Fantasy Football News

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Washed up? No way: These 10 guys still have plenty left in the tank

Every team has those players that fans think are what we like to call "washed up." This is something all players experience at some point in their careers, whether it be once they hit age 30, 33, 35, 40, etc. It's unfortunately just something I like to call the circle of life for NFL players.

Here is my list of 10 players who still have something to contribute to their respective teams, despite their age.

Carson Palmer, 31

Whether he'll be in Cincinnati in 2011, or be retired, or even end up playing for another team is still all up in the air. But the idea of Palmer still being able to get the job done isn't questionable at all. Granted he hasn't exactly shown his true colors, or be the same signal-caller since tearing his ACL and MCL against Pittsburgh in the 2008 playoffs.

But with the right amount of protection and weapons in the offensive system around him, Palmer can still find himself back in his 2005 and 2006 Pro Bowl form. I mean, his 3,000 yards, 20+ touchdown passes and rating of 80 or more over the last two seasons is above the average stat-line for quarterbacks in this league.

No matter how this plays out in the end, I know Palmer still has something left to share with us.
Ladainian Tomlinson, 31

Perhaps one of the few running backs that could be considered, I do believe that L.T. still has something left in his tank.

I'm not saying the guy can be a full-time back in New York's system, because we have clearly already learned that isn't the case.

But, as New York's go-to guy on third downs, I feel he could be very affective. With a struggling Shonn Greene in the backfield last season, Tomlinson stepped up and produced big.

With a fresh start in New York, Tomlinson proved he can still be affective with a lesser role, and I expect similar results in 2011 for Ladainian.

Thomas Jones, 32

Similar to Tomlinson, Jones switched teams late in his career and became a role player, backing up Kansas City's young speedster Jamaal Charles.

Just two seasons ago Jones ran for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns for the New York Jets. After parting ways and joining the Chiefs for 2010, Jones saw his carries fall from 331 ('09) to 245 ('10). But regardless Jones was nearly as successful with Kansas City, running for 896 yards and six touchdowns in 10 starts.

With high hopes for the Chiefs in 2011, I would expect another season of close to 250 carries coming Jones' way, relieving Charles of his duties every once in a while.
Terrell Owens, 37

This may come as a shock to some of you, but the evidence is there. Owens can still play the game of football.

Whether Cincinnati, or any other team for that matter, will take another shot on him is a whole other question. In 11 games this past season, Owens caught 72 balls for 983 yards and nine touchdowns from Carson Palmer. That surpassed his totals from 2009, in which he started all 16 games for Buffalo.

So if you put him in a positive situation, he will be happy and produce. But that's exactly what is wrong with him. If he isn't happy, you will know, and your team will suffer as a result.

Owens isn't washed up, he's just a pain to play with and most likely wont be getting too many more chances in this league.

Shaun Rogers, 32

After spending the first 10 seasons of his NFL career with two losing teams--Detroit and Cleveland--the defensive tackle Rogers has finally inked a contract with a winning team.

It may only be a one-year contract, but if he is motivated enough in a New Orleans Saints' uniform, I really think he could do some damage. As long as he doesn't get too lazy, Rogers has the ability to be a huge difference-maker in this defense.

This will either be a great move, or a devastating move for the Saints, but I believe he will be motivated by the fact that he has players who have won before playing around him.
Ray Lewis, 35

The washed up talk has been going on for a couple of years now when it comes to Ray Ray, and this includes myself.

Yet, year-in and year-out he has come out and put up top-tier numbers when it comes to linebacking. Not only have his stats been up there with the 25-year olds, but the intimidation factor and big hits are still there as well. 

At this rate, Lewis may be doing this at age 40.

Brian Urlacher, 32

I had my doubts after he dislocated his wrist, underwent surgery, and missed all but one game in 2009. But a strong 2010 comeback performance (97 solo tackles, four sacks, 1 INT) has put Urlacher and his hard-hitting Chicago Bears defense back in the spotlight.

On the defensive side of the ball, the intimidation factor is almost as important as the physical aspect of the game once you hit a certain age.

The Urlacher-led Bears defense ranked fourth in points allowed and second in rushing yards allowed as they captured the second seed and first round bye in the playoffs (11-5).
James Farrior, 36

I wrote what you would call a "James Farrior appreciation" article a while back, stating he is one of the most underrated outside linebackers in the game.

Since hitting age 30, Farrior has missed just two games in six seasons, and recorded at least 64 tackles and two sacks in each of those seasons, including two Super Bowl rings in three appearances.

When you think of Pittsburgh's defense from the 2000s, you would immediately think Porter, Polamalu and Harrison. But, clearly Farrior has been the staple in this defense.

Ronde Barber, 36

Barber, unlike his twin brother Tiki, has been going strong since he began his impressive 14-year career with the Tampa Bay Bucs. At the age of 35 last season, Barber completed his 11th straight season in which he started all 16 games of the regular season.

The five-time Pro Bowl cornerback picked off opposing quarterbacks three times last season while recording 65 solo tackles (16 assists).

Tampa signed him to a one-year deal worth $4 million earlier this off-season, which shows me they believe he has at least one more productive season in him before he starts to drop off, and don't doubt that at all.
Brian Dawkins, 37

Dawkins' 2010 season, his second with the Broncos, was shortened by injury as he started just 11 games. But, he still managed to record 66 tackles and two interceptions while roaming the Broncos' secondary.

Much like Lewis, the intimidation factor is still on Dawkins' side and his pre-game speeches are still some of the best in the business. If he could at least match his 2010 performance in 2011, I would call it a very successful season.

Honorable Mentions:

Shaun Hill, Detroit QB, 31
Hines Ward, Pittsburgh WR, 35
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta TE, 35
London Fletcher, Washington LB, 35
Takeo Spikes, San Francisco LB, 34
Lawyer Milloy, Seattle S, 37

All photos borrowed Google. No copyright infringement intended.

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