Football is a great sport and has a lot of elite athletes. We've seen young stars from college come into the NFL and make a huge impact on the team, whether it be a quarterback, running back, or wide receiver. As with any player, they have flaws and their level of play can decrease with age. For example, we've seen Tom Brady go from the sixth overall pick in the 2000 draft, to become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time at the age of 40. Ben Roethlisberger, who has had success winning two Super Bowls, has had a good team around him most of his career, but the beating his body has taken seems to be catching up to him.
Then there are those players who just don't have it anymore. Eli Manning, which I will explain in this article, isn't the same quarterback as he was a few years ago. Ben Roethlisberger is surrounded by questions such as does he still has it? There there is Jay Cutler who completely doesn't want to play for Miami and is only doing it for a paycheck.
In this article I take a look at the 5 QBs, 5 RBs, and 5 WRs who are in danger of losing their starting jobs.
15 QB: Eli Manning
Eli Manning came into the league as a highly touted quarterback, with some saying he'd be better than his brother Peyton. He's had his ups and downs, but lately he's been anything but good.
Manning has lost both his wide receivers for the season. Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall are out due to injury, while Manning also battles a neck issue. Tiki Barber a former teammate of Manning's, was quoted this season saying "As much as it pains me to say this, Eli cannot do it anymore, I don’t mean that as a knock to Eli. I mean this as a knock to all of these inferior players around him. He can’t make them great. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad quarterback. It just means he’s at the point where he can’t do that any longer,” he told the New York Post.
It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. It might be time for the Giants to look for Eli's successor, as the 2018 draft will be loaded with top QB prospects.
14 RB: DeMarco Murray
This doesn't have anything to do with DeMarco Murray's skills declining. Yes, he is in his late 20s now, which seems to be the point when NFL running backs begin to decline nowadays, but Murray still has his strength, can still pull off his explosive cuts and is still an intelligent back. The problem is the Titans have another potential young stud in Derrick Henry who seems to be getter better and better with each passing week. Throw in the fact that Murray has battled hamstring issues this season and those are all signs that Henry is soon going to be the Titans' featured back. If Murray is fine with taking a reduced role, he can stick around in Tennessee, but the writing seems to be on the wall for Henry to eventually take Murray's job.
13 WR: ODELL BECKHAM JR.
This guy is a great wide receiver but is today's "Terrell Owens" or "Randy Moss" with his attitude. Ever since the boat trip in January led by Beckham and Victor Cruz, the Giants have not won a game. Now Beckham is done for the season. He was fined $12,154 in Week 4 for pretending to urinate like a dog after a touchdown. The owner of the Giants, John Mara, wasn't happy and said "I am very unhappy with Odell's behavior on Sunday and we intend to deal with it internally."
In Week 5, however, Beckham suffered a season- ending injury in the form of a fractured ankle. His days on the Giants may be numbered because of his attitude. If someone comes to replace him this season and does well, he might be on a different team come next year.
12 SAM BRADFORD
It was a little ironic that the Vikings traded for an injury prone QB to replace their QB, who suffered a gruesome knee injury in the 2016 training camp. Sam Bradford replaced Teddy Bridgewater last year and he had a decent year. Coming into this year, Bradford had a great opening week against the Saints, but has since suffered a knee injury and has barely played this year. The Vikings have managed to string some wins together with Case Keenum starting for them and Teddy Bridgewater has resumed practicing, which is an encouraging sign that he can get his career back on track. If Bridgewater gets healthy and/or if Keenum keeps stringing wins together, Bradford may once again find himself on the trading block.
11 RB: JEREMY HILL
Jeremy Hill, the starting running back for the Cincinnati Bengals, is having a down year. Coming into this season, he had rushed for 2,757 yards and 29 touchdowns. Jeremy Hill is listed as No.1 on the RB depth chart, but isn't playing like it.
Rookie running back Joe Mixon has gotten way less carries than Hill but is still gaining more yards than him. The Bengals could trade Hill very soon, or at the very least, move him down the depth chart.
A telling sign of Hill's future cam in Week 5. When it mattered the most on the field, it was the rookie Joe Mixon in there playing. Rumors say that the Bengals could get a fifth round pick for Hill, give or take a round. It will be interesting to see what happens with the Bengals running back situation.
10 WR: Terrelle Pryor Sr.
Terrelle Pryor deserves a lot of credit for resurrecting his career as a wide receiver. After a failed stint as a QB, Pryor made the switch and started from the bottom, as he was low on the Cleveland Browns' receiving chart. Pryor got an increased workload in the 2016 season on a bad Browns team and managed to string together a 1,000 yard receiving season. Despite the impressive feat, few teams showed interest in Pryor, so he settled for a one-year deal in Washington.
So far this season, Pryor is nowhere near on pace to replicate his success in Cleveland, or build off of it. He doesn't seem to be a good fit in the Redskins' offensive scheme. Second year WR Josh Doctson was a first round pick and it's likely Washington has him pegged to soon take Pryor's spot if his production doesn't pick up.
9 QB: TREVOR SIEMIAN
For the Denver Broncos Trevor Siemian was waiting his turn to be the team's franchise quarterback. It's still very hard to tell whether Siemian is in fact the long term answer for the Broncos at QB. He seems to have good stretches, only for a stinker to be thrown in there.
The Broncos will have to make a tough decision when Paxton Lynch who was the Broncos first round draft choice in the 2016 NFL Draft is cleared to return from his shoulder sprain, unless Siemian is hurt or is getting killed out there and they need to make a change.
