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An Update On 20 NFL Players Who Were Absent This Season

The 2018 NFL common season was an thrilling one for gamers and followers alike and networks cashed in after two years of declining scores. For starters, there was a record-setting 1,371 touchdowns scored this season and 73 video games have been determined by three factors or much less. Due to that mixture of offense and parity, all the main networks carrying the NFL skilled vital will increase in viewership all through the season. General viewership was up roughly 5 % from the yr prior and NFL video games made up 46 of the highest 50 most-watched exhibits on cable – even the disappointing wild card video games skilled a rise in year-over-year viewership for the primary time in 5 years.

Numerous the offense and pleasure got here from the league’s spectacular rookies and second-year gamers like New York Giants operating again Saquon Barkley, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, each of whom look like future Corridor of Famers based mostly on expertise alone. Different rookies like Nick Chubb, Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore, and Kerryon Johnson all made constructive impacts with their respective groups. In fact, an inflow of recent expertise means some veteran gamers have been pushed out of the league both by their very own accord or because of not with the ability to earn a roster spot anymore. Gamers like Jason Witten and Eric Decker introduced their retirement, whereas Le’Veon Bell was absent for an entire totally different cause. And people are simply a few the gifted gamers who did not go well with up in the course of the 2018 common season.

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20 Vincent Jackson: Restaurant Proprietor

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Vincent Jackson sat out the 2017 season however did not formally retire till Might 2018. Whereas there was by no means actually hope of him returning for an additional season, his agent put any ideas of a comeback to relaxation when he advised ESPN that the three-time Professional Bowl extensive receiver is “very fortunately retired.”

The 35-year-old alumnus of Northern Colorado concluded his 12-year NFL profession with 57 touchdowns and 9,080 receiving yards in 155 video games. He accomplished a enterprise diploma on the College of South Florida in 2016 and has since invested in eating places. He’s half proprietor of a pair of Tilted Kilt franchises in Las Vegas and San Diego and, alongside together with his enterprise companions, has opened three different eating places within the Tampa Bay space. Consider it or not, he was even awarded the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Yr in 2017.

19 Joe Thomas: Staying Wholesome in Retirement

Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports activities

It is really a disgrace Joe Thomas was pressured to retire this previous offseason as a result of the Cleveland Browns lastly appear to be a aggressive staff and Thomas, a 10-time Professional Bowl deal with and future Corridor of Famer, was a part of some terrible groups in Cleveland throughout his 11-year profession.

Thomas has been engaged on his well being in retirement. He has misplaced greater than 50 kilos since enjoying his final recreation within the league and says he seems like he is 40-years-old now – he is truly solely 34, however famous he felt like he was 65 after his final season. Whereas he should wait a few years earlier than the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame comes calling, he was lately inducted into the School Soccer Corridor of Fame.

18 Danny Woodhead: Household Man

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports activities

For nearly a decade, Danny Woodhead was the scrappy, undersized operating again that all the time appeared to outperform expectations. Undrafted out of Chadron State, the Nebraska native was signed by the New York Jets in 2009 and later hung out with the New England Patriots earlier than turning into a harmful passing choice out of the backfield in San Diego.

Woodhead retired following the 2017 season with 32 touchdowns (15 dashing and 17 receiving) and four,936 yards from scrimmage. He has been spending his first yr of retirement at his residence in Nebraska together with his spouse and 4 youngsters. In the summertime of 2018, he carried the official Cornhusker State Video games torch into Seacrest Stadium to kick off the 34th annual occasion.

17 DeMarco Murray: Teaching at College of Arizona

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports activities

Provided that he was the AP Offensive Participant of the Yr in 2014 and continues to be solely 30-years-old, it was considerably of a shock when DeMarco Murray introduced his retirement final yr. He was just one season faraway from registering 1,664 yards from scrimmage with the Tennessee Titans and hadn’t missed a recreation resulting from damage prior to now two seasons.

Murray was having fun with retirement in the course of the 2018 NFL common season whereas serving as a university soccer analyst with Fox Sports activities, however on January four was employed to function an assistant on the College of Arizona. Naturally, Murray will work because the group’s operating backs coach.

16 James Harrison: Aspiring Actor

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports activities

It was extremely unusual not seeing linebacker James Harrison on the sector through the 2018 common season. The 40-year-old former AP Defensive Participant of the Yr spent 14 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, one season with the Cincinnati Bengals, and one recreation with the Evil Empire of the New England Patriots. He performed six video games in 2017 and registered three sacks.

Harrison has spent a lot of his retirement constructing a popularity on social media. He recurrently posts Instagram movies preaching about brotherhood and household and extra lately has been crucial of the Steelers and head coach Mike Tomlin. He additionally informed TMZ he has been taking appearing courses in hopes of turning into the subsequent Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Good luck with that.

