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Green Bay Packers: Five Worst Contracts


Laughing at Ted Thompson

Under Ted Thompson, the Green Bay Packers have made it a priority to keep their own players.

Often, that means rewarding them with contract extensions before they’ve really proven themselves. In certain cases, the Packers seem to see something in a guy that the rest of the league doesn’t and then they overpay.

Sure, Thompson has made some great deals.

He locked up Jordy Nelson for four years in 2011. That contract averages $3.15 million per season and Jordy has outplayed that deal by a mile.

Thompson also rewarded the Packers’ best offensive lineman, Josh Sitton, with a six-year deal in 2011. Sitton’s contract averages $6.75 million per season. That’s not cheap, but it’s certainly in line with what a talent like Sitton would get anywhere else.

While that’s all well and good, Thompson has also signed off on some real bone-headed deals. The kind of bone-headed deals where you’re giving a mediocre player way more money than he deserves. The kind of bone-headed deal where, if the team were to cut that player, they’d have a bunch of dead money eating away at their salary cap.

Here are Ted Thompson’s greatest misses.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. TyKo Steamboat February 20, 2014

    The good news is if you cut any of these dudes the ViQueens will over-pay for them.

  2. Brian February 20, 2014

    The AJ Hawk thing I can’t understand. I have watched him since he was drafted and can count on one hand the number of big plays he’s made. Look at the niners, Seahawks, and panthers linebackers. All of them make plays every week.

  3. lars1 February 20, 2014

    Hawk is what is known as a sacred cow. Sacred cow by the Packers’ brass—namely Ted Thompson, who foolishly signed him to a back-loaded, 5-year $33 million contract in 2011 and then stubbornly won’t admit his mistake and cut bait. AJ, a ‘teachers pet’ is a highly paid JAG, who STILL will const the Packers $5 m+ a year for the next two seasons in cap expense.

    Sacred cow by Hawk’s large and fiercely loyal fan base that can dutifully trot a useless stat like Hawk’s total pile-jumps (I mean tackles) 15 yards downfield. I wouldn’t be too surprised if TT signed his boy to a third ridiculously overpriced contract in 2016 to finish his mediocre career in GB.

    Think about it: By the end of the 2015 season Aaron James Hawk will have been paid almost $60 million to play for the Packers.

    1. TyKo Steamboat February 21, 2014

      Hahaha. Sacred cow.

      Yea, Hawk is slower than molasses & can’t defend the pass but he defends well against the run. He played all 16 games last year. 117 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles & 1 INT.

  4. lars1 February 20, 2014

    Notice how all these contracts have one thing in common—they are all defensive players except the kicker.

    Williams’ contract really wasn’t bad by NFL standards; the injury he suffered set him back, but before that he was one of the best CB’s in the league. And, there’s only one year left on Tramon’s contract, unlike those of Hawk, Burnett and Jones.

    Crosby, meh. Less guaranteed $$$ than Hawk, and he rebounded strongly in 2013.

    And, Thompson has continued to reward mediocrity and worse on the D by offering $8 million a year to the disinterested and no-sacks-in two-years BJ Raji. Uggg.

  5. starr57 February 20, 2014

    No respect for The Packers all-time leading tackler!!!
    A guy that in 2009 started the season with shoulder and groin injuries bad enough to land most players on IR, but he played through them.

    A guy who in 2010 and again in 2013 was THE ONLY LBR on the team to stay on the field all 16 games.
    A guy who when asked has played 4 different positions, because injuries knocked out the starters and THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE WHO COULD MAKE THE TRANSITION.

    Why is Clay Mathews not on this list?

    Burnette has a down year and he immediately gets slammed as a bust, I guess most forget Burnette was injured in TC and came back asap.

    Mathews Gets paid 13 mil for 11 games?????
    That’s not a bad contract?

    Your whole premise is totally off key here.

    I guess Paying a guy 13 ml to play 11 games isn’t as bad as paying a guy 5 mil for 16 games.

    Get a clue.

    1. Chad Lundberg February 20, 2014

      Clay Matthews did more in those 11 games than Hawk did in 16.

      To your point about how Hawk has stayed healthy, it’s not because he somehow isn’t injury prone, it has everything to do with how he constantly holds back. He’ll make a play here or there, but never anywhere near as close as he is capable of. The game against Baltimore proved that Hawk is loaded with talent, but he almost never plays like it just for the sake of staying healthy and run the Packers bank dry.

      1. Iltarion February 20, 2014

        I don’t buy that. Playing to not get injured is about the surest way to get injured.

        The game against Baltimore, among others, showed what Hawk can do when his defensive line actually dominates an offensive line (Baltimore’s OL sucked). That is usually the bottomline with the ILB position.

