If the NFC Had a "Cash for Clunkers" Program, These Guys Are Out of Luck
There are certain players on every team who we wish would or could be traded/released/waived.
You know the ones, the overpaid or under-producing position player who, for whatever reason, still remains on your teams roster—sucking the very life out of them.
Well, what if we had a "Cash for Clunkers" program for NFL players? Who would we trade in for a newer, better, or just plain different, model?
Below are 16 recommendations, one for every team. The replacement for said player is hardly relevant as long as said player is no longer stealing money or will from your team's roster.
Michael Jenkins, Atlanta Falcons, WR
Despite 777 yards receiving last season, Jenkins is still just a mediocre No. 2. He could benefit from the presence of Tony Gonzalez, but last season was more likely the exception than the rule.
Harry Douglas, pegged as a slot guy, is more explosive and offers significantly greater upside. He's not as fast, on paper, as Jenkins nor does he have the 6'4" frame, but based on Douglas' production in limited play, he's still better than Jenkins will, likely, ever be.
It will be interesting to see how things shake out in camp this year as Douglas has had some off-field issues that may or may not become a distraction.
Either way, Jenkins is not the long-term answer at No. 2, despite what the contract extension implies.
Dwayne Jarrett, Carolina Panthers, WR
It's a good thing that Jarrett thinks so much of himself; his ego is likely the only thing big enough to keep him from hearing the chorus of "dump him" in Carolina.
He came out of USC with so much promise and has yet to show even an iota of anything matching that of a quality No. 1 or 2 wide receiver.
Criticized for being lazy and disinterested in learning his position or his team's playbook—Jarrett has been a bust thus far; throw in that DWI he received in 2008 and he's just not worthy of media or fan attention.
He should take some comfort in the fact that he isn't likely the only one in Carolina that some want to trade-in—Delhomme is a close second.
Devery Henderson, New Orleans, WR
Speed kills. Right? At least that's what they say. Well, Devery Henderson is speedy but he's also dreadfully inconsistent. It's nice that he averages 20 yards per catch, but is he really worth $2 million?
The Saints have a few talented guys on their team who are capable of stretching the field and keeping the ball in their hands. Devery did that last season, but will he continue to do so?
Would you bet your team's season on him doing so?
The Saints have a deep and talented receiving corps with Robert Meachem (likely gone after this year), Courtney Roby, and Sklyer Green—to name a few—why keep Henderson and his slippery hands around?
Carnell Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, RB
How is this guy still in the NFL? "Cadillac" has performed more like a pinto since his injury in 2006 and hasn't logged any significant yards since that time.
Tampa, in all it's infinite wisdom, needs to find a way to trade or outright release him because, even if he does return, which is a monumental if, he isn't likely to be as effective as his rookie campaign indicated.
No doubt there are a lot of Buccaneer fans rooting for him to make a comeback and help the Bucs out in any way he can, but the writing is on the wall and he may just be done at this point.
Chris Williams, Chicago Bears, LT
The Bears thought they had the right man at left tackle when they drafted Chris Williams out of Vanderbilt last season, but he has not shown that he is capable of playing the position successfully.
Knowing what they know now, it's hard to imagine them making this choice again; sure, it's hard to gauge talent but Williams is moving from left tackle to right tackle this season, with the signing of Pace, and it's not a given that he will excel their either.
Honestly, if a guy who has missed 25 games in the last three seasons (i.e. Orlando Pace) is a better option than what you already have, then that's a serious problem.
Williams could just need a bit more time to mature before moving to the left side or, maybe, he's just another Robert Gallery.
Receiver X,Y, Z.., Detroit Lions, WR
Once you get past Calvin Johnson, the rest of the receiving corps is a joke. Get rid of them all if it gets you a nice No. 2 and a suitable No. 3. None of the current guys holding down a spot would even be missed.
Calvin Johnson (a.k.a Megatron) accounted for 1,331 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns last season; the other 15 wide receivers, together, totaled 1968 yards and six touchdowns—that total included guys like Mike Furrey (1,086 yards and six touchdowns in 2006) and Shaun McDonald (943 yards and six touchdowns in 2007)—both now gone.
Bryant Johnson could be the legitimate no. 2 the Lions need to go along with their new stud tight end, Brandon Pettigrew, but if Bryant ends up falling flat....then...just...ouch.
Wonder if Megatron can duplicate himself?
Brady Poppinga, Green Bay Packers, LB
He's a hard-worker, absolutely, and he has been somewhat effective when he's in games, but coming out of BYU, he was allegedly going to be a pass-rushing machine,but, all evidence to the contrary.
His role this season is likely as a back-up to whatever flavor-of-the-year linebacker the Packers choose to run out onto the field.
No offence to the Packing company, but, Brady Poppinga is hardly worthy of holding anything more than a towel at this point.
Capers has brought the 3-4 to Pack town so we shall see how some guys handle doing the position shuffling needed to accommodate the new scheme.
Unfortunately, that means we likely have not seen the end of Poop..I mean, Poppinga.
Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota Vikings, QB
This kid is awful and that's putting it mildly. He's been on the roster for three-years and hasn't once had a big game nor has he stayed on the field long enough to be significant.
The Vikes know it too—trading for Sage? Trying to woo Favre? Entertaining Vick? Hardly a glowing endorsement for TJ.
