It is that time of the year for fans and players alike, football season! The NFL preseason is underway but that doesn’t mean training camp is over. As both are taking place certain players are trying to make the roster. There are rookies trying to make the team for the first time but there are other, more established players who might be released as well.
Some of the players on the hot seat were drafted a few years ago in the 1st or 2nd rounds in the draft. They have not reached the potential their picks should have suggested and as the teams are slowly trying to move on, a new coaching staff or general manager who isn’t scared to look wrong with pieces that they didn’t select. With three or four years in the NFL there is no more banking on potential to get the job done. For them this training camp is going to prove whether they get another chance to impact the NFL.
On the other end of the ledger there are players who are past their prime. These players have been huge successes throughout their career but are clearly on the downside. As a result, they have moved on from team to team and could be getting phased out of the roster. Yes they have the name recognition to keep getting signed but the age has simply caught up to them.
Without further ado here is a list of 20 players who won’t make it out of training camp on their current teams.
20 Brandon Marshall - Seattle Seahawks
Brandon Marshall has had a great career. From being a 4th round pick in 2006, Marshall has been one of the best wideouts in the NFL. From 2007-2013 he had over 1,000 receiving yards each season. In 2012 Marshall exploded with 1,508 yards and 11 TDs with the Bears showing his worth. However, in recent years Marshall has slowed down tremendously. In five games with the Giants last year he only had 155 yards through the air.
He signed with the Seahawks in the offseason as a trial run but he just doesn’t fit the system in Seattle with their spread offense and quick, small receivers.
Marshall will likely see his career end before the Seahawks get out of training came.
19 Brett Hundley - Green Bay Packers
When Brett Hundley was taken in the 5th round of the 2015 draft by the Green Bay Packers, he was going to be a quarterback project for the team and hopefully a starter for long term. Yes, they have Aaron Rodgers, but Hundley was there as a nice back up option for them. But when Rodgers got hurt last season, Hundley did not reach expectations for a player who’s been in the system for four seasons. Hundley had 9 TDs and 12 INTs last year and went 3-6 for the team. The Packers got DeShone Kizer in a trade with Cleveland and he looks to be the new QB of the future. That means Hundley might be the quarterback on the outside looking in.
18 Paxton Lynch - Denver Broncos
Paxton Lynch was taken with the 26th pick in 2016 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Lynch was going to be the heir apparent for Peyton Manning in that draft. Lynch has all the tools to be a good starting quarterback in the league with his height and arm strength. The issue has been the ability to perform when he gets on the field. Lynch has started in 4 games in his career and thrown 4 TDs to 4 INTs, going 1-3 in those games. But with the signing of Case Keenum, everyone on the Broncos roster at quarterback is in jeopardy and the time might come to move on from the former first round pick.
17 Cody Latimer - New York Giants
Cody Latimer seemed to have all the makings of a good wide receiver when he entered the NFL in 2015. Latimer was the 2nd round draft pick of the Broncos that year and seemed to be the perfect fit for a team looking for another deep threat alongside Demaryius Thomas.
Latimer never seemed to learn the system and didn’t reach 100 yards in his first three years in the league.
Last year Latimer was a little more effective with 19 catches and 287 yards but nothing spectacular. He has signed with the Giants in the off-season but given their depth at wide out, Latimer might be looking for a new team in the upcoming weeks.
16 Ty Montgomery - Green Bay Packers
Ty Montgomery was taken in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Packers. Montgomery was a receiver by trade when he played for Stanford in college but wasn’t a great fit in his first year in the NFL. The Packers then dabbled with using Montgomery as their starting running back for stretches in the 2016 and 2017 seasons with okay results. Montgomery had 457 yards in 2016 but suffered an injury last year. With his durability in question, the Packers have a stable of young running backs they might try out and that would mean Montgomery has no opening with the team.
