Every NFL Team's Biggest Disappointment from the 2020 Season

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2021

Every NFL Team's Biggest Disappointment from the 2020 Season

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    Mark Tenally/Associated Press

    The 2020 NFL season was one of the most trying in recent memory, due in no small part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Teams have been forced to face adversity throughout the year, from training camp and the nonexistent preseason all the way through Week 17. Every franchise should be proud of its efforts to make it through the season with relative safety.

    The 2020 season brought plenty of bright moments along the way, too. From Alex Smith's epic comeback from a life-threatening injury to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns ending their lengthy playoff droughts, fans have had several reasons to smile throughout this most unusual of campaigns.

    As is always the case, though, each team's brightest spot has been mirrored by at least one major disappointment. Coaches have underwhelmed, players have underperformed and multiple high-profile offseason moves have busted.

    Here, we'll dig into each team's biggest disappointment of the 2020 season.

    Coaches, offseason acquisitions and incumbent veterans are all fair game here, though we'll be focusing specifically on individual performances and results. While the Cincinnati Bengals losing Joe Burrow for the season or the New York Jets blowing their shot at the 2021 No. 1 draft pick are certainly disappointing developments in their own ways, we'll be looking at individuals rather than overarching storylines.

Arizona Cardinals: Kenyan Drake

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    The Arizona Cardinals acquired running back Kenyan Drake midway through the 2019 season. He finished his year strong, rushing for 643 yards and catching 28 passes for 171 yards in just eight games.

    The Cardinals used the transition tag on Drake this offseason, hoping that he could emerge as their franchise running back. While he was a serviceable starter in 2020, he wasn't worth the $8.48 million it cost to keep him.

    In 15 games, Drake racked up 955 rushing yards, 137 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Those are decent numbers, but his yards-per-carry average dipped from 5.2 to 4.0, and fellow back Chase Edmonds often outshined him.

    The Cardinals—and their fans—were undoubtedly hoping to see more from Drake in his first full season with the franchise. They were left disappointed, and Drake may be left looking for work in free agency this March.

Atlanta Falcons: Dante Fowler Jr.

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    The Atlanta Falcons signed sack artist Dante Fowler Jr. to a three-year, $45 million deal this offseason with the hope that he could bolster their sagging pass rush. However, he largely underwhelmed during his first year in Atlanta.

    Fowler appeared in 14 games and produced only 3.0 sacks. While he did have 23 quarterback pressures, the Falcons have been discouraged by his inability to finish.

    "It just wasn't good enough for the standard that he's provided for himself or for the standard the Atlanta Falcons have for him," interim coach Raheem Morris said, per Kelsey Conway of the team's official website.

    Fowler should have an opportunity to make good on the Falcons' investment in him moving forward, but it's safe to say that they weren't happy with their return this year.

Buffalo Bills: Devin Singletary

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    The Buffalo Bills are entering the postseason with as much momentum as any team in the NFL. Unfortunately, they are not carrying an elite rushing attack into the playoffs with them.

    Despite having a capable runner in quarterback Josh Allen, Buffalo ranks 26th in yards per rushing attempt. Things were supposed to be better with promising second-year back Devin Singletary on the roster.

    Singletary oozed potential as a rookie, racking up nearly 1,000 scrimmage yards and averaging an impressive 5.1 yards per carry. However, the 2019 third-round pick has been less efficient this season instead of taking another positive step as Buffalo undoubtedly hoped.

    Singletary amassed only 687 rushing yards and 4.4 yards per carry in his 16 regular-season appearances. Those are respectable numbers, but Singletary's inability to make a second-year jump is one of the few real disappointments in an otherwise stellar Buffalo campaign.

Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Brown

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    Emilee Chinn/Associated Press

    Speed can't be coached. That's why NFL teams routinely target wide receivers with breakaway ability and impressive 40 times high in the draft.

    The Baltimore Ravens made blazing Oklahoma product Marquise Brown the first receiver off the board in 2019, but he has shown only occasional glimpses of being a complete pro receiver.

    Brown did haul in 58 catches for 769 yards and eight touchdowns this season, all of which were improvements over his rookie campaign. However, he also played two more games this season, and his catch rate fell from 64.8 percent to 58.0 percent.

