The NFL is one professional sports league where players frequently seem be very unhappy with where they are. Obviously, many players have selfish, me-first attitudes and often butt heads with teammates, coaches and management. This is just the way the NFL works. And when a player is disgruntled with the team he’s playing for, he usually gets traded – whether he requests it or not. In some cases, it’s justified. Some players are too talented but aren’t receiving enough opportunities to succeed in the system they’re playing in. Other times, the player just doesn’t like his coach. Other times, he feels like he isn’t getting paid the money he’s worth or he wants to join a championship contender.As it stands, a number of talented players in the NFL (including some superstars), don’t appear happy with their current clubs. Before we know it, these guys could look to exit via trade or free agency.
Here are 15 NFL players who may already want out on the team they’recurrently playing for.
15. Ndamukong Suh
One of the NFL’s best defensive players, Suh joined the Miami Dolphins in 2015 on a six-year deal worth $114 million. Suh was known for having attitude problems with the Detroit Lions, as evidenced by his numerous stomping and cheap shot incidents. Nonetheless, Miami knew they had a player. But Suh has shown frustration with Miami’s defensive system, and The Miami Herald reported last year that Dolphin players were angry that he didn’t arrive at voluntary camps. It’s quite clear Suh hasn’t cleaned up his attitude in Miami, and it may not be long until the two parties agree to part ways.
14. Teddy Bridgewater
Bridgewater was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, and showed some promise late that year to be named the starter for 2015. Bridgewater struggled with ball control, but otherwise looked like a solid game manager on a team built around a strong defence and rush-first offence. But Bridgewater tore his ACL before the beginning of the 2016 season and wasn’t able to play a single down. The Vikings panicked and traded for Sam Bradford, who has since developed nicely. Had it not been for a putrid offensive line, Bradford would have taken Minny to the playoffs in 2016.
He’s gotten off to a good start in 2017, and Bridgewater still hasn’t returned to the field. Bradford doesn’t looke ready to relinquish the starting job, and Bridgewater is still young and talented enough to be a starter. If the Vikings keep rolling with Bradford, then Bridgewater is going to want out of Minny. Just wait.
13. Muhammad Wilkerson
Wilkerson’s New York Jets won 10 games in 2015 and just barely missed out on the postseason. Hoping a new championship window was opening, Gang Green gave Wilkerson a five-year extension worth $86 million during the 2016 offseason. It all made sense on paper, as Wilkerson is far-and-away this team’s best player. But the Jets flopped miserably in 2016 and began a full-on rebuild. Aging cornerback Darrelle Revis was released, as was Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall. The Jets also bid adieu to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency and recently shipped Sheldon Richardson to the Seattle Seahawks.
Wilkerson thought he was re-signing with a Super Bowl contender, but is instead playing for perhaps the NFL’s worst team. You have to think he and the Jets will soon see eye-to-eye on a trade. No reason for a rebuilding team to keep a big-time star when they can get a nice return for him.
12. Shane Vereen
Vereen was once a vital weapon in the New England Patriots offence. He caught 11 passes in Super Bowl 49, helping the Pats take down the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. Vereen was hoping for a bigger role to play, so he signed with the New York Giants on a three-year deal worth $12.35 million. Unfortunately Vereen’s tenure with the Giants has been nothing short of frustrating. He rushed for just 260 yards in 2015, though he did finish with 495 receiving yards. He was limited to just five games in 2016 due to a series of tricep injuries.
The Giants are a pass-happy offence and haven’t used Vereen all that much. Though he hasn’t publicly asked for a trade, you have to think he’d like them to deal him to a playoff contender that could better use his services.
11. Coby Fleener
After an up-and-down four-year tenure with the Indianapolis Colts, tight end Coby Fleener signed a five-year contract worth $36 million with the New Orleans Saints. It was expected that Fleener would become a big weapon with Drew Brees as his quarterback, and many thought he could fill the void left by Jimmy Graham.
