The job of a professional athlete comes with so many luxuries and 'entitlements', many everyday folk have a hard time wrapping their head around how it must feel to have access to seemingly anything and everything one could want or need. Just imagine that! Money is no object, and sure you have to work hard for it but you haven’t gotten to the NFL slacking off. It’s a routine that, in this case, these players have dealt with their entire lives. It’s tough to call anybody a fluke (different from a bust) that makes it to the highest level of any sport.
However, along with all the notoriety and financial power sport provides its most talented participants, it also provides temptation and acts as premium fuel for egos. The feeling of invincibility that envelops many star athletes can cause them to exercise alarmingly low levels of judgment in certain situations. For others, the stakes are much lower and the stupidity of their actions amounts to nothing more than a funny story.
Sometimes it has to make you wonder how someone who has that level of fame and fortune can make some seriously dim-witted decisions when it comes to carrying themselves off the field. Be it something as small as being late or as serious as comitting a crime, these athletes left no stone unturned. With that, let’s take a look at 15 of the most boneheaded moments from current NFL stars.
15 Shareece Wright Is Late
Shareece Wright made headlines this off-season when he famously took an Uber from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Buffalo, NY when he was late for Team OTAs. The Uber driver later admitted he accepted the fare thinking he was taking Wright to “Buffalo Wild Wings, not Buffalo, NY”. Instead of a short shuttle down the road, Wright and the driver set out on a 500+ mile journey through the night, making only one stop for gas. A bonehead move on the part of Wright led to hours of bonding between the two men. Wright’s perseverance would pay off though, with him playing in nine of the Bills’ games thus far this season. One final note to point out is the final tab for the ride was $632.08; with Wright adding a gracious $300 tip for the driver's help.
14 Cam Newton Belittles Female Reporter
You’d think a man with the nickname “Superman” would be well versed in dealing with female reporters... not so for Cam Newton. Newton has a history of being ‘cold’ with the media and earlier this year lived up to that reputation. Fielding questions during a weekly press conference, Newton laughed off a female reporter’s comments pertaining to teammate Devin Funchess’ route running style. Why Newton found a woman inquiring about routes funny is beyond me, and to openly mock her in front of her peers deserves a ‘Darwin Award’ in the area of poor judgement. Newton would issue an apology shortly after, but it doesn’t take away from his severe lack of judgment and appreciation for the jobs held by others.
13 Adam ‘ Pacman’ Jones Makes It Rain
The Bengals defensive back has an impressive legal resume, a reality for many present and former Bengals players who are the perennial jailbirds of the NFL. Jones’ legal troubles have been well documented, with his most notable transgression coming just over a decade ago.
While partying with Nelly at a Vegas exotic dance club, Jones began showering dancers with money, an act commonly referred to as “making it rain”. Following the display, Jones got upset when several dancers began grabbing the money without his permission. Reports suggest he went so far as to grab one of them, slamming her head on the stage. Not known for his tackling ability on the field, clearly Jones has much more success off the field, albeit tackling defenceless women instead.
12 Ben Roethlisberger ‘Drinks Like A Champion’
‘Big Ben’ has been an elite signal caller for more than a decade. He’s won two Super-Bowls, played in 5 Pro-Bowls all while… crashing a motorcycle and being accused of assault not once, but twice. Roethlisberger’s, first run-in with the law came in 2006 when he was involved in a motorcycle crash in downtown Pittsburgh. His injuries would nearly end his life and Roethlisberger would eventually be charged with driving without a helmet and not following proper licensing procedures. In addition to his bike crash, Roethlisberger has been accused of assault twice. One was settled out of court, and the other never resulted in any charges being laid despite the woman claiming Roethlisberger assaulted her in a nightclub washroom. Maybe next time, put a ring on it first, Ben… after all, you have two of them!
