If there’s one thing Philly sports are known for lately, it’s not championships. It’s not competitiveness. And it’s not savvy front-office moves.
Philadelphia seems to be one of the worst cities in terms of bad contracts in all of sports. Thankfully, after a big buyout last fall, Ryan Howard’s monstrous $25 million per year deal is off the books for the Phillies. But there are still a few unfavorable pacts on the books for all four rebuilding teams.
Here’s a brief look at the five ugliest:
1. Clay Buchholz, Phillies SP
Contract: four years, $29,945,000
Clay Buchholz was supposed to be a veteran arm benefiting from a change of scenery heading into 2017. But 10 earned runs over two starts and a season-ending injury later, it is looking like his four-year deal is a complete waste of money. If he was pitching well, it’s not a terrible contract in terms of tradability — though having him under contract until he is 37 is probably not appealing to suitors. But his torn pectoral all but ended that. Will he pitch for the Phillies in 2018? If so, will he resemble the two-time All-Star who pitched for a Red Sox World Series team? If not, he’ll be a total waste of money on a team that needs a lot of help.
2. Vinny Curry, Eagles DE
Contract: five years, $47,250,000 ($23,000,000 guarantee)
When Curry inked his big extension last offseason he looked like an up-and-coming pass rusher entering his prime. But the Eagles are stacked at defensive line — with Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Chris Long and rookie Derek Barnett all on the roster — it seems as though Curry is more expendible than the Eagles initially thought. Next season will be key for Curry, who will need to stay on the field and be productive. If not, the Eagles can cut him loose before 2018 with a $6 million buy out that will actually save them $5 million against the cap.
3. Andrew MacDonald, Flyers D
Contract: six years, $30,000,000
When Andrew MacDonald signed his current six-year contract — that will keep him a Flyer through 2020 — he appeared to be a top-line defender for a Flyers team on the verge of contention. But that was before Shayne Gostisbehere, Sam Morin, Robert Hagg, Ivan Provorov and other young prospects entered the picture. His contract is now just as big a liability as his roster spot is, potentially blocking a future superstar from breaking through in the NHL.
4. Mychal Kendricks, Eagles LB
Contract: four years, $29,000,000 ($16,096,060 guarantee)
Kendrick’s extension was signed when the Eagles were in a 3-4 defensive scheme under Chip Kelly, a system that played into Kendricks strengths as an athletic linebacker. Under Jim Schwartz last year, the team played in the nickle so often that he was only on the field for 27 percent of the team’s snaps. That’s not enough for a guy who brings with him a $9.15 million cap hit in 2017. That makes him uncuttable and more or less untradable. After next season, he will bring just a $3.2 million cap hit and will likely be moved or cut.
5. Jerryd Bayless, Sixers PG
Contract: three years, $27,000,000
The Sixers needed a point guard prior to last season and veteran backup Bayless appeared to be a good fit for the youthful Sixers. But a committment through 2019 — in hindsight — seemes a little shortsighted. He played in just three games last season before being sidlined by the injury bug. The potential drafting of a point guard and the projected use of Ben Simmons as a point-forward will relegate Bayless to a bench role in 2017-18.