The NFL is back! Finally! Each season comes with its own set of headlines that every fan is excited to see play out. Whether it's suspensions of a superstar, an emerging superstar coming out of the woodwork, or even a veteran trying to put the icing on his career, the NFL has it all. One storyline that is not always covered are those darn players who have played way past their prime, only to be forgotten. You know who I am talking about. Those guys that maybe had a good career, but have gone way down hill and should just throw in the towel already.
One thing you can't fault all these players for is making a pay check. Sure, the guy might have thrown more picks than touchdowns in his career, but if he can bring in a few million dollars as a backup, why not? But today, we aren't celebrating these geezers' business savvy, we are criticizing them for their miraculously long careers, when they should have been cut after their first few contracts. Somehow though, they have stuck around, even if they don't belong in the league anymore. We will dig into each team's roster and tell you each player that should just retire already.
32 Arizona Cardinals - Chris Johnson
Johnson's early years in the NFL made it seemed like he was headed for Canton. Before he was even drafted, he was setting records with his 4.24 second 40-yard dash. In 2009, with the Tennessee Titans, he even broke the all-time single season record for yards from scrimmage with 2,509. CJ made three Pro Bowls and managed to snag the title of NFL Offensive Player of the year.
But, at 31-years-old, the former pride of ECU has lost a step. He was cut by the Cardinals in the preseason, only to be signed back on with their star RB, David Johnson, was placed on IR with a wrist injury. He continues to move his way up the depth chart, but should have retired a long time ago while he was on top of his game.
31 Atlanta Falcons - Matt Schaub
At 36 years old, this ancient artifact of a QB seems to still grind his way to a paycheck every week, backing up reigning NFL MVP, Matt Ryan. Clearly, Schaub was never an elite player, but did have a few good seasons as the leader of the Texans. He made two Pro Bowls (2009, 2012) and even was the NFL's passing leader in 2009. Many Houston fans even consider Schaub the Texans best QB in their short history, mainly because he holds almost every QB statistic record for them! After his career with the Texans, Schaub bounced around to the Raiders and Ravens, but ultimately ended up where he was drafted, in Atlanta. He may be a great backup, but one thing is for certain, the ex-Virginia Cavalier should just retire already.
30 Baltimore Ravens - Benjamin Watson
Again, not a Hall of Fame caliber player, but Watson had success early in his career. While with the Patriots, Watson battled several injuries, but ultimately contributed to the success of the team in the late 2000s. He tied for third most touchdowns on the team in the Patriots near undefeated season in 2007. Even after some years of mediocrity, Watson bounced back in 2015 with the New Orleans Saints, as he grabbed a total of 74 receptions!
In 2016, the ex-Bulldog signed on with the Baltimore Ravens, but tore his ACL in the preseason. At 36 years old, it's hard to tell if Watson will make an impact in Baltimore coming off a nasty knee injury. So in our opinionated analysis, the tight end should have retired after his 2015 season with the Saints.
29 Buffalo Bills - Mike Tolbert
Vulture! Mike Tolbert has been a thorn in the side of every fantasy football player for the last decade. The main running back will drive the team inside the five-yard line, and Tolbert would come in to cap off the score. At 5'9", 250 lbs., the guy is like a bowling ball. He has amassed 46 total touchdowns (34 rushing and 12 receiving) over the course of his career.
The FB/RB joined the Buffalo Bills in 2017, and even though Tolbert has made the Pro Bowl three times, and the first-team All-Pro twice, his production has dropped. He may not see as many touches behind "Shady," and for that reason, Tolbert should just retire already and not sully his otherwise productive career as a member of the Chargers and Panthers.
28 Carolina Panthers - Julius Peppers
Second-overall pick in 2002, Julius Peppers has had a hell of a career. Nine Pro Bowls, six times first- or second-Team All-Pro, number five on the list of NFL sack leaders, and a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. Peppers has been a member of the Bears and Packers, but will always be idolized in Carolina. A true Hall of Famer, but the guy should just retire already.
Okay, to the haters that disagree, I think he should retire after the 2017 season (which he will most likely do) so that his image isn't tarnished by poor play. He signed a one-year contract with the team that drafted him, hoping to go out with a bang. What an awesome career and hopefully we will see Peppers in Canton in half a decade.
