Call it the Bowman effect, but something about the release of the 8 year starter from the 49ers roster made me start to think, which other stars may find themselves out of a job at their current place of work earlier than they or we might expect? Admittedly its an exercise born out of fantasy as opposed to in-depth knowledge of any situation but it does open up some interesting possibilities. If a team as bad as the 49ers are willing to let a proven leader and competitor walk away for free what could be in store for other players who speak their minds or fail to be available every week due to injuries?
Andrew Luck: I’ve said it before and its been written about on our site too, Luck is a permanent injury risk who looks fragile and therefore unlikely to play a full 16 game schedule in the future. The Colts locked him up to a massive deal as his value on the open market would be huge, with 20 teams playing QBs who’s ability ranks far below that of Luck all chasing him. However, if he were placed on the trade block then other franchises would sniff out concerns regarding his durability and may be less forthcoming with their offers than he or the colts deserve. There is a real possibility he doesn’t play at all this year and if Brissett wins 5/6 games then Lucks time with the Colts may well be over. Its been reported that he’s not overly happy with the structure of the team on the field, which, when combined with his own lack of staying power, may be enough to convince Mr Irsay et-al to move on. Likely hood of happening 5/10.
Gronk: We all want a Gronk on our team, we all want a Gronk in fantasy football too. The problem is, when discussing the best tight ends there is always a prefix. I’d say “Gronk is the best tight end out there” and the reply I get is “when he isn’t injured”, which is of course true. The problem is, he appears on the injury report every week. Now, the Pats are used to playing and winning without him so why would they risk a new long term deal when his current contract expires? I don’t think he gets traded but its possible he is allowed to walk away as other stars have done (Blount, Revis etc). Someone else will gamble on him and they may get a bulls-eye of a deal. Or, they may get 6 games of output and 10 games of recovery every season. Likely hood of happening 7/10.
Luke Kuechly: The Panthers linebacker star is a constant visitor to the concussion protocol over the last 3 seasons having missed 9 games since the start of 2015 with head injuries. This is no laughing matter and obviously the more pressing idea is that Kuechly may simply opt to retire rather than sustain further injuries. However, if he decides to continue his career then I think the Panthers may place him on the trade block in an effort to get something in return for a great player who may ultimately be forced out of the NFL for his own health at any point. Kuechly is the heartbeat of the defensive unit and a firm fan favourite but with a business head on its at least worthy of consideration. Likely hood of happening 4/10.
Eli Manning: Hear me out. Yes he is the Giants leading QB of all time, but brother Peyton was the best the Colts had ever had too and he got replaced. Yes, this season is a lost cause regardless of what Eli does or doesn’t do and yes we are yet to see anything out of Davis Webb who was selected in the 2017 draft (rd3). The Giants are in a rebuilding phase whether or not they want to be, they’ll likely get a high draft pick (top 5?) which they could use to pick up a decent QB or RB (if Davis isn’t progressing how they’d like) or to trade for a haul of picks in later rounds. Eli would become a FA in 2020 wheich is likely to be when he calls it quits, but if he were released early then the team could save around $17million (contract mathematics not being my strong point), which they could re-invest at other positions. Eli may find takers willing to give him a year or two or he may just saunter into the sunset, either weay, he clearly isn’t the man to rejuvenate this franchise on its knees. Likely hood of happening 3/10.
Carlos Hyde: This feels like an easy one. Hyde was touted as a potential release candidate in preseason and now he’s finding his snap count eaten into by Matt Brieda (yeah-iv’e no idea either) despite being the best weapon the team has. He’s already spoken out (as Bowman did) so if the team notches a win anytime soon I think he’ll be shipped out fairly quickly. Likely hood of happening 8/10 (It’d be 10/10 if I could see a win coming…).
Kenny Britt: The supposed no.1 Reciever on the Browns has operated more like a nervous rookie than a seasoned Pro. After notching the first 1000yard season by a Rams WR since 2007 last year, he signed a $32.5million, 4 year contract with the Browns to give them a deep threat to replace Terrell Pryor. Well, so far Britt has 8 receptions for 121 yards and 1 TD through 5 games all of which have been losses. Great production. There is money to be saved and a roster spot to be opened by dumping him sooner rather than later. It seems hasty to terminate a guys stay after less than one season but frankly, hes been a let down from day 1 and the Browns need more from all of their “stars”. Likely hood of happening 7/10.
Doubtless there are more, feel free to suggest who you think may be switching teams or searching for employment sooner rather than later.