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The 20 Biggest "Meatheads" in NFL History

Brian WrightCorrespondent IIAugust 1, 2011

The 20 Biggest "Meatheads" in NFL History

1 of 21

    According to Dictionary.com, a meathead is defined as "blockhead; dunce; fool."

    Archie Bunker, the legendary fictional character from the classic TV show All in the Family, popularized the term when he constantly referred to his son-in-law as such. He probably wouldn't have had any trouble doing the same with this cast of NFL idiots.

    The 20 unfortunate members of this list qualified due to their ineptness both on and off the field.

Gus Frerotte

2 of 21

    Frerotte quarterbacked seven different teams throughout his NFL career but will be remembered for a celebration that rated high on the dumb meter.

    In a 1997 Sunday night contest with the New York Giants, Frerotte (then a member of the Washington Redskins) scored a touchdown and showed his jubilation by ramming his head straight into a padded cement wall at FedEx Field.

    A far less notable play occurred in 2002, when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals. While trying to avoid a sack in a game against the Cleveland Browns, the right-handed Frerotte attempted a southpaw throw. The toss was intercepted and returned 71 yards.

Plaxico Burress

3 of 21

    On Sunday, Plaxico Burress inked a deal with the New York Jets, which ended his two-year hiatus from the NFL. His career with the other Big Apple football squad ended in an uncanny act that could only be done by a complete moron.

    On Nov. 28, 2008, the former New York Giants wide receiver suffered an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound at a Manhattan nightclub. Having the gun—loaded, of course—in his pants is dumb in itself, but the fact that he did not have a permit for the weapon raises the stupidity meter to a whole new level.

    Another amusing little nugget from this matter occurred shortly after the incident, when Burress told the hospital he was taken to that he'd been shot at an Applebee's restaurant.

    It was no laughing matter to Burress, who received a two-year jail sentence and has missed two seasons of football.

Brian Bosworth

4 of 21

    One of the most outlandish characters in football history, "The Boz" made himself out to be a bozo.

    His steroid use while at the University of Oklahoma forced head coach Barry Switzer to kick him off the team and forced Bosworth to reach the NFL via the 1987 supplemental draft.

    The Seattle Seahawks took a chance, signing him to the largest rookie contract in league history.

    Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Bosworth's statements made more headlines than his play. His vow to shut down fellow rookie Bo Jackson flopped just like his short NFL career.

    Bo showed "The Boz" who was boss, rushing for 221 yards and three touchdowns in a memorable Monday Night Football showdown.

    Bosworth retired during the 1989 season after suffering a shoulder injury—and then he decided he wanted to be a movie actor...

Jay Cutler

5 of 21

    In just a few short years, Jay Cutler has become one of the most hated players in the league.

    The reason for this disdain is due a cocky attitude. However, those boasts don't hold much water (and become silly statements) when you have a hard time backing it up with important wins.

    Cutler has a fantastic arm but hasn't always been the smartest quarterback when it comes to the target of his passes.

    Cutler's departure from the NFC Championship Game last year against the Green Bay Packers because of an alleged injury put more fuel on the fire.

Mike Vanderjagt

6 of 21

    It's only appropriate that an "idiot kicker" would make this list.

    It's easy to forget that Vanderjagt was one of the best kickers of his era. In 2003, he went a combined 96-for-96 on field goals and extra points.

    However, he came up small in many big spots. That makes his most notable moment even more laughable.

    Soon after a 41-0 wild-card round playoff loss by the Indianapolis Colts to the New York Jets in 2003, Vanderjagt gave an ill-advised interview on Canadian television and questioned the ability of his team's quarterback, Peyton Manning.

    "Some guys have it, some guys don't," he said.

    Peyton countered while at that year's Pro Bowl, providing Vanderjagt with the infamous nickname and stating that he "got liquored up and ran his mouth off."

    In this war of words, Peyton turned out to be so right.

JaMarcus Russell

7 of 21

    It's hard to believe that a player could be as big of a bust as Ryan Leaf, but JaMarcus Russell may have done just that with of a series of actions best suited for a loaf.

