On the surface, NFL athletes (and all athletes for that matter) have it all. They have what seems like an endless disposal of cash to common folk, they are able to purchase lavish vehicles, they are able to buy the most expensive clothing and quite frankly are able to possess almost any and every thing that their heart desires. Yet, despite these players making millions, their judgment isn't always as healthy as their bank accounts are. Sure, you have those like Rob Gronkowski who claims to have not touched a penny of his NFL earnings and only spends what he makes off endorsements, but not every one is Gronk!
On the contrary, there are those NFL players that make extremely boneheaded decisions that alter the course of their lives in a detrimental fashion. Moreover, these players are no longer remembered for what they did on the football field; they are remembered for what they did off of it for all the wrong reasons. Here, we look at the fifteen worst acts committed by NFL players.
15 Aaron Hernandez
The former Florida Gator and New England Patriot currently calls the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts home. On April 15th, 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of the murder of Odin Lloyd, a murder he had been indicted for just a tad under two years prior. Prior to this, Hernandez was indicted for two murders in 2012 that occurred during his tenure down in Gainesville while playing for the Florida Gators. Hernandez has still not been found guilty of these murders, but remains the main suspect to this day. In addition, Hernandez fits the description of a shooter who fired five shots into a car in 2007, but unlike the murder of Lloyd and unlike the two murders he was indicted for in 2012, Hernandez was neither indicted nor found guilty of this shooting. Hernandez will spend the rest of his life in jail as he is ineligible for parole.
14 Michael Vick
Before Odell Beckham Jr. was everyone's favorite player to use in Madden, a dual threat Quarterback out of Virginia Tech by the name of Michael Vick held that title. The former number one pick of the Atlanta Falcons saw his wall come crashing down in 2007 when it became public knowledge that he was involved in a dog fighting ring. Titled the "Bad Newz Kennels" the ring was nothing short of "bad news". The dogs encountered abuse to the umpteenth degree as a number of them were drowned, electrocuted and shot to death. Vick ended up serving just shy of two years in jail, at twenty-three months and never played in another game for the Falcons. Vick, was however picked up by the Eagles where he showed flashes of potential. He then played for the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers before retiring just before Super Bowl Sunday on February 3rd, 2017.
13 Darrell Russell
Drafted second overall in 1997 by the Oakland Raiders, Russell is known for a number of things- many of them not positive. One of the positives, at least financially, was him receiving a then record seven year deal for $22 million which was the highest a Rookie had received at that time. Asides from that, Russell was known for his infatuation with ecstasy. Russell had such an addiction to the drug that the NFL actually kicked him out of the league indefinitely because of it in 2002. It would be a fair assumption to think Russell would attempt to get his life together and back into the league. Instead, he was accused of drugging a woman at a bar and assaulting her. Russell was never convicted of the charges, but let's just say, "if the shoe fits".
12 Dwayne Goodrich
Having played his college ball at the University of Tennessee, Dwayne Goodrich was drafted forty-ninth overall by the Dallas Cowb0ys signaling the Cowboys had high hopes for their newly drafted Cornerback. On January 14th, 2003, a couple of good samaritans were trying to free a man who was trapped in a burning vehicle. Goodrich, who was driving on the highway at the time, drove into the two forenamed men which tragically killed the two, making it a hit and run situation. Goodrich, drove away from the scene but was arrested the following day for vehicular manslaughter. Goodrich ended up being sentenced on September 8th, 2003 and was released on October 5th, 2011 after serving just shy of ninety-seven months.
11 Leonard Little
Leonard Little must have friends in high places and you're about to see just why. Drafted in 1998 by the then St. Louis Rams, Little made headlines in his rookie campaign not so much for his contribution on the field but more so for what happened off of the field. Driving drunk with a BAC of 0.19 (Missouri's limit is 0.08), Little drove past a red light in St. Louis crashing into another vehicle which rendered the driver, a mother, and two children in the vehicle dead. Leonard's punishment? Not even a slap on the wrist. Four years probation! You'd think Little would learn his lesson after this ordeal. You'd be wrong. In 2004, Little was once again arrested for DWI as he was caught doing a 78 in a 55. He failed three sobriety tests, yet somehow, some way, dodged the DWI and was only convicted of speeding! Little received two years probation and remains a walking, talking symbol of what's wrong with the law today.
10 Eric Naposki
The former Indianapolis Colt and New England Patriot had far from a lengthy career as he spent just two years in the NFL from 1988 to 1989. Naposki's pigskin playing days didn't end there as he took his talents to Barcelona where he played in two separate stints from 1991-1992 and 1996-1997 as well. In his four years away form Barcelona, Naposki conspired with his lover, Nanette Packard Johnston, to commit murder of Johnston's boyfriend William McLaughlin. McLaughlin was a wealthy, elderly man who had made his dough in the healthcare sector, while Johnston was a whopping twenty-five years younger then he. Naposki shot McLaughlin to death in a ploy for Johnston to collect the insurance money from McLaughlin's death. Instead, they both received jail stints with no eligibility for parole.
9 Ray Rice
The former Rutgers great and Baltimore Ravens star RB had his worst season on the gridiron in 2013 since been being named the black and purple's starter in the backfield. However, his 2013 football season was the least of his worries. In February of 2014, a video of an unconscious Janay Palmer, the then fiancee of Rice was seen being dragged out of an Atlantic City elevator. This was only the beginning; in September of 2014, a video of Rice viciously and heinously slugging Palmer in the elevator were released. Rice Rice, just thirty, has not been signed by an NFL team ever since the video evidence of him assaulting Palmer was released. Then again, its easy to see why, as despite the talent Rice possesses signing him is the equivalent of a PR nightmare that no team would be willing to welcome.
