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The 20 Athletes With The Bleakest Futures

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20 Athletes With Bleak Futures

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This slideshow highlights 20 athletes whose futures aren't so bright. Sometimes the truth hurts, and the truth is these athletes just aren't capable of excelling at their respective sports at a professional level -- whether they've lost some steps or just flat out don't have what it takes to begin with.

20. Christian Ponder, QB Minnesota Vikings

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20. Christian Ponder, QB Minnesota Vikings

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Once Ponder officially loses his starting job to Teddy Bridgewater it's goodbye life as a starting NFL QB and hello life as a career backup.

19. Marco Estrada, SP Milwaukee Brewers

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19. Marco Estrada, SP Milwaukee Brewers

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Estrada has already been replaced in the Milwaukee Brewers rotation and his 2.12 HR/9 this season is the worst home run rate in the last 14 seasons. You're not gonna last long in MLB as a pitcher if you can't keep the ball in the park.

18. Greg Oden, C Free Agent

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18. Greg Oden, C Free Agent

Greg Oden Miami Heat
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Distant past was very bright. Past was bleak. Recent past was semi-optimistic. Present is bleak. Future looks very bleak.

17. Michael Beasley, SF Free Agent

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18. Michael Beasley, SF Miami Heat

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Beasley played alright in limited action this season but the Heat appear to not want him back. He may put up some points for a bad team every now and then but other than some random big scoring nights it looks like Beasley's career is virtually a lock to go down as a giant bust.

16. Alfonso Soriano, OF Free Agent

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16. Alfonso Soriano, OF Free Agent

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The Yankees released the veteran outfielder earlier this month. Soriano was hitting just .221 to go with six home runs this season before he was released by New York, and his 29.8 percent strikeout percentage is one of the worst in baseball.

15. Michael Vick, QB New York Jets

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15. Michael Vick, QB New York Jets

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Vick lost his job last season to Nick Foles and left an upper echelon offense in Philadelphia to join one of the worst in the NFL. If Vick loses the starting job to Geno Smith we may never see him start an NFL game ever again.

14. Darren McFadden, RB Oakland Raiders

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14. Darren McFadden, RB Oakland Raiders

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McFadden is always banged up -- he's missed 19 games over the last three seasons -- and the Raiders brought in veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew to bolster their backfield. Unless McFadden can bounce back in an unimaginable way it looks like his career as a relevant NFL player is spiraling to an end.

13. Antonio Gates, TE San Diego Chargers

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13. Antonio Gates, TE San Diego Chargers

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Gates is old (34), he's lost a significant amount of athletic ability and his replacement, Ladarius Green, is more than ready to take the reigns.

12. Justin Tuck, DE Oakland Raiders

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12. Justin Tuck, DE Oakland Raiders

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The Oakland Raiders: where veteran, declining players go to pasture.

11. Marc-Andre Fleury, G Pittsburgh Penguins

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11. Marc-Andre Fleury, G Pittsburgh Penguins

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Fleury fell apart in the playoffs this season against the Columbus Blue Jackets and collapsing in the playoffs seems to be a trend for the Pittsburgh Penguins goalie.

10. Evan Turner, SF Indiana Pacers

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10. Evan Turner, SF Indiana Pacers

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Turner was traded to the Indiana Pacers midway through the season and many believe he was one of the biggest causes of the Pacers' collapse. Turner has built a reputation as a high-volume shooter with poor shot selection who hasn't developed the ability to knock down a three. There aren't many spots on a winning team for a player like Evan Turner.

9. Chris Johnson, RB New York Jets

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9. Chris Johnson, RB New York Jets

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Chris Johnson has lost a step and let's be honest, there's no way going to the New York Jets can do anything to help the once electric CJ2K. If he doesn't work out in 2014 for the Jets they can easily cut him before 2015.

8. Justin Blackmon, WR Jacksonville Jaguars

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8. Justin Blackmon, WR Jacksonville Jaguars

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Justin Blackmon is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL -- he's a freak on the field. That being said, he's a moron off of the field. Blackmon was already facing an indefinite suspension from the NFL for substance abuse issues and he was recently pulled over and arrested for possessing marijuana.

7. CC Sabathia, SP New York Yankees

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7. CC Sabathia, SP New York Yankees

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For nearly a decade, CC Sabathia was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. There are only so many throws a pitcher can make though and CC has appeared to reach his limit. The big fella is going to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury and he was already a diminished version of his once dominant self prior to the injury.

6. Sam Bradford, QB St. Louis Rams

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6. Sam Bradford, QB St. Louis Rams

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The Rams are giving the disappointing Bradford one more shot this season but if he fails to produce, this year could be the end of the Sam Bradford era in St. Louis. Up to this point he's had a disappointing career and he's on the books for nearly million dollars next season; if he disappoints again in 2014 there's no way the Rams are going to pay him that much in 2015.

5. Ray Rice, RB Baltimore Ravens

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5. Ray Rice, RB Baltimore Ravens

Ray Rice Baltimore Ravens
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Rice has been all over the news lately because he was suspended a mere two games for an ugly domestic violence incident. That's not why he made this list though. He's on here because he was once a dominant running back and now I'm not sure he could even be labeled as serviceable. Pro Football Focus had him graded as the worst running back in the NFL last season and the film doesn't lie -- Rice has lost more than just a step.

4. Dwyane Wade, SG Miami Heat

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4. Dwyane Wade, SG Miami Heat

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This time one year ago the Heat were coming off of their second straight NBA title and their third straight finals appearance; Wade looked reasonably healthy and he was playing with the most talented player who's ever touched a basketball (LeBron James). Fast forward to the present, Wade is coming off of a disappointing season in which he played just 54 games and had very subpar playoffs games. Oh yeah, and Lebron James is gone.

3. Andy Dalton, QB Cincinnati Bengals

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3. Andy Dalton, QB Cincinnati Bengals

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Dalton's rookie contract is up after this season, and once that happens the Bengals will have to make a decision. Overpay to bring back a mediocre quarterback who is probably holding an elite roster back? Or move on, let him go and go after an established veteran or draft a rookie (who will be inexpensive by default), even though they've had regular season success since Dalton's been the QB? My money is on the Bengals moving on.

2. Kobe Bryant, SG Los Angeles Lakers

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2. Kobe Bryant, SG Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers
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Kobe still has a lot of money left to make, but that's one of the reasons why he'll never play for a serious contender again. The Lakers have one of the worst rosters in the NBA and they play in the vaunted Western Conference. If LA fails to acquire Kevin Love (all signs now point to them not getting him) I don't think they'll be able to lure a free agent star any time soon. Even if they do, they'll still be way behind the top teams out west.

1. Johnny Manziel, QB Cleveland Browns

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1. Johnny Manziel, QB Cleveland Browns

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Hype ultimately means nothing. Manziel is a smaller RGIII with a little bit less arm-talent. He also owns an arrogant "I do what I want" attitude that makes every other QB look like the most humble player ever. Whether it's because of injury or because the Browns, like others, realize he's not good enough to warrant the distraction that comes with him (a la Tebow). I don't believe Johnny Manziel will be a starting NFL QB five years from now.