While it may have once been impolite to talk about money, times have certainly changed in this day and age of the Internet. With NFL contracts available to the public, it's easy to see which teams made a killing in their negotiations and which weren't quite as lucky. According to a report by CBSSports.com, the San Francisco 49ers got quite the steal when they locked in Justin Smith.
The defensive end signed a six-year contract with the 49ers in 2008 that will take him through the 2013 season, and netted him in at roughly 6.375 million in 2011. Since joining the team, Smith has recorded 193 tackles, 29 sacks, and 211.5 yards, with one interception in his inaugural 2008 season. Smith also recorded nine tackles and two sacks in the 49ers' 2011 playoff run, their first in nine years.
Smith was an integral piece of that playoff run, and joins the ranks of other steals such as Aaron Rodgers, who led the Packers to a Super Bowl win in 2010 and only costs them 8.5M, Joe Flacco, quarterback for the Ravens who makes an affordable 6.76M, and Victor Cruz, Giants wide receiver who salsa dances his way into the list making 540,000 during New York's 2011 Super Bowl run.
Crosstown rivals the New York Jets headline a less positive list, however, with quarterback Mark Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes both making the cut of the worst contracts in football. Sanchez and Holmes earn 11.75M and 8M, respectively, and the Jets failed to make the playoffs in 2011. Trent Williams, offensive tackle for the Washington Redskins, snags the number one spot on the list with 12M per year, which is the fifth-highest average salary. Williams has been accused of lacking hustle and has failed enough drug tests to warrant a four-game suspension. A fifth would see him off the field for a year.
Is Justin Smith the best deal in football?