitchell-US Presswire

It's been an underwhelming three seasons in New York for Holmes, and it's not expected that he's going to make a bounce back and become elite. He never really was elite to start with, as he has had only one season with over 1,000 yards.

Regardless, the Jets are scheduled to pay him $11 million in 2013 which is the type of money you would expect for a player like Calvin Johnson instead of Holmes. He will have to restructure that contract with the Jets for the team to get any value out of him for the money that they are paying.

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Mark Sanchez

sanchez
Kevin Hoffman-US Presswire

When Sanchez signed a huge contract extension after last season, it left a lot of people scratching their heads. Now after a miserable 2012 season, people are scratching so hard that they can now poke their brains.

He's been one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL, but is being paid a ridiculous amount, with $8.25 million set to come his way in the 2013 season. It's unlikely that he will take less money than he has now, but he certainly should.

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Jay Cutler

cutler
Andrew Weber-US Presswire

Another underwhelming quarterback that is making a huge salary is Cutler. Granted, he's not as bad as Sanchez, but at $8.47 million, he's getting paid like him.

He's not terrible, but we can see a lot of improvement. Also, he's not making a ridiculous amount of money compared to Joe Flacco, but it's still worth mentioning how much he makes. The Bears would be smart to try and get that knocked down by a couple million dollars, but we doubt that would happen.

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DeAngelo Williams

williams
Derick Hingle-US Presswire

Williams is making $4.75 million which isn't a blockbuster amount, but it's still huge considering how much Carolina actually uses the running back.

He has played poorly in the last three seasons and was still able to manage a below-average season in 2012 due to a 210 yard performance in Week 17. Without that, he would have just had a bit over 500 yards and that would have made his contract seem even more ridiculous.

With the amount of carries that get split in Carolina, Williams has become less valuable and it's unlikely we'll see Williams with the team after his contract comes to an end.

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Karlos Dansby

dansby
Robert Mayer-US Presswire

Dansby is still a serviceable player, but at over $6 million set for 2013 coming his way, it's become apparent that he's getting paid more than he should.

He's definitely heading to the downside of his career now that he will be 32 in the 2013 season, so it's likely that his production will drop even more. Even worse, he's scheduled to make over $9 million in 2014. After that he will be a free agent, and if he doesn't take a pay cut, it's unlikely he will be a Dolphin past that point.

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Antonio Cromartie

cromartie
Steven Bisig-US Presswire

You thought we were done with the Jets? Think again. Cromartie is just another player on the team that is simply overpaid. He's going to bring in $7 million in 2013 unless his deal is restructured, and for an average of three interceptions a season over the last five years, it's just not worth it.

He blew up in his second season with San Diego to the tune of 10 interceptions, but hasn't found that success since then, but still gets paid as if that type of season has come with great regularity for him. The Jets can make cuts all across the board and this is one of those cuts they should consider.

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DeAngelo Hall

hall
Tim Heltman-US Presswire

Hall is the poster boy for inconsistency for Washington and is scheduled to make $7.5 million in 2013. That's if he is not cut by the team before that.

There are rumors swirling that the Redskins will cut the veteran corner, which would make sense financially. It would be nice to see him work out a restructured deal to stay in Washington for a lower price, but the organization seems to think it's of best interest to let him seek out a new team.

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Sam Bradford

bradford
Joe Nicholson-US Presswire

Bradford is perhaps the last of the overpaid players on their rookie contract. He hasn't quite developed as quickly as Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson, but is making more money in terms of salary than all three of them combined.

He's going to be making $9 million in 2013 which would be manageable if he showed huge signs of improvement, but as a mediocre quarterback in the time being, it's clear that $9 million is a price tag that needs to be brought down.

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Carson Palmer

palmer
Jeremy Brevard-US Presswire

At first glance at the stats, Palmer wasn't terrible in 2012. However, he is set to make $13 million in 2013, so for that price tag he better be darn near perfect. That isn't the case, though, and it makes him one of the most overpaid quarterbacks in the NFL.

