Archive for August, 2014

NFL players want two things by the time they retire. They want to “get paid” (receive $10+ million/year) and they want to win a championship. Some players (mainly quarterbacks) are more highly thought of if they win multiple championships. Demonstrating the ability to play clutch in the fourth quarter or the playoffs is an immensely important quality to have for any player. But there are some players who haven’t captured the elusive championship ring (and probably never will) who are still among the top players at their position.

Wide Receivers – Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline, Eric Decker (His career may as well be over as he just became a New York Jet), DeSean Jackson

Larry Fitzgerald’s been stellar his entire career and has one Super Bowl trip to show for it. A tight NFC West will make it difficult for Fitzgerald to get that close again. Andre Johnson’s career’s similar to Fitzgerald. He’s a huge, world-beating talent who’s rarely had a good QB to throw to him and almost no team success in the playoffs. Bowe’s slowed down in his old age in a rough AFC West and Brian Hartline’s stuck on a permanent 8-win Miami team. DeSean Jackson is a star talent but joins a poorly run Redskins franchise incapable of sustained success in the playoffs.

Tight Ends – Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, Chris Cooley

Gates in his prime might be the best tight end to play in the NFL. At 34 Gates has slowed down and may retire before his Chargers team can become truly relevant like they were circa 2005.

Jason Witten is Mr. Reliable but he’s also a Cowboy. Jerry Jones hasn’t put a good team on the field two years in a row since the ’90s.

Chris Cooley was a great athlete for several years but lost his starting job to younger talent.

Running Backs – Adrian Peterson, Fred Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren Sproles

By the time Teddy Bridgewater becomes a talented starter, Adrian Peterson’s wheels will have fallen off. Peterson might a top five running back of all time, but he’s trapped on a struggling Minnesota roster with no QB for much of his career. Jackson is still a terrific runner but can never stay healthy. Jones-Drew gave his best years to a bad Jacksonville franchise and Sproles has maybe a year or two left to contribute as a back.

Quarterback – Tony Romo (I believe Philip Rivers and the Bolts can make a strong push for a dark horse championship run in the next three seasons)

Defensive Linemen – Most of the Bills defensive line (Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Mario Williams), Cameron Wake, Jurrell Casey. (Julius Peppers and Jared Allen each play for the two franchises that have that rank first and second respectively in championships in NFL history. Meaning, they have a good shot at winning a championship any given year.)

Linebackers – John Abraham (No one talks about this guy but he’s incredible. Abraham’s the NFL’s leading active sack-collector with 133.5. He’ll probably get passed up by Jared Allen in the next year or so but Abraham’s been an absolute rock his whole career, and he’s never gotten close to a championship), Brian Orakpo, Sean Lee, Chad Greenway

Defensive Backs – Joe Haden, Brandon Carr, Dashon Goldson

Joe Haden and the rest of Cleveland will have to wait for receiving talent in order for any QB to have success on that offense. Carr and Goldson are stuck on bad teams for their career.