Playing football for a living is what players work hard for at a young age. From high school to the NFL it's a kid's dream to play in the NFL. Sadly though there are players who threw their chances away by getting in trouble with the law. For example Aaron Hernandez had everything going for him being with the Patriots only to throw it away because he couldn't get away from the bad crowd. We've seen athletes' mugshots after being pros and winning Super Bowl's in the NFL.
It's not just mug shots or athletes in court that is sad. It's also sad when an athlete lets himself go and are unable to take care of their bodies. They might have health issues later on in life because they don't take care of themselves. We've seen different athletes from different sports not take care of themselves. Then there are some athletes who take care of themselves and it pays off. Even after an athlete retires they make sure to keep the same healthy habits when they were playing.
This article focuses on NFL players who fell from grace. Here are 15 Sad Photos Of NFL Players After They Fell From Grace. It's sad how these athletes who had it all threw it all away with bad decision making on their part, or that they don't take care of themselves because of bad decisions.
15 RYAN LEAF
Ryan Leaf played for the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys. In 2014 he was sentenced to five years in prison in Texas for violating his probation, stemming from previous burglary charges. Leaf was the number two pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. He didn't last long and played on four teams in four seasons. He finished with 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. But his addiction to painkillers got in the way of his pro football career, as did his terrible attitude.
Today he is the program ambassador for Transcred Recovery Community which is a sober living community. The community has nine homes in Los Angeles New York and Houston. He hopes to help people who are dealing with addiction. We're glad he seems to be doing a lot better for himself now.
14 Robert Griffin III
If only he had stayed healthy.
That's all you can think of when describing RG3's career in the NFL. In an electrifying rookie season, Robert Griffin III looked like he was going to change the way NFL teams use quarterbacks as he put together one of the most electrifying rookie seasons in NFL history. However, he tore his ACL in a playoff game against Seattle and was never the same. After three inconsistent, injury riddled seasons in Washington, RG3 left as a free agent for the Cleveland Browns. The Browns hoped RG3 would revitalize his career, but in a painful reminder of Griffin's career trajectory, he injured his shoulder in his first start. RG3 missed most of the 2016 season and was unsigned by an NFL team in 2017. His NFL career is likely over, going down as a one-hit wonder.
13 Vince Young
Vince Young's NFL career appeared to have so much potential after winning NFL offensive rookie of the year but his NFL career never quite reached that level of success. He actually had a winning record as an NFL starter, but ill-timed injuries and a mixture of personal problems with Young ended up derailing his NFL career. He's never actually announced his retirement. He went on to get a job with his alma mater of Texas. However he was arrested following a DUI in 2016.
He attempted to make a comeback in Canada last year by signing with the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders. However, his stay in Canada was short lived after Young injured his hamstring in training camp and was cut. Approaching his mid 30s, you have to think he'll officially announce his retirement soon.
12 TODD MARINOVICH
Todd Marinovich sad story goes back to when his father was abusive to him. Marv Marnovich sheltered his son so much that Todd never enjoyed a normal childhood. One time Marinovich was naked and high in a neighbor's backyard when the cops arrived according to TMZ Sports but was cooperative. He struggled with substance abuse during his playing days.
In 2011 he said he'd been sober for three years and had taken up a hobby in painting. But in 2016 he would be arrested, for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. He can avoid jail time if he stays out of legal trouble for 36 months. In 2017 he said he's trying to make a comeback. He was in the top spot against a 25-year-old for the SoCal Coyotes of the World Developmental Football League.
11 JARED LORENZEN
Jared Lorenzen was a backup quarterback for the New York Giants. He was on the team when they managed to upset the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. His weight went up to 320 pounds when he was a semi pro quarterback with Northern Kentucky. He was only with the Giants for three seasons he only had eight pass attempts during that time he was with them.
However, Lorenzen didn't last long in the NFL and eventually played in indoor football leagues as a quarterback, where his weight continued to be an issue. He revealed last fall that he had ballooned up to over 500 pounds. "It’s embarrassing, it’s life-altering, it’s scary," Lorenzen told TODAY. "When I watched the little screen ... I looked at myself and even then, I thought, 'I’m not that guy.'
He's now making an effort to get the weight off and is hinting that he may be interested in playing in McMahon's new XFL in 2020.
10 AARON HERNANDEZ
Aaron Hernandez had a lot going form him. He was with the greatest quarterback of all time, greatest coach and greatest team. But sadly his affiliation with gangs got in the way of his career. In this photo above Aaron was in the courtroom on trial for his murder of Odin Lloyd. He would be found not guilty of the 2012 double murder in Boston but found guilty of the murder to Odin Lloyd.
Aaron Hernandez then took his own life April of 2017. He left a daughter behind, whom he was saying goodbye to in this photo here, after he had learned of his sentence. It's a very sad and unfortunate situation for Aaron Hernandez's family. He left notes to his family before he took his own life. Hernandez had severe CTE when he died doesn't really mean a excuse for murder though, no excuse to take someones life.
9 TERRELL OWENS
Terrell Owens was a great wide receiver when he was playing. In the photo above Owens is in an interview saying he lost $80 million because of bad investments. According to the Business Insider, in 2012 he lost $2 million on a home in New Jersey, and pays $750,000 in mortgages on many rental properties. The above photo was taken in one of TO's fashion shows after he signed with a modeling agency in 2013 to try and recoup some of his money.
