Archive for August 17, 2012

The 11 Best Players in Today’s NFL Never to Play in a Super Bowl: Part One

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In sports the ultimate individuals collaborate to win the ultimate team prize. In the NFL that prize is the Super Bowl. Careers are made in the contests leading up to the big game, however careers are defined be how players perform in that game.

 

The tragedy of this judgment is some of the game’s greats never reach that platform. This list is dedicated to today’s greats who have not had that opportunity.

 
The NFL is littered with all-time greats who have never played in the greatest of games. Some players such as Warren Moon and Barry Sanders rest in Canton, while others like Randall Cunningham, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Cris Carter are certainly headed there. All share the common bond of not only not having a Super Bowl ring but never have even played in the game. That is the true tragedy.

 
To have never been afforded the opportunity to shine brightly for all the world to see is the ultimate irony for these stars. This current list is a mixture of explosive yet seasoned players, who have quietly built impeccable individual resumes.
Some have tasted brief playoff success only to leave the table before partaking in the main dish. Others have never even won a playoff game or been to the playoffs.

 

In a world where the victorious receive the spoils, it is truly the agony for those who endure defeat.
The list of the game’s most unfulfilled;

 
11. Maurice Jones-Drew, Running Back, Jacksonville Jaguars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If MJD was a Patriot he would be a god whose name would ring from coast to coast. Instead one of the game’s premier offensive threats is regulated to NFL purgatory, also known as Jacksonville. Making matters worse the Jaguars have decided to accompany asinine decision making with incompetent player development and not pay Jones-Drew the money he so richly deserves.

Jones-Drew personifies what a football player, better yet a warrior embodies. The running back is durable, reliable, and relentless. Bigger running backs have failed mightily at displaying the toughness of Jones-Drew, who has managed to play a complete season in four of his six years in the league. The Jaguars’ have decided to ignore his three seasons of ten or more touchdowns and have chosen to scoff at “everyday Im hustling” approach on every single play.

Jones-Drew has survived poor offensive line play, a lack of any consistent threat on the outside, and most of all horrendous coaching, only to have his career unfulfilled. It is one thing to lose, but it is another game entirely to accept losing. It appears the Jaguars have accepted and embrace being a losing organization, while MJD refuses to accept defeat. Few players display such a championship heart only to have first round results.

Here’s hoping the Jags allow MJD to pursue happiness in another uniform. A trade to a team preferable focused on playing championship ball and not cheap hard ball with its players.

10. Nnamdi Asomugha, Cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the last four years Asomugha has been one of the best football players in the National Football League. The cornerback excelled amid constant turmoil in Oakland and was able to cash out and head to greener pastures.

Yet, Nnamdi’s team success has yet to run parallel with his individual success. The cornerback has NEVER played in the playoffs. The defensive back for all his glory has yet to register a postseason pass defense or tackle.

Asomugha choose the Philadelphia Eagles in part because the franchise had a recent history of playoff appearances. Unfortunately the cornerback’s streak of eight straight seasons without making the postseason would hit nine.

The Eagles unexpected year of failure was made possible by an unexpected decline in Asomugha’s play. A new year will hopefully bring new results for the former Golden Bear.  Now resting on the wrong side of 30 the defensive back will not have too many more cracks at snapping his unheralded streak. His team’s failures have become a staple in what would otherwise appear to be an established career.

Right or wrong Asomugha, more than most players, needs a Super Bowl ring.  Simply put a Super Bowl title could place Asomugha in Hall-of-Fame company. However, another season of unfulfilled promise and the cornerback would undoubtedly be just another player who took the money and never delivered on the promise.

 

 
9. Jason Witten, Tight End, Dallas Cowboys 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To some this is an odd choice unless you are a Giants, Redskins, or Eagles fan. To love Jason Witten you must first have to hate the Dallas Cowboys. Its tough to find a more complete football and impossible to find a more complete tight end. Witten has earned the right to play in the big game.

Unlike some on this list the tight end has gotten the most of his talent and has never cheated the game. Witten is a warrior’s warrior and he again unlike most on this list has been let down by his teammates, time and time again. Accept when the playoffs come around then Witten conforms to the company he keeps and vastly under performs.

Five playoff games with no touchdowns or one game over a hundred yards is explainable. Witten is good enough to control a game by himself and is equipped to dominate in the playoffs. The tight end most find a way to produce in the biggest moments the Cowboy will never see the biggest of moments.