Credit should be given to Siemian for beating out first round pick Paxton Lynch for the starting job two years in a row, but with the Broncos possessing a championship caliber defense, you wonder if they're still going to look for an upgrade while their Super Bowl window is still open.
8 RB: EZEKIEL ELLIOTT
Ezekiel Elliott had an explosive season last year for the Dallas Cowboys. His offseason issues have been a distraction, Elliott's playing status is now in question going forward. Elliott who has a domestic violence case against him, is waiting to hear what a panel of judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides regarding the NFL's attempt to lift the injunction that is allowing him to play.
His six-game suspension was fought in court. As with any court case, it's going to take a while and it's obvious his play is becoming a factor. Even if he doesn't serve his suspension this season, he still could next season. The Cowboys might be better off without him because of the off field issues.
7 WR: MARTAVIS BRYANT
Martavis Bryant has produced over 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career all with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This season he's been off and rumors have even surfaced that Bryant is unhappy in Pittsburgh and has requested a trade.
The connection between him and Big Ben may not be evident right now, or he just doesn't have it. If things don't change soon, the Steelers may have to make some changes to their offense. Pittsburgh was supposed to be the number two team in the AFC behind New England, but they don't seem like it right now.
If the Steelers keep an unhappy Bryant, it may only be a matter of time before a hungry receiver in their depth chart takes Bryant's place.
6 QB: BEN ROETHLISBERGER
Ben Roethlisberger has proven to be one of the game's elite QBs since entering the NFL. The five time Pro Bowler, and two time Super Bowl Champion, knows how to win in big spots, but lately his play has been declining. The Pittsburgh Steelers played the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5 and got crushed 30-9. Ben threw a career-high five interceptions in the game.The worst game in his Pittsburgh Steelers career. After the game he said "Maybe I don't have it anymore." Roethlisberger is 35 years old.
Is this is the beginning to the end for Roethlisberger? It seems like he doesn't have the players around him, or he just doesn't have the drive anymore. This is more of a case where Ben is simply going to walk away and let the Steelers try and find their next franchise QB.
5 RB: FRANK GORE
It's amazing how Frank Gore continues to find a way to be productive as a running back well into his 30s. If he leads the Colts in rushing this year, he will tie Emmitt Smith's record of leading his team in rushing for consecutive seasons. However it should be noted that at this point in his career, Gore wouldn't be a starter on most teams. However, since the Colts have long struggled to have an answer in their running game, Gore has held the fort as the starter. However with the emergence of rookie back Marlon Mack, the Colts could soon have a long-term answer to their RB position.
Again, Gore should be commended for his durability and production, but it's only a matter of time before the Colts get younger in the backfield.
4 WR: JARVIS LANDRY
Jarvis Landry, wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins, was a very productive receiver with Ryan Tannehill. This season with Jay Cutler at quarterback, Landry's production has dipped significantly. For the top receiver in the game, the Dolphins are giving Jarvis Landry very few chances to make plays downfield.
He was asked if he would bring that up to Adam Gase he said "I just play the game, Can't do nothing else. Can control what I can control. I do what I can with what I’m doing.” Could the Dolphins not trust Landry to make the play downfield? Or, is it possible they are getting ready to move him?
He's in the last year of his contract and the Dolphins' hesitation to commit to him long-term may be a sign of his long-term prospects in Miami.
3 QB: JAY CUTLER
Jay Cutler is probably one of the biggest losers in the NFL. He wasn't that good with the Bears and didn't get along with Brandon Marshall. This season instead of retiring to do broadcasting like Tony Romo, he decided to take his talents to Miami. Only he doesn't have any drive and Dolphin fans can't be too happy with their team and the quarterback isn't the only reason. In Week 5 Cutler faced the Titans at home and despite the Dolphins leading most of the game, the home crowd actually yelled "We want [Matt] Moore!"
He said before the season started "The good thing is I play quareterback, so I don’t have to be in that great cardiovascular shape It’ll come back to me. I’m not worried about my arm, the throwing part of it." Don't see him in a football uniform next season never mind a Dolphin uniform.
You wonder if the Fins will eventually give Moore a shot, given that Moore did well in relief of Tannehill last season.
2 RB: TERRANCE WEST
This season, Terrance West's production was going nowhere. He is now out with a calf injury and is not expected to return till the end of November. The Ravens re-signed Bobby Rainey to take his place. Rainey has never been a full-fledged starter in his career, so he was merely a depth signing. Alex Collins is now listed as RB1 on the Ravens' depth chart.
Will West have a job when he comes back?That is a question for later. With any player who is out for a significant amount of time their job might be in jeopardy. After West makes his recovery, it will be interesting to see if the Baltimore Ravens keep him or cut him. The Ravens' offense has been the team's weakness all season, so they're going to be open to all options.
1 WR: KEENAN ALLEN
Keenan Allen has generally been a productive receiver when he's on the field. The problem is, he's had trouble staying healthy the past couple of seasons.. Last season Allen went down with a torn ACL and was done for the year. He came back to training camp and reports said he looked like he was ready and that he made a full recovery. In Week 5 however he caught 4-of-12 targets for 67 yards in the win over the Giants.
Hopefully Rivers and Allen can have a better connection and that it's nothing more than an injury that would make him miss games. Before the season started, Rivers said Allen "looked good as he did before he got hurt and was at full speed." If Allen can't connect with Rivers, you might find him somewhere else next season. The Chargers drafted Mike Williams out of Clemson seventh overall back in the spring. Depending on how Williams progresses, he may either take the spot opposite a healthy Allen, or if Allen's play doesn't pick up, perhaps he's Allen's eventual replacement.