In the NFL world, the performances of the players on the field are always linked to the coaches working on the sidelines. When a player who is expected to be great falters, we often tend to place blame on the coaching staff.
In the case of draft busts and free-agent follies, we tend to blame the executives who signed them.
This criticism isn’t always fair, of course—sometimes players just stop wanting to play (anyone remember Albert Haynesworth?). However, it is usually the guys in the front office who bear the brunt of criticism when certain expectations are not met.
In many instances, continued criticism leads to firings.
We’ve already seen it a couple of times this season. Joe Philbin lost his job immediately after the Miami Dolphins under-performed their way to a 1-3 record (they’re 2-0 since). Just this week, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was fired after failing to turn Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and Ameer Abdullah into a threatening and cohesive unit.
Today, we’re going to look at a handful of players who could cause heads to roll by season’s end because of under-performance. Those with jobs on the line will include head coaches, coordinators and general managers.
Just to be clear, we’re not here to place blame on either the player or the coach in each situation, we’re here to identify situations where a player’s performance could have someone on the chopping block.