 

8. London Fletcher, Linebacker, Washington Redskins 

Imagine working for a company and never missing a day. Imagine receiving rave reviews for the work you have done, but too little consequence. An exercise in futility would best describe the career of London Fletcher.
For 14 years Fletcher has played every game like it was his last. In fact, for 12 of those years the linebacker literally played in every game. Fletcher has played in one, yes a single, playoff game in his entire career. To put that in perspective the linebacker has played in 224 games and only one of those has been for a championship.

The other games while relevant allowed him to play for another day.
At the end of the day Fletcher gave everything he had to the game of football and exceeded perceived limitations that others had bestowed upon him. The community to which he serves will always hold him in the highest of regards, even if the history of the league will not.
 


7. Ed Reed, Safety, Baltimore Ravens

To some Ed Reed is one of the best safeties to ever play the game, while too others he is nothing more than a riverboat gambler. Either way for a decade now Reed has excelled. The Baltimore Ravens have been a perennial playoff contender for the last four seasons and most recently reached the AFC title game, where the lost by three points to the New England Patriots.

 
One more play and Reed is not on this list, but he is and essentially because of that one play. The Ravens have needed Reed to make that one magical play he has become accustomed to making. The safety has played in two AFC title games and has not registered one interception, or even a tackle for that matter.

 
Reed’s penchant for interceptions seems to wane the deeper the Ravens get into the playoffs. In fact, of the safeties eight postseason interceptions seven came in the wildcard games. Its tough to imagine such a prolific player not being able to shine in their biggest moments, and deliver his team a victory.

 

 
6. Adrian Peterson, Running Back, Minnesota Vikings 

Three playoff games is unacceptable for such a talent, insert excuses here. Peterson has been one of the game’s most productive and explosive players, and his talent alone should be good enough for at least one playoff win. Yet, here he sits on the brink of being a “whats his name” player on a forgotten franchise.
Although Peterson has not quite underachieved in his limited playoff appearances it is hard to forget his 72 fumbles in the 2010 NFC Championship game. It is hard to fathom a player that good could possibly never get a chance to play for the ultimate prize.

 
A torn ACL and MCL will definitely rob Peterson of his some of the explosiveness that we have come accustomed to seeing.

In addition, the Minnesota Vikings are a mess this year and it doesn’t look like anyone is coming to clean. So another season and thus another year will be taken away from Peterson without an opportunity to shine on the NFL’s biggest stage.

 

Part Two to be released Next Week

The Pistol Offense and Zone Reads: A Trend to the Future

Demps

Watching Colin Kaepernick’s 78 yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings last Friday got me thinking. It seems that the San Francisco 49ers intelligently designed that play in order for LaMichael James to be in the backfield at the same time.

Whether you are looking at a pistol design or a zone-read, which was the case with Kaepernick, this could be the new package that teams with an excess of athleticism run.

Think about it for a second.

Kaepernick and James combined for over 9,000 rushing yards in college. For those of us who are not math savants, that equates to about five miles of running. Simply amazing. Defenses will not be able to hone in on the quarterback in this situation because James has the ability to break the long run on the outside should the ball be handed to him. They’re not going to be able to hone in on the running back because the quarterback possesses the same capability.

Pistol Offense

In short, it confuses the hell out of the defense and can lead to a long gain. I am not talking about an entire offensive scheme catered to this. Rather, a play or two per game.

This isn’t just limited to the 49ers, though they showed success with it in their preseason opener.

The Oakland Raiders could run the same type of “gadget play” with Terrelle Pryor and Taiwan Jones in the backfield. Just think about that for a second. Two players that run a sub 4.5 40-yard dash in the backfield at the same time. It remains to be seen if Oakland is going to attempt to try to run this play in their remaining preseason games.

Let’s say the New York Jets sign former Florida running back Jeff Demps to a rookie free agent contract. The idea of Tim Tebow and the talented young running back in the same backfield running a zone read or pistol play would be cause for alarm for opposing teams.

This story can be repeated over and over again with teams that have an athletic quarterback on the roster. Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Michael Vick, Brad Smith and even Aaron Rodgers would all have the capabilities to do it.

Move over wildcat, this could be the new gimmick of the modern National Football League. I for one am intrigued.

Miami Dolphins: Struggling Organization Fails to Show Class in Johnson Situation

Ireland and Ross

I could care less if Chad Johnson was struggling to learn the playbook or that he isn’t the same wide receiver we saw four years ago. The Miami Dolphins would never have released the enigmatic figure if it wasn’t for his arrest on domestic violence charges Saturday night.

