5 NFL Players With The Most To Prove In 2014

  • Robert Griffin III

    The 2012 Rookie of the Year had the juice. RGIII and Andrew Luck looked like they were going to be the Magic Johnson and Larry Bird rivalry of the NFL. But then RGIII got hurt in his playoff game. He worked hard in rehab but to start the 2013 season, something just wasn’t right. RGIII looked like RG43 years old. He wasn’t the same player and because of that he was inactive the last three games of the season, when it was obvious the ‘Skins weren’t going to make the playoffs.

    RGIII has to prove that he’s the same kid that was drafted second overall, won Rookie of the Year and led the ‘Skins to the playoffs. If he can’t, the talk in D.C. won’t be about liberals and conservatives, it’ll be about whether Kirk Cousins should be starting over RGIII.

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  • DeSean Jackson

    Jackson is one of the NFL’s most electrifying players. But it didn’t quite work out in Philly. Get with the program or get kicked out of the program. That was the gist of Chip Kelly’s message last year to his star WR DeSean Jackson, who was coming off of his best year statistically. Well, DeSean didn’t listen and he had more freedom than he wanted when the Eagles released him.

    D-Jax made an emotional decision and signed with the Redskins, who just happen to be in the same division as the Eagles, so he’ll be guaranteed to face his old team twice this upcoming season. DeSean has a ton to prove because he’s played for offensive geniuses in Andy Reid and Chip Kelly, which helped make him the dope WR he is today. Will he be as effective in D.C.? Did he make the right decision signing with the ‘Skins as opposed to the Patriots? We will see.

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  • Chris Johnson

    There was once a debate over who was the best running back in the game. Now it’s a landslide that Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the league, with a few whispers of LeSean McCoy. Chris Johnson isn’t even mentioned in the conversation anymore, which is crazy to me. He hit the ground running as a rookie and broke the 2,000 yard mark in only his second season. And then he wanted more money because he had outplayed his contract.

    Once the money came, CJ2K was no more. After six seasons in Tennessee, the Titans released their old school caddy. The speedy running back is now in New York playing for the Jets. Some wonder if Johnson will ever be the back he was. No matter what happens, the New York media is going to let him know exactly how they feel.

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  • Eli Manning

    He’s always been Peyton’s little brother and Archie’s baby boy, so proving himself is something that Eli Manning is used to. He’s got more rings than Peyton, but Dan Marino doesn’t have any rings, so does that mean Eli is better than Marino? Not quite. Peyton has had back-to-back MVP caliber seasons while Eli has struggled.

    Who led the league in interceptions thrown last season? Eli with 27 picks. You can’t place the blame anywhere else — he’s the quarterback, the leader, the hero and the goat. If Manning has another rough season like he did last year, the Giants might be looking for another QB, so Eli is definitely on the hot seat this season.

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  • Sam Bradford

    Fifty million guaranteed. Fifty big ones. Only 49 games played in four years.

    It’s not fair to call Sam Bradford a bust, but after this year we’ll have a good idea on what his future holds. He’s only played two full seasons, last year not being one of them when he tore his ACL in his seventh game.

    Let’s face it — sometimes the team you’re drafted to can hurt your career. Who knows if anyone would know of Tom Brady had he been drafted by the Browns. Bradford was drafted by a suspect Rams organization. They now have structure and this is the third season with Jeff Fisher at the helm. To Bradford’s credit, he was having a very good season before he got hurt last year. The pieces are around him and this year has to be his year.

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  • DeSean Jackson
  • Chris Johnson

Every time an NFL player steps on the field he’s got something to prove. Football is a man’s game. It’s organized machismo chaos. Football parallels life on so many levels. In both, you get knocked down and you get right back up. There’s always something to prove, because there’s no such thing as the perfect game and there’s always room to improve. Well, if you have a disappointing season, you’ve got a ton to prove and should have plenty of motivation as well. Check out the NFL players with the most to prove in 2014.

Follow Richard on Twitter at @6Magazine