Colin Kaepernick

In the NFL, front offices operate under the strict guidelines of a salary cap. The cap for the 2016 season was set at $155.27 million. That might sound like a lot, but it can go quickly considering each team employs 53 active players per week, not counting its injured or practice squad players.

With such tight restrictions, every dollar spent is precious, which makes underperforming, big-money players especially detrimental. PointAfter, a sports visualization site powered by Graphiq, looked through all 32 rosters to find each team’s most overpaid player.

For this exercise, we first looked for players under big contracts who have underperformed. Some teams spend their money more wisely than others, of course, and therefore have selections who aren’t playing under relatively high salaries. When choosing each team’s most overpaid player, only 2016 salaries were considered. We also factored in the player’s contributions to their current team and the value of each position. A quarterback, for example, is inherently more valuable than an interior offensive lineman.

Players are ranked in order from lowest 2016 salary to highest. With that, here is each franchise’s most overpaid player.

Note: All salary data is courtesy of Spotrac.

#32. DE Adrian Clayborn

Adrian Clayborn

Team: Atlanta Falcons
2016 salary: $3 million

The Falcons don’t really have any massive overpays on their roster — a testament to the team’s front office. Though $3 million isn’t that big of a hit on the salary cap, Clayborn has the 10th-highest salary for 2016, which seems a bit much for a reserve defensive end who had just three sacks in 2015.

#31. TE Jermaine Gresham

Jermaine Gresham

Team: Arizona Cardinals
2016 salary: $3.47 million

Gresham was a two-time Pro Bowler with the Cincinnati Bengals but hasn’t had that type of production in Arizona. He notched only 223 receiving yards in 2015, his first year with the team, and hasn’t gotten very involved in the passing game in 2016.

#30. OLB Robert Mathis

Robert Mathis

Team: Indianapolis Colts
2016 salary: $5 million

Once upon a time, Mathis and Dwight Freeney were the most feared pass rushing tandem in the league. Mathis is still with the Colts, but it’s clear he is well past his prime. His seven sacks in 2015 were his lowest since his rookie season (2003), and he has yet to make a significant impact in 2016.

#29. QB Chase Daniel

Chase Daniel

Team: Philadelphia Eagles
2016 salary: $5 million

Based solely on 2016 salary, Daniel is the 26th-highest paid quarterback in the league — making more than several starters still on their rookie deals like Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Blake Bortles. With Carson Wentz firmly entrenched as the team’s franchise quarterback, Daniel won’t have any role on the team unless an emergency situation comes up. Barring a setback, $5 million is a lot of money for a player who doesn’t see the field.

#28. QB Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III

Team: Cleveland Browns
2016 salary: $5.05 million

At this point, it is basically a proven fact that Cleveland is a barren wasteland where no quarterback can succeed. The Browns’ RGIII experiment seemed destined to fail, and that prophecy unfortunately came true after Griffin suffered a potentially season-ending injury in Week 1. Here’s hoping Griffin can someday put together a healthy season and get his career back on track.

#27. CB Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith

Team: Baltimore Ravens
2016 salary: $5.1 million

From 2011 to 2014, Smith allowed just six total touchdown passes. He gave up six in 2015 alone, according to Pro Football Focus, and he’s the team’s fifth-highest paid player in 2016.

#26. OT Russell Okung

Russell Okung

Team: Denver Broncos
2016 salary: $5.2 million

Okung was once one of the game’s best tackles, making the Pro Bowl in 2012. He hasn’t reached that level of play since, and the Broncos are hoping a change of scenery will reignite his career. Okung is Denver’s fourth-highest paid offensive player, and he has yet to perform like it so far in his Broncos career.

#25. OT Sebastian Vollmer

Sebastian Vollmer

Team: New England Patriots
2016 salary: $5.21 million

Six of the Patriots’ eight highest-paid players are on the offensive side of the ball, and Vollmer, due to injury, is the only unproductive one of the group. When healthy, he’s a fine player, but the Patriots spend their money wisely, which means we’re forced to choose an injured player as the team’s most overpaid.

#24. DE Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

Team: Cincinnati Bengals
2016 salary: $6.13 million

Johnson is the team’s highest paid defensive end despite the fact that he hasn’t had a year with double-digit sacks since 2012. Compared to teammate Carlos Dunlap’s 13.5 sacks from 2015, and Johnson doesn’t appear to be deserving of such a high price tag.

