2010 NFL Season Preview: 10 NFL Players in Need of a New Home
Players that have the ability to succeed in any situation are a rare, if not unattainable, commodity.
Each NFL team does things differently, whether it be coaching, contract negotiations, or personnel decisions.
Typically, general managers attempt to acquire players who will best suit their teams. However, it is a given that there are numerous highly talented players who aren't achieving their full potential with their current teams.
This slideshow will detail the top 10 players who are in need of a new home, a new team, and a new start.
Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Without taking a snap, Anthony Gonzalez has gone from starting flanker to fourth receiver on the depth chart entering training camp.
Typically, coaches are reluctant to demote players based on injuries, but when you've been replaced by Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, it puts both sides in an awkward situation.
The fact of the matter is, barring an injury, the Colts have no need for four elite wide receivers. If given the option, Bill Polian and the Colts staff will feel better about keeping two sophomores as opposed to a fourth year receiver coming off a serious knee injury.
If Anthony Gonzalez was placed on the trading block, I can imagine the interest would be quite high, especially considering that teams are struggling to find complements for their number one option at receiver.
Detroit Lions. For two years, the Lions have struggled to find a flanker for Calvin Johnson. With the progression of Matt Stafford, who better to add to their receiving corps but Anthony Gonzalez?
Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders
Of all positions, the bust rate for first round running backs is relatively low.
The majority of the league's top running backs have been selected in the first round and, arguably, few of them entered the league with higher expectations than Darren McFadden.
For everything McFadden accomplished at Arkansas, his NFL career has been a bust.
Traditionally, NCAA production has translated into NFL production, so there is still hope for McFadden.
To his defense, Oakland has been nothing short of a wasteland for talent in recent years. All the more reason for him to seek a new home sooner rather than later.
Miami Dolphins. Ronnie Brown is a free agent in 2011, and despite all the herbal medicine and yoga, Ricky Williams won't get a lot more out of his 33-year-old body.
Who better to take over the wildcat for the Dolphins?
Even if they retain Ronnie Brown, the combination of Brown and McFadden, behind their All-Pro offensive line, could be nearly unstoppable.
Sage Rosenfels, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Seemingly lost in the media frenzy surrounding the Vikings, Sage Rosenfels is dying on the vine.
He earned a starting job in Houston, only to be replaced by Matt Schaub.
He moved on to Minnesota to compete with Tavaris Jackson, and everyone knows what happened next.
The market for 32-year-old quarterbacks with fewer than 20 career starts is understandably small. That said, the shortage of capable quarterbacks in the NFL makes Sage Rosenfels a more attractive option to several NFL teams.
Cleveland Browns. All things considered, the Browns have a talented group of receivers, a young and talented offensive line, and a serviceable run game.
What they've been lacking: a quarterback, a game manager, someone to maintain offensive drives and help them in the field position battle.
With Sage Rosenfels, they would be adding the best quarterback in the history of the franchise.
Glenn Coffee, RB, San Fransisco 49ers
Three weeks into the 2009 season, Glenn Coffee went from being a rookie backup to a primary starter.
He probably expected to see some time as an injury replacement, given Frank Gore's history, but I'm sure he didn't expect that time to come in the first quarter of Week Three.
As Gore's replacement, Coffee held his own. In three games, Coffee rushed for 173 yards, made eight receptions for 53 yards, and picked up a rushing touchdown.
As the season wore down, so did Coffee. He sustained a concussion in Week Nine and a hamstring injury in Week 14, and, as expected, his production tailed off dramatically.
Entering the 2010 season, Coffee could be surpassed by rookie Anthony Dixon as the Niners primary backup for Frank Gore—leaving Coffee with very little to work towards going forward.
New England Patriots. The Patriots' struggle to find a consistent tailback has been well documented. Laurence Maroney hasn't developed into the rusher that the Patriots would have hoped, and the rest of their running backs are nearing the end of their productivity.
With Coffee, the Patriots add a red zone back but also, with his catching ability, a possible third down back as well.
David Clowney, WR. New York Jets
Just as David Clowney appeared to be reaching his potential, he finds himself lost in one of the deepest receiving corps in the NFL.
He'll start the season as a slot receiver and playing in three receiver sets. However, when Santonio Holmes returns from his suspension, Clowney will be lucky to see four receiver sets come Week Five.
With Brad Smith and Larry Taylor fighting for return duties, Clowney's touches will become near non-existent.
Houston Texans. As good as their passing game is, the Texans don't have a stable of talented receivers. David Anderson and Kevin Walter are good receivers, but David Clowney would certainly be able to compete for touches.
