Worst NFL contracts: Sanchez is third

October, 25, 2012
10/25/12
2:10
PM ET
NFL owners have navigated through years of labor battles and escaped without having to fully guarantee contracts. Instead, teams offer huge signing bonuses and partial base salary guarantees to compete.

To appease fan bases and promote ticket sales, teams will venture into bad contracts. Many will rush to judgment on the Buffalo Bills signing Mario Williams to a six-year, $96 million contract. Through seven games, Williams has 3.5 sacks and 16 tackles.

But seven games don't define a signing. Julius Peppers had two sacks and 16 tackles in the first seven games of his six-year, $84 million contract with the Bears, and no one is questioning that deal in Chicago.

Here is my list of the 10 worst current NFL contracts (click here for more information on each contract):

1.) Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (six years, $80.96 million)
2.) Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (six years, $100 million)
3.) Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets (three years, $40.4 million)
4.) Kevin Kolb, QB, Arizona Cardinals (six years, $62.1 million)
5.) Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (six years, $58 million)
6.) DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers (five years, $43 million)
7.) Tyson Jackson, DE, Kansas City Chiefs (five years, $56.2 million)
8.) Will Smith, DE, New Orleans Saints (six years, $60.8 million)
9.) Doug Free, RT, Dallas Cowboys (six years, $48 million)
10.) Carson Palmer, QB, Oakland Raiders (four years, $43 million)

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