Tension between certain players and their former teams runs high in the NFL. Even if the player in question was happy for a period of time with the franchise, there's sometimes no telling what could set them off, and prompt them to hold a grudge against them for the rest of their career. Like clockwork, every NFL generation has its share of players that have no problem griping about what their situation was like on their team of old. Whether or not their complaints are legitimate or not, they always seem to come out with full force.
Not to mention, the complaints stem from a variety of reasons. For some players, interpersonal relationships on an NFL roster are not their strong suit, and they end up sparring with coaches and teammates. Other times, they didn't approve of how they were released from the team. Whatever the case may be, it's no secret that there are some players, and former players, that absolutely hate one of the teams that they played for during their career. Let's take a look at who this applies to, and what went down to make their attitude so sour.
Ranked below are 15 NFL players who have beef with their former team.
15 Brett Favre
The fallout between Favre and the Packers prior to the 2008 season has been well-documented. He was contemplating retirement, but never ended up doing so for the time being. The controversy regarded whether Green Bay should promote the then-backup Aaron Rodgers to starting quarterback, and oust the aging Favre.
That's what ended up happening, and Favre was traded to the Jets for a season, before spending two with the Vikings, and then retiring. He openly complained about the Packers' management, who he felt had done a poor job of handling the situation. It was a bitter situation between each side for a while, and while there is still tension, steps have been made in recent years to improve the outlook of the long-term situation.
14 Wes Welker
Welker's relationship with Bill Belichick is well know to have been volatile at times, and it's almost a wonder that he stuck with the Patriots as long as he did. Welker was one of Tom Brady's favorite targets for years, and completely dominant as a slot receiver, after being traded to New England from Miami in 2007.
But when he signed with the rival Broncos in 2013 after he was unable to reach an agreement on a new contract with the New England front office, one can't help but think that he wanted to stick it to Belichick and the Patriots, just a little bit. Ultimately, Welker's best years were in New England, but that doesn't mean he enjoyed portions of his time there, and he's made no bones about it in the years since he left.
13 Marcus Allen
One of the best running backs in the league during his heyday, Allen was used to running roughshod all over defenses during his prime in the '80s. The acquisition of all-around super-athlete Bo Jackson muddied the waters for him however, and the Al Davis-helmed Raiders eventually ended up moving on from him in the early-'90s.
Allen claimed that Davis was out to get him, and that he tried to devalue his career and make him expendable. It's true that Allen split time in the backfield with Jackson during the late-'80s, but his averages weren't on par with the earlier part of the career. Whatever the case may be, he signed with the Chiefs after leaving the Raiders, and ended up having a few somewhat productive seasons to round out his career. Definitely no love lost between Allen and his former team.
12 Brock Osweiler
If we take a bit of liberty on this one, it's not hard to imagine that Osweiler is a bit upset with the Texans for ousting him after just one season under center. The team traded Osweiler to the vaunted Browns, simply in exchange for them to take his contract off their hands. It was the most surprising trade of the offseason, and Osweiler was the focal point of it.
This of course comes on the heels of Osweiler being awarded a long-term contract from Houston, based on only a few starts that he had backing up Peyton Manning in Denver. Granted, Osweiler didn't play particularly well in 2016, but he did have the rug swept out from under him, at least to a degree. One would have to think that he doesn't harbor great feelings for the Texans' organization right now.
11 Darrelle Revis
Revis did two stints with the Jets over the years, but it was the first one that made him bitter, and made him leave for the Buccaneers in free agency, in the first place. He's openly criticized quarterback Mark Sanchez for his lack of elite play, which he believed hindered the team as a whole during the playoff runs during the late-'00s for the Jets.
It's clear that not every season for Revis was disappointing in New York, but there were only two where the team went on any kind of a playoff run, and had a chance to win it all. He clearly believes that there were massive issues on the offensive side of the ball, and that it was his defensive, of which he contributed heavily to, that carried most of the load throughout each season.
10 Tiki Barber
After his retirement, Barber certainly wasn't shy about putting Eli Manning and formerGiants coach Tom Coughlin on blast. He questioned their leadership abilities, and their overall effectiveness. It didn't ring very true with Giants fans, however, and they've harbored negative feelings towards Barber ever since.
He was a great player in his time with the Giants, but this was a falling out that almost negated everything he did for them. As it turned out, Couglin and Manning won a pair of Super Bowls with New York, and Barber faced a ton of financial trouble, and has struggled to regain his reputation since he made the initial comments years ago. Ultimately, he lost this battle, and it's hard to take what he says seriously anymore.
9 Donovan McNabb
What began as a young, talented quarterback landing a team to NFC Championship games seemingly on an annual basis, ended with an awkward fallout and testy relationship between that player and the fans. Since McNabb retired from the NFL, he's taken numerous potshots at the Eagles in several of his broadcasting roles.
It's clear that the McNabb era in Philly didn't end on the most ideal terms. The team didn't really have a certified exit plan, and there was clearly some bitterness that McNabb harbored against the team. While the Eagles defense of those NFC Championship-teams has gone on to receive a ton of appreciation from fans and pundits alike, McNabb has often been cast as a mere game-manager, or "the quarterback who threw up in the huddle." Clearly, there isn't much mutual respect between Philly and their former franchise quarterback.
