Carson Palmer and 7 NFL Players Who Won't Finish the Season as Starters
Not every NFL starter is having a Pro Bowl-worthy season. In fact, there are at least seven players that should be removed from the top of the depth chart in the coming weeks.
Who are these mystery players you may ask?
Well, Carson Palmer has already been revealed, but no position is safe from this list. Whether it be an offensive lineman, running back, wide receiver or quarterback, they all have the chance to be axed. Some will be forced out due to younger options, some are in need of a trade, and others simply are not getting the job done.
Whatever the case, these seven players will not finish the season as starters on their respective teams.
Brady Quinn, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Let's start out with an easy one. Believe it or not, Brady Quinn is currently a starting QB for an NFL franchise. The Kansas City Chiefs have decided he is the better option at the moment over Matt Cassel.
Quinn is a career backup that has shown few glimpses of potential. In his Week 7 start for the Chiefs he managed to complete just 22-of-38 passes for 180 yards and two interceptions.
Needless to say, while Cassel has underperformed this season, he is still the best QB on Kansas City's depth chart.
He will reclaim his starting spot sooner rather than later.
Gosder Cherilus, RT, Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are struggling mightily to produce any kind of offensive efficiency. Quartback Matthew Stafford has no rhythm and has been unable to find great chemistry with star wideout Calvin Johnson.
The running game is virtually non-existent, with Mikel LeShoure unable to sustain a consistent presence in most games.
Now, this is not Gosder Cherilus' fault. However, he has been a mediocre right tackle his entire career and Detroit's best run-blocking tackle is sitting on the bench collecting a first-round paycheck.
The Lions need to accept the limited capabilities of Cherilus and allow rookie Riley Reiff to begin seeing game-speed action.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals must address the running back position at some point because the current stable is not producing.
Without Beanie Wells or Ryan Williams, the Cardinals have been forced to turn to LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell. While both have shown flashes of talent, the Cardinals need a better option if they are going to truly compete for the playoffs.
The defense is holding up its end of the bargain, but the Cards offense has struggled mightily. Trading for a player like Chris Ivory has been rumored (even though Saints coach Joe Vitt says it won't happen), which would be a tremendous step in the right direction
Regardless, Stephens-Howling is not going to be the starter all season.
Carson Palmer, QB, Oakland Raiders
Carson Palmer is not the long-term answer for the Oakland Raiders at quarterback. At some point this season the Raiders will have to explore options.
Oakland is struggling to produce consistently on offense and is falling out of the AFC West race. While Palmer may not be the only (or even main) reason for the team's struggles, someone is always the scapegoat for failure.
The Raiders gave up a lot to get Palmer on the roster and the wins have not followed his arrival. He is going to be moved out of the spotlight by season's end.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Dwayne Bowe is unhappy in Kansas City. He held out during team workouts this offseason and has been forced to sit idly by as Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn take turns throwing to players in the wrong colored jerseys this season.
The best thing for Bowe and the Chiefs is a trade to a team where Bowe's talents can be properly utilized.
Yahoo's Jason Cole has said Bowe wants out of KC:
I can report this: Bowe wants out of KC very badly. Not exactly a revelation, but true.
— Jason Cole (@JasonColeYahoo) October 17, 2012
Trades are never guaranteed, but the prediction here is that Bowe gets his wish and is not on the Chiefs depth chart at season's end. This is the rare case where someone is no longer a starter not because of poor play, but because he needs a change of scenery.
Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams
Remember when Steven Jackson was the young up and comer ready to take Marshall Faulk's job away form him?
Well, things have truly come full circle as now Jackson is the over-30 veteran about to be replaced. Jackson is often hurt and Daryl Richardson has been highly productive when on the field.
Richardson is averaging 5.1 yards per carry this season to Jackson's 3.8. He seems to give the offense a higher chance for success and is a rather versatile back.
Jackson is going to be replaced as the starter soon and has almost zero chance of returning to the St. Louis Rams roster next season.
Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns
20 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns in seven games this season. Greg Little is simply not becoming the No. 1 weapon the Cleveland Browns envisioned.
Now, rookie Josh Gordon is emerging as a serious downfield threat that can stretch plays vertically and give Brandon Weeden a reliable set of hands to throw to.
Little has dropped numerous throws throughout this year and is losing favor with the Cleveland fanbase, if he ever had any favor anyway.
Gordon has four touchdown catches in the last three weeks and over 240 yards receiving. Little is quickly losing his grasp on the field. He is the most likely player to lose his starting spot.