Randy Moss and 5 Other NFL Veterans Who Will Revive Their Careers in 2012
NFL training camps are generally associated with rookies attempting to win starting roles and QB competitions. But there are always a select few veterans of the league who were considered washed-up, only to make a significant and unexpected impact for their team, as well as revive their careers, with a new season.
This list of players will show the doubters of the world why they should never question a player who has been there and done it before.
Here we go.
1. Randy Moss
This will be Moss' second stay in the Bay Area, after playing two seasons with the Oakland Raiders in 2005 and 2006.
The 35-year-old Moss did not play in 2011 but looks to fill the receiving need in the 49ers roster.
The 49ers averaged just 183 passing yards per game, and the team hopes that Moss will push them over the edge from NFC Championship team to Super Bowl team.
Expect Moss to thrive in his new role with San Francisco, where he won't be as highly scrutinized or publicized as he was two years ago when he played for three different teams.
Moss will not catch 100 balls or compile 1,400 receiving yards, but he should be an effective weapon in the 49ers offense.
2. Chad Ochocinco
Ochocinco is not currently on an NFL roster, but it is improbable that no team will give the three-time All-Pro receiver a shot.
The fact that Ochocinco struggled mightily with the New England Patriots' playbook, according to Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe, is certainly not the most reassuring asset as the 12-year veteran searches for a new NFL home.
Despite that fact, Ochocinco still has the speed and athleticism to make an impact on an NFL roster and is scheduled to work out with the Miami Dolphins, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
Once Ochocinco signs with a team and settles in, expect the veteran receiver to improve greatly on his 15 receptions and 276 yards with the Patriots in 2011 and become an integral offensive player.
3. Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning's career appeared to be in limbo after a severe neck injury sidelined the future Hall of Fame quarterback for the entire 2011 season.
Manning's injury was possibly the most profound in the history of the NFL, as it caused the Colts franchise to turn on its head and finish the season with an NFL-worst 2-14 record, allowing the team to draft Andrew Luck and usher in an entirely new era.
Now, Manning looks to re-establish himself with the Denver Broncos and regain his status as an elite NFL quarterback.
Not only is Manning expected to revive his career, but he is also primed to take the Denver Broncos from playoff contender to Super Bowl contender.
4. Lofa Tatupu
After missing 21 games in the past three seasons, including all of last season, Lofa Tatupu has a chance to revitalize his career with the Atlanta Falcons.
Tatupu is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and still has all the tools to be one of the best tackling linebackers in the NFL.
The Falcons need help among their core group of linebackers, and Tatupu should be able to immediately supplement the team's need.
Tatupu will make a substantial impact on the Falcons' defense and will refresh his career in doing so.
5. Asante Samuel
Sticking with the Atlanta Falcons, Asante Samuel is another defensive player who is preparing to revive his career with a move to the "dirty south."
Samuel was traded by the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for just a seventh-round draft pick.
The 10-year veteran will look to prove he's worth much more than a seventh-rounder and will help bolster the Falcons secondary.
This Atlanta team has sought veterans with proven track records to help push it deeper into the playoffs and finally live up to its potential.
Don't be surprised if the Falcons replace the Saints as division champs in 2012.
6. Jay Cutler
Cutler has missed seven games over the past two seasons and has been a slight disappointment overall in his time with the Chicago Bears thus far.
That all ends in 2012.
With the additions of wide receivers Brandon Marshall and rookie Alshon Jeffery, the Bears are now much better equipped with wide out weapons.
Cutler threw for over 4,500 yards in his final year with the Denver Broncos in 2008 and seeks to mimic those numbers in 2012.
Chicago's revamped offense and the hopeful re-signing of running back Matt Forte will make them serious contenders in the highly competitive NFC North this season.