In the NFL, there are cases where player have great teammates and have a great dynamic around the clubhouse. The Cowboys of the early 1990s were a dynasty in the making with Hall of Fame Coach Jimmy Johnson along with Hall of Fame Quarterback Troy Aikman. The San Francisco 49ers had plenty of success under the tenure of Bill Walsh. From Joe Montana, to Steve Young, to Jerry Rice, and others; it helped them bring in multiple Super Bowls to the wonderful city that is San Francisco. The team of the 2000's that has been consistently winning has been the New England Patriots. Since Robert Kraft bought the team, they have gone from lovable losers into the team most loved around New England. A big portion of their winning and success belongs to their legendary quarterback: Tom Brady.
Every New England Patriots fan knows what Tom Brady's career has been about. He is a two time NFL MVP, appeared in seven Super Bowls, won five of them, and is also a four time Super Bowl MVP. Tom Brady symbolizes success throughout New England. For all of the success Brady has had with good teammates and coaches around him, there were some bad teammates that didn't seem to workout while being with Brady. It is bound to happen in any sport, some guys just do not fit into certain systems. Though the Patriots win a lot, they are not excluded from this claim. But without further delay, we give you the 15 worst teammates Tom Brady has ever had while in a New England Patriots uniform.
16 Stephen Gostkowski
The number 15 bad teammate on this list isn't necessarily bad because of his actions in the media. He is considered a bad teammate because he has had trouble the past few seasons doing his one job: kicking the ball through the uprights. Stephen Gostkowski has been the mainstay at the Patriots field goal kicker position for a decade now. He has had some good seasons, kicking for a 94.6% of makes during his best season in 2014. Then comes the game that has said to change his career and relationship with Brady; the 2015 AFC Championship Game. Gostkowski missed an extra point early in the game that proved costly as the Pats lost to the Broncos 20-18.
If Gostkowski had made his kicks, the Pats could have very easily been back to back Super Bowl champions right now heading into the 2017 season. Gostkowski has not been the same since, posting lower percentages in makes the past two seasons. Pats fans have to wonder if Gostkowski can ever gain the full trust of his teammates and especially Tom Brady to make a big kick. Only time will tell.
15 Albert Haynesworth
Not only do offensive players earn a spot on the Brady's worst teammate wagon, but defensive players can get there if they do their share. The Patriots were in need of a highly talented defensive tackle to put them over the top in 2011. They thought they had their man with the number eight player on this list. Albert Haynesworth was one of the highly coveted free agent defensive tackles after the 2oo8 season. So in 2009, he cashed in with the Washington Redskins. He was then traded in 2011 to the Patriots for a fifth round draft pick. The Patriots had their man and didn't have to give up much; a match made in heaven right? Wrong! He was traded to the Patriots in July of 2011 and then was placed on waivers in November of that same year.
It was reported Haynesworth was lazy and didn't want to adjust to a new defensive scheme. He also reportedly got into an altercation with an assistant coach which was days before Haynesworth was released. Trust, respect, and do your job; that is the Patriot way. Albert Haynesworth clearly didn't understand that and made him a bad teammate for Tom Brady.
14 Jonas Gray
There are one hit wonders out in the world such as "Bad Day" and "You're Beautiful" that make us wonder why those artists didn't record more hits. In the NFL, we wonder the same thing after one week wonders. The perfect example of a player that was a one week wonder was former Patriots running back Jonas Gray. Gray burst onto the scene Week 11 of the 2014 season when he scored four touchdowns in a Sunday night showdown with the Indianapolis Colts. People thought Gray would continue his hot stretch through the rest of the season. If only it was that easy...
He only scored one more touchdown that whole season and sat out games because of tardiness to practice, a big blunder in the Patriots system. Tom Brady and the Patriots do not have time for guys that make excuses as to why they were late for practice. Gray will always have that Sunday night game to remember, but he can always ponder why Brady might have considered him a bad teammates during his Patriots career.
13 P.K. Sam
Tom Brady had a great core of receivers to work with in the early 2000s. Some involved Terry Glenn, Troy Brown, David Patten, David Givens, P.K. Sam...wait, who!? Yeah, Patriots fans probably wouldn't know who that last receiver is either. P.K. Sam was a part of the 2004 Super Bowl winning Patriots that made people consider the Patriots a dynasty, having won three Super Bowls in the past four seasons. In case people forgot, he was number 14. People might not remember him because he only played in two games.
The reason he is a bad teammate is because he was a complete non-factor for one of the more underappreciated Patriot Super Bowl teams in the franchise's history. Everyone can't catch every pass, we get that. But it would have been nice for Sam to contribute something positive toward that magical 2004 season. Enjoy your ring, P.K., you still did basically nothing for that team.
