Andre Ellington, RB — With the re-signing of Chris Johnson, the emergence of David Johnson and recent comments by GM Steve Keim questioning Ellington's health and his future with the team, it's unlikely that Ellington is a happy camper. “Hopefully, Andre’s not in a situation where we have to move on. I’d love to keep Andre long term, yet at the same time, he’s got to stay healthy,” Keim said at the NFL Combine in February.
Brooks Reed, LB — Reed must be asking, "Where do I fit in?" after the Falcons signed free agent strongside linebacker Courtney Upshaw on Mar. 25. Reed was tapped for that same role as Dan Quinn's first big-splash acquisition last year, but lost his starting job to O'Brien Schofield (who is now a free agent) after returning from a groin injury. It'll cost the team $320,000 against the cap to cut Reed, so he may be safe.
Matt Elam, S — Drafted to be the heir to safety Ed Reed, Elam struggled his first two years, and then came back last year in great shape and looked good in training camp before injuries completely derailed his season. Ominously for Elam, the Ravens moved cornerback Ladarious Webb to safety and in March signed Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle.
Tyrod Taylor, QB — Right now, the Buffalo Bills don't seem to have any disgruntled players. Quite a few players restructured their contracts to help the team's cap situation, and Buffalo hasn't brought in any big names to ruffle feathers. That said, Tyrod Taylor's agent is rather upset at the team. Adisa Bakari feels the Bills should give Taylor a new contract before the 2016 season after seeing the deals being given out to Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford. Taylor outplayed both in 2015 but instead of being paid close to $18M in 2016, like Osweiler and Bradford, Bakari's client will only be making about $3M. Buffalo wants to see more from Taylor in 2016 before committing large money to the QB.
Josh Norman, CB — The Panthers used their franchise tag on cornerback Josh Norman, who has yet to sign the offer. The two sides are currently in discussions on a long term deal but are reportedly not close in terms of compensation. Recently, Norman has hinted at the possibility that he will not be participating in any offseason activities until a new deal can be reached.
Jeremy Langford, RB — With Matt Forte now in New York, the table was seemingly set for Langford, the club's 2015 4th-round pick, to take over as the bell cow in Chicago's backfield. Yet the Bears recently offered C.J. Anderson a four-year deal worth $19 million, which reveals the lack of faith Bears brass have in Langford. That can't sit well with the Michigan State product.
Vontaze Burfict, LB — Burfict is still steaming that his infamous, illegal hit on Antonio Brown gets more blame for Bengals' epic playoff loss to the Steelers last season than Jeremy Hill's fumble. And he certainly doesn't believe it warranted an unpaid, three-game suspension. Burfict, who has been fined five times by the league, recently admitted to ESPN that he needs to makes some change in his game. Question is, can Burfict be Burfict without constantly playing on the edge?
Josh Gordon, WR - While the Browns may have good reason to be disgruntled right back at him, the suspended receiver with All-Pro potential was all but begging to be released from the team before the signing of Robert Griffin III. Will the unhappiness continue with his Baylor buddy at quarterback? Stay tuned.
Tony Romo, QB — Since Dallas is having a largely drama-free offseason, we'll focus on Romo, who was irate at the NFL for quashing his plans to host a fantasy football convention in Las Vegas a month prior to the event last summer. The NFL objected because it was to be held at a convention center connected to a casino. In February, a judge threw out Romo's subsequent lawsuit against NFL, though a breach-of-contract claim on his behalf is ongoing. "At any point the NFL could've called me," Romo told Dallas radio station The Fan. "We would've changed venues a long time ago if we thought it was a problem. It makes me think they didn't want the event to be a success."
Ryan Clady, LT - Clady, a four-time Pro Bowler, signed a five-year, $52.5 million contract extension with the Broncos before the 2013 season. He's only been healthy for one campaign (2014) since. Clady is scheduled to make $9.5 million in 2016, but Denver's front office went out and signed two free agent tackles — Donald Stephenson and Russell Okung. The Broncos have asked Clady to accept a pay cut, and although he's said publicly that he's willing to work out a restructure, Clady and the Broncos have yet to come to an accord. Expect Clady to be cut by June 1.
DeAndre Levy, LB - If Levy is disgruntled, it's based on a cause that concerns most NFL players. He has publicly challenged the NFL on its "lack of transparency" on CTE, concussions and brain injury. "@nfl Why is Dr. Elliot Pellman, the rheumatologist who helped concealed and lied about the link between football and CTE, still employed by you guys," Levy wrote on Instagram. In an interview with ESPN, Levy said, "Being sidelined last year [to injury] allowed me to look closely at the risks and rewards and make an informed decision that I want to keep playing."
