NFL Trade Speculation: 20 Most Overrated Players on the Trading Block

Scott ReighardAnalyst IMay 11, 2011

NFL Trade Speculation: 20 Most Overrated Players on the Trading Block

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    When and if the lockout is lifted, will there be free agency?
    When and if the lockout is lifted, will there be free agency?Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Well, since there is a lockout and many of us football fans are sitting around twiddling our thumbs—or God forbid actually watching college volleyball—I thought it appropriate to consider the “what ifs” about football and look at the 20 most overrated players on the trading block.

    With painstaking, mind-numbing analysis, I examined in the recesses of my inner darkness, 20 players who are "currently" overrated, that could possibly be traded.

    The thinking on this goes as follows: I considered players who were drafted high, yet have underperformed; players who were big free agents, but fell flat; and players on teams that are supposed to be good, but underachieve.

    Some of these players are potential free agents, so a trade might be a moot point, but we are going on the assumption that some teams might trade for one of these overrated players because of some weird circumstance.

    And as always, your comments are welcome.

Let the Trading Begin but Buyer Beware

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    Okay, let's open the gates for trades. Uh, anyone have a key?
    Okay, let's open the gates for trades. Uh, anyone have a key?Mario Tama/Getty Images

    These players are not ranked in any particular order. However, I reserve the right to hang on to a few and save them for the end—players I feel might be high on everyone's list.

    I'll give you the team, you figure the player. There are a few teams listed with more than one overrated player, so a team may have more than one representative.

New England Patriots

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    Belichick after the Patriots trade Randy Moss back to the Vikings
    Belichick after the Patriots trade Randy Moss back to the VikingsSean Gardner/Getty Images

    Randy….oh yeah, my bad, moving on. As everyone has pretty much figured out, Belichick has let it be known that no one is safe, not even his mom. I would bet that Belichick would at least consider two future number one's for mom, but since Mother’s Day was just a few days ago—and “leave mom out of this” is something ingrained in a little boy’s mind—we’ll just look at BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

    With the drafting of Vereen and Ridley, (which when combined sounds like some Australian actor's name), perhaps the writing is on the wall for Green-Ellis. The Patriots would do well to trade him now because of his value. Last year Green-Ellis played in 16 games with 11 starts and finished the season with 1,008 yards rushing on 229 attempts and 13 rushing touchdowns. Also, he had 12 receptions for 85 yards and added three special teams tackles.

    As an undrafted FA-08, Green-Ellis has been an overachiever. Any team trading for him is getting just that, and eventually the reason he was an FA is revealed. Clearly Green-Ellis benefited from a system that has Tom Brady slinging the ball to everyone but the ball boy. In a system where he becomes the main focus, I think Green-Ellis struggles.

Tennessee Titans

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    Have a seat Mr. Moss
    Have a seat Mr. MossGrant Halverson/Getty Images

    Randy….dang, did it again, sorry. I meant to say Vince Young.

    Young is still under contract, and privately the Titan brass is trying to find a team that is willing to take on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Anyone paying attention to football is aware of the Vince Young saga. Some thought that once Fisher was gone, the team would reconsider bringing Young back in, but that ship has sailed.

    Young showed signs that he could be a consistent winner, and he did win a lot of games for the Titans, but the immaturity was just too much. Then there were the clutch games where he did not perform up to expectations. As in most cases, the welcome mat is worn and torn, so check ya later Vince.

    There is a possibility that Young could resurrect his career elsewhere, but what team is willing to tackle all the other issues? Young’s best bet would be to go to a team with an established veteran who is getting older, and could then take over in a year or two (but then he would be 30 at that point). It’s a tough call, but Young is an overrated player who had a great coach, and now both are gone.

Oakland Raiders

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    Is it me, or is this out of a Stephen King novel?
    Is it me, or is this out of a Stephen King novel?Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Randy….okay, joke’s over. Minnesota was next, but we’ll stop kicking that dead horse.

    Is there any way to trade the owner? Is it me or is Al Davis looking more and more like an emaciated Christopher Walken?

    I was so hoping for JaMarcus Russell to still be a part of this organization so I could isolate on him, but I'll have to settle for the following year's number one pick for the Raida's.

    Oakland's most overrated player is Darren McFadden. This guy was supposed to be the next Adrian Peterson, which is disrespectful to Peterson because he had only been in the league one year prior to McFadden’s emergence from Arkansas.

    Listen, here is the straight dope: Any RB that comes from a tandem college backfield will not/cannot be the sole guy in the NFL. McFadden had Felix Jones (Reggie Bush/Lendale White, Cadillac Williams/Ronnie Brown) as his sidekick, and both have struggled mightily as pros. LenDale is probably running a Frito Lays route in SoCal right now. With that being said, I am saying McFadden would be an overrated trade. He has fumbilitis, seven in the last two years, and only last year showed signs of being a respected back in the league.

    If Oakland were smart they would deal him now for value, but caution to the team that gets him. If there was a team suited for McFadden it would be San Diego, but that’s just me.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Do you know me? I am overrated.
    Do you know me? I am overrated.Handout/Getty Images

    The Kansas City Chiefs were a team that overachieved last year—or the rest of their division underachieved—but that is for an AFC West columnist to examine. Given the team did well, it might be hard to find an overrated player. After extensive digging, about two inches, it was easy to find Glenn Dorsey, DE.

    Coming in as a No. 5 overall pick in 2008, you are expected to have an impact. Dorsey’s impact has been pedestrian at best. You know the guy is overrated when their own media guide says this, “Owns a tremendous motor and possesses a great enthusiasm for the game …” Uh, don’t you think that any pro possesses a great enthusiasm for the game?

    Anyhow, Dorsey is overrated. His sack totals are as follows: one in 2009 and two in 2010. So can we look for three sacks in 2011? At this rate, by the year 2020 he will be a double digit sack guy; talk about a number five paying off. As Cris Carter says, “Come on man!”

Dallas Cowboys

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    Why is Cowboys Stadium so big? Jones needed a building large enough to house his ego.
    Why is Cowboys Stadium so big? Jones needed a building large enough to house his ego.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Hmm, where to start. Seriously, aren’t the Cowboys as an organization overrated at this point? I mean, Cowboys fans haven’t been this disappointed since the show “Dallas” was canceled, or when Alaska was introduced as a state making Texas number two in size. Ouch!

    Okay, I spun the wheel and it came up with Roy Williams. Okay, okay, I took the easy one, but isn’t it fun to take jabs at a guy who thinks he’s all world, only to see him trip over his own mouth? I cleared this with some friends of mine who are Cowboys fans, and they all agreed with me. Ironically, an organization is often a reflection of its ownership, and for Jerry Jones, he is obviously a shower and not a grower.

San Fransisco 49ers

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    Uh, yes sir senator, I am not qualified for my all.
    Uh, yes sir senator, I am not qualified for my all.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Vernon Davis, TE: Before he got fired, Mike Singletary had it right. He wants guys who want to win, and Davis appears to be a guy more obsessed with Vernon Davis than football.

    Davis was the No. 6 overall pick in 2006, and his productivity has been, well not as productive as it should be. Many would blame the QB situation, but with a guy who came out looking like Adonis and talking like Napoleon, he should be dominating the game at his position, and he doesn't.

    Last week Steve Young, Hall of Famer, was talking about football as a commitment on the new show “Audible” and he said, “if a guy doesn’t love football, then he becomes a forgotten memory in the NFL” (Slight embellishment on the quote). I find that quote fitting for Mr. Davis.

Washington Redskins

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    Yeah, that's right, it was 100 mil, can you believe it dog?
    Yeah, that's right, it was 100 mil, can you believe it dog?Al Bello/Getty Images

    The Redskins have a few representatives, so let's talk about the most obvious.

    Albert Haynesworth'less', DT: What is it about the NFC East and overrated teams? Haynesworth’s troubles are well chronicled, and here is the bad news for “Fat” Albert: You are now a target of just about everyone because of your childish behavior.

    First of all, you were being compensated an extraordinary amount of money, and to complain about being moved positions? Are you kidding me? You should have been willing to sell peanuts, or refinish the teak wood on Snyder’s yacht. Suck it up big man. You were paid handsome amounts of money, and therefore you are awarded my number one “OVER-rated” player award.

    I don’t think the Redskins could get a 1979 Yugo for Haynesworth right now. Goodness gracious, Albert.

Washington Redskins: Part II

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    Yo Al, you got a 100 mil? I only got 23 mil gauranteed, but 55 mil overall.
    Yo Al, you got a 100 mil? I only got 23 mil gauranteed, but 55 mil overall.NFL Photos/Getty Images

    Here is another one of those overpriced free agents who has not lived up to their paycheck.

    DeAngelo Hall, CB: So, who pays when Hall and Haynesworth go out to eat?

    Here is why Hall is overrated: He makes a handful of plays each year and suddenly he is all-world. Note to DeAngelo—how about making plays all the time? He was the same at VT. He would make these outstanding plays and then would disappear.

    In 2010, Hall picked six balls, but unfortunately four came in one game against Jay Cutler. When two overrated players play against one another, does that make for a vomiting sequence?

    I don’t question Hall’s commitment to the game, but he is overrated as a total team/16 game player.

New Orleans Saints

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    Hmm, which of my guys is overrated?
    Hmm, which of my guys is overrated?Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    The Super Bowl chumps, err, I mean, champs of 2009 (sorry Saints' fans, my son, a Colts fan, begged me to write that) have a few players one could assume are overrated. It certainly isn't their quarterback, but this person does drift around the backfield from time to time.

    Yep, you guessed it: Reggie Bush, RB. Bush is somewhat of a mystery, and I think it is all because he was the No. 2 player taken overall. In fairness to Reggie, he probably should have gone somewhere between ten and twenty in the first round of the 2006 draft, but he didn't.

    This man gets paid a lot of money, and it just doesn't match the performance to pay as a number two overall pick.

    First of all, he hasn't played in 16 games since he was a rookie, so the injury bug plagues a "what could have been" player. Last year he played in eight games and had a total of 358 yards from scrimmage. Plus, he only had two TD's all year. His productivity has gone down every year, and the Saints would be wise to trade him now, even though he is overrated.

    Bush has shown flashes of greatness when healthy, but he has worn out his welcome in N'Awlins. A good team for Reggie, other than the Saints, would be Philadelphia. Reid could utilize his skills, but don't count on him for 16 games.

Chicago Bears

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    I know you're not telling me I have overrated players.
    I know you're not telling me I have overrated players.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Sorry coach, you have several overrated players. I am going to say that both of these players are on the offensive side of the ball.

    One of those players' name rhymes with Butler, because that's what he should be.

    Hey, you're right, Jay Cutler, but how did you guess?

    Let's take away last year's NFC Championship game and look at Cutler's body of work.

    Cutler was the No. 11 player selected in 2006, and suffice to say, his QB rating in Denver for the three years he was there was 87.1. In his two year tenure with Chicago, it's 80.9. We'll throw out his rookie season and say let's look at 2007-8 and compare it 2009-2010.

    2007-2008: TD-INT ratio: 45-32, completion 62.8%, QB rating: 87

    2009-2010: TD-INT: 50-42, completion: 60.5%, QB rating: 80.9

    Cutler did not do himself any favors last year with the fans. If he doesn't show this year the type of player they traded for, there's a certain item that hits the fan, and you just might see it happen in Chicago.


Chicago Bears: Second Slice

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    Okay, maybe we have a few guys overrated
    Okay, maybe we have a few guys overratedSean Gardner/Getty Images

    Devin Hester, WR, Chicago Bears: This is a weird one because we all know Hester’s history of kick/punt returns, but as a WR, Hester has been average. He has great speed, but obviously he lacked the skills as a DB and therefore, the next possible position is WR. After all, they couldn’t pay him all that money to be simply a KR/PR, especially as a second round pick.

    Yes, he’s a two time pro bowl player, but as a KR/PR specialist. When Hester makes the Pro Bowl as a WR, or seven times like Steve Tasker, then he'll earn my respect as a legitimate player who warrants big money.