12 Brandon LaFell
When you come to the Patriots system as a wide receiver, you are expected to be able to catch the ball and make simple plays. The number 12 teammate of Brady's on this list didn't quite seem to understand what was meant of that concept. LaFell was so bad during his two season with the Patriots that fans at games could be heard saying, "A trash can would be better than LaFell!" That is pretty harsh for a guy that clearly had enough talent to make an NFL roster. LaFell had seven touchdown receptions in 2014 and none in 2015. His catch percentage dropped vastly in those two seasons from 62.2% to 50%. If Brady throws two perfect passes, LaFell is going to drop one of them. It is scary to think when your wide receivers can't hold on to the ball. Ask Wes Welker how well he was liked after missing an easy third down pass in the 2007 Super Bowl that could have wrapped up a sixth title for the Patriots. LaFell is now with the Bengals and has made improvements. However, he will always be a bad teammate for not doing his one job for Tom Brady.
11 Stevan Ridley
The golden rule for running backs is really simple: protect the football at all costs! Some running backs do a great job of holding onto the football no matter how hard they get hit. Others seem to give it up when they trip over their own feet. The number 11 guy on this list seemed to have a new way to cough up the football in key possessions. Stevan Ridley was the main speed running back in the Patriots backfield during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Ridley ended up fumbling four times in each season while starting 16 games and 14 games, respectively. He saw his playing time go down particularly in 2014 when he only started in six games that season. He didn't fumble during that season, but history says that if Ridley had more touches; he would have found a way to fumble the ball. Most coaches do not tolerate turnovers. But especially in New England, if you fumble the ball; you'll see your playing time decreased. Ridley not taking care of the ball and not trying to fix the problem made him a bad teammate for Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots offense.
10 Laurence Maroney
A common form of being a bad teammate is leaving to come to an up and coming rival. That is exactly what the number ten player decided to do. Laurence Maroney was a constant threat out of the backfield for the Patriots from 2006-2009. In his four seasons with New England, he managed to score 21 touchdowns. He then ended up leaving the Patriots and joining the Broncos in a very weird move. The Broncos have been a team that has steadily improved and even won a Super Bowl in 2015. But why would Maroney want to leave the greatness that is Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, and most importantly: Tom Brady? This is a move that has left Patriots fans stumped. Could Maroney have wanted more touches? Maybe. But with the Patriots, its all about selflessness. Clearly, Maroney was about himself which made him a bad teammate in Tom Brady's eyes.
9 Bethel Johnson
There are so many guys on those 2003 and 2004 Patriots teams that didn't contribute much of anything to the championships. A name that can be added to that list is Bethel Johnson. We can give Johnson one boost of confidence: he definitely did more than P.K. Sam. Johnson spent three seasons in New England, accumulating 3 touchdown receptions and ending up with two Super Bowl rings. He also had two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Now granted, Johnson could have been viewed as more of a special teams player during his time with the Patriots. T
he thing is though, Johnson was 5'11, 200 pounds coming into the league. He was brought in with the expectation of being a fast, speedy receiver that can beat any cornerback on a long route. Clearly, he wasn't that effective if he only had three receiving touchdowns in three seasons listed as a wide receiver. Thanks for the contributions, Bethel. But you need to do more to be considered a good teammate by Tom Brady.
7 Kenbrell Thompkins
"Unicorns, Show Ponies, Where's the Beef?! Brady's back!" This was arguably one of the best play calls by Scott Zolak in the history of Patriots radio broadcasting. The Patriots were able to comeback with a last second touchdown pass by Brady. Can anybody remember the name of the receiver who caught that pass? He just so happens to be the number seven guy on the bad teammate list. Kenbrell Thompkins will forever be a part of that great radio call by Zolak. But is he remembered for really anything else during his time as a Patriot? During that season, he did have four touchdown receptions. He also had a horrendous catching percentage of 46.4%. Some would say he was worse at catching than Brandon LaFell. He eventually played for the Raiders and Jets, but never recorded another touchdown reception for the rest of his career. He may have caught a few touchdown passes, but it wasn't enough for what was expected of Thompkins.
6 Jabar Gaffney
The type of players that come and go are ones that are not typically of value to certain programs. This player jumping into the number six spot had a good 2007 season in New England, but left after only three years which makes him a bad teammate. Jabar Gaffney was not expected to do much when he first came to New England after he spent his first four NFL seasons with the Houston Texans. He ended up doing better than expected, particularly 2007. During that season when they lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl, Gaffney caught 72% of his passes thrown toward him and finished with five touchdown receptions. After a slightly less significant season in 2008, Gaffney left and went to the Broncos. What is the deal with Patriots players wanting to go to Denver? Is it the opportunity to beat them? It is hard to say so. Gaffney could have been a mainstay at receiver if he stayed. But he left and became a bad teammate in the long run to Tom Brady.
