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NFL Contract Values: Top 10 Cornerback Contracts

Our look at the priciest contract deals in the NFL continues with the cornerback position. The value of contracts to top corners who can shu


Our look at the priciest contract deals in the NFL continues with the cornerback position. The value of contracts to top corners who can shut down an opponent’s most dangerous receiving threat has seen a number of big deals being signed over the last few years to reflect their importance. Here’s the ten most expensive: 1. Darrelle Revis, New York Jets: $70,121,106 Revis built his reputation in New York as one of the best at his position in recent times, but found success with the team’s rivals the Patriots as part of the 2014 Super Bowl championship team. It was a short stay however, and he returned to the Jets in 2015, where he signed his current five-year contract worth over $70m. $39m of that is guaranteed. In truth his first season back with the team was not up to the standard expected that saw him earn his Revis Island reputation. He’s 30 years old now, and we’ll find out soon enough if last season was a dip in form, or the sign of things to come. 2. Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals: $70,050,000 The Cardinals made Peterson the 5th overall pick in the draft back in 2011 out of LSU, and has played up to such a high investment. That investment inflated greatly in the 2014 off-season when he was rewarded with an extension in excess of £70m. At the time, that made him the highest paid corner in the NFL, which has since been topped by Revis. The deal as it stands intends to keep him in the desert through 2020, and came with $48m guaranteed. 3. Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns: $67,500,000 The Browns have missed on a few high draft selections over the last few years (in particularly at QB), but one they got right was making Haden the 7th overall selection out of Florida in 2010. They weren’t going to let one of their better choices and players on their team get away either, and signed him up to a big new deal. His was also in the 2014 off-season, but before that of Peterson, and at the time, was again the highest by a player at the corner position when he put pen to paper on the new five-year deal that has around $23m fully guaranteed, and should see him earn at least $45m in total at least. 4. Byron Maxwell, Philadelphia Eagles: $63,000,000 Free agency is about to start again, and teams continue to offer large contracts to outbid others – you can guarantee it’ll be the same this year. Maxwell took full advantage of his turn as a free agent, with the bonus of having been part of the Seahawks team that reached the Super Bowl in each of the last two seasons, winning one. That led to the Eagles luring him with the offer of a six-year deal worth $63m. That included a $6m signing bonus and $25m guaranteed. The Eagles needed an upgrade in the secondary after finishing 32nd and 31st against the pass the previous two years and paid big for the 6ft 1 corner. His first year in Philly was hit and miss for the most part, and ended poorly, struggling against the Bills and Cardinals before going down with an injury. 5. Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos: $57,000,000 The Super Bowl champions’ success was down to an outstanding defense with talent on every level. Their decision to pursue the former Buccaneer and Patriot Talib when available in free agency in 2014 has worked out, despite looking like a case of over-paying at the time. He’s played at a high standard (despite a couple questionable disciplinary moments) in particularly on their successful playoff run this past season. He’s two years into a six-year deal that has $25.5m of guarantees, along with the $5m signing bonus that he collected. 6. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks: $56,000,000 One of the key pieces in the “Legion of Boom” secondary in Seattle started off as a fifth round pick out of Stanford, with his relatively late conversion from wide receiver to corner and questions about his speed seeing him drop as far as he did in the draft. That meant a big chip on the shoulder and proving himself in order to earn a big second contract, which he achieved in the same 2014 season that saw many of these top deals signed. Again, at the time, it made him the highest paid corner in the league, which has of course now been surpassed by a number of others since. He has time to cash in with another deal soon though, as his ends in 2018 as a four-year deal at the time of signing. That came with an $11m bonus and $40m in guarantees. 7. Brandon Carr, Dallas Cowboys: $50,100,000 Due to earn over $9m in 2016, Carr’s current contract may not be in place for much longer. After playing well the first two years of his big money deal, he’s not been quite the same over the last two, including no interceptions despite starting all 32 games over that period. He’s seen through a large chunk of his high-paying five-year deal though to this point that came with $26.5m in guarantees and $10m in a signing bonus back in 2012. He could be back on the free agent market again, unless the Cowboys and Carr find a way to agree on some adjusted terms that might have to include a pay cut to see him continue with his current employers. 8. Jason McCourty, Tennessee Titans: $43,040,000 The Titans have one of the poorest rosters in football at the moment, and saw them finish with the 2nd then 1st overall pick in the draft the past two seasons. It didn’t help that their top corner McCourty was limited to just 4 games in 2016 due a groin injury that required multiple surgeries. He’s now a few years into the deal he signed in 2012 that guaranteed him $17m, and still keeps him under contract through to 2018, as a six-year deal. Whether he reaches the end of that deal as it currently stands might depend on how healthy he can stay going forward, and a return to his pre-injury form. 9. Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos: $42,500,000 The investment that the Broncos have made in their secondary extends beyond Talib; they pay both of their cornerbacks well. They took different routes to earning their money however. While Talib was a former 1st round selection of the Bucs, Harris went undrafted in 2011 despite a strong career in Kansas, and wasn’t expected to make the roster in Denver when he joined the team’s fall training camp. He has surpassed expectation though, and after initially placing him on a second-round tender to prevent him from leaving after the 2014 season, signed a five-year contract to place him among the top paid players at his position in 2015. He’ll see $24m in guaranteed money, and earned himself a $10m signing bonus at the time as well. Not bad for someone who was passed over through all seven rounds of the draft. 10. Jimmy Smith, Baltimore Ravens: $41,102,000 There’s no questioning the superb natural ability as a shutdown corner, but Smith has been unable to play up to his expected standard since a Lisfranc foot injury suffered in the middle of the 2014 season, taking him time to return to form. He looked better in the second half of the season, but the year was one to forget for the team as a whole. Both he and the team expect better things in 2016. Before the start of the 2015 season, the Ravens signed Smith up to a four-year deal, which included £21m in guarantees and $13m as a signing bonus, and they’ll be hoping for closer to top form from their best corner with another off-season removed from his injury troubles.

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Rebecca Rennie

Hello all, I'm Rebecca, also going by Bex, and I am the RealSport College Football Editor, as well as writer and NFL Draft analyst.  I also edit other sports including the CFL, cycling and golf, while occasionally contributing to the NFL section as well.  I'm a fan of most sports and enjoy discussing with fellow fans, so do please comment on articles and interact.  A big fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and of the Central Florida Knights in college.

NFL Contract Values: Top 10 Cornerback Contracts

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