Among the irony of all ironies in sports, are the star athletes who are “red-hot” one moment, enabling them to command gigantic salaries, only to fizzle out as soon as the ink is dry. Here are five athletes who went from Hot to Not.
1. Alex Rodriguez
Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez was a red-hot property that signed 2 of the largest contracts ever at the time. First he penned a $252 million, 10-season deal with the Texas Rangers. Next, Rodriguez top that with a 10-season, $275 million deal with the New York Yankees.
His Rangers deal went well, thanks to ample steroid use, which he has admitted. But when A-Rod began playing for the Yankees, after only 2 years his performance declined. One can assume that because steroids were prohibited, A-Rod’s performance predictably went downhill.
2. Ryan Howard
Ryan Howard, first baseman with the Philadelphia Phillies landed a monstrous $125 million, 5-year contract in 2010. For the team, it looked like a sweet deal… For one year.
Then Howard’s performance began to decline and in 2 separate years he was sidelined with injuries. His performance has gone from stellar to average. $25 million a year is a pretty steep fee for average.
3. Gilbert Arenas
NBA guard Gilbert Arenas of the Washington wizards nailed down a $111 million contract over 6 years in 2008. He contributed well for 55 games before things started to go sour.
Injuries, getting suspended for bringing a gun into the locker room and other distractions took their toll. He was eventually traded at a significant monetary loss for the team.
4. Josh Hamilton
While playing for the Texas Rangers, Josh Hamilton was one of major league baseball’s best hitters. In 2012, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim nabbed Josh for a 5-year, $125 million deal.
Pretty much as soon as the season started, Hamilton began a downward spiral which included drug relapse and an injury. Even though he’s been traded to the Rangers, the Angels are still stuck with paying most of his salary. Ouch!
5. Carl Crawford
Not to be outdone by the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox whipped out their checkbook and signed outfielder Carl Crawford to a $142 million contract over 7 years.
As soon as the pen left the paper, things with Crawford started to plummet. He didn’t even make it through a full season, only playing 161 games – and those didn’t go too well. Crawford was eventually traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.