By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on August 22, 2014
The NFL is loaded with players who get paid a lot of money to play an incredibly physical sport. For the most part, players can keep it cool and be a positive member of society. Then there are the players who are just bad. Whether it’s on the field, in the courtroom or being disruptive in the media, these 20 men are the NFL ‘bad guys’ of 2014.
It’s not so much that Richard Sherman is a bad guy. It’s more of the fact that he’s not very well liked outside of Seattle. The main reason is for his reaction during a post-game interview with Fox’s Erin Andrews after the Seahawks defeated the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game last season. In a society that demands us to be graceful winners, Sherman set a horrible example for the people who look up to him.
There’s no disputing that Dez Bryant is an incredibly talented wide receiver. However, his selfishness and immaturity must change in 2014 if he doesn’t want to be labeled one of the bad guys. Walking out on his team last season after the Packers’ miraculous comeback against the Cowboys was completely uncalled for. Not to mention, fighting with veteran players on the sidelines can’t happen.
Ndamukong Suh hasn’t done anything yet this year that warrants him being thrown in the ‘bad guy’ category. With that said, he’s one of the most disliked players in the NFL due to his over-the-top unnecessary roughness. The fact that Suh has kicked a guy in the groin and stomped on a player on more than one occasion makes him a bad guy. Even worse, he denied doing it to the media despite video evidence that suggested otherwise.
It’s true that Ben Roethlisberger has tried to change his bad ways, which consisted mostly of him finding himself in the middle of sexual harassment charges. However, most fans still don’t like him for that reason. It may seem unfair to label him as one of the bad guys this season because he hasn’t done anything, but I have to imagine a majority of people would agree he belongs on this list.
Michael Vick finds himself in a similar position as Roethlisberger. Even though it’s been many years since his involvement in a dog-fighting ring and his 23-month prison sentence, Vick is still hated among fans who are dog owners. A more recent reason to label him one of the bad guys is how he has basically gone through the motions without having any sort of competiveness about him since joining the Jets. It’s as if he’s content being a backup.
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was cited for possession of marijuana after being pulled over by Ross Township Police in Pittsburgh. He also was cited for driving under the influence. Bell is the starting running back and one of the leaders on offense. He set a horrible example for the younger players on the team with his bad use of judgment.
Steelers backup running back LeGarrette Blount was in the vehicle with Bell when they got pulled over. He also was cited for possession of marijuana. Blount has expressed his sorrow for being a distraction to the team with less than two weeks before the start of the regular season. Regardless, it’s not a smart move considering Pittsburgh is his third team in three years.
Ravens backup offensive tackle Jah Reid was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor battery counts that stemmed from a bar fight in Key West, Fla. in March. After pleading not guilty in April, it appears both charges will be dropped once he completes a one-year diversion program.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed and is still only a rumor, it’s almost certain that something happened between Golden Tate and Russell Wilson’s wife, which led the quarterback to divorce her. Tate denies that anything happened, and Wilson refuses to give up details on the divorce. However, the Seahawks not re-signing Tate this offseason is sure to have something to do with it.
On March 31, Orson Charles was arrested for wanton endangerment. It was later revealed that the Bengals halfback had allegedly flashed a firearm several times towards another driver during his road rage stunt. Aside from a DUI prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, Charles has kept his record relatively clean. However, NFL players need to learn that walking around with a pistol is a terrible idea.
Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith was arrested for driving under the influence and reckless driving after striking a light pole with his car. He also failed to provide proof of insurance to the police officer who allegedly witnessed the entire ordeal go down. The good news for Smith is currently getting some work in with the first-team defense. However, he’s still one of the league’s bad boys in 2014.
Justin Blackmon has constantly found himself in trouble since being drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012. Blackmon has violated the NFL’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse three times since 2013. His most recent came in July when he was arrested for possession of marijuana. Blackmon can’t apply for reinstatement into the league until Week 9 of the 2014 season.
Marcell Dareus has been arrested twice since May. In one incident, he was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. One month later, he was arrested for participation in a car accident that occurred due to an alleged drag race. His felony charge will be dropped once he completes an NFL substance-abuse program. Meanwhile, he’s still awaiting his fate in regards to the street racing.
Johnny Manziel partied hard nearly every weekend between being drafted by the Browns and the start of training camp. Scandalous photos of him emerged on social media, and he enraged nearly every past and present NFL player with his antics. On top of that, Manziel flipped the bird to the Redskins’ bench during a game on Monday Night Football. The only reason he isn’t higher on this list is because he has yet to get in trouble with the law.
Josh Gordon violated the league’s substance abuse policy when he tested positive for marijuana earlier this year. Matters only got worse when he was arrested for driving under the influence less than a month before he was scheduled to meet with the NFL to talk about his one-year suspension. As of right now, Gordon is awaiting a settlement with the league.
The Browns cut ties with wide receiver Davone Bess after he was arrested in January for assaulting a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct at Fort Lauderdale airport. He also posted several bizarre photos on Instagram, which led to him checking himself into a psychiatric ward. Bess is currently a free agent, and no team is expected to sign him anytime soon.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been on the hot seat for his refusal to change the name of his football team. The word Redskins is felt by many as being derogatory to Native Americans. Despite numerous fans and advocacy groups pleading for a name change, Snyder has stated that he has no intention of ever switching from the name Redskins. Even though some Native Americans aren’t offended, it’s still something that must be considered.
It’s a shame that stellar defensive end Greg Hardy had to do something so stupid after showing so much promise on the field. Earlier this year, Hardy was arrested after he assaulted his girlfriend and communicated threats. The woman suffered minor bruises from the incident. Hardy was found guilty in July, and he is currently awaiting a suspension from the NFL.
Yes, I’m aware that Darren Sharper is retired from the NFL. However, the seven counts of rape in four states that he’s charged with occurred during his playing days, which is why he’s eligible for this list. Not to mention Sharper also worked for the NFL Network when he was charged. Sharper had a mostly quiet and successful football career, which is why the news was surprising. Regardless, Sharper is definitely one of the bad guys.
Of course Ray Rice would be No. 1 on this list. The Ravens running back was arrested at an Atlantic City casino in February after he dragged his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator. To make matters worse, his now wife failed to press charges and the NFL only suspended him for two games. There’s no question Rice is as bad as they come in 2014.
June 2, 2015 by Ryan O'Bleness
The Detroit Lions drafted seven players in the 2015 NFL Draft. Here is a prediction of the role each player will play on the team. Read More
June 2, 2015 by Casey Drottar
Here's a look at the potential impact for every one of Cleveland's 2015 draft picks. Read More
June 2, 2015 by Timothy Downs
These 15 NFL rookies will begin their ascension to greatness in 2015. Read More
June 2, 2015 by Kelly Anderson
Dallas Cowboys' Darren McFadden must prove himself in the OTAs or his stay in the NFL could be over. Read More
June 2, 2015 by Jerry Landry
Adrian Peterson attending OTAs is a scheme toward departure -- not patching things over with Minnesota. Read More
June 2, 2015 by Kyle Mountain
To ensure a dynamic and unpredictable offense, the Baltimore Ravens would be wise to utilize two capable tight ends in their offense to give quarterback Joe Flacco as many targets as possible. Read More
June 2, 2015 by Evan Massey
The Denver Broncos selected wide receiver Cody Latimer in the second round last year, and need him to step up during the 2015 season. Read More
June 2, 2015 by Doug Green
Just one year after signing a multi-year deal with the Jaguars, Toby Gerhart could find himself on a new roster in 2015. Read More