One Player from Every NFL Team Who Certainly Won't Be Back in 2012
The upcoming offseason will bring about a ton of changes, especially for the teams that didn't make the playoffs. We could see a ton top-level stars available for varying reasons. One of the biggest reasons players become of available is because of their inflated salaries.
Someone like Philadelphia's Asante Samuel will cost the Eagles to much money to retain. His bloated salary and high-priced teammates make him expendable.
Here are other players from each team who won't be back next year.
Dallas Cowboys: Keith Brooking
Keith Brooking is 36 years old and on the last leg of his career.
He has seen his playing time significantly drop this season, as Sean Lee emerged as the starter.
Brooking's career is filled with a ton of highlights,but the NFL is about what have you done for me lately.
The veteran linebacker will have a hard time catching on with another team and is more likely to retire.
Brooking doesn't contribute on special teams, which is another reason his future is cloudy.
New York Giants: Osi Umenyiora
Osi Umenyiora started this season in a contract dispute, which was never resolved.
The rest of the year, Umenyiora dealt with a series of injuries.
New York likely will have no problem allowing Umenyiora to seek a trade.
Their current starters, Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck, are more than capable of handling the load.
Despite only playing in nine games, Umenyiora registered nine sacks. This production should allow the Giants to get a decent return.
His $4 million salary is a modest number for a double-digit pass-rusher, but he still wants to negotiate a new contract.
Philadelphia Eagles: Asante Samuel
The Philadelphia Eagles have a lot of money tied up in the cornerback position.
They have more than $20 million a year tied up with just Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha.
There is no way this franchise can keep both Samuel and Asomugha.
Samuel and his $8.4 million salary will be on the trading block. The Eagles will likely get a mid-round draft pick in return for the veteran cornerback.
Moving him would allow the Eagles to move Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie into the starting lineup. The fact that Eagles have that option make this an even more likely scenario.
Washington Redskins: DeAngelo Hall
DeAngelo Hall's flashiness and confidence make some believe that he is a top-notch cover-man.
He also gets a lot of love because of his high interception total, but that doesn't tell the whole story.
Hall's play has slipped each of the last several seasons. He prefers to take risks rather than hold up in coverage.
Hall's $6 million makes him a candidate for an offseason release. The Washington Redskins might look to cut their losses and add a more consistent performer.
Arizona Cardinals: Levi Brown
The general consensus is that Levi Brown doesn't belong playing on the left side of the line.
He is better suited to be a right tackle, where there is less pressure to protect the quarterback.
The issue is that Brown is due more than $8 million next season, which is a high price for a right tackle.
Brown could be retained if he is willing to renegotiate his contract, which isn't a likely scenario. The more likely scenario is Brown getting released.
This would allow him to seek out a better situation and a more manageable salary for the team.
San Francisco 49ers: Shawntae Spencer
Shawntae Spencer went from starter to being buried deep on the depth chart.
He currently sits behind Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver.
It is very unlikely to see Spencer regain any snaps in the future.
His $3 million salary is a little steep for a third- or fourth-string cornerback.
The San Francisco 49ers could look to add a cornerback in the first round of the 2012 draft, which would all but seal the fate of Spencer.
Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Trufant
Marcus Trufant's career with the Seattle Seahawks likely will come to an end.
He is a free agent after the season, and he missed a ton of time due to injuries. Trufant's back injury has lingered for over a year, and at this point is threatening this career.
The Seahawks are unlikely to bring back a 31-year-old free agent with injury problems.
St. Louis Rams- Ron Bartell
Ron Bartell appears to be a possible cap casualty this offseason.
His neck injury has some questioning his long-term health.
The injury is only part of the problem, as he is due $6.2 million next season. St. Louis is very much in a rebuilding mode and unlikely to pay that type of money.
Bartell is adamant that he will play next season, and the Rams will be more than willing to let him do so for another team.
Youth and the long-term future of the franchise is what will be the focus of the St. Louis Rams.
Chicago Bears: Roy Williams
Jerry Angelo and the Chicago Bears decided to take a risk and sign Roy Williams.
Heading into the season, many felt that this could have been a great opportunity for Williams to get his career back on track.
However, he continued to struggle with drops and inconsistency.
The Bears have to commit some resources to adding a true No. 1 receiver.
This likely means the end of Roy Williams' run with the Bears. His inability to make an impact will make it tough for him to catch on elsewhere.
Detriot Lions: Eric Wright
Eric Wright is a free agent after the season and is unlikely to return to the Detroit Lions.
This Lions defense needs to focus this offseason on upgrading the cornerback position. Adding a top-level cover-guy would really improve this defense.
During the offseason, Detroit re-signed Chris Houston to a two-year deal, which all but ensures his return.
Wright's free agency basically makes him the odd man out in the defensive backfield. I fully expect to see the Lions use their first-round draft pick to select a cornerback.
Green Bay Packers: Chad Clifton
The Green Bay Packers were a little worried when Chad Clifton went out with an injury.
