It’s a dream come true for football players when they make it to the NFL. Not only do they get to play a sport they love for a living, they also get to make a ton of money at the same time. However, being an NFL player does have its drawbacks. Not only is football a brutal sport physically, you are also always in the public eye. If you are big star, chances are the camera is always on you. While some players love the spotlight, others have had some footage grabbed from some of their most embarrassing moments. The tabloids are all too happy to publish these photos, and they can follow a player around forever.
While the cameras do catch great moments like a huge play or championship victory, they also get photos of you at you at the worst of times. As much as these players would have liked these photos to never see the light of day, thanks to the internet these photos are here to stay. Some of these embarrassing moments happened right in the middle of game action, while others were the result of some questionable behaviour off the field. The moral of the story? If you’re going to do something dumb, make sure there are no cameras around!
Without further delay, Here are 15 of the most embarrassing photos of NFL players.
15. DeSean Is A Showboater
DeSean Jackson has been one of the top receivers ever since he entered the league in 2008. He’s had five seasons in which he topped the 1000 yard receiving mark. As good as Jackson has been on the field, he could have put up some even better numbers had he had his ego in check.
For this embarrassing photo, you have to go back to Jackson’s rookie year while he was playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson caught what looked to be a surefire touchdown. However, Jackson decided to let go of the ball before he even crossed the goal line, turning the ball over to the opponents in the process. This severely damaged his reputation and painted him a vey negative light with the fans.
14. Worst Mug Shot Ever
Desmond Bryant has had a fairly forgettable NFL career. The defensive tackle did defy the odds by making the NFL as an un-drafted player. After impressing in his first few NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Bryant signed a five-year $34 million contract with the Cleveland Browns. However, injuries started to pile up for Bryant and he was eventually released by the Browns in 2016.
No matter what Bryant did on the field, he was never going to make people forget his infamous 2010 arrest. Bryant was one of five men arrested for an attack in a parking lot. Bryant was charged with being intoxicated and intruding into someone’s home. As embarrassing as the incident was, his mugshot was on a whole other level of embarrassment. The mugshot went viral for obvious reasons.
13. Butt Fumble
This one happened in a game, and our list HAD to include this famous mishap. There was a time where it looked like Mark Sanchez had a bright future as a starting quarterback in the NFL. After being taken fifth overall in the 2009 draft, as a rookie Sanchez led the New York Jets all the way to the AFC Championship game. However, after another solid season, Sanchez completely fell apart and has since been relegated to a third string QB.
Even though Sanchez did some great things in a Jets uniform, he will always be remembered for one unfortunate play. In a 2012 game against the New England Patriots, Sanchez collided with his teammate’s rear end causing him to fumble the ball. The “Butt Fumble” is an incident that Sanchez will never get to live down.
12. Letting It All Hang Out
There is no better time than today to be an NFL fan. With modern day technology fans have never had greater access to team’s and their players. One of the events the fans get to see from start to finish is the NFL Combine. It’s an event where future stars of the league get a chance to show off their skills.
While the combine is something that’s usually quickly forgotten by players after it’s over, that’s not always the case. Chris Jones is one player who will certainly not forget his combine, and it’s for all the wrong reasons. Jones was running the 40-yard dash when he fell. In the process of falling, a certain appendage popped right out of his shorts for the world to see. Fortunately, Jones was able to put the embarrassing ordeal behind him and was eventually taken in the second round of the 2016 draft.
11. That’s My Quarterback
Terrel Owens was arguably one of the greatest receivers of all-time, if not at least one of the most popular. He put up some incredible numbers during his career, including an impressive 16 touchdown season while with the San Francisco 49ers in 2001. Despite his talent on the field, Owens is best known for his personality off the field.
Owen’s has never been afraid of saying what’s on his mind, especially when it comes to the quarterbacks he playing with. While Owen’s has thrown his fair share of quarterbacks under the bus, it was his defence of Tony Romo that earned him a spot on this list. Owens had felt the media was putting all the blame on Romo for the Cowboy’s struggles. He was so passionate about the whole ordeal that he actually began to cry. Owen’s has done a ton of embarrassing things in his career, but this certainly takes the cake.
10. Are You “Fur” Real?
Joe Namath is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. It’s just too bad the former Super Bowl MVP couldn’t be great off the field too. Namath has battled personal demons. During a 2003 interview, an inebriated Namath infamously tried flirting with a sideline reporter, which made him the target of many in the press.
Just when you thought Namath was done embarrassing himself and the NFL, he struck again. In 2014 at Super Bowl XLVIII, Namath showed up wearing an obnoxious looking fur coat. Not only was the coat embarrassingly tacky, PETA also was not too happy with Namath to say the least. Being such a public figure, he should have known better than to opt for such a controversial fashion item on such a big stage.
9. Hester Stripped
Without question, Devin Hester is the greatest return specialist in NFL history. Hester holds almost all NFL return records including twenty combined special teams return touchdowns. He famously returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the Bears’ Super Bowl loss to the Colts.
What made Hester so dominate was not only his elusiveness but his incredible speed. Hester burned countless defenders with his blazing speed. In order to take down Hester, it sometimes took some dirty tactics by opposing players. On one occasion a Philadelphia Eagles defender pulled down Hester’s pants in order to make the tackle. While this was clearly not the proper tactic, it did work and we’re sure that Hester was considering wearing suspenders after that play.
