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10 Athletes Who Could Fill Player/Manager Roles in Professional Sports

10 Athletes Who Could Fill Player/Manager Roles

Manny Ramirez
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With Manny Ramirez the latest athlete to fill the dual roles of player/manager, could the unique position be making a comeback in professional sports? Take a look at 10 athletes who could best fill the roles if a team came calling.

10. Steve Nash

Steve Nash
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10. Steve Nash

Steve Nash
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While the Los Angeles Lakers are frantically searching for a new head coach, veteran Steve Nash could easily fit the bill. Arguably one of the smartest players in the NBA, Nash could become the next Jason Kidd when he retires, heading straight to the coaching ranks. However, as he has stated his desire to at least play one more season, maybe the Lakers should take a chance with him as their coach and part-time point guard. Would Kobe object?

9. Champ Bailey

Champ Bailey
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9. Champ Bailey

Champ Bailey
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One of the most respected players in the game, Champ Bailey will go down as one of the all-time great defensive backs in the NFL. While his physical capabilities have slowly decreased over the last few years, his knowledge for the game and leadership has not. That makes Bailey a perfect candidate for coach (maybe defensive coordinator or defensive backs coach) and nickel/third-down corner.

8. Aaron Craft

Aaron Craft
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8. Aaron Craft

Aaron Craft
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His skill won't break any record books, but his leadership is second to none. Known as a scrappy and smart player throughout his time at Ohio State, Craft will become an excellent coach one day. While his skills aren't Hall of Fame material, that isn't to say he won't be a solid role player in the NBA.

7. Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia
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7. Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia
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Talk to members of the Boston Red Sox and they might tell you that Dustin Pedroia has been an unofficial coach for years in Boston. Through thick and thin, Pedroia has been the heart and soul behind the Red Sox. As a player who relies on his knowledge, Pedroia makes the perfect candidate to become the next player/manager.

6. LeBron James

LeBron James
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6. LeBron James

LeBron James
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Yes, you are rolling your eyes but come on! The man does it all on the court -- literally everything. He coaches and he scores. James is successful in each facet of the game, so why wouldn't he make a successful coach as well? He already is without the title.

5. Drew Brees

Drew Brees
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5. Drew Brees

Drew Brees
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Drew Brees is an extension of Sean Payton on the NFL field. Beloved and respected by all who have played with him, Brees possesses the ability to do it all through his supreme knowledge and skills.

4. Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter
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4. Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter
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Considering this is his final year, the player/manager experiment with Derek Jeter would only last for the remainder of 2014. Yet Jeter makes perfect sense, doesn't he? He's been leading the New York Yankees for years, regardless of who is "managing" the team from the bench. He has led and produced for New York throughout his entire career.

3. Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan
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3. Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan
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He is the quiet assassin. The ultimate professional, Tim Duncan continues to succeed while defying logic (and age). The undisputed leader on the court, Duncan has learned by watching Gregg Popovich through the years. What better way to transition into the player/manager role?

2. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning
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2 Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning
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The most knowledgeable player to ever play in the NFL, Peyton Manning is the best candidate the NFL has to offer in the player/manager role. Is there any doubt that Manning already is a coach? Adam Gase is the "offensive coordinator" for the Broncos, but he might as well just be the man on the sideline riding the coattails of Manning's actual success.

1. Jason Giambi

Jason Giambi
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1. Jason Giambi

Jason Giambi
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In all of professional sports, the player best suited to fill the role of player/manager is none other than Jason Giambi. Indians manager Terry Francona has discussed the importance of Giambi's leadership to Cleveland and the presumed success he will have one day as a manager in baseball. Giambi still has the ability to play as DH, but his knowledge for the game of baseball and leadership makes him perfectly suited to be the next player/manager.

Grant Doepel is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GrantDoepel, like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.