You cannot possibly tell me that Miami has nine or 10 receivers on their roster that are better than Johnson. With rosters still extended to 90, Miami didn’t have to make this decision now. They didn’t have to do so in such an abrupt manner. And, in the process, they didn’t have to look so classless.

None of us can pretend to fully know what happened between Johnson and his soon to be ex-wife, Evelyn Lozado during their conflict. To act like we know exactly what went down would be utterly foolish and ignorant.

The same goes for the Dolphins, who should have let the process play out and then made a decision from there.

Listen, I fully understand that violence against women isn’t acceptable in American society, and if Johnson is indeed guilty of this unfathomable crime, justice should be served…he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

That being said, he shouldn’t be persecuted by a population that loves to hate on athletes, mostly African-American. He isn’t guilty until proven otherwise. Instead, the American Justice System, the best in the world, runs contrary to that archaic ideal.

The National Football League, led by figurehead Roger Goodell, might be getting it right in terms of cracking down on off-field issues with players around the league. As evidenced by a wide array of arrests in the NFL this offseason, there seems to be some sort of “I am above the law” mentality taking place. A hard swift kick in the ass back to reality is needed for certain players, who deem themselves better than all of us.

History as it relates to Johnson tells us another story. He has been an upstanding citizen, continues to work with charities spanning the globe, and really seems to connect with fans in an era where most athletes just feel that these fans aren’t worth the hassle.

Instead of standing by their player until ALL evidence came out, the Dolphins acted the part of a tyrant under the guise of an organization. They stated that Johnson was released for a myriad of different reasons when level-headed individuals the world over know that isn’t the case. They lied to Johnson on “Hard Knocks,” throwing him to the proverbial wolves. In the process, they showed just how classless of an organization that Stephen Ross and Jeff Ireland run.

And, you wonder why free agents pass up Miami every opportunity they get. You wonder why the likes of Alex Smith use this organization as a negotiating ploy with the San Francisco 49ers.

They’re an absolute joke and everyone knows it. I just wonder why HBO had to stoop to this level in order to gain ratings. Well, I guess that is Hollywood for you. I thought the NFL might be different, but I was wrong.

Go ahead, throw someone under the bus before having the information out there. Just remember, that I and many others will hold you to this if Johnson is proven innocent in this whole ordeal. If not, I will repeat what I said before, we don’t have the information to jump to ignorant conclusions and I doubt very much the Dolphins do.

Using someones lively hood to make a point under the guise of team chemistry is crap and they know it. Throwing someone under the bus on national television to up your rankings is also crap.

Yes, I am talking to you HBO and the Miami Dolphins. You should be ashamed.

 

2012 NFL Power Rankings: Version 1.0

Pro Football Nuts

 

It might be too early to take a look at where most teams stand in the National Football League. After all, we are just coming off of one week of preseason football. Talk about jumping the gun.

With that it mind, I am fully prepared to run towards the cliff with a blow-horn and blurt out random names to see if they stick come January. These power rankings will be updated every week.

 

32. Cleveland Browns (AFC Rank: 16)

The Browns ineptitude on the offensive side of the ball is going to be their undoing. Brandon Weeden is nowhere near being a starter caliber quarterback in the NFL and they don’t have the weapons on the outside to succeed.

31. Minnesota Vikings (NFC Rank: 16)

They looked really bad Friday night against the San Francisco 49ers. I understand it was just the first preseason game, but this team is lacking talent across the board on both sides of the ball.

30. St. Louis Rams (NFC Rank: 15)

That was an embarrassing way to start the Jeff Fisher era in St. Louis. While it is hard to take stock of a team after one preseason game, the Rams have a great deal of work to do in order to compete on a consistent basis on Sunday’s.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC Rank: 15)

Even with Maurice Jones-Drew in the fold, this team wasn’t going to win more than five games. Take him out of the mix and you have the second worst offense in the NFL behind Cleveland. Wont win you many games.

28. Indianapolis Colts (AFC Rank: 14)

Andrew Luck and Co. where might impressive on Sunday against the Rams. Though this should be taken with a grain of salt, you have to be happy about the way this young team looked with the rookie quarterback leading the charge.

27. Arizona Cardinals (NFC Rank: 14)

Kevin Kolb or John Skelton, does it really matter? The Cardinals are so inept at the quarterback position that it makes them look like a Pop Warner team at times. Arizona’s two top quarterbacks have combined for a 19.2 quarterback rating in two preseason games.