15 Jeremy Hill - New England Patriots
Jeremy Hill took the NFL by storm when he came into the league in 2014. Hill was picked in the 2nd round by the Bengals with he hopes that he would become a good running back with the team. He ran for 1,100 yards and 9 TDs as a rookie in 2014. Hill continued that success with 11 TDs in his second year in the NFL and nine in season three. Last year Hill only had 116 yards on the ground as rookie Joe Mixon took the starting role. Now Hill is in New England where no one’s roster spot is safe and they might evaluate Hill and want to move on during training camp.
14 Breshad Perriman - Baltimore Ravens
Breshad Perriman was going to be the perfect player for the Ravens to gain back success on offense. He was taken in the 1st round of the 2016 draft and was going to be a perfect speed receiver for Joe Flacco down the field. In his first year Perriman did have 33 catches for 499 yards, but was targeted 66 times.
Last year he fell off the map with only 77 receiving yards in 11 games with the Ravens.
He is still on the roster for now but the Ravens have to wonder if it is time to release their former first round pick.
13 Adolphus Washington - Buffalo Bills
Adolphus Washington was taken in the 3rd round of the draft by the Bills in 2016. As a defensive tackle Washington was set up to possibly be a steal in the draft and perform well in the interior but that has never been the case. The production has not reached the levels it could and last year was another example. In 15 games Washington only had 22 tackles and 1 sack. With the addition of Star Lotulelei and rookie draft pick Harrison Phillips, the Bills have a loaded group on the inside and Washington maybe the one on the outside looking in.
12 Sam Shields - Los Angeles Rams
When Sam Shields joined the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2010 he was a complete steal for the team. The cornerback was a contributor for the Packers secondary right away coming up with four interceptions in his second year with the team. In six years with the team Shields had 18 interceptions and was one of their starting cornerbacks. However, Shields was released in 2017 and didn’t play for an NFL roster.
This offseason Shields signed on to play with he Rams but their loaded secondary means that he more than likely won’t play because Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib will be taking up snaps.
11 DeSean Jackson- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Since the second he stepped into the NFL DeSean Jackson was a game breaking wide receiver in the NFL. When the Eagles took him in the 2nd round in 2008 they expected Jackson to be a game breaking wide receiver who was a deep threat. Jackson did exactly that with the Eagles with 6,100 yards and 32 TDs in six years with he team. As Jackson moved on to Washington, he was still one of the best deep threats in the league with 1,000 yards in two of his three seasons with the team.
However, last year Jackson had 668 yards on the Buccaneers and wasn’t quite the same threat.
All of that was fine but reports are Jackson has been working in the slot which is something he’s never been great at to say the least. The emergence of Chris Godwin at wide out may signal the end of Jackson on the Buccaneers roster.
10 Shaq Lawson - Buffalo Bills
Shaq Lawson is another defensive lineman whose spot on the Buffalo Bills is in jeopardy. Lawson was taken with the 19th overall pick in 2016 by the Bills. He was supposed to be a supremely talented pass rusher from the outside as a perfect pair with Kyle Williams on the inside. However, Lawson has failed to be very productive with the Bills or very healthy for too long. He’s gotten 6 sacks in two years but only played in 22 games. With the addition of Trent Murphy in the off-season, the Bill might start looking elsewhere for health and productivity.
9 Josh Dobbs - Pittsburgh Steelers
Josh Dobbs was taken in the 4th round by the Steelers in 2017. Dobbs was once a very good quarterback in college for the University of Tennessee and the Steelers thought that he could grow into being the future quarterback of the Steelers. However, last year they must not have been impressed with the things Dobbs was able to do in practice because they went out and drafted Mason Rudolph. With Landry Jones set as the insurance option for Big Ben there looks to be no spot in the future for Dobbs.’
8 Dominque Easley - Los Angeles Rams
Dominque Easley was taken with the 29th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He was set up to be their replacement for retired defensive tackle Vince Wilfork as the next great nose guard for the team. Easly never reached those expectations with the Patriots though, he only had 3 sacks in two seasons with the Patriots and moved on to play for the Rams in 2016.
