31 NFL Players (and Coaches) That Should Just Be Cut (Part 1)

This past Thursday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced they had terminated the contract of veteran Josh McCown, bring an end to the one-year experiment, and most likely an end to McCown's days as a starter. After a tremendous 2013 campaign, in which he threw 13 touchdowns and just one interception for the Chicago Bears in relief of Jay Cutler, McCown was a train wreck for the already-bad Buccaneers. The cut is still a bold move by the Bucs though, given they'll have to eat an amount of the cash McCown was set to be paid. However, I applaud them for being able to recognize when things aren't working out, and just cutting ties with no hemming and hawing. I wish more teams would do that, and to hopefully encourage such actions, I will now present the other 31 NFL teams with one player they should cut from their roster. You're welcome, general managers (please hire me).

Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald
I don't think I've consumed any sort of football-related media that didn't talk about Larry Fitzgerald the way you'd talk about a loved one in a coma. You keep hoping for them to come out of it, but you also know they could die at any moment. Same with Fitzgerald, you hope he gets to leave Arizona for a team with an actual quarterback, but it's more likely Fitz ends his career watching Carson Palmer's arm fall off during a pass attempt. Please, Cardinals, let Larry go! Let him play for a team that's offensively competent for once!

Atlanta Falcons: Steven Jackson
Like many running backs, Jackson found his clock quickly ticking when he hit 30 early in his tenure with the Falcons. After having eight consecutive 1000-yard seasons with the Rams (side note: yes, really, eight consecutive) Jackson joined up with the Falcons, and has been injured off-and-on ever since. It's hard to believe Jackson's only been in Atlanta for two seasons, as it seems the dark cloud hanging over him has been there for eons. Atlanta looked better with the improving Devonta Freeman and the capable Jacquizz Rodgers behind Matt Ryan this year than with Jackson anyways, so why hold on to an empty promise? Let it go, Falcons. It didn't work out.

image courtesy of USATSI

Baltimore Ravens: Lardarius Webb
You know how many interceptions the vaunted Ravens defense had last season? Eleven. You know who led the team in interceptions? A two-way tie between linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, with two apiece. That's right, no member of the Ravens secondary had more than one interception. So why does Webb get the boot? Because he's turning 30. Have you ever seen what happens to a d-back when he turns 30? I'll tell ya this: he ain't gonna get any better. Christ, even 38 year-old Deion Sanders had two picks in his final season, and Webb was never as good as Sanders was, so the peak he's falling from is much shorter, and much steeper.

Buffalo Bills: EJ Manuel
EJ Manuel's career has been one big spit in the face so far. First, he's drafted to a still-awful Bills team in the first round, which was probably two rounds too early in retrospect. Then, he has to actually start for that garbage team, and promptly got pummeled mercilessly, injured frequently, and never got a chance to really develop in the slightest. Riding the pine behind the picture of mediocrity Kyle Orton certainly didn't help, and now there's more talk of the Bills being in the hunt for a quarterback. EJ Manuel is having the career every promising college quarterback fears, and it's not even his fault.

Carolina Panthers: Greg Hardy
Do I really need to explain this? He beat and threatened to kill his girlfriend, then paid her off to keep her mouth shut. I don't give a damn if he's a Pro Bowl-caliber lineman. This is bigger than any team or any sport. What Hardy allegedly did (according to multiple eyewitnesses) is inexcusable, and since Hardy is already a free agent, I say let him collect unemployment for the rest of his days.


Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler just has a permanent black cloud hanging over him these days. It seems like the guy just exudes a negative energy, even when he's being nice and playing well. I'm not on the Cutty hate-wagon, far from it, but even I can't ignore that kind of aura. It's a shame things didn't work out the way everybody wanted, but this is the reality: Jay Cutler is not an elite quarterback, and to this point, he's on the downswing. The Bears would have to eat a lot of cash if they cut Jay, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made to turn the page, near-rhyme not intended.

Cincinnati Bengals: Marvin Lewis
Yes, I'm including a coach in here, because I think letting Lewis go could be the best chance this current Bengals iteration has at achieving success beyond a one-and-done appearance in the playoffs. Lewis is the kind of coach who can take a team to a certain point through earning their respect and creating good chemistry, but lacks the necessary tactical knowledge and cold analysis needed to get the most out of his players. Watching the 2013 season of Hard Knocks, Lewis gave off the vibe of being someone who was simply there to oversee the team and get enough out of his players to stay above .500. It's not enough, anymore.