    Players with Brown's deep-threat ability are always going to have value. However, he is far closer to being a complementary piece than a true No. 1 target, which is the type of receiver whom teams should be targeting with the 25th overall pick.

    Brown has failed to make a second-year leap, which is all the more disappointing considering fellow 2019 draftees such as DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin have.

Carolina Panthers: Teddy Bridgewater

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    The Carolina Panthers took a chance on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater this offseason following his 5-0 run as a starter in 2019. They inked him to a three-year, $63 million contract, which seemed to suggest that they viewed him as more than just a short-term stopgap.

    Unfortunately, Bridgewater played more like a placeholder than a quarterback of the future this season. He completed 69.1 percent of his passes but also threw for only 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

    There's now a reasonable chance that Carolina could go in a different direction in the offseason.

    "With regards to the draft and players, we'll look at every opportunity to have the best we can have at every position, and that includes the quarterback position," head coach Matt Rhule told reporters in his season-ending press conference.

    While Bridgewater may never be a high-end starter for the Panthers, he could help facilitate a quarterback transition in 2021. The Panthers are armed with the eighth overall pick in the draft, which they could use on Bridgewater's eventual replacement.

Chicago Bears: Nick Foles

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    The Chicago Bears traded for Nick Foles in the offseason to improve their quarterback depth chart. Whether Foles proved to be a superior option to Mitchell Trubisky or pushed him to be a better starter in camp, he was supposed to pay dividends.

    Trubisky did raise his level of play late in the season, so in that regard, the move wasn't a total disaster. However, Trubisky was awful at the start of the season and was benched for Foles, who only proved that he wasn't the answer for Chicago.

    Foles went 2-5 as a starter and struggled to move the ball with any consistency. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes but threw only 10 touchdowns with eight interceptions. Trubisky eventually got the job back, but only after Foles and the Bears nearly squandered their shot at the postseason.

    The truly disappointing aspect of Foles' 2020 season is that he cost the Bears $6.66 million in cap space. He restructured his contract after arriving in Chicago, but $6.66 million is still a lot of money for a backup quarterback. And with $17 million in guaranteed money on his overall contract, Foles' failed audition is going to cost the Bears much more than that.

Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green

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    Nothing was more disappointing for the Cincinnati Bengals this season than watching 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow go down with a season-ending knee injury. From a results standpoint, though, no player was more underwhelming than former No. 1 receiver A.J. Green.

    Green, who missed the entire 2019 season with an ankle injury, received the franchise tag in the offseason in the hope that he could aid in Burrow's development. However, the veteran wideout was arguably more of a detriment than an asset.

    Cincinnati quarterbacks targeting Green had a passer rating of only 55.1. He finished with 47 receptions for 523 yards and two touchdowns, but he caught only 45.2 percent of his targets and cost the team a whopping $18.17 million.

    Bringing back Green was a smart move in theory, but in retrospect, it may have been Cincinnati's worst decision of the 2020 offseason.

Cleveland Browns: Odell Beckham Jr.

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    Although they're heading into the playoffs without several key contributors—and without head coach Kevin Stefanski—the Cleveland Browns have to be thrilled with how the 2020 season has unfolded. They won 11 games for the first time since their return to the NFL in 1999 and ended the league's longest playoff drought.

    No matter how the Browns fare in the postseason, their future appears bright. However, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s future in Cleveland is far less certain.

    Before suffering a season-ending torn ACL in Week 7, Beckham was a major disappointment, hauling in only 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns on 43 targets. Quarterback Baker Mayfield seemed to fare better without Beckham out of the lineup, which doesn't help with the optics moving forward.

    While Mayfield's progress likely had more to do with added experience in Stefanski's offense than with Beckham's absence, it's fair to wonder whether Cleveland has a place for Beckham moving forward.

    Beckham was largely a disappointment in his first season with the Browns, and he did nothing to change the narrative in his seven games this year.

Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott

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    It wouldn't be fair to suggest that Ezekiel Elliott is finished as a starting NFL running back. He had plenty working against him in 2020, including revolving doors along the offensive line and the loss of quarterback Dak Prescott.

    However, the Dallas Cowboys cannot be thrilled with Elliott's results this season.