26. Miami Dolphins (AFC Rank: 13)

Ryan Tannehill was might impressive, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He has a tremendous amount of work to do. Miami’s best shot at contention is with either David Garrard or Matt Moore under center. Either way, the lack of talent at wide receiver is going to hurt.

25. Oakland Raiders (AFC Rank: 12)

Even by preseason standards, the Raiders loss to Dallas on Monday night was horrendous. This team couldn’t do anything right, struggling in nearly every aspect of the game. I guess their defense looked good, holding the Cowboys to three points. Something to take out of the performance. It’s going to take some time for this team to gel.

24. New York Jets (AFC Rank: 11)

This team is lacking chemistry and talent across the board, none more than at the quarterback position. Neither Mark Sanchez nor Tim Tebow appear to be the answer. They don’t have the receivers to make plays and lack young talent on defense. Get primed for a down season in New York with the Jets.

23. Washington Redskins (NFC Rank: 13)

Robert Griffin III definitely impressed in his preseason debut and I would love to put the Skin’s higher, but I just don’t see it. They’re schedule is going to be brutal in 2012, which indicates another losing season in the capital. For Washington, it is all about progression from the youngsters, RGIII included.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC Rank: 12)

It does seem that Greg Schiano is planning on running an offense that fits their talents much better than what we saw last season. The additions of Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin will help on the offensive side of the ball. The division they play in coupled with a bad defense leads me to believe this team finishes in the cellar once again.

21. Carolina Panthers (NFC Rank: 11)

Can Cam Newton take the next step? If he does, will the Panthers make the postseason? While I am happy with what Carolina did in the draft and to an extent in free agency, they seem to be a year or so away from contention.

20. Dallas Cowboys (NFC Rank: 10)

Let’s not read too much into the Cowboys lack of offensive performance Monday night against the Oakland Raiders. They didn’t have a couple healthy bodies on the offensive line and it just didn’t seem like the team was connecting. That being said, Dallas needs to get it together relatively quickly.

19. Tennessee Titans (AFC Rank: 10)

Jake Locker appears to be the favorite to win Tennessee’s starting quarterback job. It really doesn’t matter, both will be able to lead the Titans to postseason contention. It is all about moving forward with the young quarterback at the helm.

18. San Diego Chargers (AFC Rank: 9)

One of the most disappointing teams in recent NFL history, the pressure is definitely on Norv Turner and Co. this season. They need to win double-digit games and make a postseason run. If history serves as an indicator, fans in Southern California will be disappointed once again.

17. Buffalo Bills (AFC Rank: 8)

The Bills will be right in the mix for a postseason spot when all is said and done. Despite a rough preseason debut, this is a team that has talent clear across the board. The additions of Mario Williams and Stephon Gilmore were huge. There success will depend a great deal on the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

16. Detroit Lions (NFC Rank: 9)

I will probably receive some flack for having the Lions so low on this list, but let me explain. They’re going to find it difficult to win on a consistent basis without a ground game on offense and lackluster play in the secondary. Couple that with playing in a tough division and this could be a disappointing season in the Motor City.

15. Seattle Seahawks (NFC Rank: 8)

Yet another team that should be in the race for the duration of the 2012 season. Seattle looked mighty impressive in their preseason opener as it seems their quarterback competition has been dwindled down to Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson. Solid play at this position could get Seattle into the second season.

14. Denver Broncos (AFC Rank: 7)

I am not going to buy into the Peyton Manning hype until the future Hall of Fame quarterback proves he can stay healthy during the regular season. If this happens, Denver might end up favorites in the AFC West.

13. New Orleans Saints (NFC Rank: 7)

Again, I will probably get some flack for having the Saints so low. It really is hard to underscore just how much the loss of head coach Sean Payton will hurt New Orleans. You need solid coaching to win consistently in the NFL and without him the Saints just don’t have that.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC Rank: 6)

Pittsburgh has a few different issues to address if they’re going to return to the postseason in 2012. David DeCastro and Mike Adams, both rookies, are going to have to step up along the o-line to keep Big Ben upright. They are also going to have to find someone to be a consistent threat on the ground in the running game.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (AFC Rank: 5)

You can definitely expect Cincinnati to take a step forward in 2012. Both Andy Dalton and A.J. Green has a year of seasoning under their belt. This is going to make a huge difference. Additionally, Cincinnati addressed defensive concerns along the defensive line and in the secondary. Definitely a team on the upswing.