15 Dwight Freeney: Visitor Analyst

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities

A one-time Tremendous Bowl champion and seven-time Professional Bowl defensive finish, Dwight Freeney was chosen 11th general by the Indianapolis Colts within the 2002 NFL Draft and spent 11 years with the staff earlier than enjoying a handful of video games with the San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, and Seattle Seahawks. He solely performed in 9 video games in the course of the 2017 season however managed three sacks.

He signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Colts, following which he spent the summer time of 2018 touring in Europe. He resides in Florida, the place he golfs frequently and labored with the NFL Community as a visitor analyst every now and then this previous season.

14 Carson Palmer: Quiet Retirement

Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports activities

Though he by no means fairly lived as much as the No. 1 general hype, Carson Palmer constructed an honest profession for himself, one which included enjoying in three Professional Bowls and registering 294 touchdowns and 46,247 passing yards by means of 182 profession common season video games. He was not at all terrible in 2017 however opted to retire given he was 38 years previous and the Arizona Cardinals deliberate to go in a special course.

He is been pretty quiet in retirement however was anticipated to take part within the LPGA’s Diamond Resorts Event of Champions this January in Orlando alongside actors, musicians, World Collection champions, and NFL Professional Bowl gamers.

13 T.J. Ward: Hoping for a Comeback

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports activities

A two-time Professional Bowl defensive again out of the College of Oregon, T.J. Ward performed eight seasons within the league between the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and managed 590 tackles, 10 pressured fumbles, eight interceptions, and eight.5 sacks. He was nonetheless comparatively efficient in 2017 however wasn’t signed for the 2018 season.

That does not imply his enjoying days are finished. Ward informed The Athletic this October that he hoped to get again on the sector and show his naysayers incorrect. He stated he was on a number of groups’ radars this season, however none have been prepared to signal him to a contract. Will probably be robust to return to the league subsequent season after a full yr away from the sport.

12 Orleans Darkwa: Making an attempt to Discover a Staff

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports activities

Orleans Darkwa continues to be solely 26 years previous so it is a bit shocking that he did not play a single snap within the NFL this previous season, particularly since he registered a career-best 867 yards from scrimmage in 2017. He was primarily a third-string again within the earlier two seasons, so his 2018 efficiency may need prompt he would earn a job in 2018, even when the Giants had no room for him after drafting Saquon Barkley.

He had exercises with the Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts, and New England Patriots, amongst different groups, however surprisingly wasn’t signed. His most up-to-date Instagram publish in November consists of the caption, “The present will go on, only a temporary intermission,” so anticipate him to attempt to make a comeback in 2019.

11 Julius Thomas: Going Again to Faculty

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports activities

A former collegiate basketball participant, Julius Thomas performed just one season of school soccer at Portland State however was chosen by the Denver Broncos within the fourth spherical of the 2011 NFL Draft as a result of his spectacular catching capacity and 6-foot-5, 256-pound body.

The tight finish was a favourite goal of Peyton Manning with the Denver Broncos and, over the course of seven seasons within the league, managed 24 touchdowns and a couple of,406 receiving yards. He introduced his retirement this previous August in addition to his intentions to pursue a doctorate in psychology and research CTE and the way it pertains to soccer.

10 Robert Ayers: Unsure NFL Future

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports activities

Robert Ayers was by no means a Professional Bowl defensive finish, however the 33-year-old native of Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey had a good nine-year profession through which he managed 270 tackles, 34.5 sacks, and 9 pressured fumbles. He final performed in 2017 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Ayers hasn’t formally retired or dominated out a return to the NFL in 2019, however it’ll be robust after not having performed in 2018. He was truly signed by the Detroit Lions on August 27 however launched the subsequent day. He laughed about all of it by sharing a humorous Twitter publish on August 29.

9 Richie Incognito: Unsigned

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports activities

Keep in mind Richie Incognito? The troubled offensive lineman was the primary individual concerned in a locker room controversy throughout his time with the Miami Dolphins. A few of Incognito’s supporters may need shared the notion that what occurs in a locker room stays within the locker room, however he is unlikely to have many in his nook today.

The 35-year-old native of New Jersey final performed for the Buffalo Payments in 2017 however went unsigned in 2018 and for good purpose. This previous August, he was concerned in an off-field incident at a funeral residence the place his father was being laid to relaxation.

eight NaVorro Bowman: In search of a Residence

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports activities

One of many league’s premier linebackers through the prime of his profession, NaVorro Bowman spent seven seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and 5 video games with the Oakland Raiders earlier than going unsigned in the course of the 2018 season. Bowman led the league in tackles through the 2015 season with 154 and has 798 by means of 99 profession video games. He additionally has 14 sacks, 9 pressured fumbles, and 5 interceptions.

