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The Worst Contracts in Ohio Sports History
Happy Bobby Bonilla Day.
Every year from 2015-2035, the former MLB player cashes $1,193,248 from the New York Mets.
(How's that for a stimmy?)
Throughout the years, our Ohio teams have handed out some pretty dumb contracts of their own.
Let’s take a look at the worst of the worst.
Nick Swisher, Cleveland Indians
Did someone say Brohio? Lord, that was so corny.
And while Swisher's arrival in Cleveland certainly benefited the local t-shirt economy, he did not live up to his four-year, $56 million deal from the Cleveland Indians.
After a Rookie of the Year campaign with the Oakland Athletics and an All-Star appearance with the New York Yankees, the Columbus-native joined his hometown club on the downswing of his career.
Swisher’s happy-go-lucky outlook on Ohio baseball was initially a sight for sore eyes, but his blind optimism did not mix well with his poor performance at the plate and he was eventually sent packing for Atlanta.
As Zack Meisel of Northeast Ohio Media Group pointed out at the time, “not all teammates shed a tear when Swisher packed up his belongings and jetted to Georgia.”
Larry Hughes, Cleveland Cavaliers
Hughes inked a massive five-year, $70 million contract to join the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005.
That was big money in the NBA at the time, but the Cavs were willing to dish it out for a veteran to help young superstar LeBron James.
After signing that big deal, Hughes played just 36 games in 2005 before undergoing finger surgery. In 2006, Hughes was awarded the Austin Carr Good Guy Award, which was designated to the player who is understanding and cooperative with the media and the community.
That’s the only award worth noting for Hughes in Cleveland, who was traded to the Bulls in 2008.
Antonio Bryant, Cincinnati Bengals
In 2010, the Cincinnati Bengals gave wideout Antonio Bryant a four-year deal worth $28 million with just under $8 million of that cash guaranteed.
The Bengals signed Bryant after an injury plagued season where he underwent knee surgery, but hoped he could replicate his 2008 season where he put up over 1,200 yards as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, that surgery caused Bryant to miss all four preseason games during his first offseason with Cincinnati and was cut without playing a single down. He still walked away with almost $8 million and only participated in one practice.
Kenny Britt, Cleveland Browns
Rolling with the wide receivers, Kenny Britt had everyone fooled after his 1,000 yard season with the Rams in just 15 games. He also caught five touchdowns.
That offseason, GM Sashi Brown handed Britt a four-year, $32.5 million deal to add the 29 year-old veteran to Cleveland’s underwhelming and inconsistent receiving corps.
Britt started just four games for the Browns, catching 18 passes for 233 yards and two forgettable touchdowns.
Britt was ailed with knee and groin injuries and missed curfew. Brown was a fan of the veteran, but head coach Hue Jackson was reportedly not. When Brown was dismissed from his role, and the team hired John Dorsey, Britt was released after just one underwhelming season.He signed with the Patriots, catching just two passes for 23 yards in three games before falling out of the league entirely.
Wayne Garland, Cleveland Indians
The Indians are certainly not known for passing out big money in free agency.
But after 1976, Baltimore’s Wayne Garland convinced the Tribe to shell out a 10-year contract worth $2.3 million. That was a big deal back then.
In 1976, Garland won 20 games with the O’s, but lost 19 games the following year with the Tribe. He was never the ace Cleveland was looking for, going just 2-3 the next season with a 7.89 ERA before undergoing surgery for a torn rotator cuff.
He was let go following the 1981 season, playing just half of his massive ten year contract. He finished with a 28-48 record and a 4.50 ERA for the Indians, and never pitched in the Major League again.
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