Five NFL veterans who stumbled in the preseason


With Week 3 of the preseason completed, most regulars are done with live action until the real games kick off next month.

Some players used these games to endear themselves to coaches and carve out defined roles with their team. Others did not.

Here's a look at five notable veterans who left more questions than answers in August.

5. Randy Moss

Before the preseason started, the positive press coming out of San Francisco 49ers training camp about Moss was unending. We were told that Moss, 35, was as physically impressive as ever. Even better, he was motivated.

But after being held catchless Sunday against the Denver Broncos, it's clear Moss has yet to find his niche in the Niners' conservative offense. Moss had three catches for 24 yards in three game. More disconcertingly, he displayed little deep ball connection with Alex Smith.

4. Laurent Robinson

Charmed by the 900 yards and 11 touchdowns he compiled with the Dallas Cowboys last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars gave Robinson a five-year, $32.5 million contract, then paired him with No. 5 overall draft pick Justin Blackmon a month later. Robinson never has looked comfortable this summer, and his one catch in three preseason games has to worry the Jags. Nearly $14 million of Robinson's salary is guaranteed.

3. Vontae Davis

When players showed up to training camp out of shape last season, the lockout presented a half logical excuse. Davis couldn't hide behind labor unrest this summer, and the fact that he knew the "Hard Knocks" cameras would be in focus made his ugly start in training camp even more troubling.

Davis -- a first-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft -- stumbled into Joe Philbin's dog house and quickly lost his cornerback job to Sean Smith. On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins washed their hands of Davis, trading him to the Indianapolis Colts for draft picks.

2. Wayne Hunter

Hunter never was the answer for the New York Jets at right tackle, but the point was hammered home during a disastrous preseason that culminated with Austin Howard taking his job last week. Hunter was overmatched physically and appeared to be overwhelmed mentally by the time of his demotion.

On Sunday night, Howard cemented his starting spot, while Hunter got beat badly on another sack, this time by Thomas Keiser, the fourth-string left defensive end on the Carolina Panthers' depth chart. Ouch.

1. Kevin Kolb

It wasn't so long ago that Kurt Warner was having some of the most productive quarterback seasons in NFL history for the Arizona Cardinals. Now, Ken Whisenhunt is judging a war of attrition between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, trying to choose between the lesser of two evils.

The Cardinals wanted Kolb to show something this summer, show anything to make it feel like the franchise didn't set itself back considerably by trading for him last year. But he's been bad as ever through three preseason games.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.