15 NFL Players Who Don't Deserve Their Roster Spot

Another NFL season has passed, and yet again we are left with plenty of examples of players who just shouldn't have the position on the team that they currently hold. Sometimes these players in questi

Another NFL season has passed, and yet again we are left with plenty of examples of players who just shouldn't have the position on the team that they currently hold. Sometimes these players in question are massively overrated based on past successes, and sometimes because of the circumstances that they find themselves in. Other times, they aren't overrated at all by the fanbase, but ownership and the coaching staff inexplicably refuses to relinquish their spot on the team to a player that is more deserving. The reason why can get complicated, but the constant truth between all these players is that they simply aren't cutting it anymore.

A portion of these names will inevitably end up on another team next year, and some will stay on the roster they were a part of for the 2016 season. It's all yet to be determined, but none of them warrant an important role next season, as they've shown regression in recent years, or just weren't that good in the first place. Indeed, these players deserve to have their role demoted, be moved to another team all together, or bow out of the league all together.

Ranked below are 15 NFL players who just don't deserve their roster spot anymore.

20 Jay Cutler

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cutler has proven time and time again that he isn't cut out to be a starter in the NFL, and should have been removed from his starting quarterback role with the Bears a long time ago. His skill set is above average, but his demeanor, which is apathetic at best, and produces on-field negligence at worst, cripples his entire game. The Bears are likely to move on from him very soon, but there is probably a team that is going to desperately sign him to a prove-it deal, just based on his tenure in the league. If this happens, it's a mistake. Cutler has proven that he's a liability as a starter at this point, and should only be looking at a backup role from here on out. Unfortunately, some team is likely going to cave and pay him the massive contract of a starter, in hopes that they can turn him around in a different system.

19 Terrelle Pryor

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

While Pryor's skills as a receiver were a revelation during the 2016 season, considering the Browns awful corps at the position, his skills may be getting slightly overrated as we head into free agency. Pryor just didn't have much competition in Cleveland, and at times struggled against the better cornerbacks in the league. It's clear that he has talent, but is it warranted that he is the go-to, number one receiver on an NFL roster? Time will tell, but he is likely to sign a contract extension with the Browns, and it will be interesting to see whether they make second-year receiver Corey Coleman the one to see the most targets. Pryor is good, but he may be better served as a complimentary piece going forward.


17 Andy Dalton

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Even when he's surrounded by one of the most talented offenses in the league, Dalton often finds a way to underachieve. He's one of the worst quarterbacks in the league during primetime, nationally-televised games, and he's never been able to take the next step into becoming an upper-tier NFL player at his position. Granted, that's extremely difficult to do, but he's had more than enough help with his complimentary personnel, as well as a veteran head coach in Marvin Lewis for the entirety of his career. The Bengals should probably consider cutting their losses with Dalton, and look for a younger option in the draft, because it's unlikely that the "red rifle" is ever going to win them a playoff game if his trajectory continues.

16 Ladarius Green

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Brought in during the 2016 offseason to replace the services of the retired Heath Miller for the Steelers, Green's first season with the team was underwhelming to say the least. For a while, he couldn't even get on the field due to injury, and when he did, he was wholly ineffective. He was given a fairly sizable contract for a tight end, but now it looks like other options at the position, such as Jesse James, have emerged in favor of Green in Pittsburgh.  The truth is, Green never really deserved the big payday, as it was based off of one season he had in San Diego. For the most part, he's been a middling NFL tight end; not bad, but entirely replaceable during any offseason. The Steelers have better options on their roster right now, and Green definitely shouldn't be the starter going forward.

15 C.J. Anderson

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

While his career looked to be on an upward trajectory for a while, the combination of injuries and inconsistent play have hindered Anderson recently. To make matter worse for him, the emergence of Devontae Booker in Denver has made Anderson's services as starting running back pretty much obsolete. It wouldn't be surprising to see him on the move soon to another team. It's unclear where exactly that may be, but Anderson figures to be a complimentary player in the backfield rather than a starter who can carry the load. He's still useful in the correct role, but his days of being a bell-cow running back are all but over it seems like. He still has talent, but it will need to be implemented correctly for Anderson to continue to stick around in the league for the long-term.

14 Brock Osweiler

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Given a monstrous contract in the offseason by the Texans, Osweiler proved that he absolutely was not worth the money, and it begs the question; what will the Texans do in the offseason? It's not a guarantee they stick with Osweiler, and they may be seeking another team to pick up his massive contract. That would be a mistake however. Without question, Osweiler is backup material, and only a marginal NFL starter. Houston made the playoffs in spite of him in 2016, and the starting quarterback of an NFL team should not have to be an obstacle to success. Osweiler may indeed end up sticking around, but he deserves to be riding the pine for a pro team, not the franchise quarterback that the front office wants to build the team around. Hard pass for Osweiler being a starting QB.

13 Adam Jones

Sam Greene/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK

There's no question that at one time, Jones was a highly skilled corner, but now as his age has progressed into his 30s, he's proving to be simply more trouble than he's worth. Jones has always had one of the biggest mouths in the league, and he's seen plenty of trouble for it on and off the field. Now that he isn't in his athletic prime anymore, it's likely that the Bengals are going to be moving on from him soon, and it's hard to imagine any other team giving Jones a starting cornerback role when he's proven to be a handful at times. An over-the-hill player playing an outside position, who has a massive ego isn't going to impressive many general managers, and Jones deserves to have his role diminished no matter where he plays next season.