If he could win a job as a flanker or slot back, his fantasy production could sky rocket.
Albert Haynesworth, DT, Washington Redskins
This goes without saying. Albert Haynesworth needs to get out of Washington sooner rather than later.
The fact that the Redskins have kept him off the field for eight consecutive practices is bordering on ridiculous. What's more important, passing an unnecessary conditioning test or taking snaps with the first team at defensive end?
Let's not forget, Albert Haynesworth has never played defensive end in his NFL career. So in the name of this conditioning test, Albert Haynesworth will be eight valuable days short on practice come Week One.
Albert Haynesworth has struggled with motivation throughout his career. If he doesn't want to play defensive end in a 3-4, the Redskins shouldn't expect much productivity in 2010.
If they insist on switching to a 3-4 defense, the only option is to trade Haynesworth and move forward with someone else.
Tennessee Titans. The Titans would love to add Haynesworth, and I'm sure Haynesworth would love to return. The only problem is that the Titans aren't willing to pick up his salary.
If they could make some kind of agreement, it could leave all sides looking stronger moving forward.
Shawne Merriman, LB, San Diego Chargers
The Chargers and Shawne Merriman have reached a stalemate. Merriman wants to be paid based on his 2006 and 2007 seasons. However, the Chargers are hesitant to give big money to a player who struggled upon his return from injury and has only recorded four sacks in the last two seasons.
Merriman has yet to report to camp and has been vocal in his displeasure with the way his contract negotiations have progressed.
Clearly Merriman still has the talent to be one of the top linebackers in the NFL, but there is definitely some uncertainty coming off a disappointing season.
New Orleans Saints. Where better for a struggling pass rusher to regain his form but in Gregg Williams' aggressive defense.
This could be a potentially perfect fit if the Chargers and Saints could make a deal.
Trade rumors during the draft speculated that Merriman could be obtained for a second round selection. If I'm the Saints, I make that deal happen.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
High volume, short yardage receivers have become a hot commodity on the heels of Wes Welker's success in New England.
Many people have billed Julian Edelman as being the "next Wes Welker". The problem is they both play on the same team.
Between Randy Moss and Wes Welker, touches for other wide receivers are pretty scarce. Complicating things further, in the offseason, the Patriots added Torry Holt and three tight ends: Alge Crumpler, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez.
Where does Julian Edelman fit into this equation?
Wes Welker is nearing thirty years of age, but based on his production, Edelman may be waiting a while before he can truly start cutting into some of his snaps.
Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have several prospects at wide receiver. Rookies Stephen Williams and Andre Roberts have been impressive in preseason, and everyone saw the abilities of Early Doucet while he replaced Anquan Boldin in 2009.
That said, Julian Edelman would likely walk on to the roster as the starting slot receiver. From there, it would be his job to lose.
Xavier Adibi, LB, Houston Texans
Xavier Adibi's NFL career has been a combination of glowing promise and crushing injuries. Just as it seems Adibi is on the verge of becoming a full-time starter, there always seems to be something holding him back.
Most recently, while preparing to replace Brian Cushing during his four game suspension, Xavier Adibi suffered a severe groin strain and is now questionable to start the season.
Undersized at his position, Adibi has always had the odds stacked against him. But in the face of adversity, he has always managed to outplay his expectations.
With this most recent injury, it appears as though the Texans are beginning to move on without him. They have depth at linebacker and are looking for more of a presence in the pass rush.
Denver Broncos. No one would confuse Adibi as a replacement for Elvis Dummervil, but it's clear the Broncos have a defensive system where undersized linebackers can thrive.
Lamarr Woodley, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Lamarr Woodley could be one of the five best pass rushers in the NFL, and of course, he wants to be payed accordingly.
The Steelers, being the Steelers, aren't willing to pay him. Dick LeBeau's blitzing packages work tremendously in the favor of outside linebackers. This gives any linebacker with size and speed a tremendous ability to accumulate sacks and tackles in the backfield.
Similarly to the way James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley replaced Joey Porter, the Steelers drafted two outside linebackers in the 2010 draft—both of whom share the same physical makeup of Woodley.
If given the choice, the Steelers would most certainly retain the services of Lamarr Woodley, but they aren't willing to pay a player who is so easily replaceable.
Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have focused on fortifying their linebacking corps in the 2010 offseason. They are strengthening their run defense while adding team speed and the ability to disrupt the opposing backfield.
Miami still has some uncertainty at strongside linebacker and would be in the market for an upgrade at defensive end opposite Jared Odrick.
Lamarr Woodley could fill either of those roles, while simultaneously becoming the best pass rusher on their roster.