#23. OT Eric Fisher

Eric Fisher

Team: Kansas City Chiefs
2016 salary: $6.85 million

Fisher has improved in recent years, but his production is still nowhere near what you’d want from a first overall pick. He’s the team’s fifth-highest paid player in 2016, making more than Dontari Poe, Jamaal Charles, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson. Given how much that group has outperformed Fisher, he’s a pretty clear choice as the team’s most overpaid player.

#22. TE Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph

Team: Minnesota Vikings
2016 salary: $7.3 million

Rudolph is reliable yet unspectacular as a receiver, dropping just 13 of 199 catchable passes in his first five seasons, according to Pro Football Focus. Still, he has never topped 500 receiving yards in a season, and he’s the team’s fourth-highest paid player in 2016. Rudolph’s lack of high yardage totals is certainly a function of spotty quarterback play, but his production still hasn’t lived up to his high salary.

#21. TE Julius Thomas

Julius Thomas

Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
2016 salary: $7.3 million

From 2013 to 2014, Thomas had a combined 24 touchdown receptions when he was catching passes from Peyton Manning. Unsurprisingly, he hasn’t been nearly as productive in Jacksonville, with 455 yards and five touchdowns in 2015. Thomas is being paid like an elite tight end, but his production in Denver seems like it was more a function of that offensive system than Thomas’ individual talent. His salary will increase each season through 2019, meaning he’ll likely remain the Jaguars’ most overpaid player for years to come.

#20. WR Kendall Wright

Kendall Wright

Team: Tennessee Titans
2016 salary: $7.32 million

Wright caught 94 passes for 1,079 yards in 2013, his second year in the NFL. In his next two seasons, he caught a combined 93 passes for 1,123 yards, falling well short of expectations. Wright is far from being the Titans’ go-to receiver, and he has the fourth-highest salary on the team in 2016.

#19. DE Mike Daniels

Mike Daniels

Team: Green Bay Packers
2016 salary: $7.4 million

Daniels signed a four-year, $42 million contract extension last season, setting his 2016 salary at $7.4 million. The Packers don’t have any real eyesore-type contracts, and Daniels is a fine player, but he saw his sack totals decline each year since notching 6.5 sacks in 2013. That’s enough to earn him the dishonor as Green Bay’s most overpaid player.

#18. WR Tavon Austin

Tavon Austin St. Louis Rams

Team: Los Angeles Rams
2016 salary: $7.81 million

The Rams’ decision to sign Austin to a four-year, $42 million deal was a head-scratcher. The former first-round pick has never had more than 473 receiving yards in a season, though he does bring versatility to the table as an offensive threat. Austin has averaged 8.2 yards per carry over 102 career rushing attempts and has three punt return scores, but the Rams’ passing game has suffered since he’s been on the team. The lack of a downfield threat will continue to limit the team’s offense, and Austin is the clear choice as the franchise’s most overpaid player.

#17. OT Riley Reiff

Riley Reiff

Team: Detroit Lions
2016 salary: $8.07 million

Reiff is the Lions’ second-highest paid player, making less than only Matthew Stafford. The team shifted him from left tackle to right tackle, which greatly diminishes his overall impact.

#16. CB Byron Maxwell

Byron Maxwell

Team: Miami Dolphins
2016 salary: $8.5 million

Maxwell was a disappointment in Philadelphia after signing his lucrative contract, raising concerns that he can’t perform outside of the Seahawks’ defensive system. He can still be a productive cornerback for Miami, but he certainly doesn’t appear to be worthy of his large salary as the Dolphins’ sixth-highest paid player in 2016.

#15. TE Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham

Team: Seattle Seahawks
2016 salary: $9 million

It wasn’t too long ago that Graham and Rob Gronkowski were viewed as being in the same class. Graham suffered through an injury-plagued and unproductive 2015 season with Seattle and has yet to rediscover his old form in 2016. As the team’s fourth-highest paid player — making more in 2016 than Doug Baldwin, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor — he is the clear choice for most overpaid on the roster.

#14. DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Jason Pierre-Paul

Team: New York Giants
2016 salary: $9.4 million

Pierre-Paul’s decline in production was obviously a byproduct of his fireworks accident that maimed his right hand. He’s back on the field and appears to be near full strength, but his days of double-digit sack totals might be behind him.

#13. OT Duane Brown

Duane Brown

Team: Houston Texans
2016 salary: $9.5 million

Brown is the Texans’ third-highest paid player, making more than Brian Cushing, Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson. His 2015 season was his worst since his rookie year, according to Pro Football Focus. His high salary plus health concerns make him the easy choice as the Texans’ most overpaid player.

