There are players who break their bones too often and players who break the law too often. Either way, they’ve got baggage. When players have too much baggage, they get crossed off NFL team lists. And thus, players that are talented and could likely help an ailing franchise remained unsigned. Sometimes it’s because they’re racist. Other times it’s because of murder indictments. Then of course, there are the players with a litany of concussions and back injuries (what a bunch of softies).
But injuries are hitting the NFL hard. There are teams in desperate need of some positional players. And while these players are talented, they’re off limits.
For the NFL Draft, every team has a “Do Not Draft” list. This seems to be the “Don’t Touch These Players With A 50,000 Foot Pole” list.
Finley runs a 4.67 40-yard dash at 6-foot-5 and almost 250 pounds. Every team should want him. But the poor guy has had too severe a neck injury to return the to game, it seems. His personal doctor cleared him. Teams have brought him in but he’s still unsigned, which makes it seem like there’s some pressing medical problem. And honestly, no team wants to paralyze a guy. At least Finley got a Super Bowl in before he retired.
The guy has scored the 11th most points in NFL history. He also scored the fourth most points in a single season in 2011 when he put up 166. Only Ladainian Tomlinson, Paul Hornung and Shaun Alexander bettered him. In a world where they could be an LT of kickers, he’d be the LT of kickers. But he’s almost 40. Even kickers typically don’t make it past that hump. And if the Lions won’t sign him, then no one will.
His brain is mush at this point. Because his brain is mush (due to concussions sustained in the NFL), he’s probably going to have trouble getting a job off the field. But alas, the NFL won’t let him back on the field, lest his brain deteriorate even more. So the league that made him practically unhireable elsewhere won’t hire him back. Sound logic.
Michael Bush (Felix Jones, Tashard Choice, Ronnie Brown)
Sure, it’s four players but they’ve all got the same problem. Two words: running back (by the way, should running back be one word – like linebacker?). There are at least 40 cheaper and younger models on the market. So while Bush, Jones, Choice and Brown are talented players – and maybe some of the best available free agents – teams would rather throw a running back on the practice squad for a few hundred thousand dollars and hope he sticks.
Kerry Rhodes (Steve Gregory, Reed Doughty)
Safety is sort of turning into the running back position on defense. While these guys are savvy veterans, they’ve lost a step or two over the last few years. Youngsters are a dime a dozen. In today’s passing NFL, safeties have to be more versatile than ever. Apparently, these guys don’t make the cut anymore.
Chad just wants to come home and play in the NFL, eh? Too bad nobody wants him. Adding him to this list of “Impact” players is generous. He hasn’t had a good season in the NFL in what feels like a decade. But Johnson is a changed man off the field. And he’s kept his legs warm in the CFL. Maybe he’s got one more season in him. It looks like he’s still got it… kinda:
By the time anyone considers signing Ray Rice, he’ll be close to 30. So, it’s hard to believe anyone will invest in a near-30-year-old, fiancé-beating running back that averaged 3.1 yards per carry in 2013. The sad thing is that I had to add the yards per carry to be convincing – because a near-30-year-old child beating running back that averaged 4.5 yards per carry probably will not be on this list (cough, Adrian Peterson, cough).
Oh you forgot about him, did you? Even if, by some twist of fate, Hernandez was proven innocent or got out of jail in this lifetime, then no NFL team would touch him. We’re not talking about dog fighting; we’re not talking about practice; we’re talking about human lives. While he’s innocent until proven guilty, Hernandez is being portrayed as a serial killer. I don’t care how immoral the NFL is. No team is going to employ a serial killer – no matter how good of a two tight end set he would provide.
Incognito is a former-Pro Bowl guard. What team wouldn’t want that? I know the Patriots do… and probably the Jaguars, Titans, Chiefs and Lions, too. But Incognito has a shitty outlook on pretty much everything – race, gender, teamwork, friendship, drugs. Essentially, Incognito struggles with basic humanism. And while I thought that he would be on an NFL roster by now, it seems that the NFL had a sudden surge in moralism due to the recent news that they previously had none. The abrupt NFL purification came at a bad time for Incognito, who can’t and likely won’t find a job.