However, Marshall Newhouse did a good job stepping in holding down the left side.
Newhouse's play might provide the Packers with some options in the offseason.
Clifton will be 36 years old next season and make more than $5 million.
Green Bay might be willing to move on and turn the job over to the younger and cheaper Newhouse.
Minnesota Vikings: Visanthe Shiancoe
Visanthe Shiancoe has had a nice career with the Minnesota Vikings, but that could be coming to an end.
He is a pending free agent who might prefer to play for a team looking to contend next season.
Shiancoe might not actually have a choice to return to Minnesota.
The Vikings have Kyle Rudolph ready to step in and take over as the starting tight end. Rudolph actually started taking more and more snaps away from Shiancoe as the season progressed.
Atlanta Falcons: Sam Baker
Sam Baker has protected Matt Ryan's blindside for the past several seasons, but his future is very cloudy.
During the season, Will Svitek replaced Baker as the starting left tackle and appears to have a strong hold on the job.
Baker isn't holding back and has let it be known that he isn't happy with his benching.
It is hard to imagine a scenario where Baker willingly accepts a backup role heading into next season. The Atlanta Falcons might be able to get a mid-round pick for Baker.
Carolina Panthers: Jeremy Shockey
The Carolina Panthers felt that surrounding Cam Newton with some veteran tight ends would help his development.
Jeremy Shockey was brought in and expected to receive most of the tight end targets.
However, when Greg Olsen was put on the block, the Panthers jumped to add him.
Olsen is the future at the position, which should make Shockey expendable. Next season, Shockey will be 32 years old and make more than $3 million.
He could find himself as one of the offseason salary cap casualties.
New Orleans Saints: Marques Colston
The New Orleans Saints offense runs like a well-oiled machine, mainly because of the play of Drew Brees.
He doesn't depend on one player to help him find success, as the ball is spread equally to each of his weapons. This makes a lot of the receivers pretty much replaceable.
Marques Colston is an excellent receiver, but he might be more valuable on a different team.
Colston is going to demand a decent salary, something the Saints will hesitate to match. Several teams will see Colston as a major upgrade over their current receivers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aqib Talib
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to clean house and fire the entire coaching staff, including Raheem Morris.
A new direction for the team could very well mean the end of Aqib Talib's time in Tampa Bay.
Talib's talent and play have been overshadowed by off-the-field issues.
His problems haven't all been off the field, as he also has made some bone-head decisions during the game.
The biggest issue with Talib is that he is unreliable and not someone you can count on being in the lineup each week.
The next coaching staff might not be as understanding as Raheem Morris.
Buffalo Bills: Tashard Choice
The Buffalo Bills' addition of Tashard Choice was in response to the season-ending injury of Fred Jackson.
There was a point in his career when Choice was thought to have a very bright future.
However, he continually got passed over in Dallas.
Buffalo still has several excellent running back options including Jackson, C.J. Spiller and Johnny White.
There won't be any room on the roster for Choice next season. His free-agent market might be a little bare next season.
Miami Dolphins: Chad Henne
The Miami Dolphins will be shuffling in a new coaching staff this season, which likely means a new quarterback.
Chad Henne had plenty of opportunities to solidify the starting role, but inconsistency kept him on the hot seat.
Henne is a pending free agent and might look for a change of scenery.
There will be a few teams willing to give Henne a shot to win a starting job. However, he may have to be willing to accept a backup role.
Miami is expected to target a quarterback in the upcoming draft.
New England Patriots: Chad Ochocinco
The New England Patriots' offseason acquisition of Chad Ochocinco was widely regarded as a great addition.
Most felt that he would provide the Patriots with the deep threat they lost when Randy Moss was traded.
However, the Ochocinco experiment has been a complete failure. At one point in the season, many felt that he would actually be released.
Next season, Ochocinco will be 34 years old and coming off a season in which he recorded only one touchdown.
That lack of production isn't enough to hold a roster spot for the aging veteran. New England will cut their losses and look to get younger at the position.
New York Jets: LaDainian Tomlinson
LaDainian Tomlinson's career makes him a great candidate for the Hall of Fame, but his career is coming to an end.
He spent the past week talking about potentially retiring at the end of the season.
After his lack of production this year, this isn't much of a surprise.
Tomlinson only got 64 carries and rushed for one touchdown on the season.
The New York Jets are likely to look for a cheaper and younger option next season.
Denver Broncos: Brian Dawkins
Brian Dawkins is another aging veteran who appears unlikely to return next season.
Next season, he will be 39 years old and make around $6 million.
It will be tough for the Denver Broncos to carry that cap number and still work to improve their roster.
Dawkins' situation is also impacted by the neck injury he suffered at the end of the season. He was still pretty productive this season, but the cons outweigh the pros at this point.
Kansas City Chiefs: Thomas Jones
Thomas Jones' career with the Kansas City Chiefs came to an end this past weekend.
He is a pending free agent and coming off a year in which he only averaged 3.1 yards per carry.