  6. Asimov February 20, 2014

    Does anyone else feel better knowing that these are the worst contracts on our team? Look around and gain some perspective. Check out the Cowboys, look at what the Saints recently had to do, I’m pretty happy if this is our contract drama.

  7. Iltarion February 20, 2014

    Asimov, you are as wise as your name.

    If THESE are TT’s worst contracts, then I submit this as evidence #1 that TT is the best GM in the NFL.

    If you let Tramon go to free agency after his performance at the end of 2010, he gets mad bank. Way more than what we paid him.

    Jones and Burnett, though I don’t agree with their contracts, had one bad year each and aren’t paid huge dollars.

    Crosby is a kicker and thus not worth talking about. TT was right to hang onto Crosby for 2013, and me and Monty were wrong. Enough said there.

    AJ Hawk maybe worth squat elsewhere, but he is worth $20 million a season here where every linebacker we keep on the roster- all effin 10 of them- get injured and miss time by the middle of the season. Saying Hawk is overpaid is like saying Jesus Christ is.

    Worst contract? HAHAHAHA!!! Thank GOD for it!

    By the way, its the contracts for Rodgers and Matthews, taking up 25% of our salary cap, that we should be concerned about.

    Compared to Percy Harvin’s 6 years for $64 million with $25 mil guaranteed, these contracts are small change.

  8. GBslacker February 20, 2014

    A shit player gets paid.
    Or the team has dead money.


    Don’t be a pussy and let the contracts run the team.

    (Sorry if my language is vulgar, insensitive, or NSFW. But if you rat me out, “I’m going to shit in ur eye”)

    1. Iltarion February 20, 2014

      It isn’t that black and white, slacker.

      You or me may call them a “shit player,” but if they are putting in snaps for you then you are getting some return from them. You get zero return from dead money, and if that player goes and is actually productive elsewhere, it is like negative production.

  9. Phatgzus February 20, 2014

    Agreed, Asimov and Iltarion.
    Hawk’s restructured contract is at least pretty close to his absolute value and may be commensurate with his relative value (maybe slightly overpaid). When your two worst contracts average about $8m and $6M per year, that’s not too bad, especially when you consider TT’s pretty adroit at creating contracts that allow him to cut an underperforming player with only a small amount of dead money as a repercussion.

    We could have gone the same route as the ‘Hawks with
    Flynn, the Cards with Kolb, the Rams with Bradford, the Bills with Williams, or even the Donkeys with Manning, but we haven’t, and for that I am thankful.

  10. vj February 21, 2014

    Remember the days when a kicker was a throwaway position? You could save so much money by just drafting a great one every few years and never paying that position big money. I’d rather give part of it to a Free Agent to rush the passer or improve a Running attack.

  11. vj February 21, 2014

    Ted invests in extensions because it buys him time to find suitable potential draft and develop replacements who need a couple seasons on ST first before starting or having a shot to start.

  12. Savage57 February 21, 2014

    Ted’s job sucks. Sign a guy to an early renewal who then shits the bed and this is what you get. Let the guy walk and he blossoms for another team and you fuck up too.

    I think the lesson here is to stop betting on the come. Eats up too big a chunk of your chip pile.

  13. mathias7 February 21, 2014

    How is clay matthews not on this list?? Thats a ridiculously over paid contract right there.

  14. CB February 21, 2014

    I wish Monty ran the Packers.
    Surely his clear hindsight vision and pessimistic perspective of all others would build a dynasty.
    For the last 2 years or so this site seems to be getting closer to anti-packer instead of pro-packer.
    We’ve made the playoffs for 5 straight years….only one other team in football has done that,,the Pats. in that time, we have one Lombardi Trophy,,,the Pats have none.
    Why are the Pats called a perennial powerhouse and this site thinks the Packers r being run into the ground.
    I’m spending more and more time on Acme Packing Company and Packers.com….
    Where fans hang and supporters run the site,,,not ‘know it all’ synics like this site seems to be turning into.

    1. Savage57 February 21, 2014

      Variety is the spice of life. Personally, I like the lens Monty views the Packers through. Not clouded with the Vaseline syncophants use to cloud views.

      The sites you referenced have their merits, but objectivity about the Packers ain’t one of them. More like obsequiousness. Speak your mind about something you don’t like that the Packers are doing/have done at your peril. All too often too many “true Packer fans” hold sway by ganging up and tossing about a lot of groupthink to shout down dissenters, refusing to acknowledge anything that runs counter to the comfort and reassurance of brethren reinforcing ideas, no matter how ill-formed they may be.

      Please, go spend all your time on those sites. And, Just as a FYI, the word is ‘cynics’. j

  15. tedtomato February 23, 2014

    I still think his 2 worst were that shitbag marquand manual..why they ever paid any money for that guy..and..burnett..well..hes just a fucking turd!! If great players make the other players around him better..then he is NOWHERE NEAR GREAT!!