Rookie contracts were simply out of control until the new CBA went into effect in 2011. College kids who had never taken an NFL snap were making insane amounts of money – often more than veterans who had long proven their worth in the league.
While these outrageous deals are now a thing of the past, let’s take a walk down a memory lane paved with gold to check out the seven biggest NFL rookie contracts even inked.
7. Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints: $62 Million
The NFL career of the Heisman Trophy winner from USC appears to be coming to a slow and quiet end. While the versatile running back has barely eclipsed the 5,000 rushing yard mark, he does have over 3,500 yards receiving and 53 total TDs.
6. Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $63 Million
Talk about a rookie earning his dough, McCoy was named an All-Pro in 2013 and to the Pro Bowl four straight years from 2012 to 2015.
5. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: $64 Million
Megatron ended his potential Hall of Fame career with 11,619 receiving yards, 83 touchdowns, and some of the most spectacular catches in both NFL and college history.
4. Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions: $68 million
The defensive Rookie of the Year was named to the Pro Bowl in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014. He was also given first-team All-Pro honors in 2010, 2013, and 2014 to go along with a reputation of being one of the dirtiest players in the league.
3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: $70 million
Hard to argue with the contract for this former Offensive Rookie of the Year winner who also led the Falcons to last year’s Super Bowl.
2. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions: $72 million
One of the most consistently healthy signal-callers in the pros, the gunslinger from Georgia has thrown for over 4,000 yards in his last five seasons.
1. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams: $76 million
Definitely the biggest bust on this list, the often-injured Bradford has not lived up to his contract by any stretch of the imagination. Having already played for three NFL squads, Bradford has an astounding 33 fumbles to go along with 57 interceptions.