8 Keith Wright
Having spent what seemed like an equal amount of time in the NFL as well as on NFL practice squads, the former Missouri Tiger DT was arrested in 2011, five years removed from the NFL. The sentence Wright received was nothing short of jaw-dropping. A judge handed Wright a 234 year and 8 month prison sentence. What could Wright have done to ensure he'd never see life outside of prison? In sentencing Judge Michael Savage's own words, "I have the distinct impression that your ability to sack quarterbacks worked much like a get-out-of-jail-free card. That may have given you the wrong impression about whether or not you are required to follow the rules of this society". Wright faced charges of three home invasion robberies, kidnapping and forced oral copulation to be handed the massive prison sentence.
7 Travis Henry
What's Travis Henry best known for, you ask? The former Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans RB is either knowingly or unknowingly in competition with CB Antonio Cromartie for who can father the most children by the most women. Today, Henry has fathered AT LEAST eleven children by ten different women. A year removed from the league, Henry was arrested by the DEA for being involved in cocaine trafficking. Originally Henry faced ten years in prison but a plea deal was reached and Henry only ended up serving thirty percent (three years) of that sentence. His pockets were also considerably lighter as he had to pay a $4 million fine as well.
6 Thomas Henderson
The former Dallas Cowboys Linebacker won a ring in Super Bowl XII with "America's Team" and while that was fine and dandy, his decision-making in November of 1983 was not. In the home of Hollywood, the man nicknamed "Hollywood" engaged in smoking cocaine with two underaged girls and then sexually assaulting them. To make matters worse, Henderson threatened the two with a gun so they'd give into his sexual demands. According to Henderson, it was an even trade of cocaine for sexual favors, but this didn't stop him from pleading no contest to the charges. As a result, Henderson was sentenced to serve seven months in a treatment center in addition to a twenty-eight month stint in the pen. Henderson points at this being the day the "Hollywood" persona officially met its maker.
5 Jim Dunaway
A former Buffalo Bills teammate of O.J. Simpson, Jim Dunaway, wasn't as lucky as Simpson when murder charges were bought up against him. In 1998, Dunaway's ex-wife Nonniel, was found dead in a swimming pool. Upon an autopsy being performed, it was discovered that Nonniel had a fractured skull and was unconscious at the time she was put in the pool. Upon being put in the pool, Nonniel eventually ended up meeting her demise via drowning to death. But like Simpson, Dunaway avoided jail time as while Dunaway was charged with Nonniel's murder, he didn't serve a second behind bars as he was not indicted. Dunaway's children didn't think he was innocent; they filed a wrongful death suit in 2002 and came out victorious walking away with $579,000.
4 Jovan Belcher
The Kansas City Chiefs were having an absolutely abysmal season in 2010 as they had dropped ten of their first eleven games and were well on their way towards a losing record. Yet, nothing could have prepared the Chiefs organization for December 1st, 2012. Driving to a Chiefs practice field, Linebacker Jovan Belcher stepped out with a gun in hand and told then Chiefs GM that he had just murdered his girlfriend (in gruesome fashion may I add, as he shot her nine times) and it was time that he was going to take his own life as well. While Pioli and other Chiefs personnel such as owner Clark Hunt persuaded Belcher to refrain from such action, Belcher ultimately pulled the trigger when police approached the scene.
3 Rae Carruth
The former Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver currently still calls North Carolina home; albeit, he doesn't call the Panthers Bank of America Stadium his stoping grounds- he calls Tyyrell Prison Work Farm his home. Having dated a Real Estate Agent by the name of Cherica Adams, the relationship began to sour and Carruth was livid. Carruth reached out to an associate of his , Van Brett Watkins Sr., who was willing to kill Adams, and kill Adams he did. To make matters worse, Adams was eight months pregnant with Carruth's child. Carruth went on the run after the shooting but was captured a month later on December 15th, 1999 in Tennessee. Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and his release is scheduled for October 22nd, 2018.
2 O.J. Simpson
Before America was captivated by trials such as that of Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman, they were outright enthralled by the trial of USC legend and Buffalo Bills great O.J. Simpson. As you
probably definitely know, Simpson was acquitted of the stabbing murder of his then wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. To m any, most, Simpson got off scot-free. Regardless, Simpson was unable to stay out of trouble even though he'd been handed one hell of a lifeline. Thirteen years after his acquittal, Simpson was found guilty of a robbery that he orchestrated. The robbery took place in Las Vegas, Nevada and Simpson's reasoning had to do with the seller of the memorabilia having items of Simpson's that he believed were stolen. Simpson, now sixty-nine, is eligible for parole this year, in 2017.
1 Ray Lewis
Imagine one year you're standing trial for a murder you're accused of; now, imagine the following year you're not only hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy, but are hoisting the Super Bowl MVP trophy as well. As farfetched as it sounds, that's exactly what happened to Ray Lewis. At a Super Bowl party in the affluent Atlanta suburb of Buckhead, Lewis and what Phil Jackson would deem Lewis' posse got into an altercation with two men. These two men, Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar ended up being stabbed to death. Eleven days after Super Bowl XXXIV, Lewis and his friends, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting were indicted for the murders. Testifying against his friends, Lewis eventually had the murder charges dropped and he received a slap on the wrist as he was handed a misdemeanor for obstruction of justice. Lewis may have got off scot-free but peoples skepticism of whether or not Lewis is indeed a murderer still remain today.