Lawrence Phillips could have been the best running back ever. According to his first NFL coach, Dick Vermeil, he was the best running back he ever coached—and he only coached Phillips for a season-and-a-half
That is a lot to be said about a young man who only played for Vermeil for just 18 months.
Unfortunately, Phillips career was cut short. This was due to the fact he was nuisance to his own well-being.
What kind of trouble you may ask? Lets go into some depth and talk more about Phillips and the NFL's 10 most hated villains.
Lawrence Phillips should have been the number one overall pick in 1996. Instead, he fell into the laps of the St. Louis Rams with the sixth overall pick.
Many teams admitted to passing on Phillips due to his array of recurring character issues.
While playing at Nebraska the running back was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and was suspended by coach Tom Osborne.
This was just the beginning of events that became a routine for Phillips.
In his second season in the NFL, he refused to attend a team meeting and practice. Leaving Dick Vermeil with no choice but to cut the young-gun.
Vermeil was so hurt by having to cut Phillips that he cried at the press conference.
Down the line he was signed by the Miami Dolphins, however, he played in only two games and was cut after assaulting a women in a nightclub.
This time on-the-field, Phillips made a terrible play.
After a brief stint in NFL Europe he signed with the San Francisco 49ers.
In a game against the Arizona Cardinals, he missed a block on All-Pro cornerback Aeneas Williams, who nailed quarterback, Steven Young, resulting in a career ending concussion.
Somehow Phillips went to score the game winning touchdown running past Williams, but many fans probably didn't forget the play from earlier.
Phillips later signed with the Florida Bobcats, of the Arena Football League. Eventually being released for leaving the team without telling the coach.
What type of guy does this to his career?
With a brief stint in the Canadian Football League, Phillips experienced some success. He helped lead the Montreal Alouettes to the Grey Cup—the equivalence of the Super Bowl for the CFL—but was cut the following season during training camp.
For what you ask? Take a guess...
Insubordination, once again he finds himself having issues following the rules.
You'd think he would eventually learn that rules are rules, but some people just never learn.
If you thought all the of above was ridiculous, wait to read this.
After getting in an altercation with some teenagers after a pick-up football game in Los Angeles, he snaps and drives his car into three teens.
When arrested it just so happens he was already wanted by the San Diego police for two alleged domestic abuse altercations involving a former girlfriend of his and the LAPD already wanted him for a similar incident.
Phillips girlfriend claimed that he choked her unconscious during one of those incidents.
C'mon man, really, you almost killed someone with your own hands? That's just one thing I would say to Phillips if I ever met him.
Finally, after all those years, he goes to trial on felony assault with a deadly weapon. He got lucky and had two counts of child abuse and one count of leaving the scene of an accident dismissed from court.
Yet again with a little bit of luck, he got the trial continued.
Phillips was sentenced to 31 years in prison for the attack on his girlfriend and hitting the three teenagers with his car.
In the end, Phillips habitual acts finally caught up with him and is now paying the price for being so irrational.
Travis Henry was a promising prospect coming out of the University of Tenessee in 2001. He was a member of the 1998 National Championship team. Along with being the schools all-time leading rusher (3,078 YDS) and rushing attempts (556).
He must have let all this success go to his head a little to much—meaning, he loved celebrating with women.
There was only one problem, women can get you into some trouble when you sleep with 10 of them. As of today, he has 11 kids by 10 different women.
This leads us to the next daunting part of his career.
He was suspended for one year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
That same year he was arrested by the DEA for allegedly trafficking large amounts of cocaine—multiple-kilograms to be exact—and suspected of the intent to distribute.
Looking back this makes a little bit of since. It seems he was worrying about paying child support for his 11 children and needed the extra cash to pay for his past mistakes.
You know how the saying goes, "two wrongs don't make a right."
What an idiotic move by Henry. Why not invest your money in college funds for your kids and don't pay their child support with drug money.
Henry reached a plea agreement for conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute. He was later sentenced to three years in prison for financing a cocaine trafficking operation.
Now he gets to reflect on his decision to become a drug dealer instead of focusing on his family and his career.
