The NFL knows how to keep its fans entertained, the arguments raging and team pride swelling even during the most dull part of the offseason. With the release of the 2010-2019 All-Decade rosters, some players and fans celebrated the prestigious honor, while others groaned in disgust and disappointment upon finding out they (in the players' case) and their favorite players (in the fans' case) weren't a part of a list.
The full roster can be seen here.
I'm here for the latter section of people that reacted to the announcement of the rosters. I'm here for the fans that didn't get to see their favorite players voted in. I'm here for the players who took to social media to boast about their achievements and make an argument as to why they truly belong on that roster.
However, it gets pretty difficult finding more than a handful of guys that realistically deserve the title of a snub. It gets increasingly difficult when you try to look for a "snub" on each and every NFL team. But challenging tasks are what make my job as a sportswriter so fun. Believe me, I know that some of these guys have no business being on the All-Decade team... but I can't exclude any teams, and for that reason, I'm willing to make my best effort.
Without further ado, here's one player who could be considered a "snub" -- for some, you have to try really, really hard to justify the argument -- for all 32 NFL teams.
All stats retrieved from Pro Football Reference.
Arizona Cardinals: David Johnson, Running Back
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 1x Pro Bowler, 5,347 Total Yards, 48 Total Touchdowns
This one is a tough place to start. Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, Calais Campbell, Tyrann Mathieu and Chandler Jones are more than worthy of their roster spots on the All-Decade roster, but after that, Arizona’s list of worthy candidates slims down quite a bit.
There’s Carson Palmer, who was solid but probably not even in the top ten quarterbacks of the decade. There’s also Darnell Dockett, who only played until 2014 and made the biggest impact at the end of the 2000-2009 decade.
But if we had to choose one snub, it would make the most sense to go with David Johnson. He’s only been in the league since 2015 and missed the entire 2017 season. That only goes to show, though, that Johnson was immensely effective when healthy and firing on all cylinders. His 2016 season is still one of the best seasons ever posted by a running back in NFL history, as he carried the load for Arizona and led the NFL with 2,118 total yards and 20 total touchdowns.
Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, Quarterback
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowler, 283 TD, 122 INT, 89-70 Record, 96.1 Passer Rating, 2016 NFL MVP
Pro Football Reference’s attempt to add a numerical value to each player in the NFL reveals something interesting about the NFL’s selection of Aaron Rodgers as the backup quarterback to Tom Brady. It reveals that there are not one but two quarterbacks with a higher AV (the aforementioned numerical value) from 2010-2019.
One of these was Matt Ryan, the 2016 MVP that has led the Falcons offense to year after year of high-powered offense. His rapport with Julio Jones -- who appears on the All-Decade roster -- has helped the star WR establish himself as an otherworldly talent. Atlanta is the fourth highest-scoring team of the decade, and stability at the QB position has allowed them to perform at this level.
Granted, the Packers are third in that same stat. But Ryan has Rodgers beat in total yards by a significant margin (nearly 7,000 yards), has played in 17 more regular season games and has led a team with a middle-of-the-pack defense throughout the decade (No. 17) while the Packers were a top-10 defensive unit.
This isn’t to say that Ryan is a better quarterback than Aaron Rodgers, but he may have made a greater impact for his team’s success, all things considered.
Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Suggs, Defensive End/Linebacker
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowler, 81.5 Sacks, 21 Forced Fumbles, 1 TD, 114 Tackles For Loss, 2011 Defensive Player of the Year, 2x Super Bowl Champion
Haloti Ngata certainly seemed on pace to be an All-Decade player, starting off the period with two All-Pro selections and four straight Pro Bowl nods. But then his performance tapered off heavily, he signed with the Lions and he struggled to maintain his status as a star defensive lineman.
Instead, we’ll go with someone who was with the Ravens from 2010 to 2018, picking up several accolades and honors along the way. He was dominant in 2011, forcing a league-high seven fumbles, collecting two interceptions and tallying 14 sacks, all of which were career highs. He was awarded the Defensive Player of the Year award, and followed up that effort with a Super Bowl ring in 2012. He’s tied at ninth this decade with 81.5 sacks.
Buffalo Bills: Kyle Williams, Defensive Tackle
Decade Stats: 6x Pro Bowler, 40.5 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles, 71 Tackles For Loss
Williams was an absolute wrecking ball on the defensive line in both the passing and running game. While he didn’t rack up as many sacks as some of the biggest names at his position, he was known for his ability to generate a ton of pressure on the quarterback.
