Each NFL Team’s Most Overpaid Player – AFC Edition

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Even with the advent of the “franchise” player and a shifting base salary cap, NFL team owners still aren’t shy about throwing around massive — and sometimes unwarranted — contracts.

For instance one might look at the four-year deal (worth $72 million and $37 million guaranteed) that Houston gave QB Brock Osweiler to sign in one of two ways.

One way, it’s a good deal for a young quarterback on the cusp¬†of bigger and better things. He did pass for 1,967 yards and 10 TDs last season in eight games for the Broncos.

On the other hand, he’s unproven, prone to getting sacked (23 times on 275 attempts) for an average of 7.7, which was bottom third in that category. Sacked quarterbacks get injured, making his odds of fulfilling the promise of the four-year deal that much longer.

While Osweiler’s deal hardly raises an eyebrow anymore, there are several current contracts we see as onerous. Here are each AFC teams’ most overpaid player.

16. Brian Cushing – Houston Texans

The jury is out on Brock Osweiler and his new millions, but the gavel has come down on NFL bad boy Cushing and the verdict is “guilty of fleecing the paying public in Houston.” OK, fleecing might be too strong a word, but at an average annual salary of $8.75 million he is one of the highest paid middle linebackers in football. Now in the fourth year of that six-year, $52.5 million deal, the bloom as they say has left the rose. He did manage to stay healthy enough in 2015 to play in all 16 games, but missed 11 of 32 before that (and appeared in just five the year before he signed his contract). Cushing did lead the Texans in tackles last season with 110 (63 solo), and he’ll have to be that good — or better — to earn that dough.

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

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