15 NFL Players Who Had a Horrible 2010 Offseason
The NFL off season should be a time to relax, escape the spotlight, and have some fun.
Some players, however, take a different approach.
There's players that will have a little too much fun and players who relax too much (and gain 50 pounds doing it).
There are guys who don't want to do what his team wants or expects of him and there's the unfortunate player who always goes down with an injury or even the guys who forget their gun is in their suitcase.
Here are 15 players who may have dabbed in one or more of these categories (plus a couple bonuses)...
Honorary Mention — Roger Goodell
It wouldn't be right to start off the list without mentioning the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell.
Labor disputes, more players getting in trouble, and even executives joining in on the fun.
He has a laundry list of things to do, and many of the following are not making his job any easier.
Honorary Mention — Tom Lewand, President of the Detroit Lions
The man on the left got blamed for all of the Detroit Lions' problems.
The man on the right officially became president of the Detroit Lions after Matt Millen was run out of town.
His name is Tom Lewand, and apparently he's an alcoholic.
Lewand's problems are unfortunately very serious, and thanks to a recent DUI, they have come to the forefront of the conversation.
He stated that he is in "active recovery," but that appears not to be the case. Lewand needs help and probably shouldn't have been involved in multi-million dollar deals if he truly has been attempting to recover.
The league has an interesting decision to make regarding the Lions' president. How can you force a suspension on an executive? Will he be fined? Will he be forced into more extensive treatment?
And with a month to go before training camp begins and a bevy of unsigned draft picks, the timing is awful for a Lions team desperate for a strong start to this season.
I always wondered if marijuana truly affects short-term memory. Luckily, Leroy Hill helped answer that question.
That could be the only explanation for his arrest of domestic violence ten days after receiving probation for marijuana possession in April (a charge from January 2009).
Hill was promptly asked to stay away from Seattle Seahawks mini-camp by new coach Pete Carroll back in April. He was forced to stay away from the team for two months as possible replacements got reps in his spot.
Now, Hill is slowly trying to make amends as he has rejoined the Seahawks for off season workouts in mid-June.
Hill could very well be facing jail time, a suspension, and even a voided contract.
At least he won't have to remember what to do with all that lost money.
Golden Tate must have been real hungry.
Or maybe he was trying to impress new teammate Leroy Hill.
Whatever the case, Tate didn't have the best start to his rookie campaign.
On June 8, Tate decided to take full advantage of the building he lives in and get himself some Top Pot doughnuts.
Unfortunately, it was 3 a.m., and the store was closed.
He was given a warning and Top Pot has used this incident to launch their own mini-marketing campaign. Not to mention they already have a deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
For Tate at least, this may be the "feel good" story, as opposed to a rough off season for many other NFL players.
Albert Haynesworth may not have gotten into any legal trouble or suffered any real injuries, but this has not been a good off season.
His personal nightmare started with the hiring of Mike Shanahan on Jan 5.
Most players would be (and were) happy to find out their team has replaced Jim Zorn with a two-time Super Bowl champion.
But not Big Al.
Instead, he shuddered to think that the $100 million contract he recently signed meant he had to learn and play a new style of defense.
Now, he has been scrutinized by anyone you could think of.
Teammates? Yep, being called selfish is an insult. Check.
Coaches and the Front Office? Trying to get $21 million back, usually says you're not happy. Check.
Former Players like Warren Sapp? "Stop the B.S." Check.
Ex-Wife? "He thinks he's above everything. He feels like he's entitled. He's narcissistic" (courtesy of the AP). Might want to give that a couple check marks.
So as the off season winds down, what will Haynesworth do?
He won't pay back the $21 million, that's for certain. But, this off season may have damaged him far beyond anything he has ever done, including that time he stomped on a man's head.
One of the worst part of the off season is when players sustain substantial injuries, and they miss most of, or the entire season.
Willie Colon is one of those victims.
Colon tore his Achilles Tendon in June and will most likely miss the entire season.