Thomas will be 34 years old next season, and most running backs struggle to find success after 30.
The emergence of Jackie Battle has made Jones expendable. It is also possible that the Chiefs will target a running back in the upcoming draft.
Jones' leadership will be difficult to replace, but it's unlikely he will accept a cheap contract.
Oakland Raiders: Jason Campbell
Jason Campbell is a more than adequate starting NFL quarterback.
The Oakland Raiders might be preparing for a playoff game if Campbell didn't suffer an injury.
However, their in-season acquisition of Carson Palmer means that Campbell will be looking for a new home.
The Raiders won't be able to meet his salary demands, and it is unlikely that he accepts a role as a backup.
Campbell could be an excellent fit for somebody like the New York Jets or Miami Dolphins.
San Diego Chargers: Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson wants a long-term deal and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
The problem is that San Diego Chargers GM AJ Smith isn't willing to shell out the years or money to make Jackson happy. He feels the franchise tag offers more safety and security for the franchise.
I don't see a scenario in which Jackson willingly signs the franchise tag next season.
He will either be traded or allowed to sign elsewhere.
If the Chargers aren't willing to pay, trade or let him go, Jackson will hold out again.
Baltimore Ravens: Matt Birk
The Baltimore Ravens would love to have Matt Birk back for another season, but there have been signs he is considering retirement.
Birk's career will likely earn him some strong consideration for the Hall of Fame. One extra season won't have much of an impact on his Hall of Fame chances.
The hardest thing for an aging veteran to deal with is facing another grueling season.
If he decides to return, Birk will spend the offseason dreading the workouts and upcoming training camp.
At age 36, he will be thinking about the toll another season will take on his body.
Cincinnati Bengals: Cedric Benson
Cedric Benson used the opportunity provided by the Cincinnati Bengals to get his career on track.
He has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past three seasons.
However, Benson continues to find trouble off the field. His issues off the field makes him an unreliable player, as a suspension can come at any time.
This is one of the main reasons Benson only received a one-year deal.
I expect the Bengals to use their draft assets and attempt to land Alabama's Trent Richardson. It could take both of their first-round picks, but it might be worth the cost.
Richardson would be a more talented and safer option than Benson.
Cleveland Browns: Peyton Hillis
Peyton feels that his one season of good production warrants a lucrative long-term contract.
He wants a contract similar to the five-year $45 million deal that DeAngelo Williams signed last offseason.
The Cleveland Browns don't seem willing to negotiate a contract of that magnitude.
I honestly can't blame the Browns for not wanting to shell out that type of money. Hillis hasn't proven himself over a long period of time, something that usually needs to happen before a big-money contract is signed.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Hines Ward
Hines Ward is one of the most recognizable Pittsburgh Steelers of the past decade.
His hard-nosed style of play has helped him endear himself to the people of Pittsburgh.
However, his excellent career is coming to an end.
Ward will be 36 years old next season and coming off a season in which he only recorded 46 receptions.
He has been asked about retirement, but isn't yet ready to make a decision. There might be a push from management to see Ward go out on a high note and allow them to get younger.
Houston Texans: Mario Williams
Mario Williams is a pending free agent and will get a ton of attention on the market.
The Houston Texans defense did well with him out of the lineup, which will allow them to consider moving on.
Placing the franchise tag on him will cost Houston over $16 million.
Williams did a good job with this transition to outside linebacker, but he still is more valuable at defensive end.
The fact that Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed combined for 17.5 sacks shows that cheaper options are currently on the roster.
Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning
With the Indianapolis Colts landing the top pick in the 2012 NFL draft, it seems more and more likely Peyton Manning won't be returning.
Landing the top pick means that the Colts will likely be adding Stanford's Andrew Luck.
Manning's contract situation is what will likely result in the end of his run with the Colts.
Making the situation even worse is the uncertain status of Manning's neck injury. The Colts will have to decide relatively quickly whether or not they will bring Manning back.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Rashean Mathis
Next season, Rashean Mathis will be 32 years old and coming off of a torn ACL.
The majority of players need more than a year to fully recover from a torn ACL.
Unfortunately, Mathis is also a pending free agent and unlikely to get much attention.
Many felt that Mathis lost a step or two before the ACL injury, but now his speed is a real question mark.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will be breaking in a new coaching staff next season and likely will likely want to add some youth.
There is a possibility that the Jaguars could add LSU's Morris Claiborne early in the 2012 NFL draft.
Tennessee Titans: Cortland Finnegan
Prior to the season, Cortland Finnegan and the Tennessee Titans held some preliminary contract negotiations.
However, they were unable to come to any sort of an agreement.
Finnegan is in the prime of his career and a good cover-man—he will command a lot of money on the free-agent market.
Finnegan told the Tennessean that he didn't expect to be offered a legitimate contract by the Titans. The franchise tag also appears out of the picture, as it would cost them more than $10 million.
It will be an interesting offseason for Finnegan.