Top 5 Active Special Teams TD Leaders

Donte HallSome NFL players are just electrifying to watch when they return kicks. Some are even more electrifying when they are on your fantasy team, or if your D/ST gives you six points for a kick return score. Here is a list of the top five (or so) active players in this very department:

1. Dante Hall, St. Louis Rams (12)—He’s lost a step or two, but between 2002 and 2004 while with Kansas City, this guy was positively money on returns. You just couldn’t kick the ball to him without that nagging fear of a big return. In 2003, Hall had 4 TDs, including a 100-yard kick return and a 93 yard punt return. Just sick.

2. Devin Hester, Chicago Bears (11)—Those 11 returns were in just TWO seasons, 2006 and 2007, as Hester’s focus in 2008 was more as a receiver. But 11 TDs in two seasons is amazing, and consider that he also returned the opening kickoff of Super Bowl 41 all the way.

3. Allen Rossum, San Francisco 49ers (8)—He’s played for five different teams, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous to defend.

4. Antwaan Randle El, Washington Redskins (6)—He only has one return TD in the last three years while with the Redskins, but still very dangerous as a return man and a receiver in the open field.

4 (tie). Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers (6)—He doesn’t return kicks anymore, but why should one of the game’s perennial Top 5 receivers be relegated to kickoff duty anymore?

4 (tie). Joshua Cribbs, Cleveland Browns (6)—Only 26 years old this season, Cribbs has been one of the lone bright spots on a struggling Browns’ team his first three seasons.

Source: Pro Football Reference

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Offseason Blueprint: St. Louis Rams

Notable Free Agents: Ron Bartell, CB; Richie Incognito, C; Dane Looker, WR; Dante Hall, WR;

Projected 2009 Cap Space: $8000,000

Draft Order: 2

Top Needs: The Rams have major holes along their offensive line and will likely look to upgrade their linebacker corps and secondary.

Offseason Outlook: Rumors are already circulating that the Rams will part with long-time veterans Orlando Pace and Torry Holt, although don’t rule out either player restructuring their current contracts in order to stay in St. Louis. Holt’s cap charge in 2009 is $10.25 million and Pace carries a charge of $9 mil next year. Neither player will be in a St. Louis uniform next year at their current prices. The team will either deal the players or flat out release them if they don’t agree to restructure their contracts.

The Rams might also consider releasing safety Corey Chavous ($1.2 million), linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa ($2.25 million), backup quarterback Trent Green ($1.3 million) and defensive tackle Claude Wroten ($726,000) this offseason. Considering they’re handcuffed at only $8 million, expect new head coach Steve Spagnuolo and his staff to make moves in order to free up some cap space this offseason.

If the Rams part with Holt, some believe they may target a wide receiver in the draft, possibly even Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree. But don’t count on it. Even if the team releases/trades Holt, word is that the Rams love the potential of Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton, and therefore could address other needs with the second overall pick in the draft.

Read the rest after the jump...

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