The NFL All-Prison Team
Throughout the history of the NFL, it's seemed that no matter what, certain players have gotten into trouble with the law. Some good, some bad, it's unavoidable that at some point every season an NFL player will have a run in with the police.
So, here are the best players that have served time, or come close to it. Here is the NFL all-time prison team.
RB: OJ Simpson
OJ Simpson is without a doubt one of the best running backs ever to play the game of football. The first overall pick of the Buffalo Bills in 1969, Simspon had a stellar career in which he had over 11,000 yards and 60+ touchdowns.
Nowadays, Simpson is probably better known for what he did off the field then on it. He was tried, but famously not convicted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, however, he was recently sent to jail for a kidnapping case in Las Vegas.
Simpson was certainly vastly talented on the field, and it's a shame what he did off it came to define who he is, but it was his actions that caused it. However, he certainly has enough talent to make the All-Time NFL all prison team.
RB: Jim Brown
According to many football experts, Jim Brown is the best running back ever to play in the history of the National Football League. Little known fact, he's also one of the best lacrosse players ever as well. Brown amassed almost 15,000 yards from scrimmage, and 126 rushing and receiving touchdowns in his career.
To top off those numbers, he retired at the age of 29. Had he played a few more years, who knows how insane his numbers would be.
Brown barely makes the cut for this team, as he was sentenced to jail for a misdemeanor charge in the early 2000's for six months. Still though, he easily makes the cut to the NFL All Prison Team.
RB: Jamal Lewis
Jamal Lewis was once an elite NFL running back, rushing for over 2,000 yards in 2003. He amassed 10,600 yards in his career, which is quite an impressive feat.
However, Lewis wasn't without his problems off the field. In 2005, Lewis plead guilty to charges stemming from an incident in which he was making calls from his personal cell phone attempting to set up a drug deal. He served four months in prison from the incident.
Kind of a dumb move for a guy who at the time was a top NFL running back making millions of dollars, don't you think?
LB: Ray Lewis
Ray Lewis is among the best linebackers in the history of the game and is a lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The year prior to the Ravens Super Bowl win in 2000, Lewis was arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault stemming from a fight at a bar. The charges against Lewis were eventually reduced, and he was never actually sentence to time in prison, but I'll forever remember the sight of him walking in a jumpsuit and handcuffs while held in an Atlanta jail.
Lewis is an amazing player and absolutely deserve a spot on the All-Prison Team. Despite what happened to him 12 years ago, he really seems like he's moved on and he's stayed out of trouble ever since.
LB: Lawrence Taylor
Lawrence Taylor single handedly changed the game of football, and is responsible for the term now used which is "The Blind Side," which refers to the side the quarterbacks back is pointed towards when he drops back. Left Tackle is one of the highest paid positions now because of Taylor. During his playing days, he was feared by quarterbacks and offensive lineman and reeked havoc on any team he played against.
Off the field, Taylor struggled mightily with substance abuse. He struggled with alcohol abuse, and he tested positive for cocaine twice during his NFL career. His drug use got so bad that he began to spend thousands of dollars a day on narcotics. Recently, Taylor was convicted of sexual misconduct charges in connection with his solicitation of a 16 year old prostitute, and forced to register as a sex offender.
I hope LT can get his personal life in line and finally get on the right path off the field.
WR: Plaxico Burress
By now, pretty much anyone who remotely follows sports knows what happened to Plaxico Burress in November 2008. Burress was in a night club in New York City when he accidentally shot himself in the leg with a handgun he was concealing in his waistband. Outside of New York, this would've been a minor crime, but due to the super strict gun laws of NYC he was sentenced to two years in prison.
Upon his release, there was much speculation to what team would end up signing the former super bowl hero. Ultimately, the team that wound up picking up Burress was the New York Jets. Burress didn't have a spectacular year this season, but he had a good year considering what he's been through. Burress makes this team largely because of his play in the 2007 playoffs.
Anyone who makes a catch with less than 30 seconds to go in the super bowl to win it can earn a spot on my NFL All-Prison Team.
DE: Dexter Manley
Dexter Manley was certainly a great NFL player. He was a two time all-pro defensive end and had over 100 sacks in his career. He had 18.5 sacks in 1986, so he is definitely a qualified player. However, he wasn't so great off the field. Manley was permanently banned from the NFL in 1991 for failing his fourth drug test.
Further, he was sentenced to four years in prison in 1996 for drug related charges and evidence tampering. He was again in trouble with the law in 2002. Thankfully, it seems that recently he's been able to stay out of trouble.
In his prime he was a really talented guy, and he surely earned his spot as a defensive starter on the NFL all prison team.
CB: Adam "Pacman" Jones
Pacman Jones. Is there anything this guy can do to stay out of trouble? He's had way too many run ins with the law to list. His arrest or lawsuit or whatever you want to call it sheet is actually a mile long. His primary run in though was when he was allegedly involved in a dispute in a club which led to the shooting of a bouncer and two others during NBA all-star weekend in Vegas in 2007.
Although Jones was never charged, he received so much bad publicity that you would've thought he was convicted of murder. When he was essentially given a babysitter by the Dallas Cowboys whose job it was to keep him out of trouble, Jones got into an altercation with him at a Dallas hotel in 2008. He was an unstoppable force of trouble.
He seems to have cleaned up his act and resumed his career, and he's had a good season in Cincy for the Bengals this year. Hopefully he can continue to stay clean and have a good second half of his NFL career.
OG: Nate Newton
An offensive lineman was missing from the list, but Nate Newton certainly fills in nicely. Newton was a six-time pro bowler and won three super bowls as a member of the 1990's Dallas Cowboy dynasty. Newton was a great player on the field, but he had a ton of troubles off it.
Newton was twice involved in drug trafficking cases. He was ultimately sentenced to 7 and a half years in prison, but was released after serving about two and a half of his original sentence. Newton was caught twice with 175+ pounds of marijuana in a span of about a month.
Newton has since gone straight and has been trouble free for the past 7 years or so. Newton really seems to have turned his life around, which is great to hear. Still though, his past endeavors have earned him his place on the NFL all prison squad.
QB: Michael Vick
Ah, we've finally arrived on Mike Vick. By now everyone, even those not familiar with sports know about the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting ring that Vick was involved in. In 2007, Vick was arrested and through numerous charges regarding interstate commerce and dogfighting, Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, more than any of his co-conspirators who testified against him in court.
Vick was picked up by the eagles in 2009, and had an okay season as the backup to Donovan McNabb. In 2010, when starter Kevin Kolb went down, Vick played lights out, he was utterly amazing. Especially if you picked him up off the waiver wire in fantasy football like I did. Anyway, Vick had a strong year this year, even though he was injured, which has become a common theme with his career.
Michael Vick is one of the better pure athletic talents that I can recall in the history of the NFL. He can start for me on my prison team as my quarterback any day.