I'm sure everyone has heard of Michael Vick by now, unless you've been living on a remote island the past three years.
Vick, was charged with felony charges for operating an unlawful interstate dog fighting ring.
He was accused of financing the operation and directly participating in dog fights and executions.
Eventually the star athlete admitted to providing finances for the operation. To make matters worse he even said he was part of the hanging and drowning of six-to-eight dogs.
Vick eventually came to a plea bargaining agreement of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities.
Sentenced to 23 months in prison, he served his time and is now trying to turn his life around with the only team willing to take a gamble on him, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Ben Roethlisberger is known to be one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks. He has a knack for pushing through pressure in or out of the pocket and turning broken plays into miraculous ones.
It seems he tried to make another great play, however, this time you could say he threw a pick six instead.
While in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, for a celebrity golf tournament, he was accused of sexual assault in his hotel room.
A young women who worked the front desk at his hotel claimed he called the front desk one evening. Leading to Roethlisberger allegedly asking her to come check out his television because it wasn't working properly.
The young lady came to his room and determined the television set was working fine. When she turned to leave, the Super Bowl champion was standing in her way of the door.
She goes onto say that he then grabbed her and started to kiss her.
However, a judge determined that there wasn't enough criminal evidence obtained to warrant charges on the star quarterback.
Some would say he got lucky not once, but twice.
Just one year later, he was yet again accused of sexual assault inside a women's restroom in a nightclub in Georgia.
This time the accuser was a 20-year-old female student of the local university.
She claimed he exposed himself and then had sex with her.
This became a widely covered event leading up the 2010 season and due to the media attention, the girl dropped the charges.
So, that's two times one of the league's superstars finds himself into trouble and wasn't charged for anything.
Roger Goodell, the NFL's commissioner was having none of it though. With two incidents under Roethlisberger's belt, the head honcho wasn't laughing.
For the first six games of the 2010 season Roethlisberger was suspended, eventually deducted to four games.
Ironically, he almost one the Super Bowl again this year.
When the Steelers lost, there could have been only one conclusion, that quarterback is guilty—just kidding.
Bill Romanowski, was a four-time Super Bowl champion and a two-time All-Pro selection.
He was a physical linebacker who was known for his hard-nosed style of play. However, that physical play at times seemed barbaric to say the least.
Through out his career he had a series of incidents, six to be exact.
While playing with the Philadelphia Eagles he was ejected for kicking then Arizona Cardinals fullback, Larry Centers, in the head.
Leading to a fine of $4,500 for the cheap shot.
During his tenure with the Denver Broncos, Romanowksi really turned his stupidity meter up a notch.
First, he was fined $20,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on then Panthers quarterback Kerry Collins, resulting in a broken jaw for the signal-caller.
Did I mention this was a PRESEASON GAME.
Second, a few weeks later, while on national television during Monday Night Football, he spit in the face of then San Francisco wide receiver, J.J. Stokes.
Still playing for the Broncos, he pulled a disgusting act not once, but twice.
First, he was fined $42,500 for three illegal hits, along with a punch thrown at then Kansas City Chief tight end, Tony Gonzalez.
Secondly, he was fined an undisclosed amount after throwing a football at, Bryan Cox, of the New York Jets. Oh yeah, Romanowksi found it necessary to throw that ball at Coxs jewel box (C'mon man, like really?).
In his last and final season in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders, Romanowski pulled a Mike Tyson at practice.
During a scrimmage he ripped off the helmet of his teammate, Marcus Williams, following with a knock-out punch to the eye. End result, Williams, had a broken eye socket from just one punch.
This ridiculous maneuver ended Williams career early.
Williams then sued him for $3.4 million, saying Romanowskis actions were out of, "roid rage."
A judge later rejected this accusation, stating that there was no proof the linebacker was on steroids that day. However, Williams was awarded $340,000.
Two-years out of football, Romanowski had an interview with the television series, 60 minutes.
He admitted to his use of steroids and cheating the NFL during his time in the league.
This admission has led many to believe that steroids have always been prominent in football and baseball isn't the only breading grounds for human-horses.
