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Veterans for Every Team who look to be Regressing

Father time is undefeated.

Every NFL team has a few veterans whom they’ve relied on for the past few seasons, but it’s foolish to assume they’ll always be the dominant players they once were.

Today, we look at one veteran who looks to be regressing for each NFL team. In addition, we’ll discuss whether they should retire or not by the end of this season.

Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer

It looks to be an unfortunate end for Carson Palmer.

The fifteen year veteran has been the textbook definition of a serviceable, above average game manager throughout his career. In 2017, however, Palmer has proved in his first two games that he is showing signs of regression.

Should he retire after this season?

Since Palmer has had relatively poor play at the beginning of this season and essentially all of last season, YES, he should retire. Arizona should look to trade up for QB prospects Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Mason Rudolph, or whoever they see fit. Who knows, maybe the Cardinals are the team that signs Colin Kaepernick? Time will tell, but this looks like the end of the Carson Palmer era in Arizona.

QB Carson Palmer about to throw the ball downfield.

Atlanta Falcons

Courtney Upshaw

In all honesty, this was a bit of a stretch, since most veterans are playing relatively well on the Falcons thus far.

The reason I singled out Upshaw was for one reason: what is his role on this defense? His production should go up in wake of Vic Beasley’s injury, but Upshaw seems to be a depth player rather than a contributor.

Should he retire after this season?

In short, NO. But, I do believe Upshaw should look to find a new NFL home if the pass rusher depth chart becomes too deep in Atlanta. His fit in this system is questionable and considering he’s an unrestricted free agent come 2018, don’t expect him to be with the Falcons after this season.

Defensive end Courtney Upshaw eyeing the QB.

Baltimore Ravens

Mike Wallace

This is a long time coming, but I think we’ve seen the best of Mike Wallace.

Wallace had a decent year last season with 72 receptions, 1,017 yards and 4 touchdowns, but that looks to be the product of the limited amount of weapons Baltimore had. Two games into the 2017 season and Wallace has 2 receptions for 15 yards. It goes without saying, but that won’t cut it.

Should he retire after this season?

Because he had a decent season last year, the answer is NO. However, this is dependent on how he performs for the remainder of this season. I don’t think it’s necessary for him to switch teams either, but his level of play must improve in order for him to play for the Ravens next season.

Wide receiver Mike Wallace pretending to take a selfie with Cleveland Browns fans after he scores a touchdown.

Buffalo Bills

Andre Holmes

To be fair, Holmes has never been a huge name on whatever team he’s been on, but he was one of Buffalo’s bigger signings this offseason, which is proving to be a disappointment.

Holmes was a solid number three option for Derek Carr the last few seasons in Oakland, but in his first two games, Holmes has had 3 receptions for 19 yards and 1 touchdown. Perhaps Buffalo wants to use him in a way where he isn’t a primary target, but with these stats, Holmes will regress compared to previous years while with the Bills.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, but his production must increase throughout this season, or else he might be trade-bait either during this season or shortly thereafter.

Holmes likely reached his prime with the Raiders, but he has the potential to be a more reliable target for Tyrod Taylor.

Wide receiver Andre Holmes about to get tackled by cornerback Jalen Mills in preseason action.

Carolina Panthers

Charles Johnson

I’m surprised this guy is still in the league, let alone still on the Panthers.

Going on his 11th season, defensive end Charles Johnson has quietly been a productive player throughout his career. As of late, this has not been the case. In his last 2 games, he’s only recorded 2 tackles, and looking at his stats over the past few years, it looks like Johnson has well passed his prime.

Should he retire after this season?

Sadly for long-time Panthers fans, YES. The depth the Panthers currently have on the defensive line make him dispensable.

Johnson has had a good career with Carolina, and merely out of respect I’m sure Ron Rivera and Co. will offer him the opportunity to retire on his own terms rather than just cutting him.

Defensive end Charles Johnson pointing at the opposing team.

Chicago Bears

Danny Trevathan

The former Denver Bronco hasn’t played very well for the Bears since joining them last season.

Trevathan was a solid player for the Super Bowl winning Broncos and decided to take his talents to the Windy City. Throughout the first two games of this season, Trevathan has only recorded 6 tackles. The tape speaks louder than the stats, and it just looks like his dominant days in the Mile High City appear to be over.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, but with the circumstances he’s under right now, he should be playing much better. Chicago’s front seven isn’t bad, and with Jerrell Freeman sidelined, Trevathan should be making much more plays.