    The Cowboys signed him to a six-year, $90 million contract last September to be the centerpiece of their offense. Asked to carry the load in 2020, Elliott too often stumbled.

    Appearing in 15 games, Elliott rushed for only 979 yards and a modest 4.0 yards per carry. He did add 338 receiving yards and eight total touchdowns, but he did so with a $10.9 million cap hit. The 25-year-old also developed a fumbling habit, losing five fumbles on the season.

    While Elliott often struggled behind Dallas' injury-depleted line, fellow back Tony Pollard had less trouble. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry and produced five touchdowns while playing a more limited role.

    Elliott is being paid like one of the NFL's best running backs, but he was far from that in 2020.

Denver Broncos: Drew Lock

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    Was Drew Lock awful in 2020? Not exactly. He started 13 games and completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 2,933 yards with 16 touchdowns. However, he also won only four of those starts, struggled to move the ball at times and tied for the league lead with 15 interceptions.

    While road bumps are to be expected from a second-year signal-caller, the Denver Broncos appeared confident heading into 2020 that Lock was their franchise quarterback. They aren't likely to give up on him in the offseason, but their faith in him seems to have taken a hit.

    "There's a lot of things that he's done really, really well and then there's some mistakes that become glaring when it comes from the quarterback position," offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told reporters. "Everything that he's done and made a mistake on is correctable."

    The Broncos invested heavily in Lock's supporting cast in the offseason, adding the likes of Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Melvin Gordon III to the offense. The hope was that Lock would improve enough to hang in quarterback battles with Patrick Mahomes in the AFC West.

    Instead, Lock remains the wort of the division's four starters, much to the chagrin of the Broncos.

Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah

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    One could argue that head coach Matt Patricia—who was relieved of his duties in-season—was the biggest Detroit Lions disappointment in 2020. However, Patricia had proved little prior to this season and was always likely to lose his job if the team continued to struggle.

    On the other hand, rookie first-round pick Jeff Okudah entered the 2020 campaign with high expectations.

    The Lions used the third overall pick on the former Ohio State cornerback, hoping that he would immediately become a lockdown pass defender. While he did show some flashes of promise, he often struggled in coverage.

    In his nine appearances, Okudah allowed 594 receiving yards and two touchdowns in coverage, along with an opposing passer rating of 118.0.

    Okudah's discouraging rookie campaign looks even worse considering Detroit passed on potential franchise cornerstones like Justin Herbert, Andrew Thomas and Pro Bowler Justin Jefferson to draft him.

Green Bay Packers: Christian Kirksey

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    The Green Bay Packers took a chance on linebacker Christian Kirksey in the offseason, signing the former Browns standout to a two-year, $13 million deal. While Kirksey had been limited to only nine games between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, it seemed like a calculated risk that could pay off if he could stay healthy.

    While Kirksey was healthy for 11 of Green Bay's 16 games, he wasn't exactly the impact defender the Packers were hoping for.

    Kirksey did have 46 tackles and two interceptions. However, he also allowed six touchdown receptions, an opposing passer rating of 109.7 and missed nine tackles.

    Kirksey's role also shrank late in the season. He played 100 percent of the defensive snaps in four straight games following his Week 10 return from a pectoral injury, but he played less than 75 percent of the snaps the following two weeks and less than 50 percent over the final two weeks of the regular season.

    With just $2 million in dead money remaining on his contract after 2020, there's a reasonable chance that Kirksey could be one-and-done in Green Bay. He might still help the Packers reach the Super Bowl this season, but anyone hoping to see him resurrect his career in Green Bay—including Kirksey himself—is likely disappointed with how the season has played out.

Houston Texans: Bill O'Brien

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    The Houston Texans fired head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien only four games into the 2020 season. However, it's hard to dismiss him as their biggest disappointment for a few reasons.

    The Texans' 0-4 start essentially ended their chances of making the postseason, as they fell behind both the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans in the divisional race. Houston won four of its next seven games, but there was little left to play for by midseason.

    O'Brien started disappointing long before the start of the regular season, though. His decision to trade away star receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-round pick for running back David Johnson, a second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-rounder was one of the most widely panned moves of the offseason, and for good reason.