He did not formally retire final season and was truly understanding with the Cleveland Browns early within the 2018 season. He lately bought his Northern California residence for $three.7 million, so he both wanted the cash or has realized he will not be capable of afford the place with no full-time job within the NFL.

7 Ryan Shazier: Staying with the Steelers

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports activities

Soccer followers each, no matter their favourite group, are praying for a return for Ryan Shazier, who sustained a critical career- and life-threatening backbone damage through the finish of the 2017 season. The Ohio State alumnus was in solely his fourth season within the league and was a two-time Professional Bowl linebacker.

December 5 marked the one-year anniversary of the damage and he shared an Instagram publish thanking his family and friends for being by his aspect by way of all of it. It is extremely unlikely, however he has made it clear he plans to return to the sector sometime. Even when that is not attainable, Steelers common supervisor Kevin Colbert is on document as saying that Shazier shall be concerned with the group in some capability.

6 Jeremy Maclin: Ready to Return

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports activities

A 30-year-old native of St. Louis, Missouri, Jeremy Maclin was by no means a Professional Bowl vast receiver however had a good eight-year profession with the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, and Baltimore Orioles. He had a career-best yr in 2014 when he registered 1,318 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

Following the 2017 season, Maclin had 49 touchdowns and 6,835 receiving yards. He was unsigned in 2018, though he did have a tryout with the Eagles and sadly sustained a season-ending hamstring damage. He underwent surgical procedure to right the issue in October, following which he expressed his want to return to the league in 2019.

5 Eric Decker: Dwelling the Household Life

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports activities

The start of the 2018 NFL common season had loads of fascinating storylines, considered one of which concerned Eric Decker probably enjoying with the New England Patriots. The 31-year-old was signed by the group on August three, however quickly after introduced his retirement earlier than the season even started. Decker managed 563 receiving yards the yr prior and completed his profession with 5,816 receiving yards and 53 touchdowns.

He has been having fun with retirement together with his spouse, Jessie James Decker, who lately gave delivery to the couple’s third youngster. She shared a photograph of him on Instagram with the caption “#retirement” on December 31.

four Jason Witten: Commentator 

Invoice Streicher-USA TODAY Sports activities

Following the trail of former teammate Tony Romo, Jason Witten determined to show to the printed sales space instantly after saying his retirement and was instantly pegged to do shade commentary throughout Monday Night time Soccer. Sadly, versus Romo, he hasn’t actually been that good, drawing criticism from media varieties and followers alike.

It is a disgrace as a result of, on the sector, Witten was an absolute beast and sure future Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer. The 11-time Professional Bowl tight finish spent 15 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and managed 68 touchdowns and 12,448 receiving yards. He had 5 touchdowns in 2017, so maybe he might have caught it out for an additional season relatively than attempt his luck within the announce sales space.

three Johnny Manziel: CFL

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports activities

Johnny “Soccer” Manziel won’t have performed in the course of the 2017 season – or the 2016 season for that matter – nevertheless it’s onerous to not embrace the previous Heisman Trophy winner, who continues to be very a lot part of the soccer dialog in North America. The previous first-round decide of the Cleveland Browns truly solely began eight video games within the NFL and managed seven touchdowns and 7 interceptions, however made a return to soccer in 2018 after taking good care of his personal private issues.

Manziel signed with the Canadian Soccer League’s Hamilton Tiger Cats and was later dealt to the Montreal Alouettes. He completed his first yr north of the border with 5 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and 215 yards dashing. There’s nonetheless loads of work to be carried out earlier than he makes an attempt an NFL comeback.

2 Dez Bryant: Getting ready for Subsequent Season

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports activities

Technically, Dez Bryant wasn’t actually absent through the 2018 season as he did signal with the New Orleans Saints after weeks of being a free agent awaiting a suggestion, however his time with the group was short-lived. In truth, it was so short-lived that he did not even gown for a single recreation with the group as he sustained a torn Achilles throughout his second apply with the workforce.

Bryant continues to be solely 30-years-old, so it isn’t as if he cannot come again. He was even noticed on crutches on the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers recreation on January 7 and advised reporters that he deliberate on coming again robust in 2019.

1 Le’Veon Bell: Ready on a Massive Contract

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports activities

The one method soccer followers won’t know Le’Veon Bell did not play through the 2018 common season is that if they lived beneath a rock or have been in a coma. Bell dominated headlines all season lengthy for not reporting to the Pittsburgh Steelers after being franchise tagged. There was a will-he-or-won’t-he narrative ongoing for a lot of the season till the deadline handed for him to signal a contract.

The Steelers ended up lacking the playoffs and Bell acquired a full yr of relaxation in preparation for what ought to be an fascinating offseason. He is an unrestricted free agent, which means any staff can signal him, and can possible command one of many largest free agent contracts in NFL historical past.

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