As you and I sit down today to watch the AFC and NFC championship games, a few NFL'ers who won't even be in the game, will be getting the biggest shaft of all.  These guys will have that awful feeling of a wretched stomach churn when they watch two teams march to the Super Bowl later this evening. 

The first man that comes to mind as getting the shaft from the NFL during the NFC title game later today between the Giants and 49ers is former 9'er, Braylon Edwards. Edwards had a ton of talent coming out of Michigan, where he won the the Fred Biletnikoff award as best wide-receiver in college.  Edwards spent 2009 and 2010 with the New York Jets where he played in consecutive AFC title games.  When the Jets lost to the Colts and the Steelers, Edwards missed out on the Super Bowl by one game two years in a row.  This season, he signed with the 49ers, where he struggled with success after a knee injury.  Edwards has amassed just 15 receptions with zero touch downs as a 9'er and was cut by the team on 12/27/11.   Here we are, 26 days later and Braylon Edwards will be sitting at home watching as his former team battle for a spot in the Super Bowl.  Three consecutive years, his teams in the Conference title game and Braylon will be getting - the shaft.

Next up on the Shaft List - Derek Mason. Mason had some pro-bowl seasons in his career.  He has topped 1,000 receiving yards in a season eight times as an NFL wide-out.   He played in Super Bowl XXIV, where the Titans literally came up a yard short.  Today, he'll be seeing his former team, the Ravens, battle in the AFC title game against the Patriots.  Mason is the Ravens all-time leading receiver. However, he was released by the team 7/28/11 to "free up cap space."  Mason eventually landed on the roster for the Houston Texans this season.  You may recall that the Texans and the Ravens just met last week in the Divisional round of the playoffs!   Sadly, Mason didn't have the chance to extract revenge on his former team as his new team, the Texans, cut Mason on 12/12/11. Forty days later, Mason will be watching the Ravens from his couch too as they fight for a spot in the big game.   Mason - shafted twice this year.

Sticking with former Ravens getting the shaft today, we go with Willis McGahee.  McGahee saw his carries dwindle every year when he played in Baltimore.  In 2007, he had 294 carries for 1,207 yards, very respectable. In 2008, McGahee was only given 170 carries, 109 in 2009 and last year, just 100 carries for a total of 380 rushing yards.  Making sure Ray Rice gets the ball all the time, the Ravens cut McGahee on 7/28/11.  After signing with the Denver Broncos, McGahee showed the NFL what he still had left in the tank with 249 carries and 1,199 yards on the ground - almost as much as Rice.  The Broncos even made the playoffs amongst Tebowmania .  Sadly, Denver was blown out by Tom Brady's Patriots in the Divisional round last week and McGahee will be also be watching the Ravens from his homestead and not the field as they scrap for a Super Bowl appearance.  -Another shaft from the Baltimore camp.

John Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh!  John is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and Jim Harbaugh is the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.  Both brothers are each coaching today in both title games!  John's Ravens will take on the Patriots in the AFC title game and Jim's 49ers will battle the Giants in the NFC title game.  At this very moment, both coaches are on their high horses!  Each are a win away from going to the Super Bowl.  However, no matter the outcome, one or both of these boys will get the shaft.  If they each win today, they play each other in the Super Bowl in two weeks.  Think about that - could you stand losing the biggest game of your life to your brother!? Imagine those holiday dinners.  If one coach wins today and the other loses, one brother has to watch the other coach in the Super Bowl when they were just a win away themselves! Or, what if they both lose today?  Both just a game away from the Super Bowl.  Regardless - the Harbaugh family will get shafted in someway.

Finally, on the Shaft List, we have Petyon Manning. Arguably the greatest Quarter Back in the history of the NFL, Peyton has four MVP awards and a Super Bowl ring.  Manning missed the ENTIRE 2011 season after suffering complications from neck surgery.   Two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, the Colts went 2-14 without Manning and now have the dilemma of possibly taking a replacement QB with their number one pick in the NFL draft this year.  Meanwhile, Peyton will have to sit at home while he watches his little brother, Eli, try to reach his second Super Bowl when the Giants play in the NFC title game tonight.  Petyon will have to watch his little brother aim for ring while he can't even get on the field.

What do you think?  Anyone else sitting on their couch or sidelines thinking the "woulda-coulda-shoulda" situations in the NFL today?