10 NFL Free Agents Whose Careers Are Over: Used and Abused
We see it every year. Some free agents hit the market expecting to be signed. However, there are a select few who never get picked up again.
Last offseason, the NFL watched two of the best in the game at their respective positions never sign a contract—wide receiver Marvin Harrison and linebacker Derrick Brooks.
While both were at the end of their careers, they still had one or two solid seasons left.
With plenty of talent still sitting in the free agent pool, you'd think teams would be jumping all over these players to improve their rosters.
However, teams are about ready for training camp, and the rosters seem to be set.
Which current free agents won't wear an NFL uniform ever again?
10.) Greg Ellis
The 2007 NFL Comeback Player of the Year is sitting at home with no offers in sight.
Ellis currently has an impressive 82 sacks in 12 seasons in the NFL and made one trip to the Pro Bowl (2007). He spent his first 11 seasons in Dallas before being released and picked up by the Oakland Raiders in 2009.
He was released on March 8, 2010 and will sit and watch the 2010 season fly by without sniffing an NFL stadium.
9.) Leonard Little
The guy is a monster when he's on the field and maybe an even bigger one off the field.
Unfortunately, he will always be remembered as a murderer after he struck and killed a woman while driving drunk in 1998, his rookie season.
In 2004 he was again arrested for DWI. However, he was declared not guilty in 2005.
In 12 seasons with the Rams, Little compiled 87.5 sacks and two interceptions with two Pro Bowl appearances.
There was a time when he was going to retire, but he has decided to play one more season. It seems the Rams are thinking otherwise at this time.
8.) Flozell Adams
Flozell "The Hotel" Adams, oh how your career went downhill.
In 2009, Adams committed 12 penalties, allowed 34 quarterback pressures, and eight sacks.
The man who was the blind side protector of Troy Aikman for a couple of years, fell out of favor with "Jerra," and was released on April 2nd.
Adams was a five-time Pro Bowler who spent his entire 12-year career in Dallas.
At 35, Adams doesn't have a future in the NFL.
7) Orlando Pace
This is the uniform that Pace looked so good in for many years.
His one year stint in Chicago was a joke and a result of old age, something the Rams saw when they released him on March 10, 2009.
The first overall pick in the 1997 NFL drafted spent his first 13 seasons with the Rams. When he left the Rams, he was of the best, if not the best, offensive lineman the Rams had ever had.
As a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and one-time Super Bowl champion, Pace will go down as a great player and an even greater person.
Sadly though, his lone year in Chicago was the end of a future Hall of Fame career.
6) Adewale Ogunleye
It seems as though a fractured tibia in December of 2009 was the end of Ogunleye's career.
While a couple of teams are interested, it seems unlikely that Ogunleye will play in 2010.
When Ogunleye left Miami after what would be his lone Pro Bowl season with 15 sacks, the Bears thought they were getting a defensive lineman that could give them a pass rushing threat they hadn't had since the days of the vastly underrated Richard Dent.
Ogunleye didn't meet expectations, as he would record only double-digit sacks just once in six seasons with the Bears.
While he was a consistent player, he never got to reach the elite status he set for himself in Miami.
Good luck in the future 'Wale.
5) Adalius Thomas
Adalius Thomas was a fierce pass rusher and a great cover linebacker for the Ravens in his prime, but with the Patriots, Thomas was an injury-prone waste of roster space.
In three seasons with the Pats, Thomas complied just 14.5 sacks after getting 28 sacks in the three seasons before.
Thomas was a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl champion with the Ravens.
In 10 seasons with the Ravens and Patriots, Thomas accumulated 53 sacks, seven interceptions, 15 forced fumbles, and an astounding 45 pass deflections.
He will leave the NFL a memory of a great player.
4) Brian Westbrook
Westbrook was the Philadelphia Eagles' offense for almost a decade.
In eight seasons, Westbrook racked up nearly 6,000 rushing yards and over 400 receptions as one of the biggest dual-threat players in the game.
He was a two-time Pro Bowler who always seemed to make the big play.
I will always remember Westbrook as being one of the smartest players in the NFL.
Injuries have destroyed his career. Had he actually stayed healthy, there's no doubt Westbrook would have ended up in the Hall of Fame. I guess him getting into the Eagles' Hall of Fame will work just fine though.
Teams have lined up to sign him, but he hasn't had a serious offer yet. The Redskins seem like the most likely destination, but in the end his injuries will keep teams away.
3) Keith Bulluck
Bulluck played his entire 10-year career with the Titans. How do they repay him for his services?
They don't re-sign him.
When an injury derailed his 2009 season, the Titans apparently felt that he had nothing left to offer. I think he has a good season or two left, but that knee isn't healing like it should.
Bulluck was voted to just one Pro Bowl in what has turned out to be a very underrated career. You can't measure leadership with mere numbers, but Bulluck brought a lot of it to this defense.
With over 1,000 tackles to his credit, Bulluck has been an underrated part of the Titans' defense who will be sorely missed if they decide not to re-sign him.
At this point though, the terrible-towel-stomping Bulluck appears to be without a job in the future.
2) Kevin Mawae
Most people don't realize this, but Mawae isn't on an NFL team right now.
He's sitting at home wondering why no one is calling him. Well, when you're 39 years old, it's easy to see why.
Arguably the best center of the last decade, Mawae has anchored the Titans' offensive line for the last four seasons. You know, the same offensive line that Chris Johnson failed to thank in his ESPY award speech a week ago.
Just last November, Mawae was voted as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL along with the likes of Albert Haynesworth and Hines Ward.
You don't think the Titans' offensive line is going to be hurting without its captain and such a "dirty player?"
Mawae has been to eight Pro Bowls and was voted to the 2000 All-Decade team.
There's no doubt he'll get a call from Canton in a few years.
1) Terrell Owens
His Hall of Fame career has taken a backseat to his own ego.
T.O. is the biggest free agent out there who probably won't have a home ever again in the NFL.
As a six-time Pro Bowler and a member of the 2000 All Decade team, there should be a team for him, right?
It's being reported that his salary demands are too high, and teams are worried about his previous antics.
What did Owens do last season though?
He had his worst statistical season of his career with the worst quarterback he's ever had to work with.
He didn't say a word all season long.
I believe Owens still has a productive year or two left, but it's hard to sign a 36-year-old receiver who loves to drop balls in the open field.
With over 1,000 receptions, nearly 15,000 yards, and over 140 touchdowns, Owens could offer any team a solid No. 2 receiving option.
Sorry T.O., your show is probably over.