Ranking NFL Stars' Most Egregious Off-Field Incidents
The NFL has seen a fair-share of their players make national headlines over the years for all of the wrong reasons. Some of the best athletes blessed with talent on the field, but sometimes find themselves involved with the wrong people or happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is currently under investigation after a 20-year-old filed sexual assault charges against him a few weeks ago. However, his story is only one of many off-field issues seen by players over the years. Here is a list of some of the most egregious off-field incidents by NFL players.
In 2000, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was arrested along with his two friends after a fight resulted in the deaths of 21-year-old Jacinth Baker and 24-year-old Richard Lollar. The incident took place outside the Cobalt Lounge in Atlanta following a Super Bowl party.
While the murder charges were dropped, Lewis was still fined $250,000 after he pleaded guilty for obstruction of justice. He originally lied about knowing the other two men arrested from the incident—Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting.
While the investigation is still under way, the future of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with the team may be up in the air after a recent incident at a college bar in Milledgeville, Georgia.
A 20-year-old female from Georgia College & State University claims Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her in a bar bathroom.
It marks the second time in a year Big Ben's name has been accused for his involvement with another woman after a civil suit for sexual assault was filed against him by a hotel employee in Lake Tahoe last summer.
It's hard to imagine the 28-year-old Roethlisberger—who is already a two-time Super Bowl winner—worrying about his future with the Steelers after all of the success he's had over his six-year career. Then again, with the numerous reports across the Internet regarding Big Ben's reputation, it shouldn't come as a surprise at all.
New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress had nobody to blame but himself after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh with his own gun. He accidentally set off the trigger in an attempt to prevent the gun from sliding down his leg while at a New York night club.
Burress is currently in the middle of a two-year prison indictment after being charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree along with a single count of reckless endangerment in the second degree.
While his sentencing put an unexpected halt to his football career, he does plan to try and make a return to the NFL once his time in prison is over with.
A few months after he almost broke Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record by finishing the 2003 season with 2,066 yards, Jamal Lewis found himself in a situation that eventually led him to four months jail time.
Lewis was sentenced after his involvement with helping a child-hood friend complete a drug transaction with the possible intention of distributing five kilograms of cocaine. Part of Lewis' punishments included a $20,000 fine and a two-game suspension by the NFL.
Former Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones was suspended for the entire 2007 season for his off-field behavior—with the most recent incident coming from a shooting that took place at a Las Vegas strip club.
Jones was questioned after the owner of Minx claimed one of his friends returned to the club after a confrontation took place and shot three people. A security guard involved with the earlier confrontation was shot twice and former professional wrestler Tommy Urbanski was also shot, resulting in him being paralyzed from the waist down.
Free agent defensive end Leonard Little was sentenced to 90 days in jail, four years probation and 1,000 hours of community service after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 1998.
Little struck a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and killed Susan Gutweiler after driving back from a birthday party. He was suspended the first eight games of the 1999 season and found himself in more trouble five years later when he was arrested again for DWI after he was pulled over for speeding.
Donté Stallworth was recently reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being suspended for the entire 2009 season for being charged with DUI and second-degree manslaughter.
On a morning back in March 2009, Stallworth struck and killed 59-year-old Mario Reyes after drinking the night prior in Miami Beach, Florida. He served 24 days in jail and eventually reached a financial settlement with the victim's family.
Stallworth appears to be on the right path when it comes to turning his life back around. Over a month ago, he signed a one-year deal worth $900,000 with the Baltimore Ravens.
In 2007, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for his involvement with running a dogfighting operation.
As disturbing as it was to hear stories about the pleasure behind Vick placing bets on dogs fighting one another, it was his actions towards the ones who lost that turned most fans against him.
Vick admitted to violent means towards the dogs that failed to perform well—including hanging, electrocuting, and even drowning. His actions were cruel and forever changed his image as a football player, but as an actual person.
Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was sentenced to 18-24 years in prison after he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. He was also charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child.
Cherica Adams was seven months pregnant with Carruth's baby before she was shot four times on her way back from the movies. Before she passed away at the hospital, Adams managed to write out notes indicating Carruth blocked her car door to prevent her from escaping the shots.
After Carruth posted a $3 million bond and reached an agreement to turn himself in if Adams or their baby passed away, he became a fugitive after Adams died. He was later found in the trunk of a friend's car in Wildersville, Tennessee.