In life no matter how hard we try, no one is perfect. The fact of the matter is that we all make mistakes. Sometimes we make big ones like who we choose to date, where we choose to work, which car to buy, or where to invest our money. We occasionally make small ones too like forgetting to put money in the meter after parking, leaving your bank card in the ATM, forgetting your cell on the charger, or something as simple as not turning the faucet all the way off in the kitchen and/or bathroom. The fact is, no matter who you are, what you do for a living, and how much money you earn, we all make mistakes.
The same thing applies for professional athletes. Whether it be a player who demands a trade, has a falling out with a coach, manager, or teammates or simply decides to chase the big contract and sign with another team, the pros in every sport especially the big four aren't immune to making bad decisions. The only difference between us and the names on this list, is that the mistakes made by them ended altering and in some cases ending their careers. With that said, we here at the TheSportster present to you, the Top 15 Career-Related Mistakes Made By Athletes.
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15 Mike Komisarek
Mike Komisarek never should have left the comfort of Andrei Markov as his defense partner. In Montreal, his skating and mistakes with the puck were protected. Alas, in the summer of 2009, Komisarek signed with the division riva Toronto Maple Leafs for five years, at nearly $20 million. His career quickly disintegrated in Toronto, as he was asked to do far too much and could never live up to the enormous contract. The Leafs would eventually buy him out, and after a brief stint with the Hurricanes, Komisarek retired from hockey.
While there is still time to get his name off the list, the icon and future WWE Hall of Famer's decision to finally sign with WWE has been a resounding dud to say the least. Sting has lost the two main-event match PPV matches he participated in.
As a marquee and semi-nostaglic addition to the WWE the company and wrestling fans everywhere have wanted to see appear in a WWE ring for years, having him lose his first match at this year's WrestleMania made no sense. He had to job again to Seth Rollins for the WWE World Championship. The Stinger also suffered a serious neck injury during his match with Rollins, so there is no telling if the veteran will return to the squared circle.
13 Ray Edwards
After recording four seasons in a row of five-plus sacks, including a whooping 16.5 during the 2009-2010 season as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, the Falcons swooped in a signed Edwards to a five-year $30 million dollar deal. His first season in Atlanta saw him produce 3.5 sacks. His second season saw him get benched while he posted zero sacks.
Atlanta didn't even let him finish his second year with the team as he was cut after nine games. Edwards' decision to leave the Vikings where he got to play on the same defensive line as Jared Allen who has over 135 career sacks. Simply put, Allen's pass rushing abilities allowed Edwards to see one-on-one blocking which he used to his advantage, and a lucrative deal.
12 Joe Johnson
There's no denying that Joe Johnson has made a lot of money of the course of his career. He also hasn't won a championship. After coming to the Phoenix Suns in a trade with the Boston Celtics in 2002, Johnson really came into his own as a player playing alongside the likes of Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Antonio McDyess, and Quentin Richardson in Mike D'Antoni's fast paced offense.
Despite all his success in Phoenix, Johnson expressed his desire to move on to the Atlanta Hawks who had offered him a $70 million contract. He was eventually dealt to the Hawks in a sign and trade.
In 2010, the club re-signed him to a six-year $123.7 million dollar deal. In 2012, he was traded to his current team the Brooklyn Nets.
Instead of being stuck on a team going nowhere fast, imagine what would have happened if Johnson stayed in Phoenix. His trade request came at the absolute wrong time, as Nash, Stoudemire, and Marion were just hitting their primes. Money is a great thing, but it doesn't buy you a ring.
Vader was one of the biggest, baddest, and best heels to ever enter a wrestling ring. His move to WWE though, did not pay dividends. After making his debut at the Royal Rumble PPV, he would begin his first feud with with fellow heavyweight Yokozuna. The feud cultivated in a 6-man tag match where Vader's team of himself, Owen Hart, and the British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith defeated the trio of Ahmed Johnson, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and the aforementioned Yokozuna.
After his feud with the former WWF Champion, Vader was thrust into the main event scene as he began taking on Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, and Kane on various PPVs. Unfortunately for the man Vince McMahon wanted to call "The Mastodon", he would go on to lose all three feuds. Ultimately, the move to WWE dropped his stock immensely.
