NFL Players At The Crossroads


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.

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Jay Cutler
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.

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Jonathan Stewart
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…

Sam Bradford
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.

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Darren McFadden
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.

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Doug Martin
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.

Michael Crabtree
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.

JGood

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Top 5 NFL Bust Since 2005


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There has been some superstar talent that has come into the NFL since 2005 such as Adrian Peterson, Richard Sherman, Andrew Luck, Julio Jones, and JJ Watt. However, on the other end of the spectrum is a few players who just flat-out didn’t live up to expectations. Whatever is may be health, off the field issues, or just bad play, they have ended up being a BUST. I’ve made my own top 5 over the past decade. Here’s my honorable mentioned list:

Blaine Gabbert (Mizzou 2011)

Glenn Dorsey (LSU 2008)

Gaines Adams (Clemson 2007)

Christian Ponder (Florida State 2011)

Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame 2010)

Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland 2009)

Robert Griffin III!?!? (Baylor 2012)

Now for my top 5:

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5. Vince Young (Texas 2006)
The former college football national championship star was the 3rd overall pick of the 2006 class to the Tennessee Titans. Young won rookie of the year and was named to the Pro Bowl. The next 2 seasons were pedestrian. After regaining his starting job (team started 0-6), Vince Young led the Titans them to 8 out of 10 wins. Bad play and immaturity led him to be of the most disappointing players in the past decade.

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4. Matt Leinart (USC 2006)
The former Heisman Trophy winner was supposed to be the face of the Arizona Cardinals franchise with the 10th pick of the draft. Instead, he became apart of the infamous list of USC quarterbacks who doesn’t live up to expectations (Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, John David Booty, and soon to be Matt Barkley). Sprained shoulder injury and a broken clavicle in his first two seasons led the way for Kurt Warner. Leinart’s time in the NFL has been dim ever since.

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3. Troy Williamson (South Carolina 2005)
After trading Randy Moss to Oakland, the Minnesota Vikings drafted Troy Williamson with the 7th overall selection to be the next deep threat for Daunte Culpepper. However, he wasn’t anywhere close of being a threat. In 3 seasons with the Vikings, he caught 79 passes for 1,074 yards with 3 touchdowns. His inability to catch ball caused him to receive limited playing time. He blamed is depth perception for dropping passes.

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2. Trent Richardson (Alabama 2012)
Arguably the best running back entering the draft, he destroyed defenses with his powerful style of running, deceptive agility, and lateral quickness. The Cleveland Browns selected Trent Richardson with the 3rd overall pick. Unfortunately, Richardson wasn’t able to impact again because of lack of ball carrying vision. He saw limited playing time once he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. He was recently cut by the Oakland Raiders. Former Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark labeled Trent as the “worst running back of all time” (OUCH).

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1. JaMarcus Russell (LSU 2007)
And then there’s… (drum roll)… JaMarcus Russell!!! He had one of the strongest arms you would ever see, allegedly throwing 60 yards on his knees. But the number 1 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders was doomed from the start when he elected to hold out his rookie year for a lucrative deal. He didn’t sign his deal until September. The combination of different head coaches and offensive coordinators, inability to make the right reads, and off the field issues (codeine syrup) led to his ultimate downfall of being labeled arguably the biggest bust in NFL history.

 

JGood