OverTheCap released its top-30 worst contracts handed out to players in the 2016 offseason. Only one current Seahawks player made the list, and even if I didn’t put his name in the headline, you probably would’ve guessed it was wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who came in at #20.
20. Jermaine Kearse, Seahawks- 3 years, $13.5 million
The Seahawks saw something in Kearse in 2015 that prompted them to offer this contract, but the only thing they saw in 2016 from Kearse was a lot of missed connections with his quarterback. The contract isn’t as bad as some others but the Seahawks frontloaded the deal with nearly 50% of the contract being paid in the first year. They need something positive this year to help ease the pain of what looks like a bad mistake.
Kearse is coming off by far his worst season, which came after his career-best 2015 campaign, which saw him grab 49 balls for nearly 700 yards and 5 touchdowns. In 2016, Kearse caught 41 passes for 510 yards and a single touchdown, all whilst boasting a dismal catch rate of 46.1%, down 26% from 2015. In Jermaine’s defense, Russell Wilson also didn’t help matters by making horrible throws such as this one, which otherwise counts as a target for Kearse.
With the Seahawks drafting Michigan’s Amara Darboh in the third round, it’s possible that the local kid from the University of Washington, who has made so many pivotal postseason plays for Seattle, is not guaranteed to remain on the roster for much longer.
Two former Seahawks also made the list (and were ranked higher than Kearse), with one of them breaking the top five.
15. Jaye Howard, Chiefs- 2 years, $10 million
This sure seemed like a reasonable deal when the Chiefs signed it but this blew up badly. Howard only played in 8 games and didn’t show the same ability he showed the prior year when he notched 5.5 sacks. After just one season Howard was cut, but his injury allowed him to collect an additional $2.5 million, to bring the Chiefs investment to about $8.4M for those 8 useless games.
4. JR Sweezy, Buccaneers- 5 years, $32.5 million
Whenever I mention the escalating guard contracts with people who work with contracts the name that seems to always pop up is Sweezy getting this stunning deal from the Bucs last year. Sweezy spent the entire year on the PUP list while earning $9.5 million. They did a bunch of stuff with his contract this year, a portion of which was guaranteed, to try to get some protection but the bottom line is he will probably earn another $5 million this year.
Sweezy is still with Tampa Bay, but the Chiefs cut Howard, who is now with the Chicago Bears.
In case you’re wondering, it somehow wasn’t Brock Osweiler who had the worst contract on OverTheCap’s rankings. That honor (dishonor?) goes to current New England Patriots TE Dwayne Allen, whom the Indianapolis Colts gave a 4-year, $29.4 million deal (with $12 million off the bat in year one!) off the back of 16 catches, 109 yards, and 1 touchdown in 2015. He’d only managed one healthy season out of four before re-signing last offseason. Allen became Indy’s top tight-end after Coby Fleener left, and he had 35 catches, 406 yards, and 6 touchdowns in 2016, before the Colts traded him and a sixth-round draft pick to New England for a fourth-rounder. Ryan Grigson was extremely bad at his job.