Vader was released from his contract in 1998.
10 Peerless Price
Teaming with Eric Moulds, Price served as the perfect number 2 receiving option for the Buffalo Bills. He used his game-breaking speed to take the top off of defenses, and could take a 5-yard into a 45 yard play at the drop of a hat. His best season as a Bill came in 2002 when he recorded 94 catches for 1,252 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Price was given permission to seek a trade from a Bills team that didn't have enough space under their salary cap to re-sign the four year receiver. He was traded to the Atlanta Falcons who gave him a seven-year $37.5 million deal.
Price was a gigantic flop, as he posted 64 catches for 838 yards and three TDs. His second campaign was even worse as he recorded 45 receptions for 575 yards and three trips to the endzone. Seeing the red flags right away, and realizing they wouldn't see a return on their investment, the Falcons cut Price after his second season. His career never recovered.
9 Wade Redden
Redden was at one point one of the best defensemen in the NHL. After the 2007-08 season in which he scored six goals and added 32 assists for the Sens, Redden signed a 6-year, $39 million contract with the Rangers.
Redden's first season with the Blue Shirts was underwhelming to say the least. By his second season in the Big Apple, he had dropped down to 14 points for the season.
The Rangers had seen enough, as the club sent him down to the AHL for two seasons. They would buy him out 2012.
Goldberg made a spectacular debut for WWE as he surprised tons of fans and viewers by attacking The Rock on the episode of Raw the night after WrestleMania 19. After beating The Rock in his debut match, Goldberg went on to a successful feud with his former WCW arch-nemesis Chris Jericho. After beating Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship, Goldberg would lose it back to the company's future Executive Vice President at the Armageddon PPV.
From there Goldberg would begin a feud with the one and only Brock Lesnar. While many wrestling fans including yours expected this to be a dream match, the showdown was anything but. Some of that was due to the never-ending boos that were being rained down from the fans in attendance at MSG that night.
While he did experience some success in Vince McMahon's empire, it was far from the kind he experienced in WCW. The last memory that he left fans on a world-wide platform was his under-whelming match with the aforementioned Lesnar.
7 Albert Haynesworth
After being voted an All-Pro during both the 2007 and the 2008 season as a member of the Tennessee Titans, Albert Haynesworth signed a then record seven-year $100 million deal with the Washington Redskins.
Haynesworth's tenure with the Redskins lasted less than two seasons and produced a very underwhelming 6.5 sacks as laziness, a lack of conditioning, attitude problems, and constant public feuding with then Redskins coach Mike Shanahan led the club to trade him to the New England Patriots. Haynesworth would wear out his welcome there as well as the club released him four months later, after he got into an altercation with an assistant coach during a game. He was claimed off of waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He would play seven games for them, and then never play suit up for another NFL game.
6 Sheldon Souray
In 2007, Sheldon Souray who was fresh off a career-high 26 goals and 64 points as member of the Montreal Canadiens, signed a five-year $27 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers. His first season was a disaster. Souray proved to be injury prone, having and would only suit up for 26 games with his new club due to injuring his shoulder in a fight.
Souray would rebound the next year as he posted 23 goals and 53 points. He even made the All-Star team. Injuries however would return to haunt the rearguard the following year as an early season concussion and a hand injury limited him to only 37 games. The ensuing off-season, led to a rift between the player and the team, as Souray demanded a trade.
The Oilers responded by placing him on waivers. After no team willing to pick up the former All-Star due to his hefty salary and long injury history, he was sent to the AHL. The team finally bought out the final year of his contract in 2011. He would play his final two years with the Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks.
5 Nnamdi Asomugha
Before Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman, and Aqib Talib became stars and sparked numerous debates as to who is the NFL's best cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha was hands down the league's best cover man. Opposing QBs were scared to throw at the three-time Pro-Bolwer. In 2010 he did not allow a touchdown, and he only allowed 10 catches on the 27 passes thrown his way.
Seen as the crown jewel of the Eagles off-season spending spree, Asomugha was expected to bring his shutdown game to the city of Brotherly Love, and help propel the team into Super Bowl contention. Unfortunately for the Eagles he struggled from the get-go, and teams started successfully throwing at the former All-Pro.
