When people hear the term "terrible sports contract," two assumptions are often made. First, the agreement in question must have been orchestrated by a greedy team owner, with terms deliberately designed to bilk the athlete. And second, the athlete must have been a young rube who signed the contract without consulting a lawyer first. While these scenarios have surely played out many times in the past, they're not the only ones possible.
Sometimes, a terrible contract is actually terrible for the franchise. In these cases, the team can be forced to live with unintended consequences for several years, at a cost of millions of dollars. It’s often a compound humiliation as well, as any agreement between the player and the team has almost certainly been drafted and vetted over the course of many billable hours by the team’s own very expensive attorneys.
Unfortunately for franchise owners, there is no legal team on earth that can protect them from short-sighted management decisions, or from trades that didn’t work out as expected. So as hard as it may be to believe that a major sports organization wouldn’t have all their contractual ducks in a row, it happens, sometimes at a cost that nobody anticipated.
What are some of the sports contracts that had terrible consequences for the teams that wrote them? Click ahead and find out.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 28 July 2011