The NFL has a lot of bad boys in it, and a lot of them get in trouble. Sometimes they get into the kind of trouble that would get the average person like you or me fired.
But very rarely do NFL players actually lose their jobs because of an off-field incident. They may get traded, or they may even get cut, but another team will pick them up in almost every circumstance.
The Super Bowl this year features one of the poster boys for bad behavior in Ben Roethlisberger. He currently is "in the clear," but he got accused of a lot of bad things, and it seems like he is getting a second and third chance where other people would've gotten prison time.
Here's a list of 10 NFL players who really shouldn't be back in the game, or who still never have paid for their crimes the way most other Americans would've been forced to.
Michael Vick was caught, convicted and did his time. Per the rules of society, he got just as much of a second chance as anyone else in his chosen profession.
Therefore, no matter what you or I may think of Vick and his crimes, he actually was forced to own up to his mistakes, did his time, and is taking advantage of a new chance in the NFL.
I'm not going to include him in this list for that very reason. The rest of the list follows in order of severity.
Albert Haynesworth makes this list not because of any off-field incident, it's because he won't get on the field and fulfill the terms of his contract.
Haynesworth is the worst kind of teammate and an embarrassment to the NFL. He played well enough, long enough, to get his big contract. Now that he has it, he doesn't want to work anymore unless it's completely on his terms.
Haynesworth not only shouldn't be playing anymore, he should be forced to give back every penny of the contract.
Randy Moss is a clubhouse cancer and a quitter.
No one takes as many plays off as Moss, and he shouldn't be on the field next year in the uniform of any team. There's no reason a guy with such a poor attitude toward the game should be taking the spot of a young, developing receiver who really wants to be there.
Marshawn Lynch, in addition to the hit-and-run incident that resulted in a slap on the wrist, also had a nice felony gun charge leveled against him after the 2009 Pro Bowl.
While Lynch did get suspended for three games because of the charge, it seems likely the penalty would've been much harsher had this been any other profession.
Phillip Merling was charged with aggravated battery for allegedly assaulting his pregnant girlfriend last summer, but Merling didn't face any consequences after the girlfriend moved away and refused to testify against him.
Merling wasn't even suspended by the league, which in light of the Roethlisberger case, seems really unfair and indefensible on the NFL's part.
Brandon Marshall has an extensive past with law enforcement regarding domestic violence, but he's never faced any kind of league suspension for his actions.
Marshall also has had a DUI, but again, Marshall has escaped the long arm of Roger Goodell so far.
No one got second and third chances like Adam "Pacman" Jones. His crimes have been well documented, and it's not a stretch to say that only an NFL player gets the kind of free passes Jones has gotten throughout his career.
Anyone else would still be in jail, but Jones is allowed on the football field.
Santonio Holmes has a history of drug use and domestic violence going back to his college days. While that would keep you or me from getting gainful employment with a chance for a future in most jobs, it didn't stop Santonio.
He hasn't been arrested or accused of anything since last spring, so he's due.
Ben Roethlisberger has a history of stupid behavior going back to college, but his two major incidents involve inappropriate action with women and alleged unwanted advances.
Neither case resulted in criminal charges, but the first resulted in a civil lawsuit, and the second very publicly went south when the prosecutor in Milledgeville, Ga. said he couldn't guarantee a conviction, so he didn't pursue charges.
At the very least, you or I would've spent a night in jail once the accusation was made, but Roethlisberger never was arrested, and other than a four-game suspension, all is well in Steeler-land.
If you or I got drunk and killed a guy with our car, we'd probably be doing a minimum of 15 years in jail.
Donte Stallworth barely did a month in jail, and after a year-long suspension, he now gets to play in the NFL again.
Ray Lewis was arrested in connection with the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in 2000.
Lewis managed to have that charge dropped, but pleaded to obstruction of justice and testified against two other men. To this day, questions remain, and Lewis did settle two civil lawsuits for undisclosed amounts with the victims' families.