At the same time, his run defense was among the best in the entire league. In 2011, Pro Football Focus lauded “Meat Ball” for posting the highest run defense grade at his position by a significant margin in addition to leading all defensive tackles in defensive stops.
Carolina Panthers: Ryan Kalil, Center
Decade Stats: 2x All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowler
Sorry, Cam. It’s hard to award too many quarterbacks with prestigious “snub”recognition on this list because, simply put, you can only have so many QBs on a roster and there are only so many QBs who can seriously contest Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
Instead, we’ll go with Ryan Kalil, known for a long time as one of the greatest centers in the entire league and who helped Cam Newton achieve his 2015 MVP, bring Christian McCaffrey to prominence and remain as a steadfast fixture on the line for nine years before being traded to the Jets.
Chicago Bears: Robbie Gould, Kicker
Decade Stats: 247-283 FG, 87.3 FG%
The duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery could both theoretically make a case for the roster, but neither of them played in Chicago for a long enough time to establish themselves as Chicago Bears first and on another team second. Kyle Long was a phenomenal lineman at first but has struggled since 2016. Kyle Fuller is well on his way, but you can’t quite call him All-Decade after just two good seasons in 2018 and 2019. Matt Forte fits well in the flex slot, but Darren Sproles was too elite at returning punts, scurrying through holes and adding a deadly receiver to be replaced.
It may be an underwhelming pick, but Robbie Gould is my choice here. He’s been one of those kickers that has been a default fixture in the league since 2010, playing for six years in Chicago and four in San Francisco, and is as reliable as they come. He’s one of eight kickers with over 280 field goal attempts and his fourth on that list in accuracy.
It’s a weak pick, but there aren’t too many options on the Bears.
Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, Wide Receiver
Decade Stats: 7x Pro Bowler, 602 Receptions, 8,907 Yards, 63 TD
This is a legitimate snub. This is a guy that could very well argue that he belongs on this roster, hands down. Recent injuries hurt his case more than anything else, because Green was statistically one of the best receivers from 2011 to halfway through 2018, picking up a Pro Bowl nod in each and every season (with the exception of his injury-shortened 2018 campaign).
He was also doing this with Andy Dalton as his quarterback and a lack of consistent weapons surrounding him. A 16-game average of 87 catches, 1,284 yards and nine touchdowns per season throughout the decade puts him right up there with the rest of the receivers on this list and makes his exclusion one that people can legitimately scratch their heads about.
Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden, Cornerback
Joe Haden is on Joe Haden’s All-Decade team, and he’s got a real solid case.
Dallas Cowboys: Jason Witten, Tight End
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 5x Pro Bowler, 692 Receptions, 7,012 Yards, 45 TD
What’s even more infuriating about this snub is that Witten was the victim of an even bigger snub the decade prior, in which he was a 6x Pro Bowler. Unfortunately, had the decade under consideration been from 2005-2014, Witten would probably be a lock, but his peak was right around the turning of one decade into another.
Still, he has a solid case to be made, especially when you consider his production in 2019 after making valuable off-field contributions during his 2018 retirement as a broadcaster.
Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning, Quarterback
Decade Stats: 2x All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowler, 173 TD, 70 INT, 55-18 Record, 99.4 Passer Rating, 1x Super Bowl Champion, 2013 NFL MVP
Unlike Witten, Manning was on the 2000-2009 All-Decade roster alongside Tom Brady. In the following decade, all the future Hall of Famer did was miraculously come back from a potentially career-ending injury, shatter the single-season passing yards and passing touchdowns records and win a Super Bowl.
Not a bad decade for just five years of action. Unfortunately, retiring in 2015 never really gave him a legitimate chance at being named to this decade’s roster, but he could definitely be considered on the basis of his 2012-14 stretch of dominance alone.
Detroit Lions: Matt Prater, Kicker
Decade Stats: 2x Pro Bowler, 244-285 FG, 85.6 FG%
Along the same lines as Gould, Prater split time between two teams and is one of the most recognizable kickers in the NFL. He was involved in the rewriting of NFL history when he drilled a 64-yard field goal (albeit with the Broncos) and has continued his accuracy from beyond 50 yards with the Lions, going 29 for 37.
It may not be the most exciting pick, but after Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh, there aren’t too many choices that make sense. Matt Stafford certainly doesn’t stack up to Brady and Rodgers, let alone some of the snubs on the list.
