10 Active NFL Players Who Will Never Be Labeled A Superstar Again

For us NFL fans, few things are more depressing than watching Father Time arrive on your favorite players. Sometimes, it’s a very gradual process. For others, their regression from hero to zero can come in the blink of an eye. These last few seasons have sadly reminded us that NFL players can’t perform at their superstar level forever. With the 2024 offseason upon us, it’s a good time to dive into 10 active NFLers who are no longer superstars — so let’s get right to it.

Which NFL players are no longer considered superstars in today’s game?

Russell Wilson

DENVER, COLORADO – SEPTEMBER 18: Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos looks to throw the ball in the first half of the game against the Houston Texans at Empower Field At Mile High on September 18, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
This isn’t to say that Wilson isn’t starting-caliber anymore. We’re very confident that he can be a solid game manager for the Pittsburgh Steelers, similar to what Wilson was for the Seattle Seahawks during his first three seasons.

But Wilson is no longer a top-five quarterback or MVP candidate, and he is most certainly not close to a top-15 QB, either.

Wilson had a miserable first year with the Denver Broncos in 2022. To his credit, Wilson bounced back under new head coach Sean Payton — but even 26 TD passes and an average of 204.7 passing yards per game is lackluster compared to prime Russ.

It also doesn’t look good on Wilson that career backup Geno Smith played close to Wilson’s star-like level in 2022. So now, it’s not really a stretch to wonder if Wilson’s success stemmed from elite coaching and a star-studded supporting cast in Emerald City.

Fortunately for Wilson, he has a good situation in Pittsburgh: A Hall of Fame head coach in Mike Tomlin, a top-10 defense, and a potent rushing offense. The makeup of this Pittsburgh team is similar to what Wilson had in Seattle to begin his career, so he just has to be a game manager to give the Steelers a chance.

But a game manager and a superstar are two very different things. Wilson’s numbers over the last three years are far off his career year in 2020. So it’s time to accept he’s now in the class of “average” and no longer elite.

The Broncos accepted it, and the Steelers are surely aware of it.

Von Miller

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 15: Von Miller #40 of the Buffalo Bills warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2024 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Miller certainly didn’t look like someone on the wrong side of 30 when he won his second Super Bowl ring with the Los Angeles Rams in the 2021 season.

And he was still playing like a first-ballot Hall of Famer in his first season with the Buffalo Bills, which was tragically cut short by a season-ending ACL tear.

But all good things must come to an end, and that includes prime Von Miller. The eight-time Pro Bowler and former Super Bowl MVP showed his age during an awfully disappointing 2023 season in Buffalo.

The Bills made Miller a healthy scratch late in a 2023 home game against the New England Patriots. He appeared in 12 games but wasn’t a starter for either of them, logging zero sacks, pass defenses, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries.

Adding to the concern? Pro Football Focus graded Miller at a woeful 45.4 on the 2023 season, meaning he’s performing like a second-string level player.

Father time is undefeated, and it looks like it began to hit Miller in 2023. After JJ Watt and Aaron Donald, he was the best defensive player of his era. But it’s no longer “Miller Time,” folks.

It’s time to accept that Miller’s prime days are over and that the twilight years of his career have arrived.

Jamal Adams

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – NOVEMBER 05: Jamal Adams #33 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts prior to a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 05, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Remember when Adams was one of the best defensive backs in football? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

The No. 6 pick of the 2017 NFL Draft was the franchise face and the superstar of an otherwise hapless New York Jets team for three years. Adams was a two-time Pro Bowler with the Jets, earning first and second-team all-pro nods.

A disgruntled Adams was traded to the Seahawks in 2020 in a blockbuster deal that sent two first-round picks to the Jets. Adams had a superb first year in Seattle, setting the single-season record in sacks by a defensive back with 9.5 en route to Pro Bowl and second-team all-pro nods.

Incredibly, that was it for Adams’ peak — at the ripe old age of 25 no less. He regressed mightily in 2021, recording zero sacks in 12 games while becoming a giant liability in coverage. He missed all but one game in 2022 and was limited to nine games in 2023, recording zero sacks again while garnering a “meh” Pro Football Focus grade of 54.9.

Adams was a superstar for four years. And then he just inexplicably fell off the map in three short years. That prompted Seattle to cut Adams in a cap-saving move, and teams must accept now that the 28-year-old is already well past his playing prime.

How the mighty can fall so quickly…

Brandin Cooks

LANDOVER, MARYLAND – JANUARY 07: Brandin Cooks #3 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after catching a touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on January 07, 2024 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
The speedy Cooks was once a model of consistency. Unlike a box full of chocolates, you knew exactly what you were getting from him.

Cooks posted six seasons of at least 65 catches and over 1,000 receiving yards between 2015 and 2021. He did that on four different teams: the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, and Houston Texans.

But unfortunately, it looks like Cooks’ best-before date has already arrived. Injuries and inconsistent production have removed Cooks from that 1K form, and he’s now a steady No. 2 or 3 receiver at this phase of his career.

Cooks, who turns 31  next season, missed four games for Houston in 2022 and still finished with a “meh” stat line of 57 receptions for 699 yards and three touchdowns. Going to the Dallas Cowboys’ high-powered offense was supposed to revive his NFL career and superstar status, but Cooks only had 54 catches for 657 yards — though his total of eight TDs was noteworthy.

He can still be a serviceable weapon at this stage of his career, but superstar Brandin Cooks is long gone. Pure and simple.

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy

https://newsjtv.com - © 2024 News