I think Trevathan is safe in terms of job security, but an increase in quality of play would at least make Chicago think they didn’t mess up in free agency.

Linebacker Danny Trevathan in pursuit to make a tackle.

Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton

You probably saw this coming, but this is justified nonetheless.

I never thought Dalton was a bad quarterback, but so far in the 2017 NFL season, there’s little to like about his play.

The Bengals have yet to score a touchdown this season and recently fired offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. Dalton has had 4 interceptions and 394 over two games.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, Dalton is too young and has shown enough in previous years to show that he isn’t a bad player, but his current level of play needs to change immediately.

The Bengals have a few options as to how they can solve this. They can stick with Dalton, which is likely what they will do. They could switch to backup A.J. McCarron, but that’ll likely only happen if Dalton has another poor performance. If this season turns for the worst, the Bengals may need to look to the draft to solve this issue, but let’s hope it doesn’t get that bad.

Quarterback Andy Dalton preparing for a season game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Cleveland Browns

Kenny Britt

The Browns look to be missing Terrelle Pryor.

This offseason, the Browns replaced Pryor with former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt, who had an impressive 68 receptions, 1,002 yards and 5 touchdowns last season and hoped to repeat that success in Cleveland.

Thus far, Britt has been a disappointment. In two games, he’s had 2 receptions for 15 yards.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, since he had such a productive season last year, but depending on his production for the remainder of the season, time will tell.

I think he still has a spot on this Cleveland Browns roster, but if his production continues to be this limited, don’t expect him to be on this roster for long.

Wide receiver Kenny Britt eyeing the ball as he's about to catch it.

Dallas Cowboys

Orlando Scandrick

It seems like Scandrick is always the forgotten one on the Cowboys’ roster. Now, he stands out for the wrong reasons.

Scandrick has been largely underperforming in the first two games, only recording 1 tackle. His role on the team is odd, since there are other corners on this team better and younger than him, but because of seniority, he’s playing and not at a high level.

Should he retire after this season?

Surprisingly, I’m going to have to say YES. Scandrick was never classified as a shut-down corner or even top 10, and with younger players showing their worth, Scandrick isn’t really needed on this roster and he would have a temporary role on any other team if he became a free agent.

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick preparing to play coverage.

Denver Broncos

Darian Stewart

It seems as though the “No-Fly Zone” has a weak link.

Nine year veteran Darian Stewart is showing signs of poor play in his first two games. He’s recorded 9 tackles thus far, but his tape tells a disappointing story.

His coverage ability has weakened compared to last season, and whether that has anything to do with the release of fellow safety T.J. Ward is up for debate, but Stewart played much better with Ward alongside him.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, but his level of play must improve this season in order to not be replaced next offseason.

I don’t think Stewart would play any better being on another team, so he should really try to show that he’s a leader on this elite defense.

Safety Darian Stewart picks off a pass.

Detroit Lions

Paul Worrilow

How is this guy still in the league?

Five year pro Paul Worrilow showed loads of promise early in his career with the Atlanta Falcons, but the past two seasons show that he peaked early on and burnt out quick.

Now with the Detroit Lions, Worrilow has only recorded 2 tackles and is merely a depth player for them.

Should he retire after this season?

Normally I wouldn’t be pessimistic on a player that has only played in the league for five years, but Worrilow is showing no signs of progression and really doesn’t have a concrete role with the Lions. So, for that reason, I would say YES, he should retire.

Linebacker Paul Worrilow attempting to complete an interception in Lions practice.

Green Bay Packers

Davon House

House rejoining the Packers hasn’t panned out on either side.

The Packers’ secondary is weak relative to the rest of their team, and they believed bringing House back would improve this unit.

After two games, House has recorded 6 tackles and has not played at the decent level he’s played in previously.

Should he retire after this season?

I would say YES, simply because his role is very unclear.

He brings veteran leadership, yes, but wouldn’t you rather give that responsibility to distinguished vets like Clay Matthews or Morgan Burnett? It’s time for House to move out.

Cornerback Davon House about to get into coverage.

Houston Texans

Lamar Miller

This might be a hot take for some readers.

Running back Lamar Miller had a decent year last season when he eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark. This season, however, he hasn’t impressed.