Aaron Rodgers, QB — The Packers' prudent cap management helps them avoid salary discontentment, but the tradeoff of not splurging on free agents can mean fewer weapons for Aaron Rodgers, who knows that his Super Bowl window won't stay open forever. He's too savvy to be even remotely bitter but is probably annoyed by the Pack's cautiousness.
Tom Savage, QB — After a preseason shoulder injury that didn't require surgery, Savage was placed on injured reserve to start 2015, which by rule ended his season. Just when signs pointed to Savage having a ray of light to possibly impress the coaches during the offseason, the Texans signed Brock Osweiler, which leaves Savage fighting for the backup quarterback role.
Khaled Holmes, C — The former fourth-round selection has been named the starter at the outset of each of the past two seasons and has lost the job each time. In 2014, it was due to a preseason injury, although solid starters aren't supposed to lose their jobs because they got hurt. Last year, he eventually relinquished the job to Jonotthan Harrison — even though Holmes clearly outplayed Harrison in preseason. Harrison hasn't been impressive since being named the starter, either, and the Colts have spoken specifically of the need to upgrade the center position this offseason. Even owner Jim Irsay has mentioned the area of concern. It's perhaps one final confirmation that Holmes isn't the answer.
Luke Joeckel, LT — Although Joeckel hasn't said anything publicly, he must be feeling the heat after the Jaguars signed former Steelers left tackle Kelvin Beachum. Beachum will earn more money than Joeckel, the former second-overall pick in the 2013 Draft, and it's more than likely that he will take his position. Joeckel has never played inside, but his NFL career could rest on whether he can make the transition to guard.
Eric Fisher, LT — In three seasons in a Chiefs uniform, Fisher has been anything but stellar. Though his 2015 season could be viewed as a turn-the-corner moment, Chiefs fans aren't sold that the former first overall pick is anything but average. If the Chiefs do use their first- or second-round pick on a left tackle, that could mean the end is near for Fisher in Kansas City.
Nick Foles, QB — Disgruntled may not technically fit the description of Foles, who recognizes that he didn't do enough to avoid getting benched in Week 11 in favor of Case Keenum. But he can't be happy at the constant trade-rumor headlines that bear his name.
Ndamukong Suh, DT — No one would recognize Suh if the chip that rests on his shoulder ever gets knocked off for good. Suh was extremely unhappy with his role in Miami's defense last season, so much so that he reportedly started to ignore the defensive coordinator's play calls and do his own thing, which, surprisingly, might have improved his play. Suh is just a nasty player, but he's also willing to make others better if they listen to him and play with him. Making that chip on his shoulder even bigger is the fact that a lot of analysts ticked him off last year saying he wasn't worth his money.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR — He wants the fame that goes with being a star in the NFL and has the talent to get there, but his inexperience in college (one year at Tennessee) and inconsistency in running routes have left coaches decreasing his playing time on offense and essentially limiting him to a kickoff-return man, a decoy on passing downs or a blocker on running plays. The Vikings gave up draft picks to move back into the first round in 2012 to draft him, but he's in the last year of his contract and head coach Mike Zimmer admits 2016 is a "prove-it" year for Patterson as a receiver. Mid- to late-round picks Stefon Diggs, Jarius Wright and Charles Johnson have all gotten more chances in the last year-plus, and now the Vikings are primed to draft another receiver early this year.
Tom Brady, QB — The protracted Deflategate legal proceedings have cost Brady time, focus, money and prestige. Of course, he has plenty to spare of each, but that doesn't matter. Brady will always see Roger Goodell as his personal Javert, especially if the commish finds a way to suspend him for the start of the 2016 season.
Josh Hill, TE — The Saints gave Hill a chance to be the main tight end after the Jimmy Graham trade. Instead, Benjamin Watson won the job and played well. Watson, however, left in free agency to go to Baltimore. Instead of handing the job to Hill, they spent $36 million on Coby Fleener, making him the obvious starter. The Saints also re-signed TE Michael Hoomanawanui, so Hill, a restricted free agent, signed an offer sheet with the Chicago Bears. In a move that surprised most, the Saints matched the Bears' 3-year, $8 million offer. Hill has loads of potential and Sean Payton loves him, but how does Hill feel about being an obvious second (or third) fiddle yet again?