Adam "Pacman" Jones was the sixth overall pick by, the Tennessee Titans, in the 2005 NFL draft.
Currently on the Cincinnati Bengals injured reserve list, Jones hasn't been the sharpest tool in the shed to say the least through out his career.
When drafted he was already on probation for an incident during his time at West Virginia University.
Before he even stepped foot on a professional football field he was arrested for assault charges and felony vandalism at a night club.
You'll think I'm repeating many things in this slide, but, nope this is just how stupid Jones really is.
What a year this was for Jones, he had four altercations with the law in one year.
First, in February, he was arrested in Georgia for an incident outside a home. Somehow he managed to get a marijuana possession dropped—my guess is money—but was charged on felony and misdemeanor counts of obstruction of justice by the state.
Second, in April, a Cadillac with the name, Pacman, stitched in the head rest of a car was seized by police during a cocaine bust. Leading police to questioning him yet again. He claimed to have loaned the car to a friend who was the one busted for drugs.
Third, in August, the villain was arrested in Tennessee during training camp for disorderly conduct and public intoxication, claiming a women stole his wallet.
Last but not least, in October, he was cited for misdemeanor assault for allegedly spitting in the face of a female at a nightclub in Nashville, Tennessee.
This was the last straw for the Titans and Pacman was suspended one game.
The fun doesn't stop there for Jones.
During NBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas, he was allegedly involved in altercation with an exotic dancer at a strip club.
The altercation began because Jones thought it would be cool to "make it rain"—throwing money in the air. However, apparently that money wasn't meant for the strippers.
When a women started picking up his money he flipped out and slammed her head on the stage and threatened a security guards life.
Jones, didn't stop there.
The club owner claims that Jones and his entourage later returned and shot up the place. Resulting in three people being shot, including the security guard he said he would kill and paralyzed another individual from the waist down.
Somehow, Jones, was never convicted of any crime for any of this.
NFL commissioner, Rodger Goodell finally said enough-is-enough and suspended the cornerback for one year.
You think that's it? Nope.
Just a few months later he was questioned by police in Atlanta for another strip club shooting, allegedly involving his entourage.
Eventually you'd think he would find some new friends to hang out with.
The troubled cornerback was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a fourth-round pick.
He was cleared to play by the commissioner in June for the 2008 season.
In October, Jones was involved in yet another altercation, this time with his own bodyguard.
No police report was ever filed, however, due to violating the league's personal conduct policy he was suspended four games, eventually resulting into six games.
In January, Jones was released by the Cowboys, due to the fact he had became a suspect for the 2007 shooting in Las Vegas.
The same year he was offered a contract by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, however, the contract was later revoked when he didn't even know that the Bombers played in the Canadian Football League.
He signed a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals and somehow has managed to stay out of trouble.
Where and when will he strike next, that is the question? Most likely it will be three in the morning at some strip club.
Lawrence Taylor was once the most feared player in the NFL. A two-time Super Bowl champion and 10 time All-Pro selection he is ranked as a top five player in league history.
However he is also ranked in the top five for the NFL's biggest villains. Due to the fact he was a drug addict and obsessed with prostitutes, Taylor's career slowly decayed in the end.
He tested positive for cocaine.
Once again, he tested positive for cocaine and was suspended by the NFL for 30 days.
After this episode he assured he would give up drugs since a third positive test would result in him being kicked out of the league.
Taylor goes to drug-rehab not once, but twice.
Over a span of three-years he would be arrested two times, attempting to buy cocaine from under-cover officers.
Following this incident he admitted to using drugs as early as his rookie season and passed drug test by using teammates urine.
This makes since, if you watch him play you now know why he played with such a high-motor.
Not surprised, was the reaction when news broke that he was arrested for having sex with a 16-year-old—you have to remember this was the guy that once claimed he would send prostitutes to his opponents hotel rooms the night before a game, just to make them tired the next day.
He was charged with third degree felony charges for statutory rape and third-degree patronization.
The once great player pleaded guilty to some of the charges and is now serving six years probation and had to register as a sex offender.
