While having a job where you’re required to do little to nothing while making an impressive amount of money in the real world may be reserved to politicians, if you’re a professional athlete, it’s not such an uncommon occurrence. Granted, most of the players with the biggest paychecks have earned it and continue to produce on the playing field to warrant being in the highest tax bracket. Then there are the few and the proud, sipping cups of gatorade on the sidelines as overgrown and overpaid cheerleaders. Every major sport has them, so check it out as we highlight a few who have been lucky to land a contract so lucrative.
5. Matt Flynn – (During his time with the Seattle Seahawks)
During his first four seasons in the league, Flynn was full-time backup to Aaron Rodgers, earning the rookie rate while logging minimal minutes of in-game action. Once given the chance to start, Flynn showed out logging the most passing yards in a game by a Packer quarterback. During free agency, the Seattle Seahawks deemed his performance worthy of a decent payday, throwing him a 3 year/$26 million contract. In his time in Seattle, Flynn threw 9 passes, averaging roughly $1.7 million per completion. Not a bad gig.
4. Rashard Lewis
With a career average of 15.5 points a game, you could say that Lewis has earned the right to be paid a decent amount for his services. When the Orlando Magic felt he deserved $20 million a year for said services, those following the sports world were a little skeptical of Lewis’ worth. After posting declining numbers over the course of four seasons in Orlando, the Magic dealt him to the Washington Wizards where he continued to prove the critics right on not being worth the cash. The Wizards had no problem with it, basically paying him roughly $241k for every basket he made.
3. Adam Dunn
Dunn’s appearance on this list is a little unfair. As a designated hitter that knocked 44 balls out of the parks while batting in 105 runs, he does his job quite well. It’s just the simple fact that he get paid $14 million a year to do it. Add in the fact that he spends most of his time gingerly jogging around the bases as opposed to sprinting, and it makes you wish you had spent more time honing your batting skills in your younger years.
2. Albert Haynesworth – Washington Redskins
After solidifying himself as probably the best defensive tackle in football, Albert Haynesworth was given a $100 million contract by the Redskins. What better way to repay the ones that paid you dividends than to show up to work unprepared, and sometimes not even show up at all? Haynesworth did just that and even complained that the Redskins had no right to tell him what to do, despite paying him large. Try telling that to your employer after you get a raise.
1. Gilbert Arenas – Washington Wizards
It seems as though the nation’s capital just doesn’t know when and who to pay the big bucks. Their track record started when the Wizards decided to give the rising star, Gilbert Arenas, the maximum contract that could be handed down at the time. In his first four seasons with the team, he continued to build upon his points per game average before succumbing to a knee injury sidelining him for the better part of the next four seasons. During that time, he played in 68 games, raking in upwards of $60 million during that timespan, equating to right around $1 million a game and $25,000 per minute of on-the-court action. Where can we sign up?