On Monday, we looked at the guys who are the best bargains (salary wise) in the NFC South. We’ll follow that up now with the flip side.
I’m not going to use the word overpaid because that’s one of my pet peeves. In fact, when I hear people categorically say that football players are overpaid, I always argue against that. My reasoning is that you can’t pay these guys enough because of what they’re putting their bodies through and what the long-term implications of that could be.
That said, however, there are some guys around the division whose production this season isn’t quite matching their contracts. Let’s take a look, and the guidelines we’re using are salary-cap numbers, even though there is no cap this year, because they include base salaries and bonuses.
Chris Gamble, cornerback, Panthers, $8.05 million. He’s been a nice player for a long time, but never a true star. This season, he hasn’t even been good. He doesn’t have an interception and, at one point, was benched by coach John Fox.
Jordan Gross, tackle, Panthers, $8.5 million. Another guy whose play this year isn’t close to what it’s been in the past. You can blame most of it on other problems on the offensive line. But Gross hasn’t been as dominant as he once was.
Steve Smith, receiver, Panthers, $8.7 million. Let’s put the blame for this one on the Panthers -- their problems at quarterback and conservative play calling. Smith is a tremendous talent, but the Panthers have just kind of wasted this season for him.
Chauncey Davis, defensive end, Falcons, $3.35 million. He’s made one start and hasn’t recorded a sack. He’s an even more expensive backup than Coleman.
Jamaal Anderson, defensive lineman, Falcons, $5.4 million. After a horrible start to his career as a defensive end, the former first-round draft pick finally has showed some value as a situational player. He gets time in the rotation as a defensive tackle and defensive end, and he can play the run. But there are a lot of guys who play the run for a lot less money.
Reggie Bush, running back, Saints, $11.99 million. A lot of people say Bush is overrated and I disagree with that because he can do so many different things. But, mainly because of injuries, his production has been minimal this season.
Jahri Evans, guard, Saints, $9.2 million. The Saints gave him a huge contract because a lot of people say he’s the best guard in the league. He can be that, at times, but he seems to have developed a knack for getting called for holding this year.
Jeff Faine, center, Buccaneers, $5 million. He just went on injured reserve yesterday and he missed significant time with injuries early in the season. Even when he’s healthy, Faine is only pretty close to ordinary.