It's sad to think he couldn't take his success on-the-field and continue success off it. It's weird how life works out sometimes.
Ray Lewis will be in the Hall of Fame, he's hands down a first time ballot selection. He's still one of the NFL's most feared players on-the-field for his crushing blows and trash talking.
Off-the-field he can be even scarier.
Following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta, Lewis was involved in a fight outside a club involving a group of people.
The result of the fight, two men were stabbed and murdered.
Somehow the suit that Lewis had on that night has never been recovered, leaving no physical evidence of the crime every happening.
On the flip side, Lewis and two buddies of his were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges.
Later on the charges where dropped for his testimony and a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction to justice.
Ironically the following season, Lewis and the Ravens go onto win the Super Bowl and he was named the games MVP.
I can't explain how you get away with murder, but someone else on this list can probably answer that for you…
…In comes O.J. Simpson. A five time All-Pro selection and former Heisman Trophy winner, Simpson was among the NFL's best.
However, some decisions he made after his playing days haven't given him the best reputation.
The "worlds most famous police chase," was one hell of a ride for Simpson and America got to join him.
Charged for the murder of his ex-wife and her guy friend, he refused to turn himself in and gave the world quite a show.
It was a big enough deal to interrupt the 1994 NBA Finals, between the Houston Rockets and the New York Knicks.
Simpson drove his white Ford Bronco all over Los Angeles before finally returning home and surrendering to police.
He then went onto an excruciating nine month trial—"the trial of the century"—that ended in an acquittal.
The final verdict was one of America's most watched television events in history, much like how America has all of a sudden become obsessed with Charlie Sheen.
Simpson decided to rob a sports memorabilia store at gun point, claiming that he was taking back items that were his and were stolen from him.
He was sentenced to 33 years for kidnapping and armed robbery for the events that took place in the memorabilia store.
Some would say what goes around, comes around.
Tommy Kanes career was a brief one to say the least—lasting only four years due to constant injuries.
He was a good guy and was liked in the community after retirement, but, somewhere something went terribly wrong.
Kane was talking suicide and eventually snapped.
Due to an addiction to drugs, he found himself very brittle and sadly acted on the wrong person.
His wife arrived at his mothers house to pick him up to go to drug-rehab, when all of a sudden, the unthinkable happened.
The former wide receiver cracked and was arguing over divorce with his wife, when he dragged her by the hair, slamming her head on the floor, repeatedly punching her and stabbed her in the throat.
In the end Kane pleaded guilty to man-slaughter and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
This act of violence towards his own wife earned his spot at number two on this list.
So who could be number one?
Rae Carruth was a first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 1997. He had very brief stint in the NFL due to one of the most sick-minded actions ever committed, which is what earned him the number one spot on this list.
Carruth was off to a decent start through the first six games of the season. At the same time he was told some news that most men would relish.
His girlfriend, Cherica Adams, told him she is pregnant and his reaction wasn't the most exciting to say the least.
Over the course of some time he put together a plan, and we're not talking about planning a baby shower.
On November 16, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Carruth and his girlfriend were driving in separate cars, when all of a sudden he stops his car in front of hers.
What follows next is one of the most damning acts in the history of man kind.
Another car pulls up alongside the eight month pregnant Adams car and opens fire on her, shooting her four times.
Carruth quickly drives away along with the other car.
Somehow Adams managed to initially survive the shooting and called 911 (you can hear some of her 911 transcript, fast forward to the 13:53 mark).
Doctors were able to save the child's life, however, Adams was pronounced dead a month later, due to being in coma.
Once Adams was pronounced dead, Carruth was labeled a fugitive and was on the run—a much bigger run than he ever could've amassed on the football field.
He was captured in a motel parking lot in Tennessee, hiding in the trunk of a car. Along with $3,900 in cash, bottles to hold his urine, some food, extra clothes and a cell phone.
In the end Carruth was found guilty on conspiracy to commit murder by shooting into an occupied vehicle and using a weapon to kill an unborn child.
Sentenced to a light 18 years in prison, many would say he should have received life or even death for his senseless and heartless act.