10. Kansas City Chiefs (AFC Rank: 4)

Tell me that the Baltimore Ravens would have succeeded last season if they were without Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Ed Reed for a majority of the season. This is the situation that Kansas City found themselves in last year. With a fully healthy roster, they are the clear cut favorites to win what promises to be a competitive division.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (NFC Rank: 6)

Again, I am not going to buy into the hype here. Though Philadelphia has one of the most talented rosters in the league, they need to start putting it together on the football field. Additionally, Michael Vick is going to have to show he can stay healthy for an entire season if the Eagles are going to win the NFC East.

8. Chicago Bears (NFC Rank: 5)

One major concern as it relates to the Bears is pass protection. They didn’t do much to address this issue in the offseason and saw their quarterbacks sacked six times in the preseason opener. The weapons are there on the offensive side of the ball with Michael Bush, Brandon Marshal and Alshon Jeffery. It is all about putting it together and keeping Jay Cutler upright.

7. Baltimore Ravens (AFC Rank: 3)

The loss of Terrell Suggs for what promises to be the majority of the 2012 season is going to hurt a great deal. You don’t lose the reigning Defensive Player of the Year without taking somewhat of a step back. Baltimore needs Joe Flacco to step his game up if they’re going to be serious contenders for the conference championship.

6. Atlanta Falcons (NFC Rank: 4)

Boy, the Falcons first-team was impressive in their preseason opener against the aforementioned Ravens. No, this isn’t the reason why I have Atlanta rated higher. Instead, it seems they are going to have one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL this season. Couple that with an improved defense and you have the makings for a possible Super Bowl run. It is all about winning in January, something Matt Ryan has been unable to do.

5. Houston Texans (AFC Rank: 2)

Houston didn’t really have a great offseason. The losses of Eric Winston, Mike Brisiel and Mario Williams is definitely going to hurt. That being said, this team has the talent on both sides of the ball to compete for the AFC Championship. Again, we are looking at injuries. They need Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson to play the duration of the season for this to become a reality.

4. Green Bay Packers (NFC Rank: 3)

How can a team that won 15 regular season games the year before not be in the top three? Well, if that team is the Packers extended expectations are not needed. Green Bay laid an egg in their first postseason game and finished as one of the two worst defensive teams in the league. We all know about Aaron Rodgers and Co. on offense, but youngsters need to step up on the other side of the ball is this team is going to win the NFC.

3. New England Patriots (AFC Rank: 1)

They did a great job adding players at need positions on both sides of the ball. Brandon Lloyd is going to play the part of a serious receiving threat on the outside. He teams up with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Deion Branch to form an elite passing game for Tom Brady. Chandler Jones, who was impressive in his NFL debut against the New Orleans Saints last week, should help the defensive out a great deal. Definitely the frontrunners for another trip to the Super Bowl out of the AFC.

2. San Francisco 49ers (NFC Rank: 2)

This team is absolutely stacked. Trent Baalke and Co. did an amazing job adding talent where it needed to be added in the offseason. Their offense promises to be vastly improved from a pedestrian 2011 campaign, while Alex Smith seems like he is ready to take that next step. San Francisco also returns all 11 starters from one of the most dominating defenses in the league. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers brought home their sixth Super Bowl Championship in New Orleans in February. In fact, they should be considered favorites to do so.

1. New York Giants (NFC Rank: 1)

Do I believe the Giants are the best team in the NFL? No. In fact, I think it is going to be hard for them to even make the postseason in the tough NFC. That being said, the defending Super Bowl Champions need to be ranked No. 1 until they lose a football game. This is my philosophy and I will NEVER change it.

Preseason Report: Indianapolis Colts Game 1

Positives

Andrew Luck

Courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts

The obvious was clearly the development of Andrew Luck.  His knowledge of the game and athleticism were on display.  He moved extremely well in the pocket, and at times with no options threw the ball away. His first pass being a sixty three yard touchdown pass to Donald Brown.  Statistics aside, you want to see pocket presence, delivery, timing, and accuracy when evaluating a rookie quarterback.  Luck displayed a comfortable presence in the pocket and scrambled very well.  He went through his reads and progressions like a veteran, and showed great timing and accuracy on his throws.  This is refreshing considering the weak offensive line.

Austin Collie

It takes two things to be a good receiver, getting open and catching the ball.  It sounds simple, and it can be when Peyton Manning is your quarterback. One thing to remember is that if you have a good quarterback he will get you the ball. These are the things that Collie did well while Manning was at the helm.  With Lucks ability to go through his progressions, Collie’s ability to get open will be a great advantage to the development of Luck.