One of the reasons for his struggles was because of the defensive system that the Eagles ran. While he excelled as a Raider in their heavy man coverage scheme that played to his strengths as a long and physical corner, Philly ran a predominantly zone coverage system which didn't fit Asomugha's skill set.
All of those factors as well Asomugha's bad play made the five-year $60 million dollar deal he signed to join the Eagles look like a disaster. He would be released by the team after the 2012 season.
4 Ken Griffey Jr.
"The Kid" ends up on this list after he demanded a trade from the Seattle Mariners to the Cincinnati Reds after the 1999 MLB season. He signed a colossal nine-year $112.5 million deal with the Reds upon completion of the trade. Two of the main reasons he wanted to leave the Mariners was because of family. Not only did he have family living in the city, but "Junior" grew up in the Reds' clubhouse while his father Ken Griffey Sr. was a member of the team in the 70s and 80s.
While he did put up impressive numbers and hit career milestones like hitting his 500th career home run and recording his 2,500th career hit, age, declining play, and a laundry list of injuries stopped "The Kid" from attaining the level of success and popularity he achieved in a Mariners uniform.
While his final accolades are impressive, the fact remains that Griffey Jr. left a team ready to contend with stars like him, Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner all in their primes. It certainly feels like "The Kid" left something on the table.
3 Alvin Harper
The Robin to Dallas Cowboys' teammate Michael Irvin's Batman, Alvin Harper thrived as the no.2 receiver on America's team. Blessed to play in the same offense with three Hall of Famers in Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and the aforementioned Irvin, Harper received a lot of 1-on-1 coverage during his time with the Cowboys.
In 1995, Harper left the Cowboys and signed a four-year $10.5 million dollar deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs who at that point only had two winning seasons in franchise history, brought Harper in to be their no.1 wideout. He soon realized that life without his play-making teammates would be extremely difficult. In his first season with his new team, Harper was a disappointment as he recorded 46 catches for 633 yards. His second season was even worse as he posted just 19 receptions for 289 yards and one TD. The Bucs cut the wide-out after only two years. He would never be able to recapture the magic of his first stint with America's Team.
2 Carl Nicks
In 2012, the Pro-Bowl guard left the New Orleans Saints to sign a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the Buccaneers. The addition of Nicks was seen as double coup by the Bucs as not only would he strengthen their offensive line, but his loss would weaken the their division rival in the Saints.
Unfortunately for Nicks and the Bucs, the pairing never reached the heights either side envisioned. A serious toe injury limited the Nicks to nine games in his first season in Tampa. Before his second season with the team, Nicks who had never missed a game as a member of the Saints, contracted MRSA (a dangerous and potentially life-threatening staph infection). The illness forced Nicks to retire.
1 Theo Fleury
The diminutive sniper and member of the 1989 Stanley Cup winner Calgary Flames was not only the face of the franchise, but the heart and soul of the team for all 11 seasons that he played for the organization.
The falling out between Fleury and the Flames occurred in 1999 when the player and the team couldn't agree on a contract extension. Rather than losing him in free agency that summer for nothing, Calgary traded him to the Colorado Avalanche for Wade Belak, Rene Corbet, and Robyn Regher.
That following off-season, he would sign a three-year $21 million deal with the New York Rangers. After scoring 25 goals or more in all but one of his 11 seasons in Calgary, the former Flames captain would only score 15. More importantly, Fleury would voluntarily enter the NHL's substance abuse program.
While he would double his goal scoring output (30) in his second year in New York and even make the All-Star team, Fleury would have his season cut short as he once again entered the league's substance abuse program.
After New York chose not to re-sign him after the contract, Fleury would sign a two-year $8.5 million dollar free agent deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. The former All-Star would again violate the terms of the substance abuse program, and only lasted a year in the Windy City.
A history of substance abuse problems that he claims were caused by him being sexually abused as a teenager by his former Junior Hockey coach Graham James, tons of money in your pocket, and a move to heavily populated and party-central cities like New York and Chicago proved to be too much to handle.
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