21st Century NFL 10-Year Deals: Which Ones Panned Out?

The Kansas City Chiefs recently signed their star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a 10-year deal and the contract is expected to be worth around $500 million. Since arriving in the NFL from Texas Tech, Mahomes has caught lightning, guiding the Chiefs to the AFC Championship twice and the Super Bowl this past season with a victory. Mahomes also has won the league’s most valuable player award and earned two Pro Bowl selections. Mahomes is now the sixth player in the last 20 years to have received a 10-year deal from an NFL team and the sixth quarterback. The others who have received it have fairly mixed results. So who were the ones that an NFL team invested heavily in? Take a look.

21st Century NFL 10-Year Deals

Drew Bledsoe: New England Patriots: 2001 – 10 years, $103 million

People tend to forget about how Tom Brady was once a backup to the 1993 first overall pick from Washington State. Before he put the pen to paper on the mega-deal, Drew Bledsoe was the leader of the Patriots. He was the starting quarterback for the Patriots in a Super Bowl XXXI loss to Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. Upon signing his 10-year deal, Bledsoe suffered a sheared blood vessel in Week 2 of the 2001 season against the New York Jets. After the Patriots won the Super Bowl with Brady, Bledsoe ended up with the Buffalo Bills after a trade for a first-round pick. This was one of those 10-year deals that did not pan out.

Brett Favre: Green Bay Packers: 2001 – 10 years, $100 million

Before Bledsoe joined the club, it was Brett Favre who got the first 10-year deal. For $100 million, Favre at the time ensured himself as the starter for the future. Prior to the signing, the Southern Miss star led Green Bay to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, winning one with a famous “Black 59 Razor” touchdown pass to Andre Rison. Following the signing, the Packers went on to an NFC Championship game in 2007 before Favre left for the Jets and then the Minnesota Vikings. It was a good investment but no championships to show for it.

Donovan McNabb: Philadelphia Eagles: 2001 – 12 years, $115 million

This wasn’t a 10-year deal, it was bigger. And in 1999, if you asked Eagles fans if they would give first-round pick Donovan McNabb this money, they would have booed you harder than on draft day. McNabb proved to be worth the investment as he took the Eagles to four NFC title games following the signing including an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIX, a 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots. McNabb’s ability to roam the pocket and make plays made him a perfect fit for the team before he was ultimately traded within the division to Washington. The Eagles went on to sign Michael Vick. This turned out to be a good investment for the City of Brotherly love although it would take until 2017 for the Eagles to win a Super Bowl.

Daunte Culpepper: Minnesota Vikings: 2003 – 10 years, $102 million

The investment in Daunte Culpepper came after a breakout season. At the time, Culpepper was entering the final year of his original contract and would have been a free agent at the end of the season. Culpepper’s most successful season came in 2004. He set a then single-season record for the most total yardage produced by a quarterback in NFL history at 5,123. Since then, it was a downward spiral as Culpepper never regained that magic. In addition to bouncing around the league, Culpepper notably started for the 2008 Lions en route to an 0-16 season. Unfortunately, this was one of these 10-year deals which was not a good investment.

Michael Vick: Atlanta Falcons: 2004 – 10 years, $130 million

This signing in Atlanta was among the most applauded. At the time Vick, who was named to his second Pro Bowl and had set several NFL rushing records for quarterbacks since being the number one overall pick. Vick would take the Falcons to the NFC championship before the dogfighting scandal forced him out of town. Upon his release, Vick made amends in the community. He then went on to sign with the Eagles and enjoyed some success before ultimately resorting to a journeyman backup role. His latest stop with the Pittsburgh Steelers included a thrilling win over the Los Angeles Chargers during a Monday Night Football game. In retrospect, it wasn’t a good long-term investment.

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