#12. OG J.R. Sweezy

J.R. Sweezy

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2016 salary: $9.5 million

Sweezy signed a big contract with Tampa Bay this offseason but has been on the Physically Unable to Perform list since August. He’s the fourth-highest paid player on the team and will make more in 2016 than Doug Martin, Brent Grimes and Jameis Winston.

#11. RB Jonathan Stewart

Jonathan Stewart

Team: Carolina Panthers
2016 salary: $9.55 million

Stewart has been a consistent contributor during his nine-year career, but until the 2015 season, he’d never really been Carolina’s every-down back, instead alternating with DeAngelo Williams. He had a good year last season after Williams’ departure, getting a career-high 242 carries, but he’s not quite as dependable as his salary would indicate. Stewart will miss several weeks with a hamstring injury, and as the team’s third-highest paid player in 2016, he’s also their most overpaid.

#10. CB Brandon Flowers

Brandon Flowers

Team: San Diego Chargers
2016 salary: $9.75 million

Flowers allowed 1.71 yards per snap in coverage last season, third-highest in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. He’ll make the third-highest salary in 2016, and he’s far from being a shutdown corner that the Chargers hoped he’d become.

#9. WR Pierre Garcon

Pierre Garcon

Team: Washington Redskins
2016 salary: $10.2 million

Garcon broke out in a big way in 2013, making 113 catches for 1,346 yards. He’s yet to top 800 yards in any season since, and he’ll make more in 2016 than all but two other Redskins players: quarterback Kirk Cousins and left tackle Trent Williams.

#8. CB Brandon Carr

Brandon Carr

Team: Dallas Cowboys
2016 salary: $10.22 million

Carr is the Cowboys’ third-highest paid player, and he’s been a below average cornerback over the past three seasons. Dallas had the second-fewest interceptions in the league in 2015, and Carr failed to record a single pick.

#7. S Jairus Byrd

Jairus Byrd

Team: New Orleans Saints
2016 salary: $10.9 million

Byrd makes more money than any Saints player besides Drew Brees, and given the secondary’s abysmal performance in 2015, he’s the easy choice for the team’s most overpaid player. New Orleans allowed a league-worst 8.7 yards per pass attempt, and Byrd hasn’t been nearly as good as he was in years past.

#6. OLB Bruce Irvin

Bruce Irvin

Team: Oakland Raiders
2016 salary: $12.5 million

The Raiders were aggressive in free agency, adding several high-priced players. Irvin, who will be the team’s second-highest paid player, gets the nod as the team’s most overpaid. Once viewed as a feared pass rusher, he hasn’t been able to top the eight sacks he recorded in his rookie season.

#5. DT Marcell Dareus

Marcell Dareus

Team: Buffalo Bills
2016 salary: $12.69 million

When he’s on the field, Dareus is an excellent defensive lineman. But he gets the nod as the team’s most overpaid player because, as the highest paid player on the team, he becomes the de facto face of the franchise, and he’s been suspended by the league twice in the past two seasons for substance-abuse violations. That type of unreliability is costly when a player is making almost J.J. Watt-type money.

#4. ILB Lawrence Timmons

Lawrence Timmons

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
2016 salary: $15.13 million

Timmons is the second-highest paid player on the Steelers roster, and he’s been a dependable player throughout his career. Now in his 10th season, though, his abilities are starting to wane. He and fellow linebacker Ryan Shazier combined to miss 34 tackles last season, and since Timmons makes significantly more money than Shazier, he earns the nod as the team’s most overpaid.

#3. QB Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Team: San Francisco 49ers
2016 salary: $15.89 million

Choosing Kaepernick was perhaps the easiest decision of any team in the league. He’s making franchise-quarterback money to be a backup behind Blaine Gabbert. He’s still only 28 years old, but it already seems clear that his best days are firmly behind him.

#2. QB Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler

Team: Chicago Bears
2016 salary: $17 million

Cutler has been viewed as a franchise quarterback virtually his entire career, but his production has never backed that perception up. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2007, Cutler has never finished higher than 12th in the league in passer rating. Given the importance of the quarterback position, teams are desperate to land at least a competent player. That has allowed Cutler to be paid like a superstar, despite his mediocre-at-best performance.

#1. CB Darrelle Revis

Darrelle Revis

Team: New York Jets
2016 salary: $17 million

In his prime, Revis was unquestionably the best cornerback in the league. Now, though, quarterbacks aren’t afraid of throwing his way, yet he’s still being paid as if he’s a lockdown corner. He’s still an effective player, but his salary does not match up with his production at this stage of his career.

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