8 Martellus Bennett
Bennett has never been short on words, and that includes the subject of his time with the Bears. Many people have called out Jay Cutler for his inability to lead a team and his constant sulking on the sidelines, and Bennett did as well, but he also went after other players on the team, as well as the coaching staff.
It's tough to blame Bennett for feeling frustrated for being on a roster that seemingly had a ton of talent, but was never really able to do anything with it. Most people agree with his criticisms about the Bears team of that era, and the fact that Jay Cutler is dead weight as an NFL franchise quarterback. Bennett did win a Super Bowl last year with the Patriots so he did end up getting the last laugh.
7 Steve Smith
Since he left the Panthers in 2014, after a long career in Carolina that saw him perform as one of the best receivers in the league, Smith has been all over the franchise with his criticism. Complaints about Cam Newton, the front office and how he was released from the team all fueled his anger, and he vowed to get revenge on his former team.
After signing with the Ravens, that day came in 2014, and Smith torched Carolina for one of his best games as a pro. He showed why he was still one of the best receivers in the league, and that maybe the Panthers were a bit rash in letting him go too early. In any event, he certainly made them take notice, and reconsider their decision to release him.
6 David Boston
After being one of the most highly-touted prospects in the 1999 draft, Boston spent 4 years in Arizona that were puzzling to say the least. There were times when he was absolutely an elite receiver on the field, but questions about his attitude came to forefront. He eventually signed with the Chargers, and that's where things went haywire for the young, talented receiver.
Feuding with head coach Marty Schottenheimer was only one of the things that plagued Boston in San Diego. Boston clearly wasn't happy during his time with the team, and it turned out to be the career decision that made it all turn upside down for him. He would never again be productive on an NFL team, and he was out of the league shortly after.
5 DeSean Jackson
Coming off of a career year in 2013 with the Eagles, Jackson was seen to be one of the best receivers in the league, and a cornerstone of then-new head coach Chip Kelly's offense. When he was released shortly into the offseason, everyone was questioning as to why it happened.
Kelly claimed that Jackson had a poor attitude, and that he had affiliations with West Coast gangs, which were a detriment to the morale of the locker room. It all hasn't been substantiated, and is mostly viewed as a cop-out. Jackson made no bones about how he felt about the Eagles and Kelly for the decision, and took it out on them with a long touchdown reception in the first game he played against them in 2014 as a member of the Redskins.
4 Sam Bradford
Bradford had spent one year as the Eagles quarterback in 2015, when recently fired head coach Chip Kelly acquired him for Nick Foles. New head coach Doug Peterson vowed that Bradford was going to be the starting quarterback for the 2016; that was, until the Vikings suffered a mishap that changed everything.
Bradford had already been requesting that the Eagles trade him for the entire offseason, as he was upset when the team drafted Carson Wentz at 2nd overall in the 2016 draft. No trade came to pass until late in August, when Teddy Bridgewater suffered a devastating injury that put him out of action for the entire season. The Eagles seized the opportunity, granting Bradford's wish to be traded, but only because they could get a 1st-round pick. Now, Bradford is still in Minnesota, but his one year in Philly was the most tumultuous of his career.
3 Ryan Fitzpatrick
It was clear that Fitzpatrick was frustrated when he questioned the Jets' ownership and their belief in him as a starting quarterback last season. After a 2015 campaign in which he came within a stones throw of leading the Jets to the playoffs, he was awarded the starting job in 2016. The only problem was, everything went wrong after that.
The Jets were horrible last season, and it was clear that Fitzpatrick was having trouble keeping interpersonal relationships on the up-and-up behind the scenes. Now, Fitzpatrick is likely done with his NFL career, and it was a pretty rotten way to bail out of the game. His final year in New York was likely a nightmare.
2 Josh Norman
The Redskins signed Norman last offseason when he was released by the Panthers, after a year in which he helped their defense lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance. Norman was distraught by this, and claimed that it was an unexpected cut. He was quickly scooped up by Washington, but it's clear that Norman is still playing with a chip on his shoulder, and more so than in the past.
He's quick to trash talk, and get in the face of opposing receivers. There's more of a mean streak to his game than there was when he was in Carolina. He clearly hasn't gotten over the fact that he was released unexpectedly, and now he's trying to make everyone pay for it. Don't expect him to back down anytime soon, and definitely not for the upcoming 2017 season.
1 Terrell Owens
To be fair, T.O. had beef with just about everybody during his time as an NFL player. His biggest adversaries, however, turned out to be the 49ers and Eagles, both of whom he railed against for years after his departure. As one of the biggest villains in league history, it's only natural that Owens would create such a sideshow, and be uncooperative at the most critical times.
After just a single season with the Eagles, he started causing trouble off the field, and overreacting to contract disputes. It wasn't long before he suffered an indefinite suspension. It wasn't a secret that he was battling the front office, head coach Andy Reid, and quarterback Donovan McNabb. Whether it was Owens' own ego, or a simple case of incompatibility, Owens was gone soon after, and as a final jab to the franchise, signed with the rival Dallas Cowboys the following season.
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