The guy who's head should be firmly on the guillotine is Coach Childress—if memory serves, Jackson was his pick to be "the man" in Minnesota.
Nice one, Brad.
Jackson has finished the season in one of two ways since becoming the "chosen one"...injured or recovering from injury.
He's an experiment gone terribly awry and needs to be on a bus, along with Chilldress, to another city not near you.
Alan Branch, Arizona Cardinals, DT
The Cardinals thought a lot of Branch in 2007; trading away a fourth-round pick just to move up five spots and snag him at pick 33 of round-two—at the time the Cards thought they had a steal.
They have not been rewarded for their aggressiveness to this point as Branch has been lackluster and unproductive thus far.
It's hard to blame the Cardinals for wanting to hop on the Branch bandwagon, though, coming out of Michigan he was a beast. He was, potentially, a Pro Bowl caliber nose tackle in the making.
His size and height made him a great two-gap defender and, although his skills as a pass-rusher were only marginal, his upside was too great to pass up.
Too bad he has no idea how to use his natural abilities to his advantage at the pro level.
How much longer will Coach Whisenhunt wait for the "flickering light bulb" to completely switch on?
Fifteen tackles and zero sacks in two-years? Hardly what Coach Whisenhunt had in the Cards.
Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers, QB
At this point, if for no other reason than the injuries he's sustained over the last two years, it seems it could be time to let Smith take a long walk.
Everyone might not agree, feeling that with a more stable coaching staffing, Smith could prove his detractors wrong this season—that seems unlikely.
However, with Shaun Hill and Damon Huard being the other "options", perhaps it is a better move to cheer for Smith taking hold of the reigns and winning his job back from the, heavily favored, Hill.
Either way, he's a long-way from being the No. 1 pick the Niners thought he would be when they drafted him in 2005.
Deion Branch, Seattle Seahawks, WR
Since coming to the team via trade in 2006, Branch has been a disappointment. He was meant to be their no. 1 wide out, but, that's hard to do when you are constantly on the injured list.
It's not that Branch is a bad player, he's just a frustrating one because you can never be sure he'll play the games.
Now that T.J. is in town, Branch's presence is not as important (particularly considering the emergence of Deon Butler and John Carlson) and, considering the fact that he's missed 15 games in the last three seasons, one has to wonder if the Seahawks are ready to phase him out altogether.
At six-years and $39-million, Branch is a ridiculously overpaid player and needs to earn his keep if he expects to keep his job.
Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams, QB
No need to draw this one out, Bulger hasn't been worthy of a backup role on any team, much less a starting one.
Since passing for 4,300 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2006, he has been a huge disappointment and when not plagued by an injury, his play has been sub-par.
All the issues aren't his fault, though, a bad offensive line and young receiving corps have made their legitimate contribution to his steady decline as well.
However, he is the other face of the franchise (alongside Steven Jackson) and his $24-million paycheck over the last two-years make it hard for anyone to sympathize.
Bobby Carpenter, Dallas Cowboys, LB
Bill Parcells is usually a genius when it comes to evaluating talent, but, this one was a definite miss.
Carpenter has not shown that he has the physical or mental ability to be the guy the Cowboys drafted him to be—a pass-rusher with the ability to turn and run with the tight end when needed.
He's only started one game thus far in his career and the camp chatter is that he's come in leaner and ready to prove that he can play ball with the big boys.
With Kevin Burnett gone, he will have his shot, but to this point the only thing he has proved to be is a bust.
Sinorice Moss, New York Giants, WR
In all the chatter about who will catch balls from Eli this season, you hardly hear a word about this former second-rounder; he has all but negated himself from the conversation.
He's got the speed, no doubt about that, but he's not as dependable running routes and his size doesn't make you want to stand up and cheer either (he's 5'8")—particularly when you compare him to the now departed Plaxico Burress.
Moss has made some strides and performed well in OTA's this offseason; we'll see if that translates to more production during the season.
Otherwise, he is expendable.
Reggie Brown, Philadelphia Eagles, WR
As a Georgia fan, I adore Reggie, but he should never have been considered a No. 1 or No. 2 wide receiver. He's simply not built to fill that role for any team.
He's been a heartbreaker for Iggle fans because his play, at times, approaches incompetence. He gets lazy in routes and doesn't give you his best effort—add to that a few dropped passes and, well, many are calling for his departure.
Reggie, like many of the others on this list, is looking to redeem himself this season and make the cut yet again.
However, with so many other receivers to choose from, Reggie may finally be the odd man out in Philly.
Don't know that too many would be hurt if he were.
Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins, QB
On any other team, Campbell might be a suitable starter but, in Washington, the ghosts of quarterbacks past make his leash a short one.
Some are already tired of seeing him in a Skins uni—it's not that he's bad, he's just uninteresting—he doesn't make the big plays.
He got his feathers ruffled in the off-season when management entertained a trade, but if he wants to show that he is more than just a ho-hum quarterback, he needs to step his play up a bit and become the guy you want to see when the game is on the line.
Right now, he's just the kid holding the ball until Colt Brennan is ready; that can't be a glowing endorsement for what they think of Campbell in Washington.
The time is now for Jason—no more Mr. Nice Guy.
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