    In the past several years, Hester has not been the special returner he was when he exploded onto the scene in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. In fact, in 2009 he returned 24 punts for 187 yards (7.8 avg) and seven kickoffs for 156 yards (22.3). In 2010, he did have somewhat of a resurgence as a PR with three punts returned for TD’s: one against the Seahawks, Packers and Vikings. Then again, what PR doesn’t lick their chops when they play the Vikings? See Reggie Bush.

    Now, I am not sure if this is good or bad, but according to the official Bears website, “[Hester] Leads the Bears in receiving yards and ranks second in receptions and TD receptions since transitioning to WR in 2007.” Now would be a good time to trade Hester. He’s 28 and has useful years left to his career, but any team willing to trade would most likely overpay.


Green Bay Packers

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    Yeah, what's his name?      He still plays for us?
    Yeah, what's his name? He still plays for us?Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The reigning Super Bowl champs have the dubious distinction of having two overrated players as well.

    Each are represented by the defense and offense. This most recent one has not been granted access to the building for a while now.

    I am sure that when Ryan Grant woke up on February 7, 2011, he said, "Man, my team just won the Super Bowl without me." That's right Ryan, sorry to break it to you like that.

    Seriously, the Packers win a SB without Grant, go figure. He runs for 1,200 plus yards two years in a row, but let’s not kid ourselves—1,000 yard rushers are more common these days given the modern era of sixteen games and teams spreading the defenses out more.

    I have a lot more respect for a guy like Barry Sanders who rushed for 1,000 yards every year despite being on a team where he was the main focus. Simply put, Grant is overrated and that is indicative of the Packers ability to win without him.

Green Bay Packers: Double Cheddar

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    Okay, huddle up, we lost one of our overrated players for the year... We got this.
    Okay, huddle up, we lost one of our overrated players for the year... We got this.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    I am sure when...wait a minute, I just said something like that. Oh yeah, this one is different. I am sure when Nick Barnett woke up on February 7, 2011...well, you get it.

    When a player begins to think he is bigger than the team, that is the first sign of a player who is about to be humbled. The Packers should trade Barnett to the Panthers (sorry Panthers fans), and let him appreciate his situation in Green Bay a little better.

    Barnett is overrated, not because he was hurt this year, but in years past has not been the leader on defense the Packers needed. Sure, he may have led them in tackles, but the Packers defense was their Achilles heel. So to say Barnett was the leading tackler might not say that much.

    Also, where was he when the Packers needed a stop against the Cardinals in the playoffs? His career has been average at best. Desmond Bishop seems to have emerged as the heir apparent, and Hawk is finally earning his first round status. Even in the 3-4 system deployed by the Packers, Barnett is the odd man out.

    Barnett should request the Packers send him and his inflated ego to Dallas.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Overrated? Umm, I don't know. I am going to take two weeks off then retire.
    Overrated? Umm, I don't know. I am going to take two weeks off then retire.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Staying on our NFC North tour, what would overrated be without a Minnesota Viking? Every team has an overrated player, and the Vikings are no different.

    It was tough to lasso this recent overrated Viking, but we managed to get a hold on Jared Allen, DE.

    The Vikings traded two No.1’s and a No. 3 for Jared Allen. That’s a lot of hardware for a guy many expected would take Minnesota’s defense to new heights. But as always, one man does not a defense make.

    Last year was Allen’s worst year as a Viking. Despite the double digit sack production, it wasn’t until late in the season that he regained his former self. He still had more tackles, passes defensed and interceptions (2) than 2009, but his impact on the game was less. Sometimes fans wondered if he was even in the game.

    Overall, the Vikings defense underachieved in 2010. What is the saying about resting on your laurels? What is a laurel anyway? Answer: It was given to ancient athletes in contests won. The wreath was made of laurel leaves. Who says we just talk football here. My guess is that if Minnesota decided to trade Allen, a second round pick would be the value.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    "Hey, what do I have to do to lose my job?"
    "Hey, what do I have to do to lose my job?"Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    This one might surprise you—and it's not who you think—because despite what many say, I do not necessarily think Ocho-big mouth is overrated. I am going with Carson Palmer, QB.