11 Adrian Peterson And His Child
The future Hall of Fame running back, and former Sooner standout has had as decorated an NFL career as you’ll see for a running back. Over 12,000 yards rushing, and one touchdown shy of 100 for his career. Unfortunately, a career that could’ve started and ended with one franchise and little drama was thrown off kilter in 2014 when Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges. Peterson would eventually accept a plea deal but his relationship with the Vikings and their fan base would never be the same (nor would his skillset), ultimately leading to him signing with the Saints in the 2017 off-season (then being traded to the Cardinals mid-season). Despite his questionable parenting tactics, Peterson has not been shy to ‘spread his seed’ around, with him reportedly having four kids living with him, and several more scattered around the continental USA.
10 Aaron Rodgers' Relationship fail
From a former NFC North superstar to a present NFC superstar…it would appear as though a lot of bonehead decisions are made in the NFC’s ‘Northern Outpost’, and this one involved a lady. Aaron Rodgers and well-known actress Olivia Munn began dating back in 2014. Unfortunately, due to the difficulties around maintaining their privacy, along with Rodgers’ well-documented family issues, the two stars in their respective fields broke up earlier this year. Now I’m a ‘self-aware 6’ when it comes to appearance, but how anyone let’s Olivia Munn get away is beyond me. Rodgers’ suffering would not end there, as he would wind up breaking his collarbone in week six of the 2017-2018 NFL season. I bet Olivia could’ve helped speed up the rehab process, no?
9 Tom Brady And Deflategate
The term Deflategate still makes me cringe, as does the fact it somehow made its way to the Supreme Court. Nonetheless, the story behind Tom Brady’s tampering with his game balls is well known in all football circles, and most non-football ones as well. Enlisting the help of several members of the Patriot’s equipment staff, Brady allegedly had the footballs he used in an AFC title game against the Indianapolis Colts purposely under-inflated to help with weather conditions. The Patriots would wind up winning the game 48-7 and the NFL immediately began devising a way to make Brady and the Patriots pay. They requested emails, cell phones, text messages, and everything under the sun - releasing details of a priceless and unrelated pool cover episode in the process. After multiple appeals and rulings, Brady would sit out the first 4 games of the 2016 season before returning and leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory.
8 DeSean Jackson Is The OG
The list of ‘bonehead moves’ by the wide receiver is lengthy. There’s his infamous misjudged flip from the ’05 Army Bowl, and there’s this bonehead ‘drop at the 1-yard line’. DeSean Jackson, while being one of the league’s most dangerous deep threats for almost a decade, has made his fair share of head-scratching decisions. Back in 2014, in an interview with ESPN, Jackson admitted to still associating with ‘known gang members’ in the LA area despite his status as an NFL superstar. Trying to wrap your head around how and why Jackson would continue to hang around such a crowd will likely leave you with a migraine, so let’s just chalk it up to DeSean trying to be a loyal friend and hope it doesn’t come back to bite him. Clearly, Jackson has done a better job holding onto his friends throughout his career than he has the actual football.
7 Jameis Winston And The Uber
Playing in his 3rd season with the Buccaneers after being drafted first overall in 2015, Winston has posted a career QB rating of 85.6, causing some to erroneously question whether he has the ‘goods’ to succeed in the NFL. Speaking of ‘goods’, Winston has been engaged in an ongoing off-field legal battle stemming from an incident back in March of 2016. Winston, while taking an Uber, allegedly grabbed the ‘goods’ of the female driver while waiting at a drive-thru. Winston swears the accusations are ‘totally false’ but given his murky history dating back to his college days at Florida State, one cannot fault anyone for calling ‘bull’ on Famous Jameis. Finally, regarding Winston’s status on the field, his numbers have been impressive but his character remains a huge question mark. Sounds a lot like a young Jay Cutler (‘Old’ Cutler can’t even offset his dickheadedness with numbers).