12 Tony Romo

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys were one of the more entertaining dramas throughout the 2016 season, and the quarterback controversy involving Dak Prescott and Romo was a big reason as to why. Now it looks like Romo is at the end of the line as an NFL starter, suffering three major injuries in the past two seasons, but some team is likely going to make a push for him in a trade during the offseason. It's a risky maneuver, as Romo has a high chance of suffering yet another injury, something that would derail his entire career for good. On the other hand, the intrigue of a quarterback with Romo's talent being available may be to tempting to pass up. There's likely one general manager who is going to take the bait, even those the odds will not be in their favor.

11 Chris Johnson

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Several years ago, the once-dynamic Johnson found a career resurgence in a part of Bruce Arians' offense with the Cardinals. He was able to carve out a role for himself, and be a contributing member of an NFL backfield once again. Headed into the 2017 season, with the emergence of David Johnson as one of the best running backs in the league, Johnson will probably lose this change-of-pace role all together. He suffered a major injury during the 2016 season, and in his early-30s, it's unlikely that Johnson has much left in the tank to begin with. A running back such as Johnson, who relies to much on cutting ability, and elite agility isn't going to be worth much this far into his career. The Cardinals won't be able to justify his roster spot, especially not with a player as talented as David Johnson getting the bulk of the carries.

10 Mohamed Sanu

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Sanu was a part of an elite Falcons receiving corps that ended up making the Super Bowl, and yes, he did make some important individual plays during the season. But his contributions are lessened by the fact that he received a pretty hefty contract in the offseason. As a result, Sanu's efforts could have been replaced by several receivers, considering the emergence of Aldrick Robinson and Taylor Gabriel for the Falcons as well this season. It's not that Sanu is a bad player, far from it, but he hasn't really been the gamebreaking type of receiver that his contract dictates, and instead has been just a solid possession-style receiver. It's all working for the Falcons right now, but they may want to consider dumping Sanu's contract off to another team, given they have cheaper replacements on hand.

9 Carson Palmer

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Palmer found a rejuvenation to his career in Arizona, but several years later, and it looks like he's nearing the end of the line. A lot of this has to do with age, but it's no secret that he's not the same quarterback he was in 2014 or so. Still, it's likely that Bruce Arians will roll with him one more year as the starter, a move that only ignores the fact that the Cardinals need a young, franchise quarterback, and kicks the can down the road for another season or so. Palmer shouldn't be a starter at this point, but it looks like it's going to turn out that way, and if his current trajectory continues, the Cardinals could follow up on an underwhelming 2016 season, but bottoming out completely in 2017.

8 Brandon Marshall

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

At this point in his career, Marshall isn't the same receiver he once was. It remains to be seen whether he'll be on the Jets next season, but if he is, his role should probably be diminished. Making him the number one receiver on just about any receiving corps in the league would be a detriment at this point. At his age, athleticism begins to erode in the NFL, and the risk of injury only increases. Other veteran receivers such as Anquan Boldin have demonstrated how they can still be effective in a diminished role, and Marshall would be wise to adopt the same kind of practice. He can still remain in the league, as his skill set is very good, but he won't be reeling off 100-yard games with consistency anymore. As such, he deserves to be a complimentary piece going forward, for whatever team he is on.

7 Eli Manning

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Considering the amount of receiving talent at their disposal, including an elite player in Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants offense struggled mightily in 2016, and Eli Manning has to be considered a main reason why. He's just not an efficient quarterback anymore, and as he drifts further and further out of his prime, it's fair to wonder how long the team should wait before pulling the plug on him. The truth is, Manning during his best seasons was always carried by a great Giants defense, and he's never been on the level of the best quarterbacks in the league. It's time to start looking for a solution in New York, because Manning's best days are behind him, and he's more of a detriment to the team right now than he is an asset.



4 Eddie Lacy

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

After a promising start to his career, Lacy has found himself bitten by the injury bug in recent years, and it remains to be seen if he'll remain on the Packers for the 2017 season, as he's set to be a free agent. If not, someone will pick him up to be a starting running back, and it won't be a move that is likely to pay off. Considering not only his injury history, but his past weight concerns, Lacy is a high-risk option, and probably doesn't deserve to be the outright starter for any team. He could be a serviceable goal line backfield option, but to ask him to do anything more is a risky proposition at this point. He's best left as a complimentary runner instead of a three-down back.



1 Sam Bradford

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The allure of Bradford will always remain a mystery, as the Vikings are now the second team after his early years with the Rams to seek him out as a starting quarterback. And yet again, he's proven that he's nothing more than a garden-variety NFL quarterback, who struggles to carry an offense like a franchise quarterback should. He's never led a team to a winning record, and in general he just deserves to be an NFL backup, despite the fact that he's a former first overall pick. Not only is Bradford not a starting-caliber quarterback, but the Vikings gave up their 2017 first-round pick for him; a pick they could have feasibly used to replace Teddy Bridgewater, if his current injury takes a turn for the worst. That only adds more salt to the wounds, and the realization that Bradford has never lived up to his billing.

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15 NFL Players Who Don't Deserve Their Roster Spot