Cleveland Browns: Brian Hoyer
For his first few years, Hoyer was recognized behind-the-scenes by GMs and scouts as a future starting quarterback, if ever given the chance. He started his career backing up Tom Brady, which naturally meant no chance to start, and he was even forced to politely wait behind Jason Campbell for a year in Cleveland before becoming the guy Johnny Manziel was going to outplay. That never happened, and instead Hoyer had a season with a few ups but mostly downs. Any thought that Hoyer could be a stud QB went out the window in 2014, and as much as I hate to say it, the Browns might need to start hunting for a new QB... for the 14th consecutive season (hey, Tim Couch led them to the playoffs once). 

Dallas Cowboys: Jason Garrett
I am 100% sure Jason Garrett uses sulfuric acid for his facial peels, but grooming habits aside, I am convinced he would have been fired already if he didn't look so damn weird. Garrett brings very little to the table, surprising given he held a clipboard for his entire career as a backup QB. He's not particularly analytical, nor is he a charismatic charmer. Outside of being a willing puppet for the front office, it's puzzling why the Cowboys keep him around, especially with how coveted of a position head coach for the team would be. Yes, there'll be plenty of scrutiny to be had in Dallas, regardless of performance, but Jerry Jones needs a head coach who can both stand up to him and get him what he wants: a Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year. Garrett isn't likely to do either.

Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning
There's a reason Peyton Manning only has one Super Bowl, and it's because he's terrible in the playoffs. Okay, not terrible, but in the past, Manning's superhuman play has been the driving force behind his team's success. So when he plays even remotely human, his teams don't survive. It's nice to have a winning season again and again if you're a fan, but at some point, titles are expected, not hoped for. After all, having a winning season without a title doesn't give much hope or promise for a team with a 39 year-old QB at the helm. Stop teasing yourselves, Broncos fans. It just ain't gonna happen.


Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh
You ever have that one friend who hasn't been in a relationship in a long time, and the first person they start dating after the draught is a total abusive asshole? The Lions need to know they can do better than Suh now. I know you're scared of being alone at the bottom of the NFC again, Detroit, but guys like Suh are no good for you. Now everybody just thinks the Lions are classless bullies who encourage the foolish and violent actions of Suh. There's more fish in the sea, Lions, and some of them are pretty good at playing defensive tackle.

Green Bay Packers: A.J. Hawk
Somebody with the name A.J. Hawk needs to be better at football than Mr. Hawk actually is. You know who should have the name A.J. Hawk? Clay Matthews. Now that guy is a straight up beast. Don't get me wrong, Hawk was either second or led the team in tackles for six of his first seven seasons, but for a guy who was drafted fifth overall, there's no doubt Pro Bowl expectations were there. They never came to fruition, and now Hawk is just a pretty good linebacker on a really good team. Hawk could be the number one linebacker on a worse team, and it's not like he doesn't deserve the chance. He's pretty cool. He named his son Hendrix Knight Hawk. His kid is going to owe him huge for the amount of play he'll get in college. Now that's a cool dad.

Houston Texans: All of their quarterbacks
Yes, this goes beyond the one player rule, but I think if you take them all out in one fell swoop, like with a giant tidal wave or a nuclear bomb, I think an exception can be made. After all, you wouldn't be able to tell who died first. That's the beauty of it! Look, we all have players whom we love on the team, including Gamecocks Jadeveon Clowney, DEEEEEEEEEJAAAAAAAY Swearinger, and Johnathan Joseph. They even have one of the most dominant players in the NFL running amok on their behalf, JJ Watt. So imagine a defense like that playing with even more confidence, knowing they have a stud QB (or at least a trustworthy one) leading the other half towards the endzone? Imagine someone like Watt playing with house money. I think he'd somehow become even more unstoppable.

Indianapolis Colts: Trent Richardson
There's broken men, and there's Trent Richardson. Richardson was labeled a healthy scratch for the Colts' playoff game against the Patriots, and to make matters worse, he skipped out on the flight to said game with an unannounced and still-unexplained "family emergency", leading many to believe Richardson simply never left his bed, and decided to have a self-care day. As someone who suffers from depression, it's important to have days like this to completely remove any additional anxiety or triggers that may flare up the depression. While I've certainly had my fair share of laughs at Trent's expense, I know this must be a tough time for him. It's been a wild trip since Richardson has entered the league, and while things keep seeming to get worse and worse, only he holds the power to turn the page. Colts, let this mustang run free!