The 25 Worst Teammates in Recent NFL History
There was such a great response to my last article about the top 10 crybabies, that I decided to expand it further and produce a list of the top 25 worst teammates.
Yes, there is a difference between the two.
A crybaby situation is just one one who balls and whines and is comparable to a spoiled little child.
A horrible teammate is even worse.
This is someone who goes above and beyond the spoiled athlete and has no regard for his teammates or the organization he plays for.
To him, his wants, needs, and feelings are the only thing that matter. He is similar to the spoiled athlete, but with a bit more narcissism thrown in for good measure.
There are some on this list you'll disagree with. That's to be expected. No two people have the same opinions and that's a good thing.
It would be a pretty boring world to live in if we all thought the same.
One automatic qualifier on the list is if a player attacked a teammate physically. Even if the guy did nothing else the rest of his career, if the dude punched out a teammate, he's on the list.
Also, even if a player is a good guy on the field, but off the field he's an ass, he's on the list.
The criteria is based on those who played from 1980 on. I chose that because the guys before played the game for reasons other than just money.
I had a hard time trying to find someone from the 70s or earlier who even qualified.
If you have one, comment below and let me know.
25. David Boston
David Boston was more interested in being a bodybuilder than a football player, and that meant bad news for his teammates and coaches.
Run-ins with the law, mood swings, and jumping from team to team were part and parcel of Boston's NFL career.
He failed two drug tests while in the NFL, testing positive for steroids in both. Boston was also suspended in 2003 by then-Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer for bad behavior.
Boston was a decent receiver who let drugs and a poor attitude drive him out of the league before his time.
24. Freddie Mitchell
Freddie Mitchell had Terrell Owens's attitude, but not his talent, and that set the tone for his short and controversial NFL career.
Mitchell was arrogant and his arrogance was real, not an act. The problem was that his greatness was all in his own mind.
He finished his NFL career with just 90 catches and five touchdowns.
His attitude pissed off teammates, coaches, and management. After five years in the NFL, with the Eagles and the Chiefs, Mitchell was out of the league for good.
Mitchell has had various run-ins with the law since his career ended in 2005.
23. Kellen Winslow Jr.
Winslow was a cocky, spoiled athlete in college—typical of a University of Miami player.
After he was drafted with the No. 6 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and got a big contract, it only got worse.
His immaturity and attitude of entitlement have alienated him from his teammates and a plethora of injuries has limited a once-promising career.
22. Jay Cutler
Look up the word "arrogance" in the dictionary and you just might find a picture of Cutler.
Cutler has a big arm and all the intangibles to be a great quarterback, but he hasn't put it together yet.
The problem is, Cutler thinks he's already a superstar quarterback and his ego reflects that.
He couldn't win at Vanderbilt or Denver, and his first season in Chicago was a disaster.
Cutler will throw his teammates under the bus and blame them for some of his interceptions. Even if what he says is true, that is something a real leader keeps quiet about.
Unfortunately for the Bears, Cutler isn't a leader and may never be one.
21. Vince Young
Young is an exceptional athlete who had a mythical high school and college career.
His professional career has been anything but.
Plagued by inconsistency during his first two seasons, Young was injured the second game of the 2008 season.
Kerry Collins took over and started the rest of the season, leading the Titans to a 13-3 record and a berth in the playoffs.
How did Young handle his demotion?
Like a spoiled little baby.
He was said to be distraught after being booed by fans and losing his job to Collins, so he disappeared.
After a four-hour police search, they found Young, who agreed to meet with coach Jeff Fisher, and return to the team. He spent the rest of the season on the bench.
Young seemed to have turned things around in 2009.
He regained his starting job at the halfway point of the season and led Tennessee to a 6-2 record.
All the goodwill he earned came crashing to the ground when he was arrested at a Dallas strip club for misdemeanor assault two weeks ago.
Just when we thought Young had grown up, he proved us wrong again.
20. Simeon Rice
There is no "I" in team, but someone forgot to tell Simeon Rice that.
Rice is one of the all-time great sack artists and, at the same time, one of the all-time worst teammates in NFL history.
Rice is the only important thing to Rice.
He whined and complained constantly about his contract, his coaches, and how he was disrespected by the league.
Rice ended his career as one of the most unpopular players in NFL history.
19. Brandon Marshall
An amazing athlete and arguably the best receiver in the league today, Marshall is also one of the biggest head cases around.
After four tumultuous years in Denver that saw Marshall criticize players, coaches, ownership, and fail to show up for meetings and training camps, the Broncos traded him to Miami this offseason.
Having a personality like Marshall in a city like Miami could be a recipe for disaster. It's a gamble the Dolphins are willing to take.
Head coach Tony Sparano better have a nice supply of Maalox on hand this season.
18. Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger is a solid quarterback who plays hard and his teammates respect him.
He makes this list because of his off-field issues.
Even if you're a decent guy on the field, if what you do off the field hurts your teammates and the organization you play for, then you are a bad teammate.
Roethlisberger has all the talent in the world, but he's very ego-centric. He feels a sense of entitlement and that has caused problems for himself and the Steelers.