Green Bay Packers: Clay Matthews, Linebacker
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 5x Pro Bowler, 6 INT, 2 TD, 37 Passes Defended, 16 Forced Fumbles, 81.5 Sacks, 113 Tackles For Loss, 1x Super Bowl Champion
Like Joe Haden, Matthews believes that he deserves to have a spot on the roster.
However, while Haden stacked himself up against other top cornerbacks, Matthews relied more on his impact on the franchise record books. Still, it’s a worthy case, as he is one of the most versatile and devastating linebackers of the decade without a doubt. He ranks in the top 10 this decade with 81.5 sacks.
Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver
Decade Stats: 3x All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowler, 623 Receptions, 8,602 Yards, 54 TD
Now a Cardinal after a mind-boggling Bill O’Brien decision, Hopkins is well on his way to becoming an NFL Hall of Famer. Three first-team All-Pro nominations is impressive for an entire career, but Hopkins has managed to accomplish this in just seven seasons. At only 28 years old, the sky’s the limit for the former Clemson Tiger.
While it’s hard to argue against the foursome of receivers that the NFL elected to the All-Decade roster, you can certainly argue that Hopkins was the very best receiver in football for a stretch of years whereas that may not have been the case with Larry Fitzgerald.
Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle
Decade Stats: N/A
Andrew Luck was building a really solid case before injuries and his sudden retirement took him out of the realm of consideration. Robert Mathis hit his prime a little bit too early to be considered a candidate for this selection. While Adam Vinatieri certainly warrants a look, he was on the 2000-2009 team and had a few rough years within this decade. The guy who I considered most seriously was T.Y. Hilton -- his stats will really blow you away if you dig into them -- but he just doesn't carry the same name recognition as the receivers already selected.
Instead, we’ll go with the perennially underrated Anthony Castonzo. Though he never earned a Pro Bowl nomination, Castonzo was always among the league’s best tackles and is a mainstay with the Colts. He may not be better than any of the tackles on the list, but given the lack of other options on the Colts, he could make a proposal that the offensive tackle quantity on the roster was upped to allow his inclusion.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, Cornerback
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 3x Pro Bowl, 10 INT, 1 TD, 49 Passes Defended, 6 Tackles For Loss
I know, I know. Ramsey doesn’t make a legitimate case for inclusion on this roster. He’s only been in the league since 2016. Blah blah blah.
The Jaguars don’t offer many great options. It’s as simple as that.
I decided to go with Ramsey here as he was the definition of a shutdown corner during his time in Jacksonville. Scarcely are quarterbacks legitimately discouraged to throw in a certain direction, and outside of the defenders that made the team like Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis, Ramsey is one of the guys that actually fits that bill.
Kansas City Chiefs: Derrick Johnson, Linebacker
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowler, 8 INT, 2 TD, 53 Passes Defended, 11 Forced Fumbles, 14.5 Sacks, 63 Tackles For Loss
Justin Houston was another guy I considered, but Johnson was more consistent and played for the Chiefs for a longer time within the decade. There’s an argument to be made that Houston was the best linebacker in the NFL from 2011-2013, a stretch of seasons where he made the Pro Bowl in each year, tackled everything in sight with over 300 solo tackles recorded and was effective in all aspects of the game.
Patrick Mahomes’ time isn’t far off, but it’s far too early to give him All-Decade honors this early (despite what I just did with Jalen Ramsey). If there was one player I’d consider a lock for the 2020-2029 All-Decade team, though, it’s Mahomes.
Las Vegas Raiders: Sebastian Janikowski
Another lack of contenders forces me to go with a kicker. Who else am I going to go with. Amari Cooper? Too young and not on the same planet as the guys that made the team. Rodney Hudson? A great lineman, no doubt, but nothing like the ones on the roster. Derek Carr? I can’t even suggest that with a straight face.
So once again, we’ll default to a kicker with a famous leg. His accuracy from deep actually wasn’t great, but seeing as the Raiders had enough confidence in him to attempt a 76-yard field goal, you have to love what he provided to the NFL.
Los Angeles Chargers: Philip Rivers, Quarterback
Decade Stats: 6x Pro Bowler, 291 TD, 153 INT, 77-83 Record, 94.8 Passer Rating
Antonio Gates is another tight end like Jason Witten, who no doubt would have made the All-Decade roster had the decade in consideration taken place from, say, 2004-2013. But he did too little from 2015 to his retirement to warrant a spot on this list.
Instead, Philip Rivers makes an argument similar to that of Matt Ryan and another quarterback that will appear on the list later on. He’s rock solid, carried the team through many close games, is likely bound for Hall of Fame debate and has received recognition from the fans as a Pro Bowl quarterback more often than not.
