The Beginning Of The End: NFL Stars Who Will Decline In 2021

The Beginning Of The End: NFL Stars Who Will Decline In 2021

“What goes up must come down.”

We’re almost there. The regular season is only a few miles ahead. We can do this. 

The offseason brought a lot of much-needed entertainment to fans. Free agency brought new faces to new places. Training camp brought a sense of normality to fans, representing a breath of fresh air into the league. 

The conversations, including potential MVP candidates and Super Bowl contenders, bore me. So let’s discuss a different topic; it may not be the most popular, but it is necessary.

Star players begin to fall, one by one, down the ranks of the league. Age catches up to them; whether it is an injury or simply being consistently one step behind the competition, certain players decline, putting their teams in a tough spot. Yes, I include fantasy teams. 

Nobody wants to watch someone on their way off into the sunset, especially if they cannot play at a high level. A few players fit into this category, but for many different reasons. So let’s begin, shall we?

Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon’s career turned downhill when he attempted to hold out like Le’Veon Bell did a season prior but returned only a few weeks later. It was too late; Austin Ekeler earned the job. He signs with the Broncos, but they drafted Javonte Williams in the second round. 

He finished with under 1000 yards rushing but rushed for nine touchdowns. He carried the ball 215 times, which I expect to decline. Vic Fangio, head coach, sat Williams out of the final preseason game because he felt confident in what he has seen from Williams over the past few weeks. Melvin Gordon started the game in the backfield. 

Gordon is approaching 30, which only means the workload will decrease, leading to his production following suit. 

Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce proved to the league how dominant a tight end could be when given the opportunity. He caught 105 passes for 1416 yards and scored 11 times; he set a career-high in the three stats and led tight ends in two of the three. Finally, he reached the top of the mountain. 

When you reach the top, there’s only one direction off. Kelce turns 32 this season, making him one of the older stars in the league. However, players like George Kittle, TJ Hockenson, and Noah Fant continue to revolutionize the position with their play, specifically their use in the offense. 

Devante Parker

Devante Parker brings consistency to the Dolphins’ receiving core. He has led Miami in every receiving category over the past two seasons. Tua utilized him a lot in his rookie season, but this season may be different. 

The Dolphins selected Jaylen Waddle, Tua’s college teammate, with the sixth pick in this year’s draft. However, the connection between the two built-in college can translate over into the professional level—the two connected for 78 catches, 1408 yards, and 13 touchdowns over two years. 

History tends to repeat itself, which could bump Parker down a few spots on the stat sheet or even the depth chart. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating storyline to debate. 

Tom Brady

Yes, this topic again. 

Tom Brady won a Super Bowl at the age of 43 years old. He returns for his 22nd season in this NFL., even though he achieved almost everything throughout his illustrious career. He holds nearly every record a QB can have. So what else can he do? 

He could slow down, begin to look his age, and follow the same path his favorite golf buddy did a few years ago—unfortunately, time is about to catch up to Tom. 

He surrounded himself with an army in Tampa Bay, including Brady’s buddy, Rob Gronkowski. 2020 showed us that anything is possible when it comes to the NFL. Time catches up to everyone, even TB12. I am not hoping for that to happen, but it would not surprise me if it happens.

Pat Pitts

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