More than any other sport, NFL pros have taken on a level of grandeur. Watching an NFL game is like watching a field of freakish monsters tear their limbs and annihilate their foe. Modern medicine, evolution, technology, workout methods, enhancements, and new notions of early skill development, have created a potion for unbelievable strength, agility and speed.
What comes with these Herculean physiques, is much wealth and worldwide fame. Some respond comfortably to it. They use it for building their brand, resulting in larger contracts and greater financial security. But others, lose their way. Adore fame to such a level, it eats at their wealth and before they know it, they’re bankrupt or riddled with numerous kids from different women.
Don’t get me wrong. This is no sob story. These are grown men who should and are held accountable to their actions. No excuses, as far as I’m concerned. With great power comes great responsibility. But it does tell us something about the culture of the NFL. Something I’m sure you, and me, and any fan, would like to get the bottom of.
Here are fifteen NFL Players with more baby mamas, than rings.
15 Bennie Blades
Bennie Blades was like Gronkowski. His party antics so wild, they made Dennis Rodman look normal. It’s rumored that Blades once pulled a bazooka out at a dance club. Yep. A bazooka. Classic wealthy athlete, who thinks he owns the world.
The ten-year NFL veteran was a serviceable and solid strong safety. He played nine of those with the Detroit Lions. And is known, as one of the better more consistent safeties in the organization’s history.
But, as his antics might predict, Blades was far better in the bedroom, then he was locking down tight ends middle field or clogging, running lanes.
Blades fathered six kids with six different women. One of those women, in 2005, made sure Blades found himself behind bars. The then High School teacher, a job Blades picked up to help pay his outrageous sums of child support payments, was behind $400,000 in said payments with one of his baby mamas.
Baby Mamas: 6
14 Antonio Cromartie
We all love Cromartie. He’s easily the best cornerback of his era. A consistent, high level play, resulting in 31 interceptions over eleven years. A number that may not wow you, but Cromartie’s game was never the INT. He was a lockdown corner, leading the league in deflections and stuffing the route with a high intelligence.
Cromartie made headways, when he lost track of his children’ names live on HBO series Hard Knocks. A move that turned some of our love with contempt. How could a man stumble over the names of his children?
Simple. Consider this: The guy has twelve kids with eight different women. TWELVE. While he might be great at “stuffing the route,” he surely lacks said skill, in the sack. Might be time for the four- time pro bowler, to learn.
Baby Mamas: 8
13 Chad Johnson
For a time, Johnson was one of the more, wily receivers in the NFL. Not only was he skilled, fast as lightning, and a constant highlight reel, but he was funny, fun and humorous. Or to some…obnoxious. But nobody could question his game.
Over eleven years, “Ochocinco”, caught 766 balls and made it to six Pro Bowls. He played for two different teams, ten of those with Cincinnati, where he’s the organization’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards.
Johnson’s career took a sudden and torrential downturn, when he landed with New England in 2011. His antics didn’t fly and the team about pushed him out of the league. He’s now seeking on again-off again employment with the CBL’s Montreal Alouettes. A humbling thing for such a formerly brilliant player. But his child support payments totaling $16,000 a month, for four kids and two women, isn’t an easy thing to fork over.
Baby Mamas: 2
12 Willis McGahee
Had injuries not ate away most of McGahee’s prime, he’d been one of the league’s more perennial backs in recent years. But as said, a series of knee issues took away his long-coveted power, resulting in a back with middling speed and an inability to create a hole, where there is none.
Over ten years, McGahee ran for 8,474 yards, four times ascending the thousand-yard plateau. He played for four different teams.
It could be argued he was much healthier in the bedroom, though. His bedroom behavior mirroring the “what could have been” notions around his career. Missing all his rookie year in 2003 with injury, McGahee found ample time to “stay-fit” and “rehab.” That year he scored babies with three different women. That trajectory resulting in ten kids with nine different women.
Baby Mamas: 9
11 Ray Lewis
Ah, here’s good old Ray Lewis on the list. The man is arguably the greatest linebacker of all time. He was hard nosed, brash, hardworking and consistent. The kind of man who played through injury, to model team accountability and conduct.
Lewis had his fair share of interesting things. Early in his career, though never pinned by authorities, Lewis was implicated in a murder. Post-murder, he seemed to take his freedom to heart. From that point he became not only a leader, but a gospel man. Someone who preached God’s word with zeal and rasp.
Except, Mr. Lewis, couldn’t quite keep one thing under control. That thing…his bedroom heroics. The two-time Super Bowl champ, and thirteen-time Pro Bowler, reared six children with four different women.
Though, to his defense, he’s a very active and committed father.
Baby Mamas: 4
10 Marshall Faulk
Yep, Faulk. I know. It’s hard to believe. Some guys have that heir about them. An heir that makes them look and feel, I don’t know, more straight-and-narrow? For me, Faulk possessed that as a player, and still does, as a focused, low-browed football analyst. But there might be other reasons, why he seems so serious.
Faulk, was not only a gifted runner, but also one hell of a seed planter. A farmer of children. He’s had six children with four different women.
Over his illustrious twelve-year career, Faulk ran for over 12,000 yards and finished with a perfect 100 touchdowns. He won one MVP, made it to seven Pro Bowls, and won a Super Bowl in 2000. But as good as the inside/outside threat, Faulk was, his ambitions in the privacy of his room, were far superior.
Baby Mamas: 4
9 Travis Henry
The term “peak,” is often, a term used, to describe a player’s prime years. It also can include a mountain “peak,” or the “peak,” sexual lingo for the moment before a woman, and or man, how shall I say this…let go?
Henry, the former NFL running back, had a short peak on the field. His peak was good, though. In 2003 and 2004 with the Buffalo Bills, Henry ran for over 1400 yards per season, finishing top five in total yards and yards per carry. He went to one Pro Bowl during that span. Injuries nipped thereafter, derailing his upward trajectory.
Henry may also have a problem in another area of his life. His short peak syndrome, is something that may have resulted in premature “letting go” of “his seed.” Or better yet, Henry scored many “touchdowns” with many women, but each were called back for a false start or off sides. Feeling me here?
Henry is the father to eleven kids with ten different women. And it gets worse. In 2009, he flirted with filing for bankruptcy, as he admittedly struggled paying child support.
Baby Mamas: 10
8 Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson. “AP.” One of the greatest running backs ever, and by far, the best of his generation, scores well in the bedroom too.
For many of us, we’ve fallen out of love with Peterson. Recent knee issues, have resurfaced a doubt many critics have had for years, that the power runner, just isn’t durable enough. But the bigger, most pressing concern, is how he treats his children.
We all know the Peterson story from a few years ago; one where he was busted using a weapon to spank his son. The result: a year suspended from the league. And since…AP can’t seem to regain his legendary footing.
There’s no question, whether Peterson is first ballot hall of fame worthy. But there is a question regarding his character, and whether he has the stamina left to try and break the all-time rushing record.
I’ll say no.
It’s also fair to point out, that Peterson has somewhere between six and eight children with three to four different women.
Kids: 6 to 8
Baby Mamas: 3 to 4
7 Janoris Jenkins
The six-year pro, one-time Pro Bowler, has slowly ascended the ranks in the NFL as an elite cornerback. Beginning as a second-round draft choice, meant a starting job wouldn’t be handed to him. But Jenkins has taken it on with poise. Clearly, by his Pro Bowl selection in 2016, whatever the undersized 5’8” underdog is doing, is working.
What else might be working is his love wand. As clearly, the 24-year-old kid, is quite active in fathering children already. Jenkins is father to four children with three different baby mamas. Three of those happened in one year!
This total might not overwhelm you. But when you consider his age and his proficiency, one can devise a prediction of Travis Henry proportions.
Baby Mamas: 3
6 Charles Rogers
Like everyone from here to Timbuktu, I thought Rogers was going to be one of the great receivers. He had everything: sticky hands, long arms, a loping stride, above average height, a premier physique, and an incredible pedigree. When he busted onto the scene as the second overall pick in 2003, it looked like nothing but up for the Detroit Lions.
Not so. And damn. It still stings bringing up Rogers name. I swear the guy could still be good, if he tried to get in shape. Even at 35, he’d naturally outperform half the league’s younger, corners. But he’s too busy with his own mess.
My mother always taught me a man is made by the things he does when nobody’s paying attention. Not only was Rogers work ethic chronically in question at Detroit, but so was his character after retiring three years later as an uninspiring bust.
Soon after the league, Rogers was busted for assaulting one of his baby mamas. Post-assault he entered rehab for drug addiction. Rogers had two babies with two different women while in high school. And after high school, and while in the league, fathered another three kids with three different women. How he manages to pay all that child support with only three years of pro salary under his belt, is beyond me.
Baby Mamas: 5
5 Philip Rivers
I must go here, and yes, it’s a little bit of a dig. Why? Because Rivers has only one baby mama, his wife, with seven kids. He’s a great dad. A pretty, damn good quarterback too. But I believe the Chargers have a curse over their heads. And that curse, is the ghost of Drew Brees.