No, he’s not on the same tier as Brady and Rodgers, but should the roster have included a third quarterback, he could make a serious claim in the race.
Los Angeles Rams: Robert Quinn, Defensive End
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 2x Pro Bowl, 80.5 Sacks, 25 Forced Fumbles, 90 Tackles For Loss
Quinn’s 2013 season was unreal. He forced seven fumbles, returned one for a touchdown, recorded 19.0 sacks, led the league with 23 tackles for loss and was ranked by his peers as the No. 13 player in the entire NFL.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t replicate this production every season, but a recent resurgence in Dallas provided him with the extra ammunition he needed to make a legitimate case for election onto this team. He’s No. 12 in the decade in total sacks.
We’ll see if the magic can continue for the 30-year-old, who apparently made his decision between the Bears and the Falcons as his next team by flipping a coin.
Miami Dolphins: Cameron Wake, Defensive End
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 5x Pro Bowler, 95.0 Sacks, 21 Forced Fumbles, 93 Tackles For Loss
Only Von Miller, Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt recorded more sacks in this decade than Cameron Wake, a stat which makes his case seem a lot stronger than it really is. Still, even though he was a sack artist and not known for much else, Wake terrorized opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks more than most and is easily the Dolphin with the strongest statistical case.
Minnesota Vikings: Harrison Smith, Safety
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 5x Pro Bowler, 23 INT, 4 TD, 56 Passes Defended, 7 Forced Fumbles, 8 Fumble Recoveries, 13.0 Sacks, 37 Tackles For Loss
Smith was as fearsome a safety there was in the NFL for a solid stretch of four or five years this decade. Although none of his stats are overwhelming, he appears on some leaderboards, including the top-10 for interceptions at his position in the NFL, the top-five for tackles for loss and the top-three for QB hits.
His all-out, aggressive play style and versatility made him one of the clear choices as a snub at the position.
New England Patriots: Julian Edelman, Wide Receiver
Decade Stats: 562 Receptions, 6,148 Yards, 35 TD, 4 Punt Return TD, 3x Super Bowl Champion
Does Julian Edelman really stack up against the likes of Megatron and Antonio Brown? Maybe not in cumulative stats. But in big games, he not only stacks up to them but tops them.
Sure, being on the Patriots helps his cause, as he’s been to 18 playoff games in the decade while several of the league’s best have only been in single-digit showings. However, even if you look at his numbers proportionally to his games played, he’s still one of the strongest playoff performers at the position. He has 1,398 yards, over 500 more than Anquan Boldin who is second on the list. His 112 receptions is 51 more than Julio Jones, who is in second place on the list.
It’s not even a close fight that Julian Edelman is the greatest postseason receiver of the decade, and he even makes a strong case for that recognition throughout all of NFL history.
New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees, Quarterback
Decade Stats: 9x Pro Bowl, 345 TD, 127 INT, 95-58 Record, 102.9 Passer Rating
Malcolm Jenkins makes a real case, as he led all safeties with 16 fumbles forced and was second with 91 passes defended, in addition to appearing on nearly every safety leaderboard. Michael Thomas has broken NFL records and is well on his way to being an All-Decade player as well.
But you have to go with Brees here. It’s definitely an argument that he’s the best quarterback of this decade let alone one of the greatest of all time. He has a higher Approximate Value than Aaron Rodgers (the other one I was referring to when discussing Matt Ryan) and more yards, TD and a better completion percentage than anyone in the NFL.
The New Orleans fan base, already frustrated after a couple instances of bad officiating, has to feel even more slighted by both of these snubs.
New York Giants: Odell Beckham, Wide Receiver
Decade Stats: 3x Pro Bowler, 464 Receptions, 6,511 Yards, 48 Touchdowns
There really aren’t any viable options, which makes sense considering no one from the Giants made the roster to begin with. JPP and Justin Tuck haven’t done enough to belong on the same tier as the other defensive ends. Victor Cruz didn’t have the longevity required. And despite all the career accolades, Eli Manning just doesn’t have the statistical support for the argument to even begin.
So, OBJ is the pick here, despite only four full seasons in a Giants uniform before a “disappointing” 1,035-yard season in Cleveland. The immediate impact he made was unprecedented and is unlikely to ever be repeated. In just 12 games his rookie season, he recorded 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. That 2014 campaign still goes down as perhaps the best rookie season in NFL history, regardless of position.
