Every year, the media identifies coaches on the hot seat; in other words, the coaches most likely to lose their jobs.
It's strange, but rarely is the term 'hot seat" applied to players. Furthermore, coaches are fired, yet players are released or traded. Regardless of the debate in semantics, players often don't live up to expectations and are down to their final chance to succeed.
Indeed, JaMarcus Russell would have been the poster boy for this list before May 6th when he was abruptly released by the Oakland Raiders
The majority of the players are on this list primarily because of their on field performance.
However some of the players selected for this list have additional behavioral or attitude issues/transgressions. A few players are also facing mitigating circumstances such as departures of dependable teammates or new competition at their positions.
Regardless, if their situation doesn't improve dramatically, they could be looking for work tomorrow, during the season, or after their team's campaign has ended.
Without further ado here is the list of 10 NFL players on the Hot, Hot Seat.
Ok, it should have been obvious from the introduction slide but number one on the list is New England Patriots receiver Randy Moss. Do you really think Bill Belichick forgot the way Moss quit on the Patriots in their embarrassing playoff loss to the Ravens? His statistics in the game (five catches for 48 yards) don't begin to explain his lack of effort.
You won't hear too much complaining from New England because they need him in light of his obvious ability when focused (83 catches for 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2009) and the ACL injury suffered by Wes Welker. However, if he quits again, Belichick will ship him out.
The Philadelphia Eagles went on the record saying they weren't going to trade Donovan McNabb, the best quarterback in team history, as recently as March. Then they abruptly shipped him to division rival Washington. Perhaps they watched the two losses against Dallas to end the team's season where he was sacked eight times, lost two fumbles, and looked totally shell-shocked.
Lynch only rushed for 450 yards on 120 carries last season because of a three game suspension and Buffalo's preference to use Fred Jackson (1,062 yards on 237 carries) as its primary back. Now, Lynch will also lose carries to first round draft pick C.J. Spiller. He is likely training camp trade bait.
Lost in the McNabb trade was an interesting exchange between Eagles head coach Andy Reid and cornerback Asante Samuel. Reid claimed that Samuel needs to have a better year in 2010. Samuel responded by saying that everybody in the organization (players and coaches) needed to improve.
While Samuel had nine interceptions last year, his reluctance to play press coverage, combined with an aversion to tackling and a big contract, puts him on shaky turf.
When Pete Carroll left USC in the middle of the night (not literally), you had to know that he would bring in his own guys to Seattle.
Enter stage right Charlie Whitehurst, San Diego's third string quarterback, who the Seahawks paid an awfully high price (switching draft spots in the second round, a third round draft pick in 2011, and a two-year, 10 million dollar contract) to get.
Where does this leave Hasselback? With an incredibly short leash after throwing as many touchdowns (17) as interceptions in 2009.
"Lights out" was anything but last year in totaling just four sacks, but he was coming off a knee injury. Still, rumors persist that San Diego would trade Merriman if they could. Don't underestimate the impact of the Chargers releasing run-stuffing nose tackle Jamal Williams on Merriman either.
When you get benched late in the year and threaten to quit as a result, it won't exactly ingratiate you with a hard line coach like Tom Coughlin.
Umenyiora and the team's other defensive linemen should see the writing on the wall considering the G-men used their first and second round draft picks on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and nose tackle Linval Joseph respectively.
Now that the Oakland Raiders admitted that they made one of the all-time draft mistakes with JaMarcus Russell, will they also acknowledge that Darren McFadden has fallen way short of expectations?
The former Arkansas Razorback rushed for just 357 yards on 104 attempts for a paltry 3.4 yards per carry. McFadden probably gets another year to show his stuff, but for being a 6-2, 210 pound back he hasn't touched the ball near enough in two years. This makes you wonder whether the coaching staff has lost faith in him.
The Skins have been trying to move this mammoth $100 million man at several points during the offseason according to various reports.
Why? Four sacks, 37 tackles in 2009, and a very poor attitude about a switch to a 3-4 defense. He might get one more shot with Washington in 2010 but it could come more easily with another team.
You might have noticed that the Redskins have two premier players on this list; you can bet coach Mike Shanahan knows this as well.
I realize that one might be confused by the name of this last player. Don't be. Palmer is going into his eighth season as an 'elite' quarterback, but has not sniffed the Super Bowl.
His performance in his team's first round playoff loss to the Jets last season was damning in throwing for only 141 yards on 18 completions out of 36 attempts. He has a brand new tight end in first round draft pick Jermaine Gresham. If Palmer can't deliver now, the Bengals might have to consider other options.