NFL Players We Would Love to See Compete at the Masters
The NFL is the hot story in sports right now thanks to the free-agency period and the upcoming 2013 NFL draft, but the 2013 Masters is coming up as well.
This year's Masters may showcase some of the best talent the world of golf has to offer, but don't count out NFL players as slouchers when it comes to knocking the ball around the green.
In fact, there are a variety of players who are shockingly good at the game of golf that we would love to see compete at a professional level (if they have not done so already).
Imagine seeing the competitive nature of guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning squaring off in fancy polos with some of professional golf's greatest talents. Talk about a mental battle without the physicality that comes naturally in the world of football.
Let's take a look at several NFL players we would absolutely love to see play in this year's Masters tournament.
10. Tim Tebow, New York Jets
You knew it was coming. Tim Tebow, member of the New York Jets (we're not even going to attempt to give him a position classification at this point) is far and away the most polarizing figure in the world of sports.
With any luck, he will seriously consider taking his talents to the links.
What comes next isn't going to win him any fans. According to Tebow himself, he believes he has a 141 mph golf swing. Which would in turn means he can drive a golf ball 400 yards. Golf Digest's Mike Stachura's take on his claim:
So, at least statistically, Tebow's reported speed would be in a territory reserved for the sorts of swings that drive the ball 400 yards. As best I can gather, the Denver Broncos quarterback does not currently drive the ball 400 yards. One insider who has seen the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner swing recently and also has seen dozens of elite golfers swing believes the number assigned to Tebow's swing is, umm, ambitious.
Let's look at it this way—give credit where it's due. Tebow tries hard at everything, whether that's football or golf. He's also delusional.
Sounds like great television.
9. Brian Urlacher, LB, Free Agent
Brian Urlacher may be without a home in the NFL after the Chicago Bears gave him walking papers, but at least he will have extra time to work on his golf swing.
According to Golf.com, Urlacher only has a handicap of eight. It's not the best number in the world, but it looks like he will have plenty of time to improve.
Why not participate in the Masters? Urlacher is a likeable guy for the most part and would be entertaining to listen in on during the course of the tournament.
The worst-case scenario is that Urlacher does not play well and provides for some amazing sound bites. Or tackles some quarterbacks who are better. A combination of both would be preferred.
8. Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos
Wes Welker may have shunned Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in favor of the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning this offseason, so it is unlikely we would see a Brady-Welker tandem on the golf course.
That's fine, because Manning is not too shabby swinging the club either.
What better way to prepare for the epic Manning-Brady competitions this upcoming season with Welker on the opposite sideline of Brady than to have them all compete in the Masters?
Not to mention the 5'9", 185-pound speedster is pretty good himself. He only has a 15 handicap (per Golf Digest) and would put up quite the fight on the course much like he does on the turf.
7. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is known for his uncanny ability to extend plays with his feet and notorious for being difficult to take down in the pocket.
Add those traits to his golf game when he hits the links.
Roethlisberger is yet another quarterback who excels on the turn and on the green. In 2009, he impressed with an 81 on a tough course with other professional athletes such as Michael Jordan (per Golf Digest).
As one of the most polarizing names in the sporting world for a variety of reasons, Roethlisberger's participation in the Masters would do nothing but increase the viewership of the tournament.
Not only would he be competitive, he would up the ratings. It is a win-win for all parties.
6. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints is one of the most prolific passers in NFL history and has still managed to find time to be a halfway decent golf player in the offseason.
In 2010, he put up a 102 at the 2010 Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge at Pebble Beach (per Golf Digest), but he has improved his game since then.
Like many of the talented quarterbacks on this list, the appeal to seeing Brees participate in a major tournament such as the Masters would be his fiery attitude, especially when paired with some of the other names on this list.
Heck, maybe Brees could rally the troops before the tournament even starts with his now-famous pregame chant. That would be a sight to see.
5. Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler draws the ire of NFL fans everywhere because of his attitude and sometimes malicious-looking actions directed toward his coaching staff and teammates on the sideline.
What better way to watch Cutler's antics than on the golf course?
To be fair, Cutler has a nice swing and does not embarrass himself when on the green. Golf Digest has him ranked with a handicap of 12, which we can forgive just for the sake of seeing how he reacts to struggling and losing when compared to some of the other names on this list.
Who knows, maybe Cutler will keep his cool during the Masters. We have reason to believe he wouldn't though, especially with heckling fans being so close to where he is playing.
Heck, maybe he'll shove his caddy around for good measure.
4. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
Add Peyton Manning to the list of exceptional NFL quarterbacks who are also great in all areas of the game of golf and could compete competitively.
Manning has hit the links with Tiger Woods in the past, and even ranks as Golf.com's No. 59 athlete out of a list of 150. He has a high handicap and has barely missed the cut for pro tournaments in the past during the NFL offseason.
The best part of Manning hitting the links at the Masters would be his ridiculous facial expression without the ability to hide behind a helmet. Not to mention his ultra competitiveness that would come out in the most tense situations.
Manning may not be the best of the best on this list, but he'd make one heck of an entertaining watch each time he steps up to the tee.
3. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to impress whether it is on the football field or in other sports he decides to take up in his free time.
One of those sports happens to be golf. Rodgers has just an eight handicap, according to Golf Digest, and has participated in a variety of professional tournaments.
What separates him from other potential NFL candidates for the Masters is his awesome personality. He is infamous for his photobombs and other pranks while on the sidelines, so we can only imagine how he would act while exposed on the golf course and close to fans.
Rodgers would not only provide some serious competition to the Masters, he would provide a breath of fresh air to the tournament.
2. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is one of the most fiery and competitive personalities you will be able to find on the gridiron come Sundays, so it is only natural to want to see him compete in the Masters.
Brady joins a long list of quarterbacks who are great at both sports. As Golf Digest reports, he only has a handicap of eight. He also flexed his golf muscles on an episode of HBO's Entourage.
He might now be the best golfer in the world like he is playing quarterback, which will make it even more entertaining to see how he behaves on the links.
Brady has a shelf of NFL accolades but has yet to claim any golf trophies. That could change if he decides to take up golf after his NFL skills fade.
1. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
When Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is not signing contracts worth $108 million this offseason, he's been hard at work on the golf course.
He's about as good on the links as he is at quarterback (that's a good thing, folks).
Romo recently finished third in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (per ProFootballTalk).
He even ranks at Golf.com's No. 1 athlete golfer with a handicap that could make some professionals blush.
Romo would do much better than given credit for at the Masters. Even better? There's no playoffs to trip him up in golf.