NFL: Top 10 Dumbest People in the League

Eddie GriffinSenior Analyst IJune 14, 2008

Yesterday, former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry, the magnet of trouble that he is, was unsurprisingly given an indefinite suspension by the NFL for, well, what has he not done over the last few years?

Fortunately for Henry, he’s not alone, as he’s one of many on his former team whose decision-making capabilities are questionable, to say the least.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d put together a list of the 10 stupidest people/groups in the NFL today.

Ryan Leaf, you’re forgiven, and so are the 31 teams who passed on Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft. Hindsight is 20/20, but you’ll be paying for it for the next several years.

[Edit: I thought I’d make a change to the list. I still don’t think that Lane Kiffin made the right head coaching move, but he’s a lot less stupid than the person I’m replacing him with. Trent Green, however, still remains #1.]

10. Any player who dares to mess with Ed Hochuli: Referees usually aren’t a football fan’s favorite people (unless they’ve given our team a generous call), but Hochuli has achieved Chuck Norris-like status not because he’s one of the top referees in the league, but more because of his humorous calls (’the defender was simply overpowered’) and his physique, which Phil Simms is a great admirer of.

Even if Hochuli may wear his shirts a size or two too small (or maybe he’s just that buff), I don’t know how many people would willingly face up to him in a dark alley, or on a football field. In his day job, he’s renowned as a top lawyer. Could it be that he wins many of his cases by intimidation? One flex, and it’s over.

9. Draft picks who hold out: So, Mr. First Rounder, who told you that it’d be a smart idea to hold out through the start of training camp just to get an extra couple mil? Considering that you haven’t played a single down in the NFL yet, nd there’s a good chance you could be out of the league in a few years, you’re not in a position to get greedy. I know, it might partly be your agent’s fault, and that’s another story for an entirely different post.

You will still be able to afford everything you’ve ever wanted five times over, and most importantly, you won’t fall behind in your development if you go ahead and get the negotiations done as quickly as possible.

8. Cedric Benson: Get arrested once, maybe it’s an accident. Get arrested in the same place, for much the same offense, and you’re asking for it. Good luck in Canada!

7. The Patriots’ video assistant who got caught: All you had to do was not get caught, and what did you do? It’s for the betterment of the game, though we all grew tired of Spygate months ago. As for your career, maybe you can get a job on the next remake of Candid Camera.

6. Bill Belichick: Responsibility. Learn how to take some of it.

5. Matt Millen: There’s a chance that Millen could redeem himself if the Lions can get things turned around over the next few years, but I’m not the only one who wonders how he’s still employed, though that may have been answered in #3.

Maybe Barry Sanders made the right decision by retiring when he did, because if he had stayed until after Millen took over, he may have had the NFL rushing record, but he would’ve been even more miserable. At least the Lions made the playoffs five times during Sanders’ ten seasons (1991, 1993-95, 1997).

When Millen was hired, he had experience as an NFL player (1980-91) and as a TV/radio analyst. However, he had no front office experience, and it’s showed, rather painfully at that: The Lions were 9-7 in 2000, but since Millen arrived prior to the next season, there’ve been seven straight losing seasons.

4. The leadership of the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals: Is there any surprise why these two franchises are far from what they were at one time? Their owners must be quite the sadomasochists when it comes to their fans and their franchise.

3. The entire crew of Cincinnati Bengals‘ troublemakers (past and present): To be fair, they’ve been well-behaved for the most part since that rash of arrests in 2006 and 2007, but the likes of Henry and Thurman have kept an unnecessary cloud over the franchise. With their recent releases, maybe the last of the bad apples have been eliminated.

2. Michael Vick: How did I miss this guy on the first go-round? It could be because he’s currently imprisoned, but he certainly deserves to be high on this list. I imagine there’s a team who’ll give him a chance once he gets out of the slammer, but he’s thrown away a lot for no reason. However, the Atlanta Falcons may end up being better off in the end if Matt Ryan ends up being franchise material, so hey, all’s well that ends well, right?

1. Trent Green: I know Trent Green loves the game of football and doesn’t want to walk away, but sometimes, it’s a good idea to forget passion and think common sense.

Why do I have Green at #1 despite all of the other possible choices?

1) After the severe concussion that he had in the 2006 season, he should’ve seriously considered hanging it up, but he was all too eager to come back.
2) He tried to block Travis Johnson, who’s 6′3, 315 pounds, by trying to take his knees out with his head–while Johnson was running.
3) After Johnson’s knee knocked him into the next week, he should’ve said, “Okay, that’s it. I want to be able to know who and where I am in 20 years.” Instead, he not only decided to come back, but he chose to sign with the St. Louis Rams.

Because of the beating that Marc Bulger is likely to take in 2008, Green will likely see the field. And when he does, there’s a good chance he could get rocked again–the last time the Rams’ offensive line allowed less than 40 sacks in a season was 1999, which is why there’s no surprise that eight different QBs have started under in that time period (Warner, Green, Bulger, Jamie Martin, Chris Chandler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Gus Frerotte, Brock Berlin).

So, who did I miss? I’m sure there are plenty of people that I missed, but these are my 10. Agree/disagree/have your own 10?


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