    Hopkins went on to rack up 115 receptions and 1,407 receiving yards during his first year in Arizona. Johnson was solid in his 12 starts—he rushed for 691 yards and 4.7 yards per carry—but he was not an adequate replacement for Hopkins in the offense.

    One could argue that the Texans' entire 2020 season was wasted because of O'Brien. With Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson firmly in his playing prime, any lost season is a massive letdown.

Indianapolis Colts: Rock Ya-Sin

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    Rock Ya-Sin hasn't been a total bust since the Indianapolis Colts selected him with a second-round pick in 2019, but his play has left plenty to be desired. He allowed an opposing quarterback rating of 109.2 as a rookie and was only marginally better this season with an opposing quarterback rating of 98.7.

    As the 34th overall pick, Ya-Sin was supposed to help solidify one of Indianapolis' cornerback spots. He hasn't done that, and he is arguably the weakest link on the back end of the Colts defense.

    While Ya-Sin did have an interception and seven passes defended, he also allowed 594 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 13 games.

    Ya-Sin's inability to build on his rookie season is a disappointing development, and it could have the Colts looking to address the cornerback position again in free agency or the draft this offseason.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Gardner Minshew II

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    Minshew Mania is officially dead.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars gave quarterback Gardner Minshew II a chance to earn the starting job long term in 2020. The 2019 rookie sensation failed to capitalize and will likely now be relegated to the backup role.

    While Minshew completed 66.1 percent of his passes and threw 16 touchdowns against only five interceptions, he failed to move the ball consistently and struggled with pocket presence throughout the season.

    In nine games, Minshew was sacked a whopping 27 times. Mike Glennon and Jake Luton were sacked a combined 16 times in their eight starts.

    While Minshew did deliver Jacksonville's only win of the season, he disappointed any teammates and fans who may have wished to see him hold onto the starting job. The Jaguars locked up the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft and will presumably use that selection on a new franchise quarterback.

Kansas City Chiefs: Le'Veon Bell

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    The Kansas City Chiefs signed running back Le'Veon Bell in mid-October, and the former Pro Bowler made his debut for the team shortly thereafter. While members of the organization and fans alike probably dreamed of Bell reclaiming some of his former glory, he fell far short of that.

    Mostly utilized to spell promising rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Bell has done little with his opportunities thus far. In nine games (two starts), he has amassed only 254 rushing yards and 4.0 yards per carry. Though he has been a premier pass-catching back in the past, Bell caught only 13 passes for 99 yards.

    Edwards-Helaire suffered a hip injury in Week 15 that sidelined him for the past two weeks. While the Chiefs' first-round bye could allow him to return in the divisional round, setbacks could leave Kansas City leaning on Bell and fellow back Darrel Williams.

    Given how insignificant Bell has been in the Chiefs offense, that's a scary proposition.

    If there's a silver lining, it's that Bell is only on a one-year, $1 million deal. Still, he has yet to live up to the hype that came with his signing.

Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs III

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    Much like the Ravens did last year with Marquise Brown, the Las Vegas Raiders targeted speed when they made Alabama's Henry Ruggs III the first receiver off the draft board this past April.

    Unfortunately, the No. 12 overall pick's 4.27-second speed hasn't translated into big-time production.

    In 13 games, Ruggs caught only 26 passes for 452 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His contributions shouldn't be measured by stats alone, as his ability to stretch the field does open things up for his teammates. However, the Raiders were likely hoping to see him make a bigger statistical impact.

    What makes Ruggs' rookie campaign even more disappointing is that he's been outperformed by fellow rookies like Justin Jefferson and Chase Claypool, along with Las Vegas offseason acquisition Nelson Agholor.

    In many ways, Agholor—who had 896 yards and eight touchdowns—became the dangerous deep threat that Ruggs was supposed to be.

Los Angeles Chargers: Melvin Ingram

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    Not long ago, the Los Angeles Chargers pass-rushing duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram might have been considered the best in the league. While Bosa was solid in 2020—he finished with 7.5 sacks in 12 games—Ingram fell off in a big way.

    Knee injuries limited the 31-year-old to only seven games, but he wasn't particularly productive even when he was active. In those seven games, he produced 12 quarterback pressures, 10 tackles and zero sacks.