27 Chicago Bears - Zach Miller
Injuries have plagued Zach Miller's career. I'm surprised he hasn't been turned into a bionic robot yet. The former pride of Nebraska-Omaha was taken in the sixth-round of the 2009 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Miller never did much in the NFL though. In 2012, he was placed on the IR. In 2013, he was cut by Tampa Bay. In 2014, he was placed on IR by the Bears for a broken foot. In 2016, he suffered another foot injury and was placed on the IR. I'm pretty sure he has spent more time on the IR than on an actual NFL roster. Not to mention his numbers are horrible: only 126 receptions for 1,395 yards and 13 TDs. Come on man, just retire already.
26 Cincinnati Bengals - Adam "Pacman" Jones
If it isn't one off-the-field issue, it's another. Pacman is the king of getting suspended from the NFL. Remember the Las Vegas night club shooting and alleged violence against a stripper? During his one-year suspension in 2007, Jones said "To my family, teammates, coaches and fans, I recognize that I have lost the right to ask for your patience and understanding. However, I will do everything in my power to regain your trust and respect."
Even though the Jones made a comeback in Cincinnati, legal troubles still got tothe cornerback. Recently, he was suspended for one game for an incident where he was arrested in downtown Cincinnati. Maybe it's all this "time off" that has kept the ex-Mountaineer on the field, but the guy should just retire already.
25 Cleveland Browns - Kenny Britt
We are only a few weeks into the 2017 season and Kenny Britt already looks horrible. He has dropped several key passes from DeShone Kizer and just doesn't give any effort when he doesn't get the ball. Well I have some news for you Kenny, in order to act like a Diva, you probably should play like a superstar. But you haven't even had a great career! You are only 29 years old, have been in the league for eight seasons, but only have 4,896 yards. I will give you credit though, you decided to get your only 1,000-yard season during your contract year. Those aren't elite numbers for a former first round pick. So get off your high horse and try to help the Browns out, or just retire already!
24 Dallas Cowboys - Darren McFadden
McFadden has had a pretty disappointing career considering he was the fourth overall pick in 2008. A standout with Arkansas, along with fellow running backs Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis, McFadden has never even made a Pro Bowl in the NFL. In 2008 and 2015, the current Cowboys running back did have 1,000-yard seasons, but neither of those teams were very successful, which is why they relied heavily on the run game. For goodness sake, those teams were quarterbacked by the likes of JaMarcus Russell (2008) and Matt Cassel.
At 30 years old, the ex-Razorback backs up the running back sensation that is Zeke Elliot. If he can stick around for the next few years and get a pay check, that's good for him. But it seems like his gas tank is almost empty, and he should just retire.
23 Denver Broncos - Jamaal Charles
Oh, Jamaal! You led my fantasy team for several seasons, but I always was on edge whether or not your knee would blow out. Charles has had five 1,000-yard seasons and made the Pro-Bowl four times, but clearly his career has been tainted by the plethora of knee injuries he has sustained. Currently, at 30 years old, Charles is getting limited carries in Denver, but has definitely lost his explosive ability. The younger back, C.J. Anderson, is taking the lead role at Mile High.
It's crazy how Denver even kept Charles on the roster, fully knowing that he will never contribute in special teams and is one dimensional in the backfield. I wouldn't be surprised if Charles plays a few more years, but he needs to retire soon, before he suffers from recurring injuries for the rest of his life.
22 Detroit Lions - Haloti Ngata
The Tongan defensive tackle out of Oregon used to be a beast when he was on the Ravens. In 2006, Baltimore took him with the twelfth-overall pick in the draft. Opposing offense lines used to fear the man as he clogged up the middle and was known for stuffing the run. During his time with the Ravens, Ngata helped to win a Super Bowl, made several All-Pro teams and five Pro Bowls.
In 2015, Ngata was traded to Detroit, where he has been limited by injuries. He only combined for 46 tackles and 4 sacks in the past two seasons with the Lions. My prediction, he will get released in the offseason, sign a one-year deal, and retire as a Raven. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and not taint his career with poor play in his later years.
21 Green Bay Packers - Clay Matthews
I am a huge Clay Matthews fan. The crazy locks, the double bicep pose after a sack, and just his overall warrior demeanor. The problem with Clay is that he is undersized. He always used his quickness and technique to his advantage when sacking opposing quarterbacks. But at the ripe age of 31, the former walk-on at Southern California, is slowing down. In 2016, he only recorded 24 tackles and five sacks, both career lows. If this trend continues, Matthews' numbers will be dismal. Hence, I think the sack specialist should retire at the end of the 2017. Go out on top as a champion, don't tarnish your name, and let your legend be told from your younger years. With earlier retirement being a recent trend in the NFL, Matthews may follow suit.
20 Houston Texans - Brian Cushing
God, this guy is pathetic. Ten games for breaking the NFL's substance abuse policy. He has had a great career, but he should just retire already. He's cheating! Bill Romanowski describes Cushing's steroid use back in 2010:
“Now, as far as Brian Cushing, here’s the deal: The only way you can get that substance that he took, hCG, in your body is to inject it, okay? So let’s get that clear. So his sob story on TV was, I’m just going to say, was a total lie, okay? … Do you think when he was getting injected in his ass that he didn’t know what was going on? Well, bull crap. Let’s get real. Be honest about it, Brian."
"What that substance is is a substance from pregnant women’s urine and what it does is when you have taken a cycle of steroids it turns your system back on from being shut down. It is very, very common in bodybuilding. That is a bodybuilding supplement, or a bodybuilding drug, where when these bodybuilders go on massive doses of steroids for months at a time"
19 Indianapolis Colts - Scott Tolzien
What a dismal performance for Tolzien in Week 1. To get their butts handed to them by Jared Goff and the Rams was pathetic. That's probably why the former University of Wisconsin-Madison was benched for the recently acquired Jacoby Brissett in Week 2. This guy isn't good enough to even be a backup QB in the NFL. Let's just go over his stats from opening day: 9-18 for 128 yards and 2 INTs. Just a horrible outing, even if no one was expecting anything. I would not be surprised if the Colts cut him as soon as they know that Andrew Luck is healthy. At 30 years old, it's time for Tolzien to hang up the cleats and throw in the towel, because he surely can't throw a football.
18 Jacksonville Jaguars - Marcedes Lewis
How the hell is Lewis still on Jacksonsville? He has been there for over a decade and has had very little production over the past few years. His best season came in 2010 when he reeled in 57 catches for 700 yards and 10 TDs. But since that career season, the ex-UCLA Bruin has only had a total of 11 TDs. Why the hell do they keep giving him a contract? He is 33 years old and has lost a step (which wasn't that much to begin with). Unfortunately, for all the skill players on Jacksonville, it's nearly impossible to look good when Blake Bortles is at the helm. Yes, some receivers may get some garbage time touchdowns, but that won't help the Jaguars win games (don't let their good start to 2017 fool you). Therefore, Lewis should cut his losses (get it, because Jacksonville loses a lot) and retire.
17 Kansas City Chiefs - Dustin Colquitt
I only chose Dustin Colquitt because he is a damn good punter and there should be a punter included in every NFL list. He has played with the Chiefs since 2005 and is a staple at Arrowhead. Colquitt's booming kicks hang in the air and usually pin the Chief's opponent deep in their own end of the field. He has nearly 1,000 punts in his career and is 21st overall for all-time punting yards. Currently, Colquitt is the highest paid punter in the NFL and is under contract with Kansas City through 2018.
I hope after 2018 he retires so that his career isn't tarnished by old age. But punters last forever in this league (Shane Lechler), and if Colquitt can still produce, we may see him for another 5 years!
16 Los Angeles Chargers - Antonio Gates
Former basketball player turned tight end, Antonio Gates, is an absolute legend in southern California. His big body has helped him box out defenders and snag jump balls since he came into the league undrafted in 2003. He's an eight-time Pro-Bowler, and has crushed almost every record a tight end could have. He leads the record books with most career TDs (and counting) and is fifth all-time with 112 career receptions. Gates is a sure fire hall of famer and I can't wait to see what the 37-year-old can do in this upcoming season.
Right now in LA, Gates has some competition with the young blood, Hunter Henry, but still has put up decent numbers. Let's hope he stays healthy and retires from the league on his own terms.
15 Los Angeles Rams - Connor Barwin
Connor Barwin has had a solid career to this point. He has had short stints in both Houston and Philadelphia, but recently signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams for the 2017 season worth $6.5 million. The former Cincinnati Bearcat made second team All-Pro and the Pro Bowl in 2014, but his defensive production is on the decline. In 2016 with the Eagles, he had 5 sacks and 34 combined tackles, the latter being a career low since his Rookie campaign. Clearly not a hall of famer, but Barwin should finish off strong. He is part of a solid Rams defense and hopefully can finish off his career on a high note. So as we have been saying this whole list, the 30-year-old should just retire already.
14 Miami Dolphins - Lawrence Timmons
Wait, where is Lawrence Timmons? That's not a joke, he went missing for the Dolphins in Week 2. No one could find him. The dude went AWOL. The 31-year-old was suspended by the team and it's a shady situation in general. What's even more ridiculous is that he had made 101 consecutive starts since this incident. Either way, this may be a sign that it's time for Timmons to retire, because his head's clearly not in the game.
During the course of his career, Timmons has nearly 1,000 combined tackles and 35.5 sacks. Solid numbers for anyone. He's a Super Bowl champion, but only made the Pro Bowl once. We will see how his AWOL situation plays out in the coming weeks, but the one time "Iron Man" is no more.
13 Minnesota Vikings - Terence Newman
Terence Newman is 39-years-old! You heard it right. He is still shutting down opposing wide receivers despite being almost over the hill. He has only made the Pro Bowl twice, but is a vital assett for whichever team he is on. Currently, opposite the field from Xavier Rhodes, the Vikings pass defense is lethal and could clearly be seen from their Week 1 performance against the Saints.
Over the course of his career, Newman has nabbed 41 interceptions and deflected 167 passes. He is known for his longevity and consistency in this league, but hopefully will retire soon. I don't want to see this great corner get burned because he can't keep up with the young bloods. So Terence, please retire soon before you are the star of Green Bay's highlight reel.
12 New England Patriots - Tom Brady
What?! You think Tom Freakin' Brady should retire? And the answer to your stupid question is yes. I hate Tom Brady. Maybe it's jealousy. Actually it's jealousy. The guy is so good! He has won five Super Bowls, and he is married to one smokin' super model. At 40, it seems like Brady is still in his prime.
But, all good things must come to end. Belichick's project should have retired after their Super Bowl win last year. He led the most epic comeback of all time (sorry Falcons fans, I know 28-3 will haunt you for the rest of your life) and could have retired at the top of the mountain. I'm not sure how much is left in his tank, but man, the guy should have retired last year.
11 New Orleans Saints - Adrian Peterson
All day! Not any more. More like 9 snaps. Adrian Peterson was an absolute beast in his prime. As a Packers fan, I dreaded the matchups with Minnesota. Peterson could truck defenders, move laterally on a dime, and even catch the ball out of the backfield. But with most running backs, their careers come crashing down from the physical punishment they have taken over the years.
In Week 1 against his former team, Peterson only had five carries, and through the first month of the season, he looks nothing like AP. Maybe it's just the Saints passing offense, but the former MVP isn't being utilized like he should. Sure, he is a future Hall of Famer, but his career has gone downhill, and he should retired before it gets all the way to the bottom.
10 New York Giants - Eli Manning
God, Eli is awful. Have you seen the Giants this season? While everyone is blaming the poor offensive line play (yes, it is pretty bad), Eli looks like he has never seen a pigskin before. We get it, New York has won two Super Bowls with Manning, and he always seems to come in the clutch in the postseason, but they probably won't even make it there in 2017.
Without OBJ, the G-men have no explosive firepower on offense, and their newly acquired target, Brandon Marshall, seems to have turned his hands into stone. One thing is for certain, when Eli retires, he definitely won't be going into the television business. He is the least photogenic person I have ever seen. Whether it's the dad bod on the beach, or the constant confused look on his face, he has a look for radio. Eli, just pack up out of New York, and maybe you'll get into the HOF someday.
9 New York Jets - Josh McCown
There is no better definition of "Journey Man" than Josh McCown. He has been on 10 teams! That's almost one-third of the league. McCown came into the NFL in 2002 as a third-round pick out of Sam Houston State. He has been a career backup ever since, even playing for a short time in Canada. But at the ripe age of 38, McCown finally has the chance to lead the New York Jets to the promise land!
Haha, just kidding, the J-E-T-S suck, suck, suck! McCown is clearly a place holder and New York hopes to tank the season to most likely pick up Sam Darnold out of USC. So Josh, retire at the end of the year, and let us remember you for being a great backup, not a crappy starter.
8 Oakland Raiders - Sebastian Janikowski
A kicker with the first-round pick? That is crazy! But the Raiders took a flyer when they chose Janikowski 17th overall in 2000. It sure has paid off! Janikowski holds the record for most games played as a Raider (just over 260) and is the Raiders' all-time leading scorer. He is 250 points ahead of the rest of the competition! So yeah, it's safe to say a kicker was worth a first round pick.
In the 2017 offseason, Oakland struggled to reach a contract extension with Janikowski and placed him on IR for the season. Giorgio Tavecchio took over for Janikowski and has had one hell of a season so far. Maybe the Raiders will release the ex-Seminole, but he should just go and retire on his own terms.