8. No Love For Brady
Some people consider Tom Brady the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL and it’s easy to see why. Brady has won an incredible five Super Bowl rings to go along with 4 Super Bowl MVP awards. You don’t have that much success without being super talented. However, the one skill Brady lacks is in the high five department.
There are numerous examples where Brady has had a hand out for a high five only to get rejected by his teammates. If you look at his lame attempt at a high five in the photo above, you can see why teammates might not be so eager to show the G.O.A.T some love. This photo has become as popular as Eli Manning’s face in internet memes, often to bash the Patriots after losing or when another scandal breaks.
7. Getting A Whiff
When he’s healthy, Rob Gronkowski is easily the most dominating tight ends in the entire NFL. At 6’6″, 265lbs he an absolute monster of a man to try and take down. On this particular occasion, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Rashaan Melvin was the man trying to tackle Gronk. While he was able to eventually drag him down, it wasn’t before he got a full view of Gronk’s bare buttocks.
Gronkowski having his bare bottom exposed isn’t what makes this photo embarrassing. In the past Gronk has had no problem showing off his body, appearing in ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue. This photo is embarrassing for Melvin. Not only did he struggle to take Gronk down, he also got a nice whiff of his rear end at the same time.
While he will always play second fiddle to his older brother Peyton, Eli Manning has accomplished a lot in his career. His two Super Bowl wins against two dominant New England Patriots teams make him a potential Hall of Fame candidate.
However, no matter what Eli does it seems like he doesn’t get the respect he deserves. This is probably because Manning often tends to make pretty big mental errors on the field. It also doesn’t help that he often can be seen making dumb looking faces like the one pictured above. This is only one example taken from many, and his face has become the centre of many jokes and memes on the internet.
5. Not Leon
By all accounts, Leon Lett had a tremendous NFL career as a defensive tackle. He played 11 NFL seasons in which he was named to the Pro Bowl twice and he was also a three-time Super Bowl Champion. However, no matter what great things Lett accomplished he will always be remembered for his two costly fumbles.
Lett’s first infamous fumble happened at Super Bowl XXVII, but it didn’t matter in the end as his Cowboys eventually won in a blowout. His second fumble happened in a 1993 Thanksgiving game. Lett’s Cowboys were celebrating what they thought was a victory over the Dolphins. Miami had just missed a last-second field goal. As long as no Cowboy touched the ball, the game was over. Unfortunately not only did Lett touch the ball, it would eventually slip out of his hands and a Dolphin player recovered. Miami got another chance to kick a game-winning field goal and the rest is history.
4. Safety Scramble
The name Dan Orlovsky may not ring a bell, but the quarterback actually played in the NFL for an incredible 12 seasons. He would spend the majority of his career as a backup with the Detroit Lions. While he may have mostly been a backup he did get to make the odd start.
Orlovsky got to make the first start of his NFL career when the Lions took on the Vikings in 2008. While he wasn’t a complete a dumpster fire, Orlovsky unfortunately made one of the dumbest plays in NFL history. When Orlovsky was being heavily pressured by the Vikings defence, he got so flustered that he scrambled right out of his own end zone for a safety. Of course to add insult to injury, the Lions would end up losing the game by just two points.
3. Nobody Asked
Since 2009, ESPN has annually put out an edition of their magazine called the Body Issue. The issue features athletes in nude and semi-nude photographs. NFL players who have posed for the magazine include Colin Kaepernick, Rob Gronkowski, and Ezekiel Elliott.
Considering their muscular physiques, it wasn’t a huge surprise that the players mentioned above weren’t ashamed of posing in the buff. However, a player who surprisingly wasn’t embarrassed to pose nude was defensive player Vince Wilfork. At 325 lbs, Wilfork is definitely not your typical model. While it’s great to see that he isn’t ashamed of his body, you can sure bet that some of his teammates got a good laugh at the photo.
2. Grossman Takes It
After being taken in the first round of the 2003 draft, the Chicago Bears and their fans had great expectations for Rex Grossman. However, the quarterback never lived up to his true potential. He did take the team to the Super Bowl in 2007, but it was the Bears defence that carried the team.
Grossman became the butt of jokes in Chicago and the NFL in general. It wasn’t too long before Grossman was run out of town. This picture above perfectly fits how the punishment by Bears fans must have felt for Grossman during his tenure in Chicago. This photographer probably wasn’t trying to take this kind of photo, but the resulting snap will live on forever as one of the funniest moments in sports.
1. Jay Cutler Is The Butt Of The Joke
After being drafted in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft, there were high expectations for Jay Cutler. After a decade in the league, it’s safe to say that Cutler has mostly become a punchline. Fans have made fun of his dumb on-field decisions as well as the fact he always seems to have a puzzled look on his face.
However, Cutler could care less about what fans think about his career considering the millions of dollars he has made. He also has himself a wife in Kristin Cavallari that is way out his league looks-wise. The drawback of Cutler dating Cavallari is having to deal with her posting a nude picture of him on Instagram. Cutler’s former teammate Brandon Marshall particularly got a good laugh out of the photo. He was wondering what the heck Cutler was thinking allowing his wife to post the embarrassing photo.
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