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NFL

15 Overrated NFL Players Who Aren’t Earning Their Paychecks

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15 NFL Players Who Aren't Living Up To the Hype

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Playing in the NFL is tough business. It's a cut-throat league where only the strong survive. But in some rare cases, marginal players are able to weasel their way into large contracts. Sometimes players will have one big year and then seemingly shut it down and collect their guaranteed money.

In other cases, players develop reputations that they just can't live up to. So when you boil it all down, many players are simply overrated. Now to be overrated, the player needs to have been rated at some point. You can't be terrible and overrated at the same time. There has to be some history of being good (or perceived as good) to become an overrated player.

With all that being said, the term overrated is subjective. One person's view of overrated might be way different than someone else's. For this slideshow, we'll mainly concentrate on players who have had some degree of success in their careers, but now just aren't cutting the mustard. Some of these players have ridiculously large contracts, that they're simply not earning.

Overrated is certainly a label that all athletes should want to avoid. There are worse things, such as being awful, but the term overrated acts as a slap in the face.

So with all that in mind, let's take a look at 15 NFL players who are indeed overrated:

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Darren McFadden

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

There were high hopes for McFadden upon his entry to the NFL. At one time, he was a 1,000-yard back that gave opposing defenses fits. Now, he's having trouble just staying on the field. The kicker, is that he's making nearly $6 million in base salary in 2013.

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Michael Vick

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Vick has become on overrated player at this point in his career and it seems like the Philadelphia Eagles are just now figures that out. Vick has been living off his reputation as a dynamic playmaker for a long time now, but his real reputation is that of a guy who always gets hurt.

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Trent Richardson

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

It's looking more and more like the Cleveland Browns made the right call to deal Richardson with each passing day. His career sample size is small, but to date, he's only averaging 59.3 rushing yards per game. The Colts spent a first round pick on him and they'll also spend another $5 million per season over the next two years on his salary. If he doesn't turn it on in the near future, overrated will seem like a nice label.

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Ndamukong Suh

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Suh's primary job as a defensive tackle is not to sack the quarterback. He's mainly known as a 'disruptive' type of player. But when you consider that this guy was billed as the next big thing coming out of college, his career has been a bit of a disappointment so far. After his latest restructure, Suh is scheduled to make around $11.5 million per season until he becomes a free agent in 2016. For a guy that's on pace to average eight sacks a year, that's not exactly a bargain.

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Colin Kaepernick

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

It appears that we may have jumped the gun a little on Kaepernick being the next great NFL quarterback. There's no doubt that he's incredibly gifted physically, but he's looked like just another signal caller so far in 2013. It will be interesting to see if he improves once all of his receivers are fully healthy. But there's also the possibility that defensive coordinators around the league have caught up to was he was doing in 2012.

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Dwayne Bowe

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Bowe is considered by most a top-tier NFL wide receiver. But the reality is that he's only had one huge season. Everyone thought that he would get better in 2013 with Alex Smith tossing him the pigskin, but so far. he's averaging a career-low 11.5 yards per catch. That's not exactly what the Chiefs wanted when they gave him a new contract worth $56 million.

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Joe Flacco

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Has the real Joe Flacco finally been exposed in 2013? Without two of his top receivers from the Ravens' Super Bowl team, Flacco has just been run of the mill. The guy has a history of winning, that's undeniable, but there's no way he's worth $120 million.

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Jermichael Finley

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Finley has fallen off a lot in the NFL tight end ranks over the last two seasons. He was spectacular in 2011 when he hauled in eight touchdown passes. Now, he's just your average bear. He's currently making $7 million per season, but when he hits the free agent market this summer, there's no way he'll get an offer anywhere close to that amount.

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DeAngelo Hall

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Hall is perceived as a Pro Bowl cornerback. He's been around along time and is no doubt a household name. But in 2013, he's just part of a bad Washington secondary.

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Ryan Mathews

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Mathews is definitely one of the most overrated running backs in the league. With each passing year it's becoming more and more clear that he wasn't worth a first round pick. Although he's perceived as a dual-threat back, he's only amassed more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage, one time in his career.

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Justin Tuck

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Tuck has had some really good seasons during his nine-year career, there's no denying that. But now at age 30, the overrated tag is applicable to No. 91. He's currently making an average of $6 million per season, but he hasn't racked up more than five sacks since 2010.

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Jared Cook

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

People have been raving about how talented Jared Cook is for years. The St. Louis Rams had no trouble giving him a contract worth $35 million over five years this past offseason, but thus far, he's been a one game wonder in 2013. Cook is billed as being a flexible tight end that can line up outside and make plays all over the field, but he's just never had a season that's lived up to the hype.

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Pierre Garcon

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Garcon is Washington's number one receiver. That's what they pay him to be. However, he's never hit the 1,000 yard mark and he's never hauled in more than six touchdown passes. Considering that he's scheduled to make an average of $8.5 million over the next years, Garcon is clearly overrated.

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Chris Johnson

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Johnson still seems to think he's one of, if not the best running back in the NFL. But CJ2K is now a thing of the distant past. However, Johnson's payroll checks still resemble an elite player's. He's currently averaging 54.5 rushing yards per game while taking in nearly $9 million per season.

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Mike Wallace

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Wallace is the number one receiver in Miami. The Dolphins opened up their check book in a big way for him this past offseason, but so far, he's just be another receiver in South Beach. Wallace is averaging a career-low number in yards per reception in 2013 (12.8), but he's due to make $12 million a year for the next five seasons. If his production doesn't increase, overrated will just be one of many labels attached to the WR.