Jerry Hughes

Courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts

A few months ago I wrote that the development of Jerry Hughes in the new defensive scheme would be something to watch. Throughout camp, Hughes hasn’t disappointed and had a pair of sacks and four tackles in the first preseason game. The sacks being more than his first two years combined.  I’m not calling him the next Dwight Freeney, but its nice to see something from the former first rounder.

 

Negatives

Pat Angerer

With a defense that is focusing on beefing up the middle, losing your starting middle linebacker for six weeks definitely hurts.  Angerer broke his foot and is out six weeks.  He was set to start for his first full season after the release of former Colt linebacker Gary Brackett.  Angerer has shown great explosiveness in stopping the run game and can track sideline to sideline.  This leaves the Colts looking for help, traditionally they have been known to search from within.  It is yet to be determined what avenue they will take.

 

Offensive Line

The Colts have consistently had a bad offensive line since the retirement of Tarik Glenn.  One thing to remember is that Peyton Manning, and how quick he would get rid of the ball, has covered up this fact for years.  It wasn’t nearly an issue because Peyton, as a veteran could manage these negatives.  With Andrew Luck being a rookie, the Colts need to have a more stable line to help support the development of this young quarterback and keep him healthy.

 

Running Game

Without having a HOF running back in the back field, its almost impossible to have a good running game without a strong offensive line.  The Colts have a roster that consists of running backs that are  capable of getting the job done.  Vick Ballard has been a positive note for the Colts in camp and is rumored to be used often. Mewelde Moore is familiar with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians system and could bring in good production if he can stay healthy.

 

What Signings of Antonio Bryant, Braylon Edwards Mean for Seattle Seahawks

Braylon Edwards at Seahawks' training camp (courtesy of Seahawks.com)

To put it bluntly, the Seattle Seahawks passing game was wholly ineffective in 2011.

It ranked 22st overall in the NFL, but the more telling statistics are the 6.8 YPA and just 15 touchdowns it produced. Tarvaris Jackson simply wasn’t getting it done.

The ‘Hawks first signed top-rated free agent quarterback Matt Flynn as an upgrade at that position.

Aside from tight end Kellen Winslow and a few undrafted free agents, they did not bring in much fire power at wide receiver.

Until now (relevant statement notwithstanding).

Seattle recently signed former Buccaneer Antonio Bryant (7/26) and ex-49er Braylon Edwards (7/31) to short-term deals.

Addressing that “relevant statement,” both Bryant and Edwards are big, recognizable names, but without big statistical production—at least for the past few seasons.

Bryant last played for Tampa Bay in 2009. He showcased some big-play ability in two seasons with the team with 1,848 yards, 11 TDs and a 15.2 yards-per-catch-average. Edwards, meanwhile, had his last productive season in 2010 with the Jets. He totaled 904 yards, seven TDs and an impressive 17.1 YPC.

But as past seasons have shown, these wideouts are far from proven commodities. Bryant hasn’t seen any NFL action in three years and was “admittedly out of shape during a June tryout” with the Seahawks (via Rotoworld).

Edwards has seen playing time as recently as last season, but suffered through a knee injury and was cut by the 49ers—a team desperate for receivers in 2011. On a positive note, reports from Yahoo! and ESPN indicate that he resembled his old self at a Jets’ practice prior to signing with Seattle (via Rotoworld).

So what does this all mean for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012?

First of all, it shows how uncertain the WR corps is for the ‘Hawks.

They released Mike Williams, their leading receiver from 2010, earlier this month. Sidney Rice remains a question mark coming off two shoulder surgeries, and their top wideout in 2011 was UDFA Doug Baldwin. Golden Tate and Ben Obomanu also haven’t produced much during their time in Seattle.

Can either Bryant or Edwards possibly add a powerful dimension to this offense considering their recent history?

Even with an unimpressive group of receivers, I do not foresee Bryant making the team. Edwards is the much more likely bet.

If he can resurrect the 2010 or 2007 Braylon of old, and if Rice returns to full health, this could be a lethal WR duo. Both stand over 6’3” in height with a 200-pound-plus frame. Each brings underrated speed, good hands and the ability to separate and catch the ball at its highest point.

And when you add Baldwin coming out of the slot and Marshawn Lynch powering a strong rushing attack, this Seattle offense may reach some surprising heights in 2012.

As for now, we’ll let Bryant and Edwards battle it out in training camp. It is entirely plausible that both never actually make the team.

Please check back to ProFootballNuts for information on their developing progress.

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