If you thought making it to the NFL was hard, try staying relevant for more than just a couple of years. Most players are out of the league in the blink of an eye and rarely get a second chance, and that's why you see them giving it all every single time they have a chance to step on the gridiron. Then again, sometimes their bodies can't live up to the expectations, regardless of how much effort they put in or how much they want it, and that's when it's time to hang the cleats.
For most players, that's not their fault. Football can wear you out and not many players have long careers in the NFL. For others, it seems like they just don't care enough or don't want it badly enough anymore.
Whatever the reason is, there were plenty of disappointing players in the 2020 NFL season, but no one topped Melvin Gordon, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Lamar Jackson, and Ezekiel Elliott; and we'll let you know just why.
The Most Disappointing NFL Players Of 2020
5. Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon was a star with the San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers but he couldn't replicate that success with the Denver Broncos. Perhaps the Chargers knew what was coming and that's why they refused to cave into his salary demands in 2019 when he threatened to hold out for the season.
While the Broncos' offense was stagnant, to say the least, Gordon did little to help their cause. He rushed 215 times for 986 yards and just 9 touchdowns, adding a career-high four fumbles lost. He ended up splitting carries and doesn't look like a bell-cow back anymore.
4. Cam Newton
Cam Newton was the guy to watch last season. Some people claimed he was washed and wasn't going to be healthy enough to go back to his MVP level, others - myself included - believed that he was poised for a revenge season and would lead the New England Patriots to the playoffs.
Needless to say, we were wrong. Newton was inaccurate, hesitant, and flat-out bad. He did most of his damage on the ground and only threw for 2,657 yards with 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was benched down the stretch multiple times and it seems like his days as a starter are over.
3. Ben Roethlisberger
It's always sad to see when the clock is ticking on a Hall of Famer, and, sadly; Ben Roethlisberger couldn't keep up with Father Time anymore. He had the worst season of his career and many wonder whether he's still got it or not.
Big Ben has never been mobile but at least he was a sniper. Last year, however, most of his throws were off. He still managed to throw for 3,803 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions but failed to move the chains when his team needed him. It's hard to blame him at this point in his career, tho.
2. Lamar Jackson
Don't get me wrong, Lamar Jackson had a good season but that doesn't mean it wasn't disappointing. He was coming off an MVP year with many people questioning his drive and determination to win, and he didn't do much to change that narrative this season.
The thing with Jackson is that he just didn't improve the slightest. He continued to be the same quarterback he was last year and once again, that backfired. He's got to be able to throw the ball and not be one-dimensional, regardless of how great he is running the football. Last year, he threw for just 2,757 yards with 26 touchdowns and 9 picks, adding 1,005 yards and 7 scores on the ground.
1. Ezekiel Elliott
And among all players, no one was more disappointing than Ezekiel Elliott. Even when Dak Prescott was healthy, his production just wasn't the same and his numbers continue to regress every single season. Also, his fumbling woes were on full display for most of the year.
Elliott rushed for a career-worst 979 yards (4 yards per carry) with just 6 touchdowns. Also, he fumbled 6 times with 5 fumbles lost and it seems like he had lost his first step. He's too talented and too young to look washed, so hopefully, he'll have a bounceback season and silence his critics in 2021.