10 Egregiously Bad Sports Contracts


LeCharles Bentley

At 6 feet, 2 inches (1.88 meters) and 313 pounds (142 kilograms), there are very few things that can stop LeCharles Bentley. Ironically, the former Pro Bowler's career was derailed by one of the smallest creatures on Earth, a single-celled bacterium called staphylococcus aureus.

Bentley, a beefy offensive lineman, played four successful seasons with the New Orleans Saints before the Cleveland Browns picked him up as a free agent in 2006. Bentley's contract, beefy in its own right, was for $36 million over six years. The contract became so overpriced partly because the NFL had just agreed to add $7.5 million more to the free agent salary cap. The Browns entered the 2006 "free agency frenzy," as one ESPN.com columnist described it, with lots of money to spend, wisely or unwisely [source: Pasquarelli].

Unlucky is more like it. On the very first drill of the very first day of training camp, he tore a tendon in his knee that required immediate surgery. While recovering in the Browns' rehab facilities, Bentley contracted a vicious staph infection that he claims almost cost him his leg and even his life [source: Grossi]. Bentley and another teammate have sued the Browns for failure to maintain sanitary conditions in its training facilities.

Bentley's contract turned out to be a total loss for the Browns, who ended up paying the injured lineman $16 million in salary for a grand total of zero minutes of playing time [source: Neumann].