    Carson wants out of Cincinnati and it is understandable. However, he’s got it wrong. Cincinnati is a notoriously cheap team that every once in a while throws up a decent team. Carson Palmer realized last year that their window of opportunity was closed pretty quickly, and he was looking for the first train out of “whacksville.”

    I am still puzzled as to why Marvin Lewis is the coach there? Seriously, the man has not been able to maintain a consistent team. Maybe they should trade him?

    With that said, Palmer is still overrated because last year he had a great combination of players (for better or worse) in Owens, Ocho-nono and Benson—not to mention Gresham and Shipley—yet the offense seemed to struggle a lot. That falls on the signal caller. So, here is the mindset of the Bengals: They draft A.J. Green.

    I was glad to see they drafted Dalton (No. 35 overall), but caution to Andy: Talk to Boomer Esiason (the No. 38 pick in 1984) ASAP. Esiason followed a pretty good Kenny Anderson, and you are following a pretty good, but overrated, Carson Palmer.

    Finally, Palmer seems to have lost some zip on his ball, and in 2010 had one of his worst TD-INT ratio. In fact, Palmer has been average since 2007. He would be good trade material based on the past, but a team would most likely overpay for a player who has just a few years left.


Philadelphia Eagles

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    "Listen, just between you and me. You were always my guy."
    "Listen, just between you and me. You were always my guy."Al Bello/Getty Images

    It's funny, I thought this guy would be in Philadelphia for a long time. It seems as though he has already packed his bags, and is simply waiting on the lockout to end and for the calls to start coming. Philadelphia has been lucky here. They got a player for next to nothing who suddenly emerged as the second coming, and the heir apparent is left holding the clipboard once again.

    Kevin Kolb, QB: This is what happens when you are the best of a QB class that seems available. Orton is the Rodney Dangerfield of football, Hasselbeck is 85 (I think) and Palmer is wealthier than Usher. So that leaves Kolb.

    Kolb sounds like he is a good QB. If you saw him play in those early games, he had flashes, but clearly, what has he done? People are talking a first round pick for Kolb. If I was Philadelphia, I would take that trade in a heartbeat. He was a second round draft choice (36 overall) in 2007. He was the heir apparent to McNabb, and now seems to be the heir apparent to Vick. Nothing like being the bridesmaid and never the bride.

    Most likely some desperate team (Cardinals, Seahawks or Dolphins) will overpay for Kolb. Undoubtedly, it will happen—when and if FA and trade season emerges.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Ooh, wait until you find out who our overrated player is.
    Ooh, wait until you find out who our overrated player is.Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images

    The Colts are always on the cusp when they have Manning under center, but he needs help, and more importantly, confidence in a position that has had its ups and downs recently.

    My choice for most overrated Colt is Joseph Addai, RB. Addai was supposed to be the successor to Edgerrin James, who was the successor to Marshall Faulk, etc. In his three years with the Colts the jury is still out, and it’s time for the Colts to admit that Addai is not the man to take pressure off Manning.

    This tells you how great Manning and Brady are. They run these offenses without real running threats— although in the past both teams have had excellent runners—but of late it has been their downfall. The year the Colts won the Super Bowl, Addai rushed for over 1,000 yards, which might not say a lot. With Manning throwing for a million miles, a 1,000 yard rusher is good.

    However, since the SB year, Addai’s numbers have continually declined, and last year’s injury plagued year should be tell-tale signs the Colts should move in another direction.

    The Colts could get decent trade value, but for the overall pick No. 30 in the 2006 draft, Addai is an overrated LSU Tiger. And they better trade him now because Delone Carter will be the starter on this team.

Baltimore Ravens

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    "Who am I supposed to hand this off to?"
    "Who am I supposed to hand this off to?"Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Ravens are kind of like the old Houston Oilers. They keep knocking on the door, but they can't kick it in—at least lately anyway. I would like to say there are several guys on this team overrated, but we're nearing the end, so we'll just have to settle for Willis McGahee, RB.