6 Odell Beckham Jr Is On A Boat
Odell Beckham Jr. burst onto the scene as a rookie with his highlight reel one-handed catches. He quickly became one of the most dominant playmakers at the wide receiver position. Regardless of where he resides in the NFL’s receiver hierarchy, Beckham has had his fair share of bonehead moments in a young career. One of his more notable decisions coated in stupidity came earlier this year. With the Giants preparing for a playoff game against the division rival Redskins, Beckham and a collection of teammates flew to Miami for a little rest & relaxation on the water. Throw in some clubbing and it just doesn’t seem like the best way to prepare for a win-or-go home game, but what do I know? The Giants would go on to lose the game, with OBJ stressing the trip had nothing to do with the result…
5 Sebastian Janikowski Ridin’ Dirty
Janikowski’s career began on a bonehead move from Al Davis, his employer at the time. The late Raiders owner, who more closely resembled a Middle-Earth goblin than he did a human being, drafted Janikowski in the first round. HE’S A KICKER! WHO DOES THAT?! Janikowski, for his part, has had a stellar career to this point, having successfully made over 80% of his field goal attempts and sitting 10th all-time in career points scored. Known for his powerful left leg, the Florida State product is also known for being a total train wreck off the field, having been nabbed a reported 5 times for various infractions including possession and driving while intoxicated. Janikowski’s most recent legal slip-up saw him arrested for possessing hallucinogens along with a substantial amount of rohypnol. Realizing he’s passed his prime, perhaps Janikowski was resorting to ‘other means’ to convince ladies he’s worth their time?
4 Dez Bryant Fights Family
Already at #4 (although these aren’t really in any particular order), we’ve yet to come across anybody who calls Jerry’s World their home. One of Jerry’s prized players is Dez Bryant, who has authored several head scratching moments off the field. But by far the most jaw-dropping incident came back in 2012 with an incident involving Bryant hitting his own mother! Involved in a verbal altercation with his mother, Angela Bryant, Dez allegedly grabbed her by her shirt and hair, hitting her across the face with his ball cap, and tearing her shirt in the process. Bryant would be charged and released on bail while his mother, who herself has several convictions on her record, vowed to put an end to Bryant’s abusive habits once and for all. Let me just say there seems to be a collective need for some ‘soul searching’ inside the walls of the Bryant household.
3 Ezekiel Elliot Accused Of Domestic Violence
Bryant’s teammate, Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Elliot came into the league with some character concerns himself. Despite his on-field dominance netting him a ROTY award in 2016, Elliot was recently suspended for six games for a domestic violence accusation, dating back to February of 2016. He’s been accused in both Florida and Ohio so Elliot is definitely hitting it off wherever he goes. Punching people outside of clubs and bars, getting photographed in a dispensary, or in the eyes of some (to be fair), just giving the people what they want, he’s done it all. When it comes to being a bonehead, few can hang with what Zeke brings to the table. Having never actually been charged and the case thrown away in court (citing a lack of evidence), the NFL still elected to levy a six-game suspension on the star running back for his actions.
2 Aldon Smith Not Welcome ‘Here’ (Or Anywhere)
When Aldon Smith was on the field, he was an absolute ‘terror’ for offences to handle. Perhaps choosing to forego his final two years at Missouri hurt Smith’s judgment off the field more than it did on it. Despite starting his career looking much like ‘a player that ends up receiving a gold jacket’ when it’s all said and done, Smith couldn’t stay out of trouble, finding himself charged and arrested for multiple DUI’s and hit-and-runs. Oh, and did I mention he was stabbed at his own house party?! Clearly needing help, Smith checked himself into a rehab facility half-way through the 2013 season, and returned for a couple of seasons after. His most recent plea-deal includes Smith “not being allowed into any pub or bar". Smith could’ve been a very special player on the field for a long time, had he simply never left it.
1 Jason Pierre-Paul Firework Mishap
The beginning of July always brings cause for celebration across North America, with Canadians getting things started July 1st for Canada Day, followed by the Americans’ celebration of their Independence Day.
Jason Pierre-Paul (the star defensive end for the New York Giants) in an attempt to cap off a day and night filled with bouts of ‘patriotic alcoholism’ blew his hand off with a firework while trying to set it off. Now, realizing I don’t have to sell you on how or why playing with fireworks after ‘a couple of drinks’ is as bonehead as it gets, what makes this even worse is Pierre-Paul (and the whole neighbourhood) had been shooting off fireworks all day, yet they felt the need to have one final post midnight round to celebrate ‘Murica, but that bonehead move cost JPP is right hand. I wouldn’t exactly call that ‘a sacrifice for your country’ to be proud of.