Andre Williams, RB - While it appeared that his pro career was off to a promising start in 2014, Williams endured a major sophomore slump rushing for merely 257 yards and one touchdown on 88 attempts. Williams also saw his playing time diminish with Rashad Jennings and Orleans Darkwa taking the bulk of the carries. The former Boston College star is entering the third year of his four-year, $2,673,600 rookie contract. Unless he gets back on the right track this year, he could be relegated to bench duties for the majority of the 2016 campaign.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB — You probably feel like you're underpaid, right? But are you worth more than double your current salary? Fitzpatrick, who threw 31 touchdowns and 15 picks last season, reportedly wants $15-18 million per year and the Jets want to pay him closer to $8 million.
Marcel Reece, FB — Reece is a versatile player that can be used as a running back, fullback and even wide receiver (his college position), but he has continuously seen limited touches. On top of that, fellow fullback Jamize Olawale just got a contract extension last year which may make him nervous since Olawale has similar talents. Reece will also miss three games (and lose significant money) after testing for PEDs, which he maintains was an accident.
Fletcher Cox, DT — Throw a dart at the Eagles' 2015 team photo and you'll likely hit a player who was disgruntled under Chip Kelly. The hiring of head coach Doug "People Person" Pederson, combined with moves like signing popular safety Malcolm Jenkins and trading unhappy running back DeMarco Murray and salary hog corner Byron Maxwell, have brought a bit of brotherly love back to the Eagles locker room. That said, in a busy offseason, the Eagles have yet to extend the contract of stud defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who has also been the subject of trade rumors.
Shaun Suisham, K — The Steelers are a relatively content bunch, though several may still be grumbling that their talented coworker, receiver Martavis Bryant, made their jobs more difficult by getting suspended for substance abuse. Though he is a class act who understands life in the NFL, Suisham probably isn't whistling on his way to work. In 2015, he tore his ACL making a tackle in Hall of Fame game, and the Steelers replaced him with stud first-year kicker Chris Boswell, who is much cheaper. Mike Tomlin will have them compete in camp but even Suisham knows he's just auditioning for a spot on another roster.
Melvin Ingram, OLB — The Chargers tend to rid themselves of disgruntled players, but this year they have no shortage of frustrated (and frustrating) players. Topping that list would be Ingram, who has had a career that's consisted of periods of brilliance followed by lulls of injury and/or average play. A 2012 first-round draft pick, he played in all 16 games his rookie campaign, tallying 18 quarterback pressures (second-most on team) and 12 special teams tackles. He showed physicality and hustle, something San Diego's defense sorely needed. An ACL tear limited his next two seasons, and in 2015, he mixed underwhelming performances with dominant play. The upcoming season will be a big one for Ingram to show he was worthy of a first-round pick and that he can stay healthy enough to be a force.
Colin Kaepernick QB — No other player in the NFL needs a change of scenery more than Kaepernick. While not blameless for his career slump, Kaepernick is justified in feeling like the 49ers have let him down as an organization by replacing the coach he flourished under (Jim Harbaugh) with a defensive-minded rookie head coach (Jim Tomsula). Chip Kelly will have a massive reclamation project on his hands if the team isn't able to unload Kaepernick.
Michael Bennett, DE — Bennett threatened to hold out last year and instead started all 16 regular season games (and two in the playoffs), setting career highs in tackles (52) and sacks (10) to earn his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He's reportedly fired his agent (Drew Rosenhaus) and is scheduled to make $1 million less this season ($7 million including bonuses) than he did a year ago. Holding out may not do Bennett much good. The Seahawks have shown a willingness to extend contracts entering the final years but not earlier, as strong safety Kam Chancellor learned the hard way last fall.
Demar Dotson, OT — Dotson held out last offseason for a new contract and never got it. If the Bucs draft an offensive tackle, Dotson may hit the open market before his contract expires next offseason.
Kendall Wright, WR — Wright may be the most disgruntled player on the Tennessee Titans roster at the moment, though that might be debatable in light of the organization's recent changes. Wright appeared to have checked out on former head coach Ken Whisenhunt as his production and participation in the offense waned. Wright also suffered an injury that cut his 2015 season short, but from his attitude and appearance in the locker room, he was only there in body. A new position coach, offensive coordinator and head coach could change that for the better in 2016.
Andre Roberts, WR — At almost any time over the last 15 years, the challenge of picking the Redskins' most disgruntled player would involve winnowing a long list. After an NFC East title and with more overall stability under general manager Scot McCloughan, coming up with a single name for 2016 is something of a challenge especially now that Robert Griffin III calls Cleveland home. Let's go with wide receiver Andre Roberts, who lost his third receiver role last season before suffering a season-ending injury. It's possible the Redskins waive him before training camp for $3 million in cap savings, but even if they don't, Roberts is still buried behind DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder.