Can't Beat 'Em, Cheat 'Em: NFL's Top Five Cheating Players Since 2000
The NFL is home to some of the most talented and gifted athletes on earth.
Whether they made it because of hard work and determination, or because of natural talent, they are some of the best football players alive. That is, unless you used performance-enhancing drugs to get there.
Why anyone would even ponder taking steroids is beyond me.
Not only are you putting yourself at serious health risks, but getting caught can result in fines, suspensions, and severe damage to your reputation.
Being a passionate sports fan, there's nothing more disappointing than finding out an elite sports figure has cheated his way to success. It's even worse when they lie about it.
Okay enough ranting, here are some of the NFL's biggest cheaters to take the field since 2000.
NOTE** - Bill Belichick is excluded from this list for the sole purpose of focusing on players.
5. Bill Romanowski
"Romocop" is undoubtedly one of the dirtiest players to ever step foot on an NFL field. This comes to no surprise as he was most likely suffering from a great deal of "roid rage".
1995 - Romanowski was ejected from a game and fined $4,500 for kicking Arizona Cardinals fullback Larry Centers in the head.
1997 - During the all so important preseason, Romanowski laid out Carolina Panthers quarterback Kerry Collins with a helmet-to-helmet hit, breaking his jaw. He was fined $20,000 for this act of aggression.
1997 - After seeing J.J. Stokes taunting, Romanowski thought it would be a good idea to spit in his face, you know, for a little payback.
2003 - During a scrimmage, Romanowski literally ended Marcus Williams' career by ripping off his helmet and crushing his eye socket with a punch. Williams sued for $3.4 million but only received $340,000 because he could not prove that Romanowski had been on steroids that day.
Believe me, there are plenty more, but I digress.
During his 16-year career, Romanowski broke the record for most consecutive starts among NFL linebackers with 243. He also won four Super Bowl's and is the only linebacker in NFL history to start in five.
In 2005, Romanowski admitted to taking steroids and HGH on an episode of '60 Minutes'.
4. Brian Cushing
This could become a non-issue if Cushing goes on to have a successful career without the juice, but until that happens, he will be apart of this list.
The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
For the Texans, this is obviously a huge blow to their defense. For Zach Miller, it's great news because he won't have to deal with Cushing in week 4.
Not only did Cushing help lead them to their first winning season in franchise history, but he put up remarkable numbers while doing so.
2009 Stats - 134 Tackles, 4 INT, 2 FF, 10 PD, 5 Sacks
"I believe we presented compelling evidence during the appeal process to challenge the test results, and I disagree with and am disappointed by the suspension," said Cushing.
We've all heard that story before, Brian.
3. Pat and Kevin Williams
When will it end? It feels like this case has been going on forever.
It's still uncertain if Pat and Kevin Williams will eventually serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's steroid policy, which is ridiculous.
A lot of people claim "they were just water pills", but they were most likely used to hide the fact that they were on steroids. They are also potentially dangerous to their health.
The Williams wall is a huge reason why the Vikings have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. They are picture perfect run stoppers and have the ability to put pressure on the quarterback.
Will they be as effective "post-roids"? We'll soon find out.
2. Rodney Harrison
Since Harrison has joined the NFL, he has been one of the most dominant safeties in the league.
It will always remain a mystery when it comes to how long Harrison has been juiced up, but we know for a fact that he was in 2007.
Maybe he felt at home joining Bill Belichick in New England.
"I want to make it clear that never once did I take steroids. I did admit to the commissioner that I took a banned substance," Harrison said.
Care to explain what that substance was exactly?
1. Shawne Merriman
After seeing what Maurice Jones-Drew did to Merriman, it was made clear why he began taking steroids in the first place.
Since 2008, it's been "Shawne Merriman, who?". Part of that is because he only played one game in 2008, but even in 2009 he has shown an immense decrease from what we're used to seeing.
First 42 Games - 188 Tackles, 8 FF, 39.5 Sacks, 16 PD
Last 15 Games - 38 Tackles, 0 FF, 4 Sacks, 0 PD
I realized that steroids made a difference, but apparently they make or break Shawne Merriman.
"Hopefully nobody makes any kind of judgment or anything that basically makes me guilty for anything because nothing has been done wrong on my part," Merriman said.