Vick, Doug Free deals among NFL's worst

October, 25, 2012
10/25/12
2:06
PM ET
In honor of the formerly great, perpetually overpaid Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and the spectacular end of his season last week, our man John Clayton has compiled a list of the 10 worst current contracts in the NFL. There are two NFC East contracts on the list. Quarterback Michael Vick's six-year, $100 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles is No. 2 (behind only Chris Johnson's deal with Tennessee), and tackle Doug Free's six-year, $48 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys ranks No. 9.

Here's what John has to say about the Vick deal:
Vick is the quarterback for now, but after the so-called "Dream Team" didn't make the playoffs last season, the 3-3 start has everything under review. Andy Reid could be in trouble if the Eagles don't make the playoffs, and that would affect Vick. He has $47.5 million coming to him in 2013-15, but the Eagles might try to get out of the deal if Reid is gone.

We know that the Eagles can escape the remainder of the Vick deal if they choose to opt out in January or early February. As ridiculous as this deal looks now, at the time Vick was coming off of one of the most spectacular seasons any quarterback ever had, and the Eagles had decided to trade Kevin Kolb and commit completely to Vick as their starter. This is what quarterbacks cost. It's now on Vick and the Eagles to use the next 10 games of this season to make the deal look more worthwhile.

Here's what John has to say about Free:
Jerry Jones thought he got a steal when the Cowboys signed Free, then a left tackle, to this contract last year. The coaching staff moved him to right tackle this season, and he's struggled in the transition. Free and left tackle Tyron Smith have been among the league leaders in penalties this season, making things tough on quarterback Tony Romo.

Remember how important it was to Cowboys fans that the team not let Free get away during that post-lockout free-agent frenzy? He's been a disaster. And it's not that he's struggling with the transition from left tackle to right tackle -- the team transitioned him there because he was so awful last year at left tackle. Again, the deal looked fine in the wake of Free's excellent 2010 season. But in retrospect, he's not an NFL left tackle and doesn't look much like an NFL right tackle either. Free's complete fall off a cliff after his big 2010 is one of the major mysteries with which the Cowboys are dealing right now.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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