Hopefully, his suspension in the upcoming season will straighten him up and put him on the right path.
There's nothing wrong with going out and partying once in a while, but if you keep putting yourself in situations that get you in trouble, it's time to grow up and avoid them.
17. Chad Ochocinco
Chad is extremely funny and entertaining when he's happy.
When he's not, he can be a cancer to his teammates.
He wants the ball a lot and—like all great receivers—if he feels he's not getting it sparks will fly.
When the Bengals are winning and Ochocinco's getting his fair share of touches, everything's hunky dory.
When they were losing and he was splitting catches with T.J. Houshmandzadeh, things weren't so good.
Chad is like a Jekyll and Hyde character. If things are going good, he's an awesome teammate. If not, he can be one of the worst.
16. Randy Moss
Randy Moss has settled down quite a bit from his early days, especially in Minnesota.
He makes this list because of all the whining and complaining he did in the past.
Moss is one of the most gifted athletes to ever play in the NFL and he knows it.
For the longest time, his ego was out of control, and his demands and prima donna attitude hurt the team and alienated his teammates.
Moss has done some growing up since he got to New England, but there's no denying his antics of the past make him one of the worst teammates in NFL history.
15. Steve Smith
Another great player who made the list because he punched a teammate.
Smith made headlines during 2008 training camp, when he was involved in an altercation with teammate Ken Lucas on August 1, 2008.
Smith broke Lucas' nose during the fight and was later sent home for the remainder of the day after reportedly apologizing.
Smith was then given a two-game suspension by the team.
Smith has had other run-ins with teammates in his career, but only the Lucas altercation led to blows.
14. Michael Westbrook
Michael Westbrook makes this list because he broke the cardinal rule of football—he punched out a teammate.
In 1997, Westbrook sucker-punched Stephen Davis during training camp in front of numerous television cameras.
He was the No. 4 pick of the 1995 NFL Draft, but never lived up to his potential and was out of football after seven seasons.
His personality clashes with teammates and lackluster production on the field insured him a short career in the NFL.
Westbrook is currently a mixed martial artist in the heavyweight division.
13. Larry Johnson
Another guy with loads of talent, but big issues on and off the field.
Johnson has threatened holdouts, argued with, and criticized coaches and teammates, and used gay slurs in the media and on his Twitter page.
Off the field has been even worse.
Since 2003, Johnson has been arrested four times on various assault charges against women. He was also arrested twice for disturbing the peace.
Combine those together and you have a pretty bad teammate.
12. Jeff George
A First Round pick by the Colts, George was trouble from day one.
His arrogance turned off his teammates and he refused to listen to his coaches, sometimes calling his own plays in the huddle.
The low point of his career came in 1996 with the Atlanta Falcons when he went after coach June Jones and tried to physically assault him.
George bounced around the NFL with four more teams before retiring. He tried to make comebacks in 2004 and 2006, but failed to latch on with any team.
Blessed with a world of ability, George couldn't grow up and put his tremendous talents to good use.
He could have had a great career in the NFL.
11. Lawrence Phillips
One of the biggest busts and biggest head cases to ever make it to the NFL.
Phillips was the No. 6 pick in the 1996 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams despite serious character issues.
He was arrested numerous times in college at Nebraska and it didn't take long for him to do the same as a pro.
Phillips would miss meetings, show up late to practice, and disassociated himself from his teammates.
After a tempestuous four-year career, Phillips was out of the NFL.
On December 18, 2009, Phillips was sentenced to more than 31 years in prison for attacking his girlfriend and driving his car into three teenagers.
10. Ryan Leaf
Leaf is not only the biggest draft bust in NFL history, he's one of the biggest crybabies as well.
From the time he was drafted with the No. 2 pick in the 1998 NFL Draft and handed a big, fat paycheck by the Chargers, the problems started.
Leaf's immaturity was on public display when he yelled and threatened a local reporter, which became highlight reel fodder on SportsCenter.
It only got worse after that.
His poor attitude and inability to translate his talents to the NFL stage caused Leaf to call it a career after only five years.
On May 21, 2009, Leaf was indicted on burglary and controlled substance charges in Texas. He was sentenced to 10 years probation and fined $20,000.
9. Clinton Portis
From arguing with the coaching staff to publicly criticizing teammates in the media, Portis is all about Portis.
He has the ear of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, so he's been allowed to get away with his shenanigans for years.
Portis quit on former coach Jim Zorn and refused to listen to anything he had to say.
That's not going to happen with Mike Shanahan around.
Portis behaved himself in Denver under Shanahan and it will be interesting to see what happens with he and Larry Johnson together in Washington.
There's no denying his abilities on the field, but Portis needs to repair the damage he's caused with his fellow teammates in Washington.
8. Braylon Edwards
Edwards's opinion of himself doesn't match up to his ability.
His arrogance and dreams of an acting career seem to take precedence over winning football games.
He once asked Will Demps, after a game between the Browns and the Texans, if they could talk later about modeling and acting.
The Browns were happy to get rid of him and his constant complaining, especially after the LeBron James incident.