7 Philadelphia Eagles - Brent Celek
I consider myself an avid football fan, but I was a shock to me when I heard Brent Celek was still on the Eagles roster. At 32 years old, the former Cincinnati Bearcat still is grabbing receptions and blocking defenders. Nowadays, more blocking than catching. In 2016, he recorded a career low 14 receptions for 155 yards and zero touchdowns. This is mainly due to the emergence of fellow tight end, Zach Ertz, but it's clear that Celek has lost a step or two since entering the league in the fifth round of the 2007 draft. He's just a grinder that gets done what the coaches tell him to do, day in and day out. No awards, no accolades, just hustle. I appreciate the hard work Celek, but let Ertz take the reigns.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers - James Harrison
Damn man, the once beast of a pass rusher is riding the bench these days. But, just like the theme of this list, all good things must come to an end. In Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings, he didn't play a single snap. Not one! Harrison is the all-time leader in sacks in Pittsburgh Steeler history, and Mike Tomlin did not play him. What's his role going to be the rest of the season?
I wish he would have retired a few years ago so that we can remember him for owning the AFC North. Even at 39 years old, the undrafted signing hits the gym like he's decades younger. We do know one thing for sure, the Steelers have the best backup DE/OLB in the league, and I'm excited to see if Tomlin unleashes the beast later in the season.
5 San Francisco 49ers - Elvis Dumervil
Opposing offenses used to have game plan exactly for Dumervil. I mean, he has had two seasons where he has had 17 sacks. That's crazy! In Denver, Dumervil dominated, causing opposing teams who passed on him (he slipped to the second day of the draft because of his small size) to pay the price. The ex-Louisville Cardinal moved on to Baltimore in 2013, where he continued to play at a high level, but took a steep drop in 2016. He only recorded 3 sacks in 8 games, and went on to sign with a crappy 49ers defense in 2017.
I personally think Dumervil should have retired after this year, as his "smaller size" relies on speed, but due to his ever increasing age, he is slowing down. Not a hall of famer, but a seriously exciting player to watch.
4 Seattle Seahawks - Jon Ryan
Just retire already Jon Ryan! I really mean it! Actually, I don't, but the Seahawks roster is so young that I think everyone is almost in their prime. Ryan is the oldest at 35 years old, so I just picked him. The former Regina Ram (yes, he is Canadian) started off in the CFL and moved down south to Green Bay in 2006, but joined Seattle in 2008. He won the Super Bowl with the Seahawks, but hasn't received any personal awards.
One play that sticks out in Ryan's career was his pass on a fake field goal to tackle eligible, Gary Gilliam, against the Packers in the NFC Championship game when Seattle was down 16-0. They ended up winning the game 28-22 and moved on to the Super Bowl. Without Ryan's touchdown, they probably would have been sitting at home that year for the championship game.
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ryan Fitzpatrick
McCown or Fitzpatrick? McCown or Fitzpatrick? I'm just trying to figure out if McCown will end up having a worse season than Fitz did last year in New York. Anyway, miraculously, Fitzpatrick is still employed in the NFL. I really don't know what they were thinking down in Tampa. The ex-Harvard QB was never a great QB to begin with. While he showed glimpses of greatness in his early years (and in 2015), his success never panned out. He honestly should have retired after the 2015 season with New York when he had a semi-decent season. But now, the guy who was once known for scoring one of the highest marks on the Wonderlic, is just known for being a bad quarterback. So Ryan, wipe that grin off from underneath your lumberjack beard, and just retire already.
2 Tennessee Titans - Matt Cassel
Again, another player that I didn't realize was in the league. Cassel had an amazing 2008 season when Tom Brady was injured, but that was just because Belichick is a freakin' genius. He was able to get a decent payday in Kansas City, but soon proved he will never amount to anything besides a backup quarterback. I mean, he did sign a two-year, $5.25-million deal to be Mariota's backup in Nashville, so you can't blame the guy for bringing home the bacon.
So I will go in a different direction with Cassel, while you should have retired a long time ago, you got lucky with Brady's injury and somehow still have a job. So congratulations, you hit the NFL lottery. I wish everyone was as lucky as you.
1 Washington Redskins - DeAngelo Hall
Another player opposing teams used to have to game plan against, Hall used to shut down the opposing team's top receiver. Over the course of his career, the former first-round pick has grabbed 43 interceptions (5 returned for touchdowns) and has recorded nearly 800 combined tackles. He even tied the NFL record with four interceptions in one game. Very solid numbers!
But there is one issue, Hall hasn't reeled in an interception since 2013. He has been hampered by injury at the end of his career, only playing in 17 games total over the last three seasons. In 2016, Hall tore his ACL in Week 3 and sat out the rest of the season. He started out the 2017 season on the reserve/PUP list and it's hard to see him making an impact, even if he is healthy, at the age of 33. So DeAngelo, just retired already!