Miller has had 126 yards through 35 attempts, averaging 3.6 yards per carry. On the surface, this might not seem terrible–and it isn’t, but Miller lacks the explosive play needed to lead a struggling offense led by rookie QB Deshaun Watson. Miller’s longest run has been 19 yards thus far, which is far from a game-breaking play.

This might seem nit-picky, but wasn’t the argument surrounding Miller when he was in Miami that he wasn’t being utilized enough? That he was this closet beast who could emerge at any moment if he was given the opportunity? Well, he’s been given that opportunity and hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations.

Should he retire after this season?

Oh, it’s an absolute NO. However, he must hone the responsibility of being the bell cow for this team and aiding Deshaun Watson to become at least a serviceable QB for years to come.

Running back Lamar Miller during a rushing attempt.

Indianapolis Colts

Frank Gore

Even though he should probably retire by the end of this year, one has to admire how impressive Gore has been in the latter stages of his career.

Gore’s 88 yards in 24 attempts, averaging 3.7 yards per carry isn’t bad, but rookie Marlon Mack has shown signs of promise and it may be time for Gore to accept that he cannot bring to the table what he used to bring.

Should he retire after this season?

Unfortunately, YES. It’s not that he’s bad, because one could argue he’s a top 15 running back in this league as of now, but expecting him to replicate his success at age 34 is difficult.

Running back Frank Gore runs by defender in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Chris Ivory

How does this guy still have a roster spot?

After an impressive 2015 campaign with the New York Jets, the Jaguars foolishly gave him a whopping contract of 5 years worth $32 million.

With Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon on the roster, Ivory’s role is nullified and his performance of last season and this season is abysmal.

Should he retire after this season?

YES. He has no defined role and eats away a roster spot. Get rid of him. He doesn’t fit with any other team, because he can’t take the responsibility of being a number one back and he brings no substance as a backup.

Running back Chris Ivory runs past Tampa Bay Buccaneers defender.

Kansas City Chiefs

Charcandrick West

While Chiefs fans are ecstatic over the production of rookie running back Kareem Hunt, one player has done anything but benefit from it; that would be Charcandrick West.

The issue with West is that he’s getting a limited amount of snaps because of Hunt’s success. He’s only had one rushing attempt–which he had 21 yards on, so not bad. But considering that he’s only had one rushing attempt means that whatever production he’s done in practice hasn’t been up to par.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, he shouldn’t retire. He should also stay with the Chiefs. The one thing he should do is prove that he should be getting at least a handful of rushing attempts every game.

Hunt is going to be the future of this franchise, but that doesn’t mean West can’t have a prominent role in this offense.

Running back Charcandrick West attempting to silence the crowd.

Los Angeles Chargers

Corey Liuget

Here’s another guy who didn’t live up to the hype and has an awkward role which is expendable.

Former first rounder Corey Liuget has underwhelmed greatly throughout his career and surprisingly still has a roster spot.

The Chargers’ defense is a rising super power, with young ascending players like Melvin Ingram, Joey Bosa, Jason Verrett and others. Why not get rid of the overpaid, virtually useless veterans who won’t be playing in a matter of years?

Should he retire after this season?

For the Chargers’ sake, YES, he should. Say the Chargers release him, which team is going to sign someone who’ll likely demand a relatively decently sized contract and have no impact, on top of the fact that he’s getting old? It’s time for Liuget to hang the cleats up come the end of this season.

Defensive lineman Corey Liuget in puts fist up in approval.

Los Angeles Rams

Connor Barwin

Yet another case of a free agency signing not panning out.

In his first two games with the Rams, Barwin has had 5 tackles, which is underwhelming considering the amount of plays he was able to make.

Barwin is a bit older and the Rams have enough veterans on the team to make one question why they resorted to signing a 30 year old linebacker who’s been on the decline since 2015.

Should he retire after this season?

Barwin really isn’t making an impact for the Rams, and his prime years look to be over, so for that reason, YES, he should.

If Barwin retires before the general public catches on to the fact that he’s slowing down in production, he’ll be looked upon as a solid player during his time in Houston and Philadelphia.

Linebacker Connor Barwin attempting to swat a pass intended for Jamison Crowder against the Washington Redskins.

Miami Dolphins 

William Hayes

To be fair, the Dolphins have only played one game because of Hurricane Irma postponing their matchup against the Buccaneers, but one player who probably could have had a bigger game was veteran William Hayes.