Edwards is more interested in the night life of New York than catching footballs—something he doesn't do that well anyway.
With Edwards and Santonio Holmes together in New York, Rex Ryan might need to buy a toupee after his hair starts falling out.
7. LenDale White
White habitually misses meetings and practices, consistently comes to training camp out of shape, and has a terrible attitude with coaches and teammates.
Yet nothing is ever his fault.
Jeff Fisher and the Titans were thrilled to see White go and traded him to Seattle during draft day this year.
Reuniting with college coach Pete Carroll was supposed to be just the thing White needed to turn his career around.
It only took Carroll a month to get sick of White's antics of missing meetings and dogging it during OTAs. He was released on May 28.
In typical White fashion, he couldn't understand why he was cut and said he felt disrespected by Carroll.
LenDale, your career is almost out of options.
6. Plaxico Burress
Plaxico Burress' actions are a blueprint for how to be a distraction and a bad teammate.
From camp holdouts to fines to verbally abusing a referee, Burress is a sad look at how some athletes become so entitled and spoiled that they can't see, or refuse to recognize, the damage they're causing.
Burress has been fined, suspended, and reprimanded on the field. Off the field, he has been arrested for domestic disturbance, driving violations, and the accidental shooting that landed him in jail.
His NFL career is most likely over. Let's just hope when he gets out, Burress can put his personal life together.
5. Albert Haynesworth
Haynesworth is the latest in a long line of bad teammates and he's doing a fine job of holding the mantle for future generations of spoiled athletes.
First, he signed the richest contract ever by a defensive tackle, seven years and $100 million, with $32 million guaranteed.
How does he show his love for Washington?
By dogging it last year, criticizing teammates and coaches, and underachieving for all of 2009.
Sir Albert said he won't play in a 3-4 defense and wants to be traded. He threatened to be a no-show for training camp, but when the Redskins publicly stated they would ask for some of their money back, Haynesworth quickly changed his story and will be there.
Fun times ahead for Mike Shanahan in Washington.
4. Keyshawn Johnson
Keyshawn was a talented player, but one of the worst teammates in NFL history.
Johnson was an incredibly selfish player who had no concept of the word team.
He even wrote an autobiography called "Throw Me The Damn Ball." In it, he complained that the Jets were losing because they wouldn't get him the ball enough and instead they were "throwing it to a short, little white guy."
That white guy was Wayne Chrebet, whose 580 career receptions rank him second in Jets history.
To his credit, Johnson didn't have any off-field issues or arrests like some of the other guys on this list.
But his poor attitude and selfishness on the field make him one of the worst teammates ever.
3. Michael Vick
What can you say about Michael Vick that hasn't already been said?
Whether it's the Ron Mexico incident, flipping off the fans in Atlanta, or numerous run-ins with the law, one thing is certain: Vick is his own worst enemy and not much of a teammate.
After his arrest for dog fighting and his subsequent incarceration, Vick was given a second chance by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and was reinstated last year.
How has Vick behaved after this second chance?
First, he complained all last season and throughout the offseason that he should be the Eagles starting quarterback. Never mind the fact he hadn't thrown a football in over three years.
Now he may be in trouble again after his birthday party last week ended in a shooting.
Vick met with police voluntarily about the shooting. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league is investigating whether the quarterback broke the rules of his reinstatement and if he violated his probation.
2. Terrell Owens
Owens is one of the best receivers in the history of the game.
He's also one of the most selfish, whining, complaining athletes in the history of sports.
As a teammate, he is awful.
In San Francisco, he fought with head coach Steve Mariucci and insinuated that Jeff Garcia was gay.
In Philadelphia, Owens had a very public feud with Donovan McNabb.
His complaining and arrogance continued in Dallas, where he could often be seen yelling at offensive coordinator Jason Garrett on the sidelines.
Owens has worn out his welcome every place he's been.
He has become the image he created. He can no longer distinguish himself from T.O. the person and T.O. the character.
At 36, his career is winding down, but the arrogance still hasn't dissipated.
Owens isn't a No. 1 receiver anymore, but he still wants the money of one, which is a big reason he's still unemployed.
He was quiet last year in Buffalo, so someone will likely take a chance and sign him before training camp.
The team that does sign him will keep its fingers crossed.
1. Bill Romanowski
Bill Romanowski was an excellent football player, but a terrible teammate.
He not only physically assaulted opposing players, he attacked his own teammates as well.
His list of assaults is numerous.
He kicked Arizona fullback Larry Centers in the head in 1995. In 1997, he spit in the face of J.J. Stokes and broke Kerry Collins' jaw with a helmet-to-helmet hit. Two years later, he punched Tony Gonzalez and hit Bryan Cox in the crotch with a football.
In 2003, he attacked and injured one of his teammates, Marcus Williams, during a scrimmage. Williams was forced to retire after Romanowski confronted him after a play, ripped off his helmet, and crushed his eye socket with a punch.
Romanowski blames his checkered past on "'roid rage."
Maybe so, but it still doesn't change the fact that Romanowski was a dangerous, violent player to himself and all those who were unfortunate enough to be around him.