FILE – New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) is shown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J., in this Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, file photo. The Patriots released quarterback Cam Newton on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, clearing the way for rookie Mac Jones to open the season as New England’s quarterback, according to a person with knowledge of the move. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been announced.
FILE – In this Dec. 20, 2020, file photo, Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson runs against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL football game in Nashville, Tenn. The fifth-leading rusher in NFL history is 36, but told SportsTalk 790 in Houston in July that he’s still aiming to play at least another season.
FILE – In this Nov. 22, 2020, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell (26) carries the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game in Las Vegas. Just a few years ago, Bell was arguably the best all-around running back in the league as a do-it-all playmaking force for Pittsburgh. Kansas City signed him and he wasn’t much of a factor; he was active but didn’t play in the Super Bowl.
FILE- In this Oct. 11, 2020, file photo, Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley (21) runs against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Atlanta. Gurley signed with Atlanta last year and showed only flashes of his previous dynamic self, running for a career-low 678 yards while sharing the backfield with Brian Hill and Ito Smith.
NEW YORK (AP) — They were once at the top of the NFL — league MVPs, All-Pros, Pro Bowlers and faces of franchises.
With the regular season about to kick off, they’re now at the front of the unemployment line.
Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley and Richard Sherman are just some of the big-name players without jobs as teams prepare for Week 1.
Some players might be waiting for the right opportunity. Meanwhile, teams might be holding off on adding a veteran before the season begins while assessing their rosters — and financial situations.
But for other players, their time in the NFL as productive playmakers might have unceremoniously come and gone.
Here’s a look at some of the more recognizable — and accomplished — players still waiting for a call:
A surprise cut by New England on Tuesday, the 2015 NFL MVP lost out on the starting job to rookie Mac Jones. He started 15 games for the Patriots last season and showed glimpses of the dynamic playmaker he was in Carolina. But he finished with eight touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in what was easily the worst full season of his career.
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