    This is one of those ill-fated trades that work for one year, then the organization spends the remainder of the contract trying to figure out how to get out of it, or justifying it.

    Remember now, this was seven year, 40 plus million dollar deal for a guy who has, in the last three years, given the Ravens less than Adrian Peterson’s second year total of 1,760 yards. Meanwhile McGahee's cumulative is around 1,600 yards for an average just over 500 yards per year.

    His first year in Baltimore was great, over 1,200 yards and 7 TD’s, but since, he has nearly become a forgotten man. Even his carries are way down. Some would say, well that’s because of the emergence of Ray Rice. No, that’s because of the free fall of Willis McGahee. Clearly, the Ravens overpaid by about 20 or 30 million.

    The Ravens gave up a third and seventh round pick, now they’d be lucky to get a team to give up a developmental prospect for McGahee.

New York Giants

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    "Uh yeah, can you get me a consistent runner please?"
    "Uh yeah, can you get me a consistent runner please?"Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    You know it's bad when all four NFC East teams are mentioned in one article and it is not about predicting who is going to win the division.

    The Giants have had their share of ups and downs under Coughlin, and he has had to deal with some real issue players. One in particular is Brandon Jacobs, RB.

    A man with this size and speed, and at one time was compared to Jerome Bettis, has perpetually underachieved—much to the chagrin of Coach Coughlin. At times, the big man turns it on and can seem like a Mack truck. Other times, he looks like he’s running with two left feet; my apologies to those with two left feet.

    Jacobs’ numbers are about as consistent as an overpaid pitcher who makes 15 million a year coming off of a 14-12 season. Since his high of 1,089 yards in 2008, his numbers have steadily declined. Even though his 5.6 per carry average in 2010 was the highest of his career, most fans would admit that it wasn’t a consistent output week in and week out.


San Diego Chargers

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    Yep, another pro bowl, another lost season for Rivers and the Bolts.
    Yep, another pro bowl, another lost season for Rivers and the Bolts.Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

    With Shawne Merriman out of the picture, it's time to focus on another Bolt who is overrated. And this guy is not the only one—this team underachieved like the Cowboys—and perhaps it is time to begin to say the team itself is overrated.

    Yeah, they were No.1 in offense and defense, but how do you explain the record? It's all about pulling out games that are on the line, and championship teams face adversity and kick it in its ear hole. The Chargers display that every once in a while, but with all the supposed talent they have had there the last five or so years, at least a Super Bowl appearance should be on their resume.

    Okay, so spin the we go....and it's: Vincent Jackson, WR.

    This is actually a tough one. On the one hand, Jackson seems to live up the hype. On the other, he just might be another in a long line of receivers who get what they want, a trade, only to fall flat on their face.

    Jackson has all the intangibles, and the Chargers should do their best to trade this overvalued, seemingly high-maintenance, yet another in a long line of divas, wide-out.

Other Notables: Players Who Almost Made the List

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    The only thing in Dallas NOT overrated.
    The only thing in Dallas NOT overrated.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Here are players who could have made the list:

    Randy Moss: That's fairly obvious now, but he is a FA.

    Eli Manning: Yes, he has a Super Bowl ring, but so does Doug Williams and Trent Dilfer for that matter.

    Ray Rice: The bowling ball is borderline overrated.

    Alex Smith: Oh wait, you actually have to be rated in order to be overrated.

    Pierre Garcon: Too many drops to be top flight in this league.

    Greg Olson: A TE with great promise has been average.

    Chris Long: A long shadow has been cast over this young man. He is still making his way, but as it stands, he could be considered overrated at this point. Sorry Dad.

    Ray Edwards: Most likely will land handsome FA deal and then become a forgotten memory in about two years. He needs to stay with Minnesota and be grateful for the Williams' duo and Allen.

    Sidney Rice: Had one real great year in 2009. Has shown flashes, but injury prone.

    Mark Sanchez:: A benefactor of a great defense. He is average at best. I give him the benefit of the doubt for another two years, but after that it's on, judgment time.