4. Joe Mays, 2011
Contract: Three years, $12 million
After proving himself with the team as a backup and special teams ace in 2010, Joe Mays was given a three-year, $12 million contract by John Elway and the new regime in Denver.
The Broncos saw a decent early return on this investment as Mays racked up 83 total tackles in 2011 but was horrendous in coverage, limiting his role in the defense.
The injury bug would get Mays in the 2012 season, and he was limited to just six games with four starts.
He would go on to bounce around to the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Diego Chargers before his NFL career ended in 2015.
Mays was best for the Broncos as a reserve, and the team took a shot on paying him mid-level starter money in hopes he could become a full-time player, and it didn’t work out.