5 Reggie Wayne
The number five teammate of Brady on this list didn't last very long. In fact, he only lasted two weeks. When you come to the Patriots and leave after only a few weeks, Tom Brady certainly will look at you a bit differently; and not in a good way. Reggie Wayne was a dominant receiver for 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He was one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets alongside Marvin Harrison. He was a Super Bowl champion and six time Pro Bowl wide receiver before his career was done. He signed with the Patriots in late August of 2015, giving the Patriots the veteran presence needed at the position. He then asked for his release and was granted such only two weeks into his Patriots career. Some say Wayne left because the practices were too hard and not fun. To the Patriots, it is a business in order to win championships. Clearly, Reggie Wayne couldn't handle the pressure and that is why he was a bad teammate in his short time with Tom Brady.
4 Lawyer Milloy
Patriots fans might have a tough time believing this next statement so be forewarned. Tom Brady was not always the high profile player for the Patriots. Shocking! This player sprinting into the number four spot was a big part of the Pats before Brady dominated the field. Lawyer Milloy was a safety/defensive back that was a big part of the Patriots defense that brought the first of five championships to New England in 2001. In seven seasons with New England, Milloy had 19 interceptions. Then, the Patriots did the unthinkable by getting rid of Lawyer Milloy and he then signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2003. Milloy then went on to bad mouth Brady and the Patriots. Milloy got his revenge on Brady and the Pats in the 2003 season opener by thrashing the Patriots 31-0. But remember what happened the end of that season? Another championship was born. Lawyer may have been the top guy for awhile, but this will always be Brady's team; which Lawyer simply couldn't handle.
3 Chad Jackson
If a prospect comes into the NFL with a good combination of size and speed, all teams are going to jump on the opportunity to draft him. The Patriots thought they got a steal with the number three bad teammate on this list. Chad Jackson was selected by New England in the second round of the 2006 draft. He had a 6'1 framework and speed to leave any defensive player in the dust. He was a First-Team All SEC player in 2005 playing for the Florida Gators. He had a decent rookie year, catching three touchdown passes. But the following year, he only appeared in two games and didn't record a single touchdown reception. Brady probably saw how ineffective Jackson was and realized he is not good for the team chemistry wise. After two seasons in New England, he left and went to; you guessed it: the Denver Broncos! The Broncos seem to love bad blood because Jackson was a bust coming into New England and a bad teammate on the bench for Brady and the rest of the team to deal with.
2 Chad Johnson
The number two bad teammate on this list is definitely known for his on field performance as well as his antics off of the field. Chad Johnson, or as some called him Chad Ochocinco; was a receiver that torched defensive backs and cornerbacks in ten seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2o11, he was traded to the Patriots and everyone thought Brady would have another receiver similar to the caliber of Randy Moss. Ochocinco had his worst statistical season of his career. In his one season with the Patriots, he only caught 15 passes and recorded one touchdown reception. He also was known for his outlandish comments, even claiming when he initially arrived to New England that he would stay with a fan. He was of little use to the Patriots as he couldn't learn the playbook and couldn't seem to get on the same page as Tom Brady. If people want to find Chad Johnson, it isn't hard. He is very active on Twitter and might even play you in a game of FIFA. But sadly, he will always be known as one of the worst teammates Tom Brady ever had.
1 Aaron Hernandez
The number one worst teammate Tom Brady ever had didn't play bad when lined up at the line of scrimmage. This guy just had a life outside of football that overshadowed his career and led him to prison and eventually death. Aaron Hernandez (RIP) was a tight end that was proving to be a perfect duo alongside Rob Gronkowski. He recorded 18 touchdowns in three seasons with the Patriots and looked to be in for a long career with the Patriots. Unfortunately, because of a double homicide and the killing of Odin Lloyd; Aaron Hernandez was arrested in 2013 and life was never the same.
He was proven guilty of the Odin Lloyd murder, but then innocent of the double homicide before unfortunately taking his own life. Hernandez can be considered a bad teammate to Brady for a number of reasons. Number one, he was a loner. He didn't care to associate with teammates out of practice and games. Number two, he couldn't leave the gang life for good. Here is a guy making millions of dollars in the NFL and he ruined it for his life on the streets. It is such a shame. He left the Patriots answering many questions when they should have been focusing on their upcoming season.