    After being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, he held out in order to get a better contract. Once he got on the field, he proved that he was horrible at reading defenses with his wretched performances.

    A lazy work ethic didn't help either. It seemed as if he was satisfied getting paid and less interested in becoming a good quarterback.

    Then came his alcohol and drug problems.

    Combine all of that, and you have a guy who has tremendous ability but is now out of football...probably for good.

Eugene Robinson

8 of 21

    Eugene Robinson experienced one of the strangest twists of irony in NFL history. As his Atlanta Falcons were one day away from playing in Super Bowl XXXIII, Robinson was given the Bart Starr Award, an honor for a player who displays high moral character.

    Unfortunately for the safety, the credibility he gained by obtaining that award vanished soon after.

    That same evening, Robinson was arrested by an undercover female police officer posing as a prostitute as he offered her $40 for oral sex.

    Robinson's performance on the field the next evening wasn't much better, as his blown coverage allowed Denver Broncos receiver Rod Smith to haul in an 80-yard touchdown reception.

Channing Crowder

9 of 21

    The linebacker must not have passed geography in school.

    While a member of the Miami Dolphins in 2007, he was preparing to play the New York Giants in London. Crowder then made a comment that revealed either his sarcastic sense of humor or his severe senselessness.

    "I couldn't find London on a map if they didn't have the names of the countries," he said, adding, "I know London Fletcher. ... That's the closest thing I know to London. He's black, so I'm sure he's not from London. I'm sure that's a coincidental name."

    It's no shock that he made it into the University of Florida on an athletic scholarship.

Lawrence Phillips

10 of 21

    Lawrence Phillips, who starred at the University of Nebraska, is a prime example of how a revolving door of self-inflicted personal troubles can derail a promising NFL career.

    Aside from his involvement with law enforcement, Phillips refused to show up for a St. Louis team meeting and practice in a ploy to get more playing time. Head coach Dick Vermeil couldn't take it any longer and cut the bust running back.

    From there, Phillips bounced from other NFL teams to NFL Europe, the AFL and the CFL but was never able to reach his potential.

    The issues that swirled around Phillips continued after his failed pro football life, as he was sentenced to more than 31 years in prison in December 2009 for attacking his girlfriend and driving his car into three teenagers.

Adam Jones

11 of 21

    It's truly a surprise that teams are still giving "Pacman" a chance in the NFL, considering how his conduct off the playing field has been so unwise.

    Jones' altercations with the law are too numerous to mention, but his involvement in a Las Vegas strip club shooting incident during NBA All-Star Weekend in 2007 resulted in him being suspended by Roger Goodell for the entire season.

    His lack of a brain has gotten him into tons of controversy and has made him an easily unlikeable athlete.

Ben Roethlisberger

12 of 21

    It's hard to believe some woman would marry Big Ben after the past he's had.

    The Steelers signal caller has won two Super Bowl titles but also had a pair of sexual assault allegations.

    The first occurred in Lake Tahoe in July 2009, while the most recent took place in Milledgeville, Ga. in March of last year. The latter got him suspended for four games.

    These two incidents overshadow a super-silly decision back in June 2006. Roethlisberger was involved in a motorcycle accident at a Pittsburgh intersection in which he suffered several head injuries. This would have been a whole lot less severe had he been wearing a helmet.

Nate Newton

13 of 21

    It's easy to hate the Dallas Cowboys...provided you're not a fan of the team.

    It's even easier to hate some of their players when they make decisions like the one Nate Newton made in November 2001.

    This six-time Pro Bowler was found by police in Louisiana with 213 pounds of marijuana in his van. If you think that's bad, he was caught with 175 pounds of marijuana just five weeks later.

Tank Johnson

14 of 21

    For a three-year period, Tank Johnson couldn't avoid the police blotter. After a string of weapons charges between 2005 and 2007, he decided to try something new.