The blow is a big one for the Steelers, who might have encountered the worst off season of any NFL team. The injury leaves them searching for a new starter at right tackle.
And for Colon, who is on a one year contract, the timing couldn't have been worse. The chances he'll receive that contract extension he longs for may have been ripped away.
Can't fault Vince Young for the pride in his alma-mater. It really is a good football school.
Unfortunately, he didn't realize it's not worth fighting for.
Young found himself in a strip club brawl and right back into the spotlight he had begun to disappear from.
After a solid return as starter in late 2010, Young seemed to finally "get it."
But now, he has more questions to answer.
Is Young really mature enough? Can he handle the pressure of a starting QB job?
And let us not forget, this is an important contract year he is about to enter.
Young will probably escape suspension, but coach Jeff Fisher will have to keep an extremely close eye on the QB.
We'll see if Young can escape the pressures off of the field.
The LenDale White off season story is sad on a variety of levels.
It reminds me of a man getting back together with an ex-girlfriend and expecting the perfect marriage, only to be dumped months later.
White was re-signed by the Tennessee Titans in April, but was quickly shipped off to the Seattle Seahawks.
He was reunited with former college coach Pete Carroll and the dream scenario began.
White believed his career would be rejuvenated.
Then a month later, word emerged he would be suspended for violating the NFL's drug policy.
The following day, his former coach dumped him without warning and he was looking for love again.
Now, White has said the two were never that close, and as he partied in Vegas, he received the news that he needed a new home.
His services are still available and may be for a while.
JaMarcus Russell may very well be having a fantastic off season by his own standards.
He can be lazy, he doesn't have to be on time for anything, and can eat all he wants.
By NFL standards, not so much.
First, Russell showed up grossly overweight to mini-camps in March. Next, Jason Campbell joined the Oakland Raiders squad, killing all true hopes of Russell being a starter there. In April, the team talked him up and it all seemed well.
Then, May came and the "he's motivated" talk appeared to be an attempt to trade him. The Raiders released him.
Currently, Russell remains unemployed and has no suitors as training camp nears.
Not to mention, the Raiders are trying to get over $9 million back from a man who may have officially earned the top spot on the biggest NFL draft bust ever.
But at least he doesn't have a worry in the world...
UPDATE: JaMarcus Russell added to his NFL offseason by being arrested for a controlled substance. Apparently, he wants off this list and to no longer be associated with the NFL as a player.
At least Vincent Jackson still has the potential for his off season to get better.
Jackson established well before this off season that he shouldn't be driving.
But of course, that did not stop him. In fact, he helped make his off season a little busier before his team was even done playing. Right before his playoff game he was caught with a suspended license and expired tags.
His team lost the game and it officially began...
Jackson went to court for his pending DUI trial and pleaded guilty for the second time. He followed that up by pleading guilty to the suspended license incident.
On top of that, he didn't get a contract extension by the Chargers and remains a restricted free agent.
A suspension from Roger Goodell will soon be on it's way down.
But the good news — he's got game. And with that, plenty of teams are inquiring about his services.
Soon, Jackson may have a new team, new contract, and a new state's driving laws to abide by.
Cedric Benson has the distinct honor of joining this list at the latest point possible.
It had been going so well for Benson too.
The truth is probably a long way from coming out, but after a career year in 2009, this was the worst possible off season ending.
The new Benson was supposed to be more mature and he was not going to put himself in shady situations.
If he stayed out of trouble, he was about to get himself a brand new contract.
The incident occurred back in May and was kept quiet for almost a month.
But, it also occurred in Austin, Texas, a place Benson is familiar with finding himself in troubling situations.
Back in 2008, he had a run-in twice with Austin cops in alcohol related incidents (later dropped). In college, the man pleaded no contest to a criminal trespassing charge.
The moral of the story?
Your college days have long passed, Cedric. Stay away from Austin and the University of Texas. And if you're real smart, look at Vince Young and don't even talk about the school.