    Ingram's underwhelming production came with a cap hit of more than $16.6 million.

    For Ingram, 2020 may represent a disappointing end to his Los Angeles career. The three-time Pro Bowler was playing in a contract year and may now be allowed to hit the open market.

    While Chargers fans had plenty to cheer on this season—most notably the emergence of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert—Ingram's decline was not part of the positivity.

Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff

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    Do the Los Angeles Rams regret giving Jared Goff a four-year, $134 million contract extension? Perhaps, though we're unlikely to hear anyone in the organization actually admit it.

    The problem is that after being named to the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2018, Goff has failed to continue improving as a passer. He was too often inconsistent in 2020 before thumb surgery ended his regular season.

    Goff passed for 3,952 yards in 15 games, but he threw only 20 touchdowns to go with 13 interceptions and four lost fumbles. Those are underwhelming numbers for someone being paid like one of the league's top signal-callers.

    Unfortunately, Goff may not get a chance to redeem himself in the postseason. The Rams may again roll with backup John Wolford for the Wild Card Round.

    "I'm not gonna make an announcement on who is starting and who is not," head coach Sean McVay told reporters Tuesday.

    When Goff helped the Rams reach the Super Bowl during the 2018 season, it appeared that he might become one of the league's next superstars. However, he's been decidedly average since, and 2020 was another disappointing example.

Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa

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    Former Miami Dolphins running back Jordan Howard deserves consideration here. He rushed for only 33 yards in five games before being released and re-joining the Philadelphia Eagles.

    However, fifth overall draft pick Tua Tagovailoa entered the season with far greater long-term expectations, and he mostly failed to meet them.

    Tagovailoa showed some signs of potential during his nine-start audition, throwing for 1,814 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. However, he struggled to push the ball down the field and was twice pulled from the starting lineup in favor of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    It's fair to expect a rookie quarterback to struggle some. However, Tagovailoa's results are disappointing when compared to those of fellow rookies Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts. They're also disappointing when compared to Fitzpatrick in the same Miami offense, although the Dolphins have publicly committed to Tagovailoa for 2021.

    "Tua, we're very happy with. He's our starting quarterback," general manager Chris Grier told reporters Tuesday.

    However, the Dolphins are armed with the third overall pick thanks to their trade of Laremy Tunsil to the Texans. They'll at least have to consider quarterback options with that pick, which is not where they hoped to be when they turned in Tagovailoa's draft card this past April.

Minnesota Vikings: Jeff Gladney

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    The Minnesota Vikings let several members of their secondary leave in the offseason, including Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes and Mackensie Alexander. Unfortunately, the Vikings weren't able to adequately replace them.

    "I probably miscalculated some things going into the season when we lost all the guys that we lost the year before," head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters Tuesday.

    Former TCU cornerback and 31st overall pick Jeff Gladney was supposed to help make the defensive rebuild easier, but he failed to meet the challenge head on. While the rookie did start 15 of his 16 games, he emerged as a liability in the secondary.

    Gladney allowed 768 receiving yards, six touchdowns and an opposing passer rating of 119.9. His struggles contributed to Minnesota ranking 25th in pass defense and could be a concern heading into 2021.

New England Patriots: N'Keal Harry

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    Narrowing down the biggest disappointment for the New England Patriots was tough.

    On one hand, we have quarterback Cam Newton. He struggled to find consistency as a signal-caller often left the Patriots one-dimensional offensively.

    However, the expectations for Newton never should have been high. He hadn't been healthy in almost two years, had no real offseason with head coach Bill Belichick or offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and in many ways was the polar opposite of what New England previously had in Tom Brady.

    The Patriots signed Newton to a one-year deal worth less than $2 million. Ultimately, they got what they paid for—a stopgap quarterback to navigate a rebuilding season.

    Wide receiver N'Keal Harry, on the other hand, was supposed to make a second-year jump after barely seeing the field as a rookie. While Newton's struggles certainly didn't help the 2019 first-round pick, Harry didn't do much with the opportunities he did get.

    Herry finished his sophomore season with a mere 33 receptions for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Nearly a quarter of his production (eight catches for 72 yards) came in one game against the then-putrid Seattle Seahawks pass defense.

