The most overrated player list I came up with toward the beginning of the 2014 NFL season needs to be graded out. I like to be a fair guy, so I don’t want to leave a guy on the list that deserves a little more credit noted. Like I mentioned before, the list is not completely full of guys that are just plain no good. Some of the players just fail to live up to either their own hype or that of the media.
A few of the players on the list got their act together as the season went forward while some stayed about the same. Still other guys went further downhill as if they are begging to start their insurance sales careers. I will drop a few extra names at the end for players that did very little this year in comparison to their perceived ability. Let me start by re-evaluating the guys on the original top ten list.
- Ben Tate did not have a good first year as a starter. That is putting it mildly. Turns out it is much easier to come into a game and chew up yardage after Arian Foster has ripped the defense’s will to compete than it is to be the number one running back. Tate was eventually cut by the Browns after he made no impact on the team at all. He was picked up by the Vikings only to suffer the same fate as he was quickly released three weeks later.
- Colin Kaepernick did himself no favors this year to get off the overrated list going forward. His Niners took a major step back to mediocre as a team. His stats certainly did not impress anyone. He was a middle of the road passer and had just nine more touchdowns than he did interceptions. Also, his QB whisperer has left the team so we will see if Kaepernick has an even bigger fall off next year without Harbaugh.
- Jay Cutler sucked this year and was even worse than this list could make him out to be. The Bears ownership became really concerned about their teams’ future as they realized what a grave mistake it was to give this inept QB 100 million dollars. The head coach and the GM were fired, and if there are any takers Cutler will be sent packing eventually.
- Tony Romo lead his team in a commendable fashion this year. He didn’t try to do too much and he played through a lot of pain. If not for a bad call in the Green Bay playoff game, his team would have been playing the Seahawks for the right to be in the Super Bowl. Romo took a step forward this season and didn’t need to break any records to do it.
- Julian Edelman is still no elite receiver. He was good not great in the regular season as he tried to be Welker-lite. He had a pile of catches but just four TDs. That said, he has been a boss in the post season. Without him, New England loses to the Ravens.
- Eli Manning did improve upon his 2013 disaster of a season. But a great deal of that improvement came because of Odell Beckham. The rookie receiver made some epic catches and caught fire midway through the year as a dominant wide out.
- Eric Decker got a taste of life with Geno Smith as his passer. Not an easy gig is it Eric? It is hard to judge Decker because of the QB he was handcuffed to, but the wide out did have a couple of big games. His stats were not bad as he had 74 catches and five touchdowns. I must say I was impressed considering his situation.
- Rob Gronkowski can make all the talk go away about his health issues if he has a big Super Bowl. He went back to being the dominating tight end this season. He was timid at the start of the year but once he became comfortable on that knee once again, he started embarrassing defenses. Best tight end in football as long as he is healthy.
- Mike Wallace is just about done in the NFL. I hope he can get a job doing something football related, because his ride is about over. Hopefully he saved his money because his next gig will not pay nearly what the NFL did.
- Robert Griffin III did nothing to make me rethink his spot at the top of my overrated player list. His team rotated quarterbacks more than I could keep track of in 2014. He simply does not get it. If he has not been humbled enough in the past two years to recommit himself to improve his craft, he will be serving as a career backup very soon.
Here are a few extra players that didn’t live up to their hype this year.
– Cam Newton should stop with the whole Superman display after he scores a touchdown and acts like a fool. He is a phenom with his size and running ability, but he might want to spend more time on his passing accuracy than his celebration techniques.
– Phillip Rivers let his team meltdown again this year after a hot start. He just doesn’t have what it takes to lead the Chargers to a successful playoff run.
– Jonas Gray may not be on many people’s radar, but after he went for 200 yards versus the Colts he certainly thought he was special. He may well have been too. But oversleeping and missing a team meeting on Belichick’s team is a no no. He failed to make any impact the rest of his season.
– Roddy White got a lot of attention for his ‘Hard Knocks’ appearances but fell off this year. He didn’t make the big plays that the Falcons needed as Julio Jones took over the lead at wide out. White has been a special player for a long stretch, but father time is on his heels.
– Josh Gordon didn’t see the field much this year due to his drug suspension. But the best receiver from 2013 messed up again late in the year after getting back on the field. He managed to get suspended by his team for the last game of the year by missing a team function. Talent wasted.