Although Hayes did have 1 sack against the Chargers, it’s not like that offensive line was putting up much of a fight. Regardless, the Dolphins are repeating their mistake of acquiring an old defensive end, like when they signed Mario Williams last year and cut him by the end of it.

Should he retire after this season?

It may be too early to tell, but YES, Hayes should retire by the end of this season. His career isn’t necessarily a memorable one, but maybe he can do more research on dinosaurs in retirement, since he claims they’ve never existed.

Defensive end William Hayes attempts to tackle Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Sims in preseason action.

Minnesota Vikings

Latavius Murray

In retrospect, signing Murray while already having Jerick McKinnon and drafting Dalvin Cook would make for a pretty crowded backfield.

I never understood the hype over Murray and I’ll never be convinced that he should have ever made a Pro Bowl, but nonetheless, here we are.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, but he shouldn’t be playing for the Vikings. Cook and McKinnon can make a great duo and Murray seems to be the odd one out. Maybe another team with limited running back depth would benefit from Murray.

Running back Latavius Murray attempts to run by Steelers' linebacker Ryan Shazier.

New England Patriots

Dwayne Allen

It looks like the trade with the Indianapolis Colts didn’t work out for the Patriots.

The sixth year pro has yet to record a reception, which is somewhat understandable, since his skill set is tailored to being a blocking tight end, but he hasn’t even done that well.

Learning the Patriots’ playbook is difficult, but he had the entire offseason to learn it and having Tom Brady mentor you is a plus.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, but Allen is in a difficult situation. If he gets traded or is released, he’ll have the obstacle of learning a new playbook–something he’s struggling with. The best thing Allen can do is to become fully invested in this offense and utilize those around him in order for him to have any success.

Tight end Dwayne Allen discussing plays in practice with QB Tom Brady.

New Orleans Saints

Adrian Peterson

“All-Day” probably wants to retire “Any-Day” after his previous two performances.

The future Hall of Famer has been unimpressive so far in 2017, having 14 attempts for 44 yards; an average of 3.1 yards per carry.

The Saints’ backfield is the most crowded in the league, with Peterson, Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara splitting reps. Peterson is not the future of New Orleans, and they’re better off moving on from him.

Should he retire after this season?

Sadly, for football fans who’ve watched AD punish defenders since 2007, YES, he should retire.

It’s unfortunate that he won’t retire on top, but that doesn’t take anything away from his stellar career. He made the Vikings relevant again and had a grit to him that was second to none. But alas, everyone’s time comes, and it’s time for Adrian Peterson to throw in the towel.

Running back Adrian Peterson walking before the game begins.

New York Giants

Eli Manning

Could this near the end of the Eli Manning era in the Big Apple?

Manning has never been an exceptional quarterback, but he knows how to win games when it matters most. Right now, however, he isn’t playing at that kind of level.

In his first two games, Manning’s recorded 459 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Now, maybe it’s head coach Ben McAdoo’s fault, maybe it’s the non-existent running game or offensive line, but as a quarterback–especially one who’s been in this system for years, Manning should be able to properly manage the game at least.

Should he retire after this season?

In short, NO. But the Giants should be cognizant of the fact that Manning likely only has about 2-3 years left to play. Who knows, maybe rookie quarterback Davis Webb becomes the next Jimmy Garoppolo, or even the next Dak Prescott? Either way, Manning’s days in NYC are numbered.

Quarterback Eli Manning warming up against a gamer against the Cincinnati Bengals.

New York Jets

Steve McLendon

This might be picky, but this guy has been around forever and hasn’t done a whole lot.

The Jets may be terrible, but their veterans are playing at a serviceable level. I’m singling out McClendon because he’s expendable. This defensive line is a top 10 unit, but they should look to replenish it with younger faces to play alongside Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson.

Should he retire after this season?

YES. It’s not that McLendon is bad, but what exactly is his role? He’s also in his eighth season and showing signs of slowing down. The Jets will likely replace him once they find someone new and young.

Defensive tackle Steve McLendon celebrating after a big play.

Oakland Raiders

David Amerson

Despite the Raiders’ success, they still have a few weak links on their team, and cornerback David Amerson is one of them.

In his last two games, he’s had 3 tackles and has played poorly against his competition.

Rookie cornerback Gareon Conley will look to surpass Amerson on the depth chart, as well as corners T.J. Carrie and Sean Smith after he figures out his legal trouble.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, but his play must improve. He could very well stay on the Raiders, but perhaps he could have more success on another team.