But thus far Fleener hasn’t put it together with the Saints. Brees has become more reliant on young receivers like Michael Thomas and Willie Snead, while utilizing a number of running backs in his offence. Fleener was supposed to be Brees’ big weapon in the red zone, but that has yet to come to fruition. In 2016, Fleener caught just 50 passes for 631 yards and three touchdowns. Not good for a guy who had eight touchdowns in 2014. Unless he somehow finds a way to turn his fortunes around in New Orleans, one has to assume Fleener would like to move on to a team that can better use his skills. He just isn’t fitting in with Brees and co.
10. Nelson Agholor
The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Agholor with the 20th overall selection in 2015. Chip Kelly thought he added a nice weapon to his fancy offence, but Agholor looks like nothing more than a draft bust right now. The speedy wideout was a 2014 First-team All-Pac-12 selection, and has all the resources to succeed in the NFL. But through the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Agholor had just 59 receptions for 648 yards and three touchdowns. To be fair to Agholor, Sam Bradford and a young Carson Wentz were his quarterbacks. Not exactly the top guns of the NFL.
Agholor just needs a new home where another team could find a way to better use his talents. A team like the New England Patriots or New Orleans Saints could use him. You just have to think Agholor is getting tired of getting few opportunities on a rebuilding Eagles squad.
9. Dwayne Allen
Back in 2012, scouts were raving over what former Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson did at the draft. He took Andrew Luck with the first overall pick, then landed the top-two tight end prospects in Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. Five years later, and neither of them are on the Colts. Allen never fit into a Colts offence that was more dependent on wide receivers like Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. The Colts gave up on Allen and shipped him (along with a sixth round pick), to the New England Patriots in 2017 for nothing more than a fourth rounder.
However, the Patriots aren’t the team to turn Allen’s career around. They already have the game’s best tight end in Rob Gronkowski, plus receiving talents like Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan. Allen simply isn’t a fit there. It probably won’t be long until Allen tries to leave New England. Bill Belichick is never afraid to deal away or release disgruntled players, so it may not be long until Allen’s tenure in Foxborough ends.
8. Malik Jackson
After guiding the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 championship, Malik Jackson did what a lot of NFL players have done: Chase the money from a bad team and not really care if you lose or not. In 2016, Jackson signed a six-year contract worth $85.5 million with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jackson had a solid first year there, posting a career-best 6.5 sacks. However, the Jaguars once again look like a team that’ll contend for a top-five pick instead of challenging for the lacklustre AFC South division.
Do you really believe Jackson wants to stay on a miserable team when he already won a Super Bowl? Unlikely. The Jaguars tried the same with former Broncos star Julius Thomas – signing him to a big deal before eventually trading him to the Miami Dolphins. The same fate probably awaits Jackson.
7. Derrick Henry
Henry’s resume during his college days at Alabama are nothing short of spectacular. A two-time SEC champion and former national champion, Henry also won the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award in 2015. However, he wasn’t selected until the second round of the 2016 draft by the Tennessee Titans with the 45th pick. The Titans also gambled and traded for overpaid and disgruntled Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray, who regained his form as an elite running back in 2016. Murray rushed for 1,287 yards and nine touchdowns, making Henry an obvious No. 2 back at best.
So as it turns out, Murray is Tennessee’s running back of the future, not Henry. You have to think the former college star will eventually get bored of being on the bench and seek a trade. The Titans have no reason to keep him on, especially if they can get a mid-round selection for him.
6. Allen Robinson
Robinson came out of nowhere in 2015 and enjoyed a breakout season with the Jaguars. He caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, forming a terrific tandem with Allen Hurns. But in 2015, quarterback Blake Bortles also showed plenty of promise and looked like a franchise signal-caller. Bortles insteadhad a horrible 2016 season, and it cost Robinson some production. He finished with just 73 catches for 883 yards and six touchdowns, going from an elite receiver to more of a No. 2 guy.
Robinson tore his ACL in Week 1 of the 2017 season and won’t see the field for another year. He’s also in a contract year, and you have to believe he’d like to A) get a big contract and B) join a team with a quality quarterback. Robinson likely wants out, and he has that chance in March, 2018.
5. Jarvis Landry
In August, NFL analyst Michael Lombardi reported that the Miami Dolphins were going to listen to offers for star wide receiver, Jarvis Landry. However, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase would later say the Dolphins weren’t going to shop or trade Landry. But these rumours come up for a reason, and it’s possible Landry isn’t thrilled in South Beach. Drafted 63rd overall by the Dolphins in 2014, Landry has emerged as a top-10 receiver in the NFL. He’s reached 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, and is especially dangerous in the special teams units.
The Dolphins have made Landry one of the NFL’s best play-makers, but it seems like he doesn’t have much of a desire to stay. If that’s the case, expect him to look for a trade in the 2018 offseason.
4. Mychal Kendricks
According to multiple reports, Mychal Kendricks requested a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles, but they weren’t willing to oblige. This came two years after Kendricks signed a four-year extension worth $29 million with the Eagles. Kendricks – who was drafted 46th overall by the Eagles in 2012 – has been a mainstay on their defence as a game-changing linebacker.
But it’s quite evident he’s not happy in the City of Brotherly Love, and the Eagles may have to entertain offers for him in 2018. If he isn’t enjoying where he is, they may as well try to trade him and receive a quality player and/or draft picks in return. Kendricks will have to just duke it out and stay in Philadelphia for now, but it seems like it’s only a matter of time until the Eagles honour his trade request.
3. Kirk Cousins
Cousins was Robert Griffin III’s backup for a few years, but became the undisputed starter in 2015 and took the Washington Redskins to the NFC East crown. According to Albert Breer, the Redskins offered Cousins a five-year extension in the offseason, but it wasn’t enough for him. Cousins appears unhappy in Washington, and many experts (including Adam Schefter) believed they should have dealt him in the offseason. It’s clear that he doesn’t have a desire to commit his long-term future in Washington, but he can choose from probably close to a dozen teams this offseason.
There are a lot of teams looking for a franchise quarterback, and Cousins fits the bill perfectly. This will all but surely be his final year in D.C., and you can expect Cousins to leave the team if he isn’t content with them at the moment.
2. Richard Sherman
The Seattle Seahawks became a juggernaut in 2012, beginning with the rise of quarterback Russell Wilson and the iconic ‘Legion of Boom’, led by shutdown cornerback Richard Sherman. Despite helping the Seahawks win Super Bowl 48 (and nearly 49), Sherman’s time in the Pacific Northwest nearly came to an end during the offseason. Seahawks GM John Schneider told the league that Sherman would be available in a trade, but nothing took place. Though Sherman has never come forward with a trade request (from what we know, at least), you have to think the relationship between he and the front office/coaching staff isn’t a very pretty one.
Sherman has obviously developed a huge ego and can come off as a me-first player, which head coach Pete Carroll never stands for. If he’s butting heads with management and coaches, Sherman may simply ask for and be granted a trade this offseason.
1. Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck was drafted first overall by the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, and many scouts (including Matt Miller from Bleacher Report), considered him one of the greatest prospects in league history. Luck’s first three years were nothing short of spectacular. He took Indy to the playoffs every year from 2012 to 2014. They won 11 games in each and even qualified for the 2014 AFC Championship. It appeared as though the Colts were on their way to dynasty status, at some point. But Luck missed most of 2015 with a kidney injury (because the offensive line is so bad), and the team failed to build around him in 2016.
Luck missed the start of 2017, and the Colts have a dreadful offence without him. The defence is always bad. It simply means he’s a one-man team, so why would he want to stay there? Mike and Mike from ESPN recently said that Luck may want out of Indy, but there’s no truth to that report from what we know. But how much longer does Luck want to take hits, get hurt and see his team lose bad when he’s off the field? Indeed, he’s going to want out of Indianapolis before long.
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