    Newton was always likely to be a short-term piece of the puzzle. As a first-round pick, Harry should be viewed as a long-term building block. Unfortunately, he did nothing in 2020 to suggest that he is one.

New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas

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    Fantasy managers couldn't have been the only ones disappointed by Michael Thomas' 2020 regular season. The two-time receptions leader caught only 40 passes for 438 yards and zero touchdowns in seven games.

    While it's not fair to blame a player for injuries, that isn't the only issue that limited Thomas' playing time. The New Orleans Saints suspended him for a game following an altercation with teammate C.J. Gardner-Johnson and after disrespecting members of the coaching staff, according to The Athletic's Jeff Duncan.

    Even when Thomas was on the field, he didn't perform at his usually high level. He had only two 100-yard outings and had four games with 51 or fewer receiving yards.

    All of this came one season after Thomas signed a new five-year, $96 million contract.

    While Thomas finished the regular season on injured reserve, he may be back for the playoffs. If he continues to underperform—or doesn't return—this will easily go down as the most disappointing campaign of his career.

New York Giants: Jason Garrett

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    The New York Giants have to be pleased with head coach Joe Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.

    While they won only six games, they played hard for Judge and completely turned things around defensively under Graham. New York barely missed out on winning the NFC East and finished with the league's ninth-ranked scoring defense.

    The Giants cannot be as happy with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

    New York finished ranked 31st in both yards and points scored. Perhaps more importantly, second-year quarterback Daniel Jones failed to build on what was mostly a promising rookie campaign.

    While the loss of star running back Saquon Barkley didn't help, Garrett was the one responsible for putting together a functional offense. Considering New York failed to top 21 points 11 times in 2020, it's fair to say Garrett failed in that task.

New York Jets: Adam Gase

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    Was anyone in the NFL more disappointing than New York Jets head coach Adam Gase? The highlight of this miserable season was having a shot at the No. 1 pick in the draft, but the Jets messed that up, too.

    They're now unlikely to have a crack at presumptive No. 1 selection Trevor Lawrence. Thanks to Gase, they don't have any further clarity on quarterback Sam Darnold, either.

    "It's on me to get him to play better than what he's played," Gase told reporters in early December. "And so far, I haven't done a good enough job."

    The Jets fired Gase shortly after the season ended, and they're now left with several questions. Will they keep trying to develop Darnold? Will they use the No. 2 pick on a quarterback of the future? Will anyone of note want the coaching job following Gase's 9-23 run?

    In what was overall a wasted season for New York, no one seemed to waste as much as Gase did. Any way you slice it, his 2-14 campaign was a massive disappointment.

Philadlephia Eagles: Carson Wentz

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    In the not-too-distant past, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz seemed to have one of the most secure jobs in the NFL. A viable MVP candidate in 2017, he appeared to be cemented as the Eagles' franchise quarterback.

    However, Wentz's future in Philadelphia came back into question this season. He completed a career-worst 57.4 percent of his passes and tied for the league lead with 15 interceptions despite playing in only 12 games.

    The Eagles eventually benched Wentz for rookie Jalen Hurts, and he may now be nearing the end of his time in Philadelphia. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Wentz "still plans to ask for a trade in the offseason because his relationship with coach Doug Pederson is fractured beyond repair."

    If Wentz is done in Philadelphia—or as a high-caliber quarterback altogether—his will be one of the most disappointing NFL downfalls in recent memory.

Pittsburgh Steelers: James Conner

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    Two years ago, Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner appeared to be a viable replacement for Le'Veon Bell. The then-second-year player amassed nearly 1,500 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns while being named to his first career Pro Bowl.

    Conner took a massive step back in 2019, although he played most of the season without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. With Big Ben out, opposing defenses had an easier time clamping down on the ground game.

    Roethlisberger's return in 2020 was supposed to alleviate the issue, but it hasn't.

    While the Steelers offense as a whole has been better, Conner has not returned to the same Pro Bowl level he exhibited in 2018. He has averaged 4.3 yards per carry but has also produced only 936 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns in 13 games.

