NFL Veterans Who Will Have a Productive Season
We all love our veteran players, men who have been in the league for quite some time now. Many have had success, while others are still playing only because that is what they long for.
Some veteran NFL players are now looking for a strong comeback in professional football.
Although some may have missed time in the NFL for one reason or another, these veterans are back and will have productive seasons in 2012.
Please feel free to leave comments on what veterans you think will do well this season too.
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
Nicknamed 'Freak', Randy Moss is back in the NFL with a new team. The 49ers signed him early this year after what could only be considered a downward spiral in his career.
In 2010 he was traded from the Patriots to the Vikings, who later cut him. The Titans picked him up shortly thereafter but he had no real impact on the team. He didn't even play in 2011, but Moss is ready to prove once again that he is a dominant force when it comes to receiving.
It doesn't hurt that his team hosted the NFC Championship just last season, and the emergence of Alex Smith as a quarterback will help him incredibly.
Moss has been making plays in the preseason so far and his routes look crisp. Don't look for his record-breaking 23 TD season like in 2007, but do look for Randy Moss to have an impact on the 49ers offense and to be an integral part of it in 2012.
Byron Hetzler-US PRESSWIRE
Love him or hate him, Terrell Owens is still one of the top receivers in NFL history. He is ranked No. 2 in receiving yards in a career, and is ranked 4th all-time in total TDs scored with 156. Coincidentally, the man behind him on that list is Randy Moss with 154.
T.O. has been off and on teams for the better part of a decade. His last season in the NFL was in 2010 where he had a great year with the Bengals, amassing almost 1,000 yards and nine TDs.
Knee surgery and a brief stint in arena football followed. The Seahawks are now giving him a shot after impressive workouts, and the 38-year-old even ran the 40 in 4.45 seconds.
Cue his first preseason game with Seattle, and all the high hopes were diminished after Owens seemingly dropped a touchdown pass. But he recovered in the next game as he caught two passes for 41 yards.
Let's not forget the man has been out of the game for quite a while. It will take him some time to get back to speed, but once he has.... well let's just say he isn't near the top of all major receiving records for no reason.
Edit: (Alright, T.O. has been cut. I guess he won't have a productive season after all. That is of course, if no team comes calling. But injuries are a major factor in the NFL and everyone is currently aware that Owens is physically able to play right now.)
Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
He isn't your typical veteran player because he is only 29 years old, but he has been running in this league for what will be his eighth year.
Benson had spent the last four seasons in Cincinnati being a great rusher. In the last three seasons there, he reached the 1,000-yard mark. The former first-round pick was recently picked up by the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers decided not to keep prior running back Ryan Grant. The other possible starting back on their roster is James Starks, but he has a turf toe injury that could keep him off the field for a long while.
Taking advantage of that, Benson stepped in as the go-to guy. In his first game with the team, he had six rushes for 38 yards and a reception for 10.
In such a high-powered offense like the Packers, Benson will be sure to get his screens and rushes to keep defenses honest.
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
The epitome of a veteran, Manning is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and is a sure bet to get into the Hall of Fame on his first try.
After spending his entire career with the Colts, they decided it was time for him to leave so they could start building their team of the future. Neck injuries and surgery kept him out last season, but he is reportedly as healthy as ever.
In preseason Week 2, he completed 16 of 23 passes for 177 yards. Another fact to note is that Manning has been very comfortable in the pocket. His footwork is excellent and he won't take many sacks.
Also remember the Broncos' defense from last year is ready for a return in which they will likely help in the battle of field position.
Receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and long-time connection Brandon Stokley give Manning plenty of options for attack. Willis McGahee will keep men in the box as well since he is coming off one of the best rushing seasons of his career.
Peyton Manning will be Peyton Manning. One of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game will show no signs of decreased productivity this year.
Ray Lewis and Ed Reed
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It happens to every team. Star players of the past seem to just get older and older. Two anchors of the Baltimore Ravens defense fit that description well.
Ed Reed, 33, and Ray Lewis, 37, look to stay strong on the defensive side of the ball in what is always a hard-hitting division.
Part of the AFC North-winning team in 2011, these two accumulated a combined 147 tackles, three sacks, and four interceptions. The Ravens ranked third in total defense in the NFL and these two men had a big part of that success.
Baltimore will be a top contender once more this year as their offense continues to keep improving. The defense will hurt with Terrell Suggs being injured, but newly drafted linebacker Courtney Upshaw will look to help out. You can count on Reed and Lewis to once again have a major defensive season.
Look for both of them to have an all-star season while trying to reach the Super Bowl they had a chance to go to last year.