Anyone who has been dumped can tell you that breakups are not the most pleasant thing to go through, and there are often feelings that get hurt. In the NFL it is no different when it comes to a player that has been a loyal part of the franchise. Break ups happen all the time in today’s league and if it is involving a player with a big name, then it usually starts a media frenzy. For example, when Eli Manning got benched last week and it looked like he was done in New York it was all over the headlines.
This list consists of the players who are in danger of being dumped by their teams before next season and the players that would be a good fit to be their replacement. In some cases that replacement player is already on the roster. In others the team will have to either draft a replacement player or acquire them in another way via trade or free agency. Many of these players being dumped find themselves on the list because of poor production or missing games this season. Other players on the list actually will be the ones doing the dumping because they will be saying goodbye to their teams due to probable retirement or perceived mistreatment. No matter how they found themselves on the list these players are on the hot seat and could be cut or leave their teams by the start of next season.
16. Trevor Siemian: Dumped
The Broncos were expected to be playoff contenders entering this season with Trevor Siemian in his second season as the starter. Unfortunately things did not go as planned and the Broncos have fallen off a cliff and have become one of the worst teams in the league. Siemian was already benched in the middle of the season for one of the worst quarterbacks in the league Brock Osweiler. John Elway has proven to be ruthless as a General Manager, having cut Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward before this season and making other moves in the past to cut players. He should not have a problem letting go of Siemian next season and look for a solution elsewhere at quarterback. The Broncos will likely keep former first round pick Paxton Lynch on as a back up project quarterback next season, so Siemian will not be needed.
15. Tyrod Taylor: Replacement
Tyrod Taylor could also be on this list as a player being dumped by his team because the Buffalo Bills will likely release him this offseason. He was already benched controversially this season, and it will not the cost the Bills much to move on from him. The Denver Broncos would be a perfect place for Taylor to rejuvenate his career. The team already showed interest in Taylor the last time he was a free agent on the market. He would bring a running element from the quarterback spot that they have not seen since Tim Tebow was their quarterback. Being a duel threat quarterback who can make plays with both his arm and his feet would make things easier for everyone on the Broncos offence. They could develop an offence that could be run by both Taylor and Paxton Lynch who is mobile as well.
14. Marshawn Lynch: Dumped
Marshawn Lynch’s 2017 season has been a roller coaster ride. He went from dancing all over the Jets (literally), to getting suspended for a game for making contact with a referee, and last week he had a vintage Beast Mode game. However the ride with Lynch can only last so long and he was never looked at in Oakland as the long term solution at running back. Even if the Raiders do make the playoffs this season, they are currently tied for the division lead. They will still probably have a draft pick somewhere in the middle of the first round considering they have already lost six games. This draft placement makes it possible for the Raiders to select anyone they would want in the draft at running back besides Saquon Barkley who is expected to go in the top 10.
13. Bryce Love: Replacement
Perhaps the second best running back prospect in the 2018 NFL draft will be Stanford running back Bryce Love. After sitting behind Christian McCafferey for most of his career, this season Love has proven he can carry the load and be an every down back. He has a burst of speed that you do not see in every NFL back and can lower his shoulder and run over a defender when necessary. He resembles a poor mans version of Ezekiel Elliot because of his ability to run between the tackles combined with the skill to catch the ball out of the backfield. He would help balance out a Raiders offence that enjoys to air it out with Derek Carr under centre. His toughness will also make him mesh well with the grittiness that is expected when playing for the silver and black.
12. Ben Roethlisberger: Dumped
The Steelers are looking like the team to beat in the AFC heading into the playoffs. However they will likely have to go through their arch nemesis who has had their number in the playoffs in recent years, the New England Patriots. If they pass that test then Ben will probably win his third Super Bowl in his hall of fame career. If that happens (or even if it does not) Rothlisberger might retire this off season. He said himself that he was pondering retirement last off season and in the beginning of this season he also said “maybe I just don’t have it anymore” which is out of character for Roethlisberger. With Big Ben on his way out of the steel city and even if he stays for another year the Steelers should look to draft the heir apparent to Roethlisberger this season.
11. Baker Mayfield: Replacement
Baker Mayfield has arguably been the best player in college football this season and he will likely win the Heisman trophy when it is announced later this month. He has been controversial off of the field being caught on film running from police this off season. But everything he has done on the field should have teams waiting in line to draft him this spring. Mayfield has great mobility and accuracy and his game is comparable to likes of Russell Wilson and Drew Brees in the NFL. Mayfield is projected to be drafted in the late first round, so the Steelers should take the chance to pick him if he falls to their spot in the draft. Mayfield coupled with one of the best receiving cores and Le’Veon Bell would be dangerous for the rest of the league.
10. DeMarco Murray: Dumped
DeMarco Murray has been one of the best running backs in the league during most of his career. However, his days of dominating for the Dallas Cowboys are long behind him. Murray has played well during his time with the Tennessee Titans, and the only problem for him is that he has an emerging star waiting to take his carries away. The Titans went all in on the power running game when they signed Murray and drafted Derrick Henry in the same season. Since then they have been a solid one two combination with Murray getting most of the carries and touchdowns. This move would be smart financially because Murray is on a much higher yearly contract than his running mate Henry. It would also be a smart football decision because Henry has clearly been the more effective back this season.
