Usually when players are at the crossroads of their careers, it’s based on their performances, inability to stay on the field, or just bad timing. A few players were actually successful at the pivotal moment (Drew Brees and Reggie Bush). And then there were players, recently, who might have officially ended up on the wrong side (Trent Richardson, Tim Tebow, RG3, Matt Flynn, Jonas Gray). The RG3 situation is an unusual one that I’ll explain in the next couple of days. For now, here are a few players who’s currently at the fork in the road.
When Jay Cutler was first traded to Chicago in 2009, I was excited. He was coming off a Pro Bowl season. The Bears haven’t had a real quarterback in ages. Cutler has all the talent to be a great quarter, especially his extravagant arm strength. John Fox is his 3rd head coach since being in the Windy City and has had plenty of offensive coordinators including Mike Martz. This could possibly be his best season yet. However, his terrible decision-making and only 1 playoff win in his tenure makes him a viable candidate for this list.
The 28-year-old and former Oregon Duck is a good underrated running back. You probably couldn’t tell because he was splitting carries with DeAngelo Williams and… his inability to stay on the field. In Stewarts first 4 seasons, he only missed 2 games. However, he has missed 20 in the past 3 seasons. What will Stewart do as the feature back this season is the question…
The former number overall pick back in 2010 is on the list because of his injury history. It was bad enough his best weapon on offense was an aging Stephen Jackson back in St Louis. He has had two consecutive seasons ended due to a torn ACL and doesn’t need to happen a 3rd time. In a Chip Kelly offense, Bradford is due for a prime year, only…. if he can stay healthy.
Run DMC has the talent to be a top 10 back in this league. He has great acceleration and lateral quickness. He now plays behind the best offensive line in football. But just like him and the past 2 players I just mentioned, he has a history problem. Personally, I want to see him destroy the NFL but only his legs will tell. He also has to get over the hurdle of being second on the team’s depth chart behind Joseph Randle.
The “Muscle Hamster” caught defenses off guard with is powerful running tactics during his rookie campaign. The next couple of years, his production declined due to injuries (how surprising) and a bad offensive line. Doug Martin appears to be healthy, but he needs to stay that way because Charles Sims is sitting there hovering his starting job.
The former college All American has yet to live up to expectations in the NFL. He has been in an inconsistent, run heavy offense in San Francisco, but he has had key drops in crucial game moments as well. According to Richard Sherman, he’s just a Mediocre’ Receiver. Now, across the bay in Oakland, he has a chance to resurrect his career. The clock is ticking.