Ranking the Worst NFL Training Camp Moments so Far

Nick Kostora@@nickkostoraContributor IIIAugust 23, 2012

Ranking the Worst NFL Training Camp Moments so Far

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    As much as Santonio Holmes may hate it, not all stories about training camp can be positive. In fact, there have been a plethora of negative moments throughout this years training camp cycle.

    So, which are the worst of the worst?

    Does Chad Johnson's release from the Miami Dolphins make the cut? And where does Maurice Jones-Drew's holdout saga rank?

    Here are the worst moments of NFL training camp so far.

10. Shawne Merriman Doesn't Make the Cut

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    The Buffalo Bills have turned the lights out on Shawne Merriman's tenure with the team by cutting him.

    The much maligned linebacker simply has never been the same since his steroid suspension in 2006, and that has reflected clearly in his stats.

    Merriman has just five sacks over the last four seasons and a mere 53 tackles overall.

    His attempt to circle the wagons in Buffalo and return to elite status made for an interesting story, but now he is out of work and running out of chances.

    What a sad turn this once promising career has taken.

9. Santonio Holmes Media Trouble

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    Remember the "quiet game" everyone played when they were little?

    Someone needs to teach Santonio Holmes how to play.

    After all, don't the New York Jets have enough going on without having to worry about Holmes running his mouth again?

    Apparently not, as the less than media-savvy receiver has continually made waves with an assortment of comments.

    First he claimed he was the "scapegoat" for last season's struggles.

    Then right before camp he questioned if a two-QB system could work in the NFL.

    He followed that gem up by saying the New York media was too harsh on the Jets and not positive enough when talking about the team.

    Too many bad moments to choose from this offseason for Holmes.

8. Jerry Jones Can't Make Up His Mind About Dez Bryant

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    Jerry Jones, make up your mind on liking Dez Bryant or wanting to be rid of him. We are all getting confused on whether you like his potential or can't stand his off-field issues.

    It is probably a mixture of the two, but Jones' comments throughout training camp have been hard to keep up with, to say the least.

    He said that Bryant was on a "thin string" and then later claimed, "You know, just because I said it doesn’t make it so.”

    Hopefully Bryant's impressive on-field training camp performance will render all this talk as meaningless chatter soon enough.

    For now it has been a pointless and unnecessary distraction for the Cowboys and Bryant.

7. Mike Wallace Contract Dispute

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    One of the biggest stories of the NFL's offseason is nearing its conclusion as reports are surfacing that Mike Wallace will report to Steelers training camp this weekend.

    Still, this has been one of the biggest battles of the offseason at large and a resolution is far from in place.

    Wallace still wants a long-term deal and the Steelers still aren't offering the deal he wants.

    This fight has only intensified since Pittsburgh gave big time money to Antonio Brown at the start of training camp.

    So, will Wallace be a distraction this season?

    Will he pull a DeSean Jackson and play it safe to avoid injury as he seeks a long-term deal?

    Only time will tell, but this has been a dark cloud hanging over Steelers training camp.

6. Ryan Mathews Breaks His Clavicle

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    Players are always going to get hurt during training camp—that is simply the circle of NFL life.

    It is just unfortunate when injuries occur to guys already battling back from previous problems.

    Ryan Mathews has already struggled with injuries throughout his short career. He missed four games last season and two games in his rookie campaign.

    Now, he is expected to be out until early October with a broken clavicle suffered on his first and only carry of the preseason.

    For a player expected to finally assume a workhorse-type role, Mathews really can't catch a break.

5. The Ongoing Feud Between Jonathan Vilma and Roger Goodell

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    "Bountygate" is the type of scandal that a franchise like the New Orleans Saints can only hope to learn and move on from.

    But the legal battle between suspended linebacker Jonathan Vilma and commissioner Roger Goodell has ensured that this storyline has remained at the top of the training camp food chain.

    From proposed deals to restaurant bans and everything in between, this story has become more chaotic with each passing day.

    Vilma has stubbornly refused to cave to the commissioner in this legal drama.

    Now that the NFL has filed new evidence backing Goodell it will be interesting to see how much longer this saga goes on.

4. The New York Jets Quarterback Circus

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    It almost pains me to even write about this over-saturated, over-hyped, and far too often talked about circus taking place at Jets camp.

    However, when talking about the worst moments of training camp, it would be a glaring omission to leave off the QB battle/controversy/spectacle in New York.

    Watching the media swoon over Tim Tebow and cover every small aspect of his and Mark Sanchez's training camp has been a clear showcase of the worst that training camp can possibly offer.

    Whatever your feelings on Tebow in general, it would be hard to argue that the amount of coverage he is getting has not passed the point of ridiculousness. 

3. Chad Johnson Is Arrested and Then Cut from the Dolphins

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    There was skepticism from the start when Chad Johnson signed with the Miami Dolphins.

    Could the wideout still be productive at 34-years old? Was last season in New England merely a fluke? And was Miami the perfect place to resurrect a struggling career?

    Those questions will unfortunately never have a chance to be answered.

    Johnson was arrested for domestic assault only one week into the preseason, and the Dolphins were quick to remove him from the team.

    This big signing floundered quickly in Miami and was the epitome of a failed experiment.

2. Maurice Jones-Drew Holdout

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    The good news out of Jacksonville is that Blaine Gabbert has shown drastic improvement this preseason.

    The unrelenting bad news is that the Maurice Jones-Drew holdout appears never-ending and the star running back is even open to being traded at this point.

    Holdouts are a part of the annual training camp storylines, but this one has been particularly fierce.

    The fact that the Jags put good faith into Jones-Drew during his last contract has been of little significance.

    Jones-Drew is not budging and neither is the Jaguars organization.

1. The Passing of Garrett Reid

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    Injuries, holdouts, fights and disputes pale in comparison to the tragedy that has befallen the Philadelphia Eagles organization and family.

    Losing Andy Reid's son at the young age of 29 is something that cannot be adequately covered in a slideshow.

    However, not including Garrett Reid's passing would be a disservice to the entire point of this article.

    This is truly the darkest and worst moment of NFL training camps this season.

    Perhaps Eagles QB Michael Vick put the best spin on the tragedy in this quote, via PhillyMag.com.

    Our entire season will be dedicated to Garrett, and I’m personally dedicating my season to coach and to my teammates. This season will be dedicated to Garrett starting tomorrow.