9. Derrick Henry: Replacement
It is still peculiar how Heisman trophy winner Derrick Henry slipped into the middle of the second round in the 2016 draft. This season Henry already has two long runs for touchdowns to win games, including one last week against the Houston Texans to seal the victory. It is only a matter of time before Henry surpasses Murray in the backfield for the Titans. He has increased his carries almost every game as his career has gone on and that trend should continue. The Titans should take advantage of Henry’s value as a starter while he is still on his rookie contract so they can add to the talent on the team in free agency in different positions. With the two Heisman winners in Henry at running back and Marcus Marriota at quarterback, the Titans should be playoff contenders for years, reminiscent of the days of Eddie George and Steve McNair.
8. Pernell McPhee: Dumped
Pernell McPhee has been a great player and a team captain during his time for the Chicago Bears. However father time is undefeated and it is starting to catch up to the veteran outside linebacker. In the midst of yet another disappointing season for head coach John Fox and the Bears, McPhee has pretty much turned into a situational pass rusher causing his playing time to rapidly diminish. The Bears are already in the middle of a rebuild so it makes sense to get younger at every position. This includes outside linebacker and defensive end, so expect the Bears to target an impact pass rusher at the top of next years draft. If the Bears do decide to move on from him it will only cost them a $1 million cap hit next season which is not too bad.
7. Bradley Chubb: Replacement
Perhaps the best defensive prospect heading into this seasons NFL draft is NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb. He just won the Bronko Nagurski Award that goes to the best defensive player in the nation. He is definitely deserving of that honour considering he leads the FBS in tackles for loss with 23 1/2 this year. Chubb would be a solid building block for the Bears who have struggled to stop people on defence this season. This has lead them to lose a lot of close games this season and having a player like Chubb who can get after the quarterback would be crucial. The Bears need to get back to the days of having one of the best defences in the NFL to get into the playoff picture. Chubb would be a good start at achieving that goal.
6. Adrian Peterson: Dumped
After signing with the New Orleans Saints this off season, no one expected Peterson to be playing with the Cardinals this season. The only reason Peterson was traded to the Cardinals in the middle of this season is because they had an injury at running back and were in desperate need of a replacement. With a healthy backfield Peterson is not as necessary as he is this season with David Johnson out. That being said, Peterson showed flashes of his old self at times with the Cardinals this season. Plenty of teams should be calling when he is on the market in free agency next season because he can take it to the house anytime he touches it. Peterson has had a hall of fame career and judging by his production when healthy this season, he still has plenty of good football ahead of him.
5. David Johnson: Replacement
David Johnson was one of the best running backs in the league last season both running and receiving out of the back field. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and almost went over 1,000 yards receiving as well in 2016. He was expected to put up big numbers again this season but he broke his wrist in the first game against the Lions. Johnson tried to make a come back to the field this season, but with the Cardinals out of the playoff picture they shut him down for the rest of the season. If he stays healthy next season, Johnson will likely be a candidate for come back player of the year next season. He is still the number one or two best all purpose players in the entire NFL.
4. Carson Palmer: Dumped
After winning the Heisman Trophy at the University of Southern California, Palmer has went on to have a successful career in the NFL. He could never win the big playoff game, but he did put up some big time stats throughout his career. This season the Cardinals had Super Bowl aspirations that seemed realistic, but after a multitude of injuries to players including Palmer, they had no chance at that. The championship window has closed for both Palmer and the Cardinals so they will likely part ways after this year. Palmer might even retire after this season, but if he still wants to give it another shot there will definitely be a team that will give Palmer another chance.
3. Lamar Jackson: Replacement
Lamar Jackson became a household name last year when he electrified college football on his way to bringing home a Heisman trophy. He is in the running for the award again this season, but he is not as high on the draft board as other quarterbacks that are in his class. This could benefit the Cardinals and if he slips to their spot in the draft which should be in the 10 to 20 pick range. Jackson would help revamp an offence that has struggled to produce big plays this season. There is no way that Blaine Gabbert is the long term solution at quarterback and Carson Palmer is likely to move on as well. This makes Arizona the perfect place for Jackson to come in and start right away. He would not even have to change uniforms much having played for the Louisville Cardinals during his college career.
2. Eli Manning: Dumped
It was the biggest story in sports last week when Eli Manning was benched for Geno Smith of all people and the sudden realization that he perhaps would not be the Giant’s quarterback moving forward almost brought Manning to tears. Now with Ben McAdoo out as head coach and Jerry Reese out as a General Manager, Manning could still be brought back for next season. He was even promoted back to starter this week after both those two firings. But a new head coach and general manager will probably want to use their high draft pick on a new quarterback to groom for the future. They could keep Manning around as a bridge for the new young gun to get ready. They also could cut Manning to save money, because they have another young quarterback Davis Webb who could play back up for them next season.
1. Josh Rosen: Replacement
The golden boy of this years draft class is undoubtedly UCLA’s quarterback Josh Rosen. He could go back to UCLA to play for newly hired head coach Chip Kelly, but it is more likely that he will declare for the NFL draft. He could be drafted as high as number one overall, but if the Browns pass on him then the Giants look like the next best landing spot for Rosen to start his career. The bright lights of New York City would not scare Rosen who has been in the spotlight his entire life. Rosen would be the perfect replacement for Eli Manning, and with pass catchers like Sterling Sheppard, Evan Engram, and Odell Beckham Jr. at his disposal Rosen would likely win rookie of the year. With a healthy roster and a new head coach Rosen could lead the Giants back to the postseason in his rookie year.
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