    In April 2007, Johnson was stopped by police after driving 40 mph in a 25 mph zone. He was suspected of driving while impaired, which forced the Chicago Bears to waive their troubled defensive tackle.

    Although it was later discovered that he was not impaired, the numerous past issues were the impetus for his release.

Leon Lett

15 of 21

    It took the game's biggest stage to reveal Leon Lett's lack of intelligence.

    The Dallas Cowboys had Super Bowl XXVII locked up. They were blowing out the Buffalo Bills.

    They were about to pour it on some more when a Bills fumble was recovered by Lett, who had nothing but the end zone in his sights. As he was preparing to cross the goal line, he held out the ball in a show of celebration.

    But Buffalo receiver Don Beebe hustled down and knocked the ball out just before he crossed the plane of the end zone. There was no touchdown for Lett, just embarrassment.

    He was back at it again on Thanksgiving Day 1993.

    In snowy Dallas, the Dolphins were lining up for a potential game-winning field goal. However, the Cowboys blocked the kick. As Miami players watched the ball roll in the field of play, Lett unbelievably came through and hit it with his legs. The ball then became live.

    The Dolphins then bounced on the loose ball with just seconds remaining. That mind cramp by Lett gave Miami a second chance. This time, it connected on the field goal to win the game.

Michael Vick

16 of 21

    Vick's dog-fighting involvement is an act that revealed his idiocy. He's trying to rebuild his image, but this incident, coupled with some other minor squabbles, will be hard to forget with fans. 

    The former Falcon signal caller was detained at the Miami airport when security scanners found a hidden compartment in his water bottle. That section of the bottle had the stench of marijuana and appeared to contain the residue of that drug. Vick stated that it was a holding area for his jewelry.

    Late in his Atlanta tenure, after a loss to the New Orleans Saints, he responded to booing fans at the Georgia Dome by sticking out his middle fingers.

Rae Carruth

17 of 21

    Carruth's stupidity is no laughing matter.

    The former wide receiver was found guilty in 2001 of conspiring to murder the woman who was carrying his child. His prison sentence is projected to end on Oct. 22, 2018.

Randy Moss

18 of 21

    Moss' off-the-field distractions stopped him from attending Florida State and caused him to be taken late in the first round of the 1998 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings.

    However, he proved to be a wise choice by the purple gang with an outstanding performance in Minneapolis.

    His acts of stupidity, though, have not stopped.

    During a playoff game in 2000, Moss squirted an official with a water bottle. In 2002, he ran into a traffic official with his car.

    Two years later, he prematurely left the field in the late stages of a game with the Washington Redskins. And who could forget his feigned mooning toward Green Bay Packers fans after scoring a touchdown in a 2005 playoff victory?

    To boot, Moss has developed a reputation as a receiver who doesn't always give full effort and sometimes takes plays off.

Ryan Leaf

19 of 21

    The classic NFL bust, Ryan Leaf went from the No. 2 overall pick in the '98 draft to a flaming disaster with bad work ethic, a bad attitude and bad decisions at the quarterback position.

    Leaf was benched by the San Diego Chargers in the middle of his rookie campaign due to poor play. That same year, he was caught on camera in the locker room screaming at a newspaper reporter and had to be physically restrained.

    Leaf also confronted a heckling fan during practice. Simply put, he alienated the media, the fans and his teammates.

    It didn't get much better from there. Leaf ultimately retired in 2002.

Shaun Rogers

20 of 21

    Shaun Rogers has had just one moment of incompetence, but it's dumb enough to make this list.

    While a member of the Cleveland Browns in April 2010, Rogers was stopped at a security checkpoint at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport when officials spotted a loaded .45-caliber gun in his carry-on luggage.

    That was a surprise to the defensive tackle, who didn't think the weapon was loaded when he was preparing to board the plane.

O.J. Simpson

21 of 21

    O.J.'s post-playing career incidents are so high-profile and well known that they don't need to be explained.

    For "Juice" to have taken his widely popular NFL career and ruined it completely with his criminal acts is truly an act of ultimate stupidity.

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