Granted, he doesn't have much of a supporting cast, but he's one of the highest paid players in the league, so it's time to start playing like it. It's a possibility that he could be shipped off to a new team or even benched in a wild scenario, but with those questions raised, it's time for a pay cut.

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Sidney Rice

rice
Kevin Hoffman-US Presswire

Despite just having one good season, Rice is getting paid top dollar by Seattle for below-average production.

The Seahawks can still be successful without him, which is why it would be necessary for him to take a pay cut to help the team add some players to help get them into the Super Bowl next season. When he isn't injured, he hasn't had huge production except the 2009 season, which makes him a non-necessity and a prime candidate for a lower salary as he is scheduled for $8.5 million in 2013.

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Darrius Heyward-Bey

heyward-bey
Jake Roth-US Presswire

Heyward-Bey is notorious for his speed, but catching the ball consistently has been the question mark for the receiver from Maryland.

With a scheduled salary of over $7.7 million in 2013, he's just making way too much money. He still hasn't had a season of over 1,000 yards, which doesn't warrant his paycheck. He could still improve, but so far, he hasn't been worth the cash.

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Tommy Kelly

kelly
Bob Donning-US Presswire

Kelly has been with Oakland his entire career, and while he has had some good seasons, he has also struggled, especially in 2012. Kelly is now set to make $6.5 million in 2013, which is in the elite class for defensive tackles in the league.

However, with inconsistent production that has been mediocre lately, it's time for the Raiders to take a second look at his contract and work something out soon as he gets towards the latter part of his playing career.

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Sebastian Janikowski

janikowski
Cary Edmonson-US Presswire

Don't get me wrong, Sea Bass is one of everyone's favorite players in the NFL, including myself. However, at $3.8 million in 2013 being tied to a kicker, that's just too much.

For a kicker to make that kind of money, he better not miss a field goal. Granted, he doesn't miss much, but that's just a ridiculous amount to push towards a position that only comes out on the field a couple of times a game. There's plenty of other spots Oakland can spend that kind of money.

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Kevin Kolb

kolb
Mark J Rebilas-US Presswire

You would think that a quarterback making $9 million would have at least one season where he's thrown for over 2,000 yards. That isn't the case, though as Kolb has yet to eclipse that mark.

It's unlikely that Arizona will even use him as the starter next season as there are other options that they can go to. It makes me wonder if Kolb will even be given another starting chance. He sure is heck isn't going to be making that kind of money again after his contract is over.

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Eric Berry

berry
Jake Roth-US Presswire

Perhaps the most controversial person on this list is Berry. He's making over $7 million a year which isn't ridiculous for someone that has now been to two Pro Bowls.

I'm still not sure why he was selected for the 2012 Pro Bowl, though. He only had one interception, but did get a solid amount of tackles for a Safety. Still, you would like to see him create more turnovers. I certainly wouldn't ask him to knock his salary down to $500,000 a season, but just enough to help the Chiefs rebuild.

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Brandon Carr

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Matthew Emmons-US Presswire

Much like Berry, Carr is not a bad player at all. However, he is making even more than Berry and is expected to see over $16 million come his way in 2013. Not bad for a kid from Grand Valley State just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

He doesn't haul in a ton of interceptions and with some of the other holes on the roster for Dallas and the cap penalties they received, a restructure from Carr can help them get back into the postseason.

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Philip Rivers

Rivers
Kirby Lee-US Presswire

Rivers took a step back for San Diego in 2012, and is now set for $12 million in 2013. He has yet to get the team over the hump and it seems the window is closing fast. That's why it's time for the team to restructure his contract and help rebuild in a division that will likely be owned by Denver for the next two years.

I still wouldn't consider him bad, but with that kind of money, you would expect a lot more from the veteran.

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Tamba Hali

hali
John Rieger-US Presswire

Hali is also a good player, but is getting paid a bit too much for what he is putting out. At over $12 million in 2013, it will make him one of the highest paid defensive players in the game.

He only brought in nine sacks in 2012, so for that kind of money, you would expect J.J. Watt-type production from the Chief. With a better surrounding cast and more attention being paid to other places on the defense, he can likely erupt for a bigger season in 2013.


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