Failed contracts and failed experiments in free agency are not new NFL trends. Albert Haynesworth was a colossally overpaid bust in Washington, and Randy Moss was a similarly infamous flop in Oakland.
But Moss and Haynesworth were a product of simple misspending. DeAngelo Williams’ contract was too, but it was also the result of a crippling lack of judgment.
We’ve written about Williams’ ridiculous contract many times, and his sputtering production that everyone except apparently Panthers general manager Marty Hurney expected. In an inflated running back market during the free agency chaos following the lockout in August, Hurney handed a 28-year-old RB a $43 million contract, with $21 million guaranteed.
But it deserves to be mentioned again because of the growing gap between Williams’ output and his paycheck. Just two weeks into the season it was already obvious that giving Williams millions of Benjamins was a terrible, franchise-anchoring idea. Now it’s more than just obvious…it’s painful.
If we exclude the anomaly in Week 5 when Williams rushed for 115 yards and scored a touchdown (his only touchdown of the season), he’s averaged a pathetic 35.4 yards per game, and he’s had more than 45 yards in a game only twice. Overall he’s averaging 4.8 yards per carry, a number that’s skewed by both the Week 5 outburst, and his overall lack of carries while splitting time with Jonathan Stewert. Williams has finished four games with 3.5 or fewer yards per carry.
He’s dragging along during this woeful season while receiving only 9.2 carries every week, which is 40th in the league, and puts Williams only marginally ahead of his backfield running mate (Stewart is receiving 8.3). And he’s having this depressing season while swimming in a base salary of $8.6 million. Adrian Peterson is fifth in rushing yards (Peterson has 846 yards to Williams’ 398), and he’s getting paid $8.3 million this year.
The worst part? The average peon needs to work 172 more years to match the annual paycheck given to the massive mistake in Carolina’s backfield…