Chris Johnson is due to receive about $550,000 next season.
Yet he ran for over 2,000 yards last year.
The math doesn't seem to add up, but as coach Jeff Fisher said, "He's under contract."
Johnson is a long ways away from receiving the extension he deeply desires. He intends to hold out, but the uncertainty of the NFL's cap situation isn't helping his cause.
He has stayed out of trouble, stayed healthy, and may stay out of camp for a long time.
It's never good when a player has to apologize to teammates before a season even begins.
For Dwayne Bowe, that's the position he finds himself in.
Although details are still murky, Bowe gave an interview with ESPN where he mentioned teammates would "import women" to their hotels for road games.
Quickly, he went into damage control denying ever saying anything of that nature. Now, he claims to have little recollection of an interview at all.
To make matters worse, he had to have a long discussion with coach Todd Haley and didn't perform all that great in mini-camp either.
Bowe has already had a tumultuous NFL career off the field and the more that piles up, the worse it will be.
Maybe he can be the poster child for NFL players keeping their mouths shut.
Let's just hope Bowe doesn't "import" some of these women to his teammates as an apology gift.
Who knew flag football could get so dangerous?
Steve Smith was willing to take the risk of playing and as it turns out, it wasn't such a great idea.
Smith broke his arm attempting to stop his fall in a game in June. It was the same arm he broke to end his season in December.
The good news for him, at least it was in a different spot.
Smith is expected to miss most of training camp, but should be back in time to start the season.
Smith is coming off one of his worst career years and could have used the time to familiarize himself a little bit more with the possible Carolina QBs for 2010.
But, what really matters...
He announced his retirement from flag football, at least until that whole tackle football job is over.
Michael Vick did not have a good off season.
At first, it seemed like it may be promising. Rumors floated in the air of possible trades out of Philadelphia. Vick's rumors of starting somewhere gained steam.
Even Donovan McNabb was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles, eliminating the top QB from the depth chart.
But then Kevin Kolb got his extension and Vick's chances of starting for the Eagles quickly dissipated.
As the off season entered into it's final descent, Vick decided to do it up right.
He threw a huge 30th birthday bash and brought himself right back to where he didn't want to be — right under the watchful eye of the NFL, investigators and media.
Former Kennel Club co-defendant Quanis Phillips attended the party and was shot late in the night outside the club.
Since then, lots of rumors have swirled revolving around Vick and they won't be quieting down anytime soon.
A bad crowd, a shooting, and more questions about his judgment have officially turned a mediocre off season into a horrible one.
The incident still doesn't seem real.
On April 1, 2010, Shaun Rogers shows up to Hopkins International Airport with carry-on luggage.
Little did he know, there was a gun in his luggage, and it was loaded. April Fools!
Not sure how it's truly possible to forget about any sort of gun in a person's luggage.
Do the XXXL shirts he packs engulf everything in the bag? Did he leave his luggage unattended? Did he not pack himself?
He was charged recently with carrying a concealed weapon, a third degree felony.
With this not being his first incident, or his second, don't be surprised to hear his name on the suspension list to start the 2010 season.
On a positive note, at least Rogers has even more time to recover from the leg injury that ended his 2009 campaign.
UPDATE: Apparently, teammates of Shaun Rogers wanted to try it out for themselves. D-line member Robaire Smith was charged with carrying a gun in his luggage at an airport on July 2.
A list that ordered players by worst 2010 off seasons would have been difficult.
Except, for number one. That goes to the obvious choice, Ben Roethlisberger.
Everyone already knows the details.
He was accused of sexual assault, and faces a separate civil lawsuit for a different sexual assault incident. Upsetting the league, his owners, teammates, and coaches, Big Ben received plenty of other bad press attacking his attitude and image.
At least this wasn't the off season he flew off a motorcycle without a helmet.
The good news for Roethlisberger is he gets at least an extra month off this off season, thanks to the NFL suspension spanning the first 4-6 games of the year.