Owens doesn't have any friends either to help him out saying "I don't have no friends. I don't want no friends. That's how I feel. All that money he made playing in the NFL went out the window after he was done playing. Owens was a six time Pro Bowler and a five time All Pro. At least now, he's rightly been voted into the Hall of Fame.
8 WILLIAM PERRY
It was easy to see why William Perry was nicknamed The Refrigerator. He played for the Chicago Bears and it wasn't long before his weight became an issue. His weight continued to be a problem after he retired. In 2011 at the age of only 45 he was confined to a wheelchair. He weighed 400 pounds and needed help just getting out of bed. His days consisted of watching television and eating three meals a day, which are prepared by his wife Valerie. She urged him to exercise but he never did, and he ignored pleas to take his medication.
He told Sports Illustrated in 2016 "I’m home and I’m happy, I ain’t got no plans. I’m just gonna relax and take my time.”
Some of his family members have also expressed concern that Perry may be suffering from CTE.
7 JAMARCUS RUSSELL
JaMarcus Russell was a good quarterback in college but as we know, his play rapidly declined at the NFL level, where his lack of work ethic became an issue. By the end of his last NFL season, some were claiming he was near the 300 pound mark. However after a few years away from football he hit his lowest point when he weighed as much as 320 pounds.
In 2013, when he was trying to make a comeback in the NFL. Russell told Yahoo Sports "My first year out, I couldn’t watch football but after a while, I couldn’t keep the TV off. I got that itchy feeling but now I gotta watch it, gotta watch."
The photo above shows Russell with no shirt and looks like he put on a few pounds. He said at the time: "Through the first couple weeks, I could barely make it through the workout We go in to do the warmup, and here I am breathing like a fat man."
While Russell has not gotten another shot in the NFL, he's in much better shape today.
6 MICHAEL VICK
Michael Vick was a four time Pro Bowler. He passed for 133 touchdowns and 88 interceptions. In the photo above it's Vick's 2007 mugshot after being arrested for dog fighting. He tortured and even killed the animals in a ring. He would plead guilty and spend 23 months in prison to federal dog fighting charges. Vick falling from NFL stardom is a sad story. He really was the face of the Atlanta Falcons when he was their quarterback. The NFL suspended Vick indefinitely without pay. Michael Vick spent over $3 million dollars since the day he plead guilty to the charges. In 2009 the NFL reinstated Vick and the Eagles signed him. After sitting for a year behind McNabb, Vick was voted the comeback player of the year in 2010, but we're always reminded of Vick's darkest chapter.
5 Keith McCants
Keith McCants has been outspoken on how the culture of the NFL caused him to tailspin after playing six seasons. McCants went on a tear in a Vice Sports interview back in 2015:
"They're the biggest lawbreakers in the world," McCants told Vice Sports, "and they get away with it. They derailed my life and caused me to almost lose my life... And then when we [players] commit suicide - how many times I stuck a gun in my mouth? How many times I tried to OD? How many times I done hung myself? How many times I lose the will to live? Do anybody care?"
McCants has been arrested over a dozen times since retiring. He claims that because he didn't have access to painkillers after retiring, he turned to recreational substances, which led to his many arrests.
4 Warren Sapp
There were some character concerns about Warren Sapp before going into the NFL Draft, which caused some teams to pass on him. Sapp would go on to have a Hall of Fame career, but in retirement, there have been more negative stories about Sapp than positive ones. In 2010, Sapp was arrested and charged in Florida for domestic battery charges. Sapp was arrested a few years ago for soliciting a prostitute and assaulting her. The above photo is from the mugshot stemming from that arrest.
Sapp has continued to face controversy, as he was recently one of the former NFL Network employees accused of inappropriate misconduct in the workplace. On top of his legal troubles, Sapp has also faced bankruptcy issues since retiring.
3 ALBERT HAYNESWORTH
Albert Haynesworth was once the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. Let that sink in for a second. He is the ultimate cautionary tale of signing a player to a ridiculous contract after one good season. Haynesworth was always a solid defensive tackle but really cashed in after a dominant 2008 season in Tennessee, turning around and signing a six-year, $100 million deal with Washington. However it didn't take long for the Skins to regret their signing. Haynesworth immediately lost interest in football, and showed up to 2010 training camp out of shape, and failed a fitness test several times. It would end up being his last full season in Washington before he was sent off to New England, where even Bill Belichick couldn't resurrect Haynesworth's career.
2 JOHNNY MANZIEL
Johnny Manziel could've been a great quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. Instead he was all about partying, booze and girls. Just a great college quarterback who got a lot of hype coming into the NFL only to be a complete bust. Manziel was reported to have walked into Browns practice hungover when he was supposed to be in concussion protocol, which ended up getting him released by the team. Following a few months of partying in Vegas, Manziel lost a considerable amount of weight and his own parents have been worried over his well being.
In the photo above it looks like Manziel is dressed like he runs the world. He could've had everything with being a quarterback only to mess it up. If Manziel does make a comeback it will be a shock if any team signs him.
1 RAY RICE
When the assault video came out showing Ray Rice hitting his finance in an elevator everyone was outraged. The photo above shows Ray Rice walking to court with his fiance. It's a sad photo because his NFL career was ruined after he decided to assault his finance in a elevator. Roger Goddell suspended Ray Rice for only two games before claiming to see the video. After the video of Rice and his fiance came out Goddell suspended Rice indefinitely. Rice would marry his fiancee even after the incident and was arrested for. Rice would take part in a intervention program for his anger management. Rice was eventually cleared of the charges, but with him being over 30, his NFL career is over, as no team will take a risk on him, along with the bad PR signing him would cause.