While he did have 3.5 sacks in 2016, the Rams' addition of Ndamukong Suh means that their defensive tackle position is very strong.
Easley is the one on the outside looking in for a roster spot after training camp.
7 Manti Te’o - New Orleans Saints
Manti Te’o was one of the most known linebacking prospects to come out of college in a while. Te’o wasn’t the highest picked, or the most talented, but his story in college was amazing and he almost won the Heisman trophy one season. However, Te’o hasn’t reached that level of success since being picked in the 2nd round of the draft in 2013. He has been a solid player but not a super star on defense.
In 2017 Te’o joined the Saints and played solid but this offseason they added Demario Davis at middle linebacker. This means that Te’o might be cut again if the Saints don’t like what they see at training camp.
6 Laquon Treadwell - Minnesota Vikings
Laquon Treadwell was the perfect player for the Vikings system when they selected him in 2016. As a big possession receiver who could make things happen after the catch, he was ideal for Sam Bradford at the time. But, Treadwell has never reached the potential he showed at Ole Miss. Treadwell only had one catch in his rookie season and showed little more production in 2017 with 200 yards receiving. With the Vikings possessing one of the deepest wide out cores in the NFL Treadwell is a perfect fit for the system.
5 De’Anthony Thomas - Kansas City Chiefs
De’Anthony Thomas was one of the most explosive players in college football in 2013. His speed was noted since high school and the things he would do for Oregon just added to their tremendous speed.
The Chiefs took him in the 4th round which seemed like a steal if they could learn how to utilize Thomas.
But the issue is he’s never had a true position in the NFL. The Chiefs have always had a lot of running backs and at wide out he’s never been comfortable with less than 200 yards every season. With the rise of Tyreke Hill and the signing of Sammy Watkins, Thomas’ days in Kansas City are numbered.
4 Robert Griffin III - Baltimore Ravens
Robert Griffin III was going to be a quarterback that changed the NFL. His incredible speed and passing ability led the Redskins to believe so much that they bet the house on Baylor prospect. After going 2nd overall in 2012 Griffin had one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory. He threw for 3,000 yards with 20 TDs to only 5 INTs. Griffin also was great running the ball with 815 yards and 7 TDs. However, he has never been able to replicate that kind of success when he went to the Browns in 2016. He got a deal with the Ravens in 2018 but with Lamar Jackson being drafted it’s clear Griffin is the third option and he might be released sooner rather than later.
3 Sammie Coates - Houston Texans
Sammie Coates was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coates was going to be another added weapon as a wide receiver because of his speed going deep. In his rookie year Coates didn’t have much of an impact but year two he went to a different level. Coates had 435 receiving yards in 2016 and seemed ready to become a solid player for the Steelers. But Coates had a very unsuccessful year after moving onto the Browns in 2017. It is unclear whether he’ll be able to stay on a loaded Texans roster in the upcoming season with their explosive weapons.
2 Robert Nkemdiche - Arizona Cardinals
Robert Nkemdiche was going to be the next great defensive lineman from the SEC. The Ole Miss product was taken with the 29th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Most people believed that Nkemdiche was actually a steal on the defensive line for a team that badly needed the position filled. However, he has never been able to reach the lofty 1st round status that other people set.
Over two seasons Nkemdiche has yet to register a sack and only gotten 4 tackles in his career.
He has not done anything that deserves a roster spot and the Cardinals should act accordingly.
1 Michael Johnson - Cincinnati Bengals
Michael Johnson was a defensive lineman taken in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft. When the Bengals selected him, they couldn’t have expected the productivity they have gotten from the pass rusher for 8 of the last 9 seasons. For the Bengals he has been solid with 40 sacks in those 8 seasons as the starting defensive end for the team. In 2012 Johnson exploded with 11.5 sacks which has been his career high. But at the age of 31, the Bengals have started a youth movement on their defense with Jordan Wilson and Sam Hubbard going for his spot on the defensive line. It’s unclear what the Bengals will do but it’s possible we’ve seen the last of Johnson with the Bengals.