At the conclusion of each NFL season, players that are set to become unrestricted free agents get with their agents around midnight, and wait for the phones to start ringing with offers.
It is Christmas, birthday and anniversary's combined. In that one evening, a player can go from being poor (relatively speaking - league minimum is more like it) to rich beyond their wildest dreams.
Here is my list of 10 players that will be waiting for that phone call come the beginning of the league year, and simply aren't going to get it.
The cold, harsh reality of the NFL is that, it does not matter what you were able to do in the past, it is what you can do for us NOW.
Peyton Manning is going to go down in history as one of the greatest quarter backs to ever play the game. However, his days in the NFL are just about over.
There is no question that the Colts are not going to pay Peyton Manning the reported $28 million dollar roster bonus before the first day of the league year, like he would be owed under his current contract. That is the entire reason they have not put him on IR yet, so they can see if he can come back and play possibly.
The Colts also will hold the first pick in the NFL draft, and with Andrew Luck most likely going to be available when the Colts make that selection, there is little doubt they will select the player that has been most compared talent wise to Manning.
(Luck still has another year of eligibility at Stafford, so there is a chance he stays for another year, or simply tells the Colts he doesn't want to be a part of that team.)
Either way, Manning is not going to be a member of the Colts, and with the Colts unable to trade him before that bonus comes due, their only option will be to let him go.
Will another team take a shot at Manning? Probably, but not for $10 million per year (about half of what he made this year not playing). He most likely will get a contract for some team, for league minimum, plus incentives.
But, it certainly won't be on the opening days of free agency.
If you were to ask him, Terrell Owens is not only the best football players in the history of the game, he is the better than anyone that is playing right now.
Now, you and I, and everyone else reading this know better than that. But, was are talking about what is in the head of Terrell Owens.
Not only have TO's skills diminished to the point he is average at best, but his attitude is beyond what even the best of the best could get away with.
Let's look at the teams TO has alienated?
San Francisco 49ers - Called then QB Jeff Garcia a homosexual, and bad mouthed the entire team. Demanded to be traded out.
Baltimore Ravens - The 49ers agreed to trade TO to the Ravens, but Owens insisted that he sent the paperwork to the 49ers to void his contract. The 49ers lost out on their trade, and the Ravens lost out on a true receiver.
Philadelphia Eagles - Donovan McNabb quit, yadda, yadda, yadds.
Dallas Cowboys - (while crying) "That's my quarter back, man"
Cincinnati Bengals - How did that experiment work? At least it got the Bengals to get rid of Palmer and Ochocinco.
Ownes is nothing but a cancer for any locker room, and his diminished skills make him un-valuable to any team. Exactly which ones went to watch his workout? None.
There is an old saying, you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem.
In Cincinnati, Ochocinco was the big fish in the small pond. He insisted that his antics were not hurting the team, and that he was the only reason for their success.
Ocho believed that if he were traded to a decent, he would show the world that he was the best in the world.
Turns out, he is nothing more than an after thought for Tom Brady, while the Bengals have had the most success they have had in years.
SO, with Ocho obviously being part of the problem, don't bet his phone is going to be ringing off the hook.
The Titans didn't want him anymore, and didn't even offer him a contract extension when his rookie deal expired.
Haynesworth went to the Redskins, where he was given the largest contract for a defensive player ever.
Turns out, he didn't want to play in that scheme, so he quit, gave up, and cashed the check, prior to joining the Patriots.
And, we all know the Patriots get the most out of their players, right? Not Haynesworth. He quit on them as well, to the point, Bill Belichick sent him out the door.
Sure, Tampa Bay picked him up, but odds are, he is simply another body on the field, and once the injury depleted defense is healthy again, Haynesworth will be in the unemployment line.
As a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Bob Sanders was once the Defensive Player of the Year. He was considered one of the premier players in the NFL on defense, and struck fear into receivers with the intensity he hit with.
Then the injury bug bit him, and bit him again, and again.
Since Sanders won the DPOY in 2007, he has not been able to stay healthy. In the last four years, Sanders has played in a total of 10 games.
In his eight years in the league, Sanders has landed on IR in every year, except 05 and 07. In the other six years, he has played a total of 20 games.
As great as he could have been, there simply isn't a team in the NFL that can afford to have a player that just can't stay healthy.
Peyton Hillis had such an amazing 2010 season, the he was awarded the cover of Madden 2013. This award was voted on by mostly Browns fans that finally wanted their team to get some recognition, and Packers fans that were scared of the Madden Curse, so they didn't want Aaron Rodgers on the cover.
Hillis has spent most of the 2011 season injured, at least if you ask him. He has not played hard at all, hoping to get the big contract from the Browns. Now, teams look at him like the money is more important that playing the game.
Having already cost himself millions, it only begs the question, will anyone give him a chance next season?
Chad Pennington was at one time known as one of the most accurate passers in the NFL. Though he never had the cannon arm to scare a defense, he was always able to put the ball on the numbers, and make plays when they are needed.
After winning the Comeback Player Of The Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010 saw Pennington play a total of four games due to injury.
Prior to the start of the 2011 season, Pennington tore his ACL, thus ending any possible come back in 2011. Will any team give Pennington another chance in 2012? Not likely.
With teams winning with first and second round picks, there is no reason to even take the chance with Pennington, which no team will.
OK, I know that it is hard for the Colts, losing a future first ballot Hall of Fame quarter back before the first game, and handing the reigns to Curtis Painter, could not have been easy.
But, lets look at the cold, harsh reality that we really have here.
The Colts have won at least 10 games in every year of the last decade. They have made the playoffs every year, and won the AFC South almost that many times.
The reality is, Peyton Manning was the driving force behind those wins.
But, shouldn't Painter have been able to do SOMETHING? Seriously, anything would be better than what he is doing right now. He is bad enough to lose every game, and the Colts will be picking at the top of the draft because of it.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Aaron Smith has been known as one of the greatest defensive ends that has ever played the 3-4 defense.
He was always big enough to tie up at least two blockers, allowing the line backers of the Steelers to make plays.
After landing on IR for the third time in three years, it is time for the Steelers to say so long, to Smith.
Because of his age (36) and instability to stay healthy, no team is going to take a chance on Aaron Smith.
I know he didn't play this year, but I honestly believed that at some point, Brett Favre would make the appearance on ESPN, and tell the world he was returning to play for the _________________.
Until the day that I see Favre either on TV or in a nursing home, I think there will be a part of me that believes that Favre is at least considering a return.
Then, when you look at the landscape of the NFL, and teams that have needs at QB, that would welcome an addition like Favre, I would have thought him returning would have been a lock. Texans, Jaguars, Colts, Chiefs - all need a starter, and Favre is an upgrades over all of them
But, after hearing Peter King on Sunday Nigh Football declare that there have not even been talks about Favre joining the Texans, so odds are, he really is done.