As good as Rivers has been – over 45,000 passing yards, 300 touchdowns, six Pro Bowls – he’s never been Drew Brees good. Since being kicked to the curb by the Chargers, Brees has gone on to win a Super Bowl, led the league in passing yard seven times, touchdowns four times, QBR once, and averaged a QB rating of well over 100. By all bars and measures, he’s a lock top five or six quarterback ever. EVER.
Yes, River has been good. But he hasn’t been Brees good. And in Rivers' time in San Diego, he’s been at the helm of some of the most underperforming Chargers teams in the playoffs.
Baby Mamas: 1
4 Dan Marino
As outstanding, and as dominant, as Dan Marino was as a quarterback in the National Football League, he never could get a ring. It haunted him. Still haunts him. The only reason he isn’t considered a top two or three QB ever, is that reason alone. Because, his numbers, efficiency and leadership, say otherwise.
Over sixteen years, Marino carried the Dolphins franchise, throwing for over 60,000 yards (At a time when running backs were more central to a team’s offense) and 420 touchdowns. He won one MVP, went to nine Pro Bowls, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Like Joe Montana, Marino had that golden boy look. Handsome. Big smile. Charisma. Could carry an interview post-game with utter charm. Swagger. But unlike, say, Frank Sinatra, a carousing crooner who possessed similar traits, Marino was perceived, as a straight-laced guy.
Not so. Marino was just good at keeping his out of wedlock behaviors, out of the public eye. He reared one child out of wedlock, that we know of. But rumors are, others may emerge. As for now, though, the count is at four kids with two different women.
Baby Mamas: 2
3 Clint Session
The case regarding Clint Session and his $382,000 owed in child support payments is quite sad. It’s also important. His case proves that not all pro athletes are wealthy. Session played only five years in the NFL as a linebacker, and started only two of those years with the Indianapolis Colts. Because he lasted only five years, his league retirement is minimal, and being only a starter two years out of five, meant his two short-term contracts were nothing to write home about.
Here’s the thing about Session. He loaned most his money, about $5-million in total to his parents. With what was left, he could buy himself a home in Indiana and start up a meager, juice bar. He has one kid out of wedlock. And that child was born blind with cerebral palsy.
Session has made it clear, he wants to contribute in his kid and his baby mama’s lives. But the sum he owes per month is something he says he literally can’t pay. The result has been numerous bouts with jail time.
Whether he can, or can’t, his story is important. It raises questions around our old Paternalistic approach to parenting; a belief founded on fathers “bringing home the bacon,” while the mothers cook and clean and take care of the kids. Neither needs to be set in stone. Nor true.
Kids: 1 to 3
Baby Mamas: 1 to 3
2 2.Warren Sapp
Most agree, that Sapp is one of the greatest defensive linemen in league history. His career was long and up until the end with the Oakland Raiders, relevant. Sapp had a way of making himself felt, as an imposing force.
Over thirteen seasons, Sapp finished his career with 96.5 sacks and 435 tackles. He won one Super Bowl in 2002 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and went to seven Pro Bowls. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2013.
So, here’s the thing about Sapp, though. Since retiring from the NFL in 2007, he’s mired in controversy. His list includes two bouts with domestic violence. An inability to pay child support, resulting in assets being seized. Those assets including, but not confined to: his Super Bowl and National Championship rings. He’s seen minimal jail time. And been iced from his kids.
The big man with the charming smile and humorous personality, isn’t anything near that now. He’s filed for bankruptcy and the whole nine yards. The count, as of now, is Sapp’s fathered five kids with three different women.
Baby Mamas: 3
1 Derrick Thomas
Like Lewis, Thomas is one of the great Linebackers in NFL history. He also, fathered quite a few children with numerous baby mamas. This duplicitous nature did not stop him from being a great player, father and philanthropic figure.
Over eleven years with the Chiefs, Thomas racked up 126.5 sacks, including a league best 20 in 1990. He forced 41 fumbles and recovered 19. By all measurements, an absolute beast. But he also was a tremendous figure in rougher areas of Kansas City, where he headed a nonprofit organization called “Third and Long.” The organization focused on literacy, and community engagement and debt snow ball during the holidays.
His most precious act was being an active father. Thomas never shied away from his responsibilities, as a father and mentor to his children. But unfortunately, like so many amazing people, Thomas’s life was cut short by an accident in 2000. Despite that, his memory lives on with his seven kids and five baby mamas.
Baby Mamas: 5