New York Jets: Nick Mangold, Center
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 5x Pro Bowler
The Jets are another team that doesn’t present a bevy of choices for a legitimate snub candidate. Muhammad Wilkerson and David Harris were two of the strongest options, but neither of them can seriously compete with the selections at their respective positions.
Mangold, however, was a top-tier center considered to be the best in the league by some in the early part of this decade. With five Pro Bowl selections in just seven years, that’s enough to get the nod for Gang Green.
Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Kelce, Center
Decade Stats: 3x All-Pro, 3x Pro Bowler, 1x Super Bowl Champion
DeSean Jackson is a terrific player, but he isn’t on the same caliber as the receivers selected. Some of the team’s star defenders, like Brandon Graham, Asante Samuel and Trent Cole were/are all good options, but don’t have the required longevity of dominance in this decade to be seriously considered.
Jason Kelce, however, has been one of the best centers in football since he entered the league in 2011. His draft value -- the No. 191 overall pick -- has paid off in ways the team could never have imagined, and he was a crucial factor in ending the drought in Philly in Super Bowl LII.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Heyward, Defensive Tackle
Decade Stats: 2x All-Pro, 2x Pro Bowler, 54.0 Sacks, 6 Forced Fumbles, 79 Tackles For Loss
Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu both immediately came to mind, but Brady and Rodgers are on a completely separate level, and Polamalu only played until 2014, damaging his case.
Instead, Cameron Heyward represents a guy who has been a force in every year of the decade, and he’s been especially dominant as of late, picking up at least eight sacks in each of the past three seasons and completely stuffing opponents at the line. PFF lauded his ability to tackle with great consistency and pressure the quarterback with the best of the league in their decision to include him on their 2019 All-Pro team. Heyward is sixth in the NFL among defensive tackles this decade with 54.0 sacks.
Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson, Quarterback
Decade Stats: 6x Pro Bowl, 246 Total TD, 68 INT, 101.2 Passer Rating, 86-41-1 Record, 1x Super Bowl Champion
Too many QB snub choices, I know. You can’t call Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson snubs in the thought that all five of them should be on the roster over Brady and Rodgers. But all of them carry very unique arguments along with them, and Wilson’s is perhaps the most intriguing. He has everything on his resume, including a Super Bowl victory, an extremely successful QB record, a phenomenal cumulative passer rating and the dual threat element to his game that is so highly coveted and is a true marker of the progress and evolution of the league throughout the decade.
He hasn’t had any down seasons either, making his case all the more enticing. He’s still playing at a peak level, so who knows what the next decade holds for the 32 year old.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, Defensive Tackle
Decade Stats: 1x All-Pro, 6x Pro Bowler, 59.5 Sacks, 86 Tackles For Loss, 6 Forced Fumbles
Jameis Winston was really, really close to receiving the nod here. After all, a 30-30 season isn’t something you can achieve without people really considering you as one of the best.
Who was close was LaVonte David, who formed a devastating duo for the Bucs’ defense alongside Gerald McCoy. I decided to go with McCoy instead, though, as he consistently wreaked havoc, picking up Pro Bowl nominations in every season from 2012 to 2017.
Stopping the run, pressuring the quarterback, delivering bone-crunching hits, providing endless hilarity on HBO’s Hard Knocks… you name it, McCoy brought it to the table throughout the decade. He’s fourth in the decade among all defensive tackles with 59.5 sacks and is also in the top ten in tackles for loss and QB hits.
Tennessee Titans: Jurrell Casey, Defensive Tackle
Decade Stats: 5x Pro Bowler, 51.0 Sacks, 84 Tackles For Loss, 8 Forced Fumbles
Derrick Henry may be a snub by the time the next All-Decade roster comes out, given the fact that Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley and many other running backs make it an extremely crowded field.
The snub for this decade from Tennessee, though, is hulking defensive tackle Jurrell Casey. The 305-lb. tackle is seventh among defensive tackles this decade with 51.5 sacks, sixth with 84 tackles for loss and fifth in total tackles.
Washington Redskins: Ryan Kerrigan, Outside Linebacker
Decade Stats: 4x Pro Bowler, 90.0 Sacks, 26 Forced Fumbles, 114 Tackles For Loss
Trent Williams finishes as a close second for the Redskins’ All-Decade snub, but Ryan Kerrigan continually flew under the radar and could realistically have been given a spot on this team. He led the NFL in forced fumbles and in tackles for loss at different points in his career, picked up over eight sacks in seven consecutive seasons, and ranks first among all outside linebackers and fifth among all defenders with 90 sacks this decade. His 114 tackles for loss is sixth among all defenders, as well.