Sometimes a team gets lucky, and winds up with one of the world's best nose tackles on a ridiculously under-market contract. And then sometimes Jerry Jones Jerry Joneses, and they sign Jay Ratliff to a massive extension two years before his deal is up, just as he's statistically heading into the downslope of his career. And then this happens.
Ratliff made the Pro Bowl every year from 2008-2011, on a contract paying him just an average of $4 million a year. In the summer of 2011, the Cowboys inked him to a five-year extension that would kick in in 2013 and double his salary—but more importantly, it came with $18 million in guaranteed money. It was questioned at the time, though was a well-deserved reward and for all we know was necessary to avoid what would have been an understandable holdout.
Well, Ratliff made it halfway through 2012 before a season-ending groin injury. Then he had a "volcanic" locker-room confrontation with Jerry Jones. Then he had hernia surgery. Then he was arrested for DWI.