Cornerback David Amerson eyeing down the opponent.

Philadelphia Eagles

LeGarrette Blount

It didn’t take long to realize that that wouldn’t work out.

After collecting a whopping 18 rushing touchdowns last season with the Super Bowl winning New England Patriots, running back LeGarrette Blount decided to take his talents to the City of Brotherly Love.

However, this is quickly proving to be an anomaly, as Blount has only had 14 rushing attempts 46 for yards, averaging at about 3.3 yards per carry.

Should he retire after this season?

This was a difficult decision, but considering the fact that his older age and somewhat sluggish athletic ability as of late would make one believe that YES, he should in fact retire.

Blount’s ability to be a reliable runner and catcher made him a tough player to plan around. However, he’s lost a step in his game and he should call it quits before his lack of skill becomes exposed to the public.

Running back LeGarrette Blount rushing in Lincoln Financial Field.

Pittsburgh Steelers

James Harrison

It’s time for the gym rat to hang up the cleats.

With rookie linebacker T.J. Watt making an immediate impact, Harrison has become a depth player. His age 39 frame is strong, but he isn’t the player he once was.

Having not recorded a tackle yet, Harrison is sure to hang up the cleats by the end of this year.

Should he retire after this season?

This is a flat out YES. He’s old and can’t play at a high level anymore. I’d bet that he will retire by the end of this year. It’s been a great career for the human Hulk.

Linebacker James Harrison running out of the tunnel pregame.

San Francisco 49ers

Earl Mitchell

With such a young defensive line, why sign Earl Mitchell this offseason?

The San Francisco 49ers signed Earl Mitchell this offseason for reasons only they can answer. Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas are trying to fortify themselves as a dominant group, but Mitchell is showing his age quick in his first two games this season.

Should he retire after this season?

I’m going to have to say YES. He hasn’t recorded a sack since 2014 and prevents further development of the three young stars on the defensive line. Earl Mitchell likely won’t be on the team come the start of next season.

Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell on the sideline.

Seattle Seahawks

Eddie Lacy

Unfortunately for the talented Lacy, it just isn’t working out in Seattle.

Acquired through free agency this offseason, running back Eddie Lacy went from Green Bay to Seattle and hasn’t impressed anyone.

In his first game, he recorded 5 rushing attempts for 3 yards, which is 0.6 yards per carry. Not impressive in the slightest.

Should he retire after this season?

NO, I don’t think Lacy should retire, but he must work on his ongoing weight concerns and if it doesn’t work out in Seattle, he should focus on training and be a serviceable number two back for someone.

Running back Eddie Lacy getting the ball from QB Trevone Boykin in preseason action.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chris Baker

Formerly of the Washington Redskins, defensive tackle Chris Baker hasn’t made a huge impact for the Bucs thus far.

To be fair, Tampa Bay has only played one game because of their game against the Miami Dolphins being postponed because of Hurricane Irma, but judging off of one game, it hasn’t been very impressive.

Baker didn’t record a single tackle in the Buccaneers’ win over the Chicago Bears.

Should he retire after this season?

It’s too early to tell, so for now I’ll say NO. He still contributed later in his tenure with the Redskins, so there’s reason to believe he can do it again.

Defensive tackle Chris Baker practicing hand work in Buccaneers practice.

Tennessee Titans

DaQuan Jones

Jones has never been an impactful player and there’s no reason to believe he will now.

The four year veteran has one of those roles where he starts, but is also not super important to the system because of his poor play.

During the last two games, Jones has had 4 tackles–not very impressive for a linebacker.

Should he retire after this season?

I’ll have to say NO because of his young age, but if he doesn’t actually become a quality contributor, he might as well be out of the league.

Edge rusher DaQuan Jones celebrating with defensive tackle Jurell Casey.

Washington Redskins

Vernon Davis

I honestly cannot believe this guy is still playing.

The twelfth year pro has solidified himself as one of the most dominant tight ends of his era. In contrast, that era is very well over.

With star tight end Jordan Reed on the Redskins’ roster, one can assume Davis’ role is merely for depth. In his first two games this season, Davis had 1 reception for 13 yards. This is definitive proof of his regression.

Should he retire after this season?

YES. One can only play for so long, and father time is creeping up on Davis quickly.

Davis has had a great career, and he can lament it by leaving the game on a high note by retiring before he’s forced to.

TIght end Vernon Davis warming up.

 

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