    As a result, the Pittsburgh offense has become wildly one-dimensional. With little faith in their ground game, the Steelers finished the season ranked first in pass attempts (656) and 28th in rushing attempts (373).

San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo

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    The San Francisco 49ers' 2020 campaign as a whole has been one big disappointment. After coming just a few plays short of winning Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers stumbled to a 6-10 record this season.

    The 2020 season has been equally disappointing for San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and not solely because injuries limited him to only six games. Garoppolo passed for a mere 1,096 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions while going 3-3 as a starter.

    With less than $3 million in dead money remaining on his contract, Garoppolo may be nearing the end of his 49ers tenure.

    "Most league insiders believe if there's a better option, the 49ers will have somebody other than Garoppolo at the start of next season," ESPN's Chris Mortensen said last week on Sunday NFL Countdown.

    The 49ers currently hold the 12th pick in the draft, and it bears watching whether they consider other quarterback options in the draft or in free agency over the next few months.

Seattle Seahawks: L.J. Collier

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    After barely seeing the field as a rookie in 2019, Seahawks defensive end L.J. Collier got his starting opportunity in 2020. The former TCU standout started all 16 games, but he often failed to make a significant impact.

    Although Collier showed some promise as a run-stuffer, but he offered little as a pass-rusher. He finished with just 22 tackles, 3.0 sacks and two passes defended.

    That type of production isn't befitting of his draft slot (29th overall in 2019).

    While Collier's quiet rookie campaign wasn't shocking—2018 first-round running back Rashaad Penny didn't play much in his first year, either—Seattle and its fans should have been hoping for more from him in Year 2.

    Collier appears to be a serviceable starter on the defensive line, but "serviceable" isn't the goal for a late first-round pick.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Leonard Fournette

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    Running back Leonard Fournette was not the most significant addition the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made in the offseason. Still, they signed him to a one-year, $2 million deal to help strengthen their backfield.

    Coming off a season with 1,674 scrimmage yards, Fournette seemed like a viable candidate to do exactly that. However, he was often an offensive afterthought, and the Buccaneers likely could have coaxed similar production out of a far cheaper option.

    Fournette had one 100-yard game back in Week 2, but Ronald Jones II largely took over after that. The 2017 No. 4 overall pick finished with just 367 rushing yards, 233 receiving yards and six touchdowns, while Jones racked up more than 1,100 scrimmage yards and eight scores.

    Luckily, Fournette may now have an opportunity to redeem himself in the playoffs. 

Tennessee Titans: Jadeveon Clowney

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    The future of pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney was one of the hottest ongoing storylines of the 2020 NFL offseason. Several teams pursued the three-time Pro Bowler before he ultimately signed with the Tennessee Titans on a one-year, $13 million deal.

    Tennessee probably wishes that it had a do-over.

    Clowney didn't just fail to live up to his contract before a knee injury ended his season after eight games. He was a relative non-factor even when he was healthy and on the field. 

    In his eight appearances, Clowney produced only 12 quarterback pressures and zero sacks. With $11.5 million in guaranteed money on his contract, Clowney earned nearly $1 million for each of his quarterback pressures.

    That is not an acceptable rate, and the Titans likely wish they had that money back.

Washington Football Team: Dwayne Haskins

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    Mark Tenally/Associated Press

    This might be the most obvious entry of all.

    When a team uses a first-round pick on a quarterback only to dump him less than two years later, it's an obvious disappointment. That's what the Washington Football Team did with Ohio State product Dwayne Haskins, and opponents seem to be the only ones bummed by his departure.

    "We're not playing a 7-9 team. We're playing a 4-1 team. When Alex Smith plays, they're a 4-1 team," Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians told ESPN's Mike Greenfield. "... We're not playing Dwayne Haskins. We're playing Alex Smith."

    Haskins was benched early in the season but returned to the starting lineup when Smith was unavailable in Weeks 15 and 16. Between those two losses, photos surfaced of Haskins attending an event without a mask, and Washington released him after Week 16.

    That's a disappointing way to end a run that spanned only 16 appearances and 13 starts. Haskins, the 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft, finished his Washington career with only 2,804 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

    Thankfully, the Football Team does have a healthy Smith under center and is in the postseason because of him.


    Contract information via Spotrac. Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference.