On December 31, 2005 San Diego Chargers quarterback, Drew Brees, dropped back into the pocket to pass before Denver Broncos defensive back Jon Lynch knocked the ball out of his hands, just inches from the Broncos end zone. As the ball rolled around on the grass, Drew Brees did what any football player would do and he dove for the ball. What happened next would change his life, and his NFL career, forever.
He tore the labrum in his right throwing shoulder that day, which ended up requiring surgery. The injury scared the Chargers front office and the following off-season, they offered him a contract that showed just how much confidence they did not have in his future. So he started to field other offers and he met with the Miami Dolphins, who didn’t have confidence in his future either, before finally landing in New Orleans in 2006, right after Hurricane Katrina completely destroyed the once vibrant and beautiful city.
Drew took this as a challenge and, along with brand new head coach Sean Payton, they began what would be one of the most amazing quarterback and head coach duo’s in NFL history. Over the next 11 years, he would pass for over 50,000 yards, over 400 touchdowns, and win 96 games, including a Super Bowl, the city’s first and only title.
Drew Brees has never been the type of player to cause a problem for an organization. If he did not like a guy, chances are you wouldn’t hear it from him in the media. He would just learn to play with the guy and win games. He was never about himself, he was always about his teammates and his city, New Orleans.
But what if he had to work with those troublesome players like Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson? How would he respond? How would that even work?
Let’s take a look at the 15 Wide Receivers that Brees would HATE to play with.
15 Josh Gordon
For years, Josh Gordon has been one of the NFL’s best future All-Stars at the wide receiver position but no one would know since he hasn’t played since 2014.
After having an amazing 2013 season, Josh spent his summer driving while impaired which resulted in the NFL suspending him for most of the 2014 season. The original suspension was for the year but was later reduced to ten games allowing him to play in the season’s final six games but he got suspended, again, on December 27th and missed the final game.
In 2015, he was suspended again and had to spend another year away from football before finally getting his shot in 2016. He would then get suspended one more time making even the most hardcore fans of his give up on him. Drew isn’t perfect but he is a hard working NFL superstar that respects the game. He would never want a player that is constantly battling suspensions for drug abuse violations in the locker room. It would tear the chemistry of the locker room apart.
14 Keyshawn Johnson
If there was ever an example of the type of player Keyshawn Johnson was, look no further than his autobiography titled, Just Give Me the Damn Ball. The former top overall NFL draft pick wasn’t making many friends in New York and after just four years, he was traded to Tampa Bay where we would start to see the real Keyshawn Johnson.
During a Monday Night Football game, Keyshawn got into a heated argument with his head coach, Jon Gruden, over a formation which consisted of two running backs, two tight ends, and one wide receiver. The play involved Keyshawn but this time, Jon went with Keenan McCarddell instead, taking KJ out of the game.
It does not matter how much you hate a play call, or even disagree with your coaching staff, you never show them up on live national television, let alone step up to them as if you are going to do something.
Drew Brees has never had a wide receiver that came anywhere close to this type of behaviour. If they would, do you honestly think Sean Payton would just sit back and take it?
13 Plaxico Burress
Before accidentally shooting himself in the leg, Plaxico Burress (Pictured Left) was one of the NFL’s best split end wide receivers, a position he owned in Pittsburgh for five seasons. He was a top tier guy that was an easy 55 receptions, 875 yards, five touchdowns per season. He finished his career with 553 receptions, 8,499 receiving yards, and 64 touchdowns, so what is the problem?
The issues and concerns aren’t because he is a loud mouthed cancer in the locker room, far from it. He is quiet and likes to be left alone. However, he is also an idiot based on the fact that he not only shot himself in the foot (why exactly did he even need a gun?) but he has gotten into some of the most moronic issues off-the-field that showcase his intelligence level.
12 Steve Smith Sr.
Egos are not allowed in New Orleans anymore. The Saints offense is one cohesive unit that works together to form a powerful force and the one thing that ends up tearing it apart, is an ego.
Steve Smith Sr. has one of the biggest ego’s in NFL history. He thinks he is the greatest wide receiver to ever play the game and he has played his entire career with a chip on his shoulder. So whether he is beating up teammates or talking trash to some of the league’s best defensive players, Steve Smith is a non-stop problem for head coaches.
His numbers are amazing and he is continuing to play in the NFL even at the age of 37 but if he were to play with Drew Brees, chances are, one of them would end up with a bloody nose and the other, an early retirement.
11 Kellen Winslow Jr.
So what if Kellen Winslow Jr. is not a wide receiver, in the New Orleans Saints offense, a tight end is just as useful as a wide receiver, just ask Jimmy Graham when he was petitioning the NFL to credit him as playing in the wide receiver slot for most of his career. So, Winslow Jr. would qualify for a larger franchise tag check.
Kellen Winslow Jr. was a soldier, according to himself. He spent several seasons in Cleveland before heading to Tampa Bay and then bouncing around a few teams until 2013.
This is a grown man that was arrested in 2014 for possession of synthetic marijuana and lewd conduct, which, according to a witness, he was masturbating in his vehicle in a Target parking lot.
He might not be the worst guy to have around but his career was full of selfish moments and a constant complaining coming from his camp. Drew Brees and Sean Payton run more of a, shut up and listen, type of offense.
10 Percy Harvin
When Percy Harvin was in Seattle in 2014, they lost to the Dallas Cowboys without the help of Percy, who had allegedly quit on his teammates during the game because of how he was being used. He wasn’t happy about his playing time or his usage so he quit on his teammates. He was sent to New York the following week.
That was the straw that broke the camel's back in Seattle. He already had issues with Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin in the locker room which was causing the players to resent Percy.
The NFL has several unwritten rules but one of them is to never quit in the middle of a game. That is a huge problem and could be the end of someone’s career in the league. It is also for that reason that he would never be a teammate to Drew Brees. There is simply no way he would want to work with a man that quits on his team.
9 Joe Horn
The fact that a former New Orleans Saints wide receiver would make this list should tell you something about his personality but what you probably did not realize was that Joe Horn’s final season in NOLA was also Drew’s first, 2006.
But after having dealt with an array of issues, Joe Horn only managed to play in nine games mustering only 37 receptions, his lowest since 1999. The chemistry never had time to blossom between the two players as one was a lofty veteran that had been in New Orleans since 2000 while the other was a young, hot handed quarterback that could help propel the Saints into the next chapter of the franchise’s history.
Maybe it isn’t fair to include this man on the list but there is also a reason he only managed 37 receptions during those nine games before leaving for Atlanta the following season, and it wasn’t because he had a better offer.
8 Chad Johnson
Personal issues were never the reason a player would become an issue in the locker room because most of the stars in the league kept their personal and business lives separated. But sometimes, things happen that you cannot control and it carries over to the locker room. Like when Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, or whatever his name is these days, went to Miami and got arrested for assaulting his then wife, Evelyn Lozada.
That alone should warn front offices about his attitude and character. But he didn’t stop there and he remains one of the most obnoxious loud-mouthed NFL receivers ever. He put up big time numbers to back up the talk but after a while, it became more about himself and less about the team. His rehearsed celebrations and constant fines for excessive celebration caused for a player loved by his fans to a man that no one wanted to work with anymore.
Are you seeing the big picture yet? Drew Brees works with guys that are talented but are more about the team than themselves. Chad Johnson didn’t work out in New England with Tom Brady, so it is a good bet it would be the same result.
7 Randy Moss
How can one of the greatest NFL wide receivers of all-time become such a nuisance for so many teams so quickly?
That was exactly what happened with Randy Moss right around his final year with the Minnesota Vikings, in 2004. He went on to Oakland, New England, Tennessee, Minnesota (again!), and San Francisco before finally retiring in 2012.
During his final season with the Vikings, during a game against the Washington Redskins, Randy Moss left the playing field with time left on the clock. It wasn’t a big deal to fans but it was to his teammates. He put himself ahead of the team and it caused a huge problem in the locker room that day.
The New Orleans Saints offense would be unreal if they had Randy Moss in the late 2000s but it would not necessarily result in a bunch of wins given the team was built on teamwork and not one player’s selfish mannerisms.
6 Hines Ward
In Pittsburgh, ask any fan of the Steelers about Hines Ward and they are guaranteed to tell you how great he was and how important and instrumental he was towards the Steelers winning Super Bowls over the past decade.
Outside of Pennsylvania, however, the way people view Hines Ward is a bit different. He was always a guy that could get under the skin of a defender or an opposition. He could talk all game long and he was one of the first wide receivers to aggressively go out and hit a defender or block a player. He loved hitting others and starting riots among the crowds.
From his impressive resume, he was a great future Hall of Fame wide receiver, in our opinion, but he only worked out in Pittsburgh, as he burned too many bridges to play elsewhere.
5 Michael Irvin
There are some players that you see the name and immediately understand why they are on the list. Michael Irvin is one of those legendary figures that was once a handful to cover with his size and speed. He was a combination of Terrell Owens and Randy Moss ten years before anyone ever heard of either of them.
But his biggest issue wasn't his infamous drug use, it was his temper. In 1998, he got into a fight with Dallas Cowboys teammate Everett McIver which caused a gash across his neck. Jerry Jones allegedly stepped in and worked out a deal between the two men to squash their beef.
If the owner of the team is paying his players to get along, there would be zero chances for Irvin in New Orleans with Drew Brees. None.
4 Brandon Marshall
The better these guys are, the worse they seem to get when approaching teammates or the media. Brandon Marshall is still one of the best in the NFL but he has almost always been known as a cancer in the locker room, getting into several fights with teammates over the course of his career.
Even after being traded to New York for that specific reason, he continued to get under the skin of his teammates and got into a fight with Darrelle Revis earlier this year.
He is a great talent, there is no doubting it. But when it comes to other people, it just seems that he does not have an understanding of how to speak to others without coming across like a complete tool. The Saints don’t always have a perfect locker room but their General Manager, Mickey Loomis, has spent years preventing them from signing anyone that could cause issues.
3 Dez Bryant
Just because you can play in the NFL does not give you the right to become a spoiled little brat on the field. Dez Bryant is exactly that, a spoiled brat and Jerry Jones is his rich grandpa that lets him get away with it.
The talent he possess is hard to match. He has just about everything you want out of a wide receiver. He has the best hands in the game, he can run, and he has the size to beat many defenders for the ball.
But he throws tantrums like a four-year old child who was just told to put away his iPad and go to bed. How many times has he fought with teammates and coaches, during a game? He does not care about the team, only himself. It would take only one time before the Saints would get rid of him, if he was causing the same kinds of problems in NOLA as he does in Dallas.
2 Andre Rison
For our next pick, we went back to the turn of the century and we picked a man that has been retired since 2000, Andre Rison. The former Atlanta Falcon spent five seasons playing for Jerry Glanville before heading to Cleveland, which did not last but one season.
He was always a problem. He complained about his coaches, teammates, and even, his quarterbacks. He was never a happy guy and was always looking for someone else to blame whenever he would have a bad game. It was never his fault but he would give the press about 10 excuses or names as to why it happened.
This man was talented, as are most of the men on this list, but he lacked humility in a sport that needs it at times especially if he were to go to New Orleans and play with Drew Brees.
1 Terrell Owens
Do we honestly have to justify this choice?
Terrell Owens is a freak of an athlete and one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history, which is a fact. But he was also a problematic cancer in every locker room he ended up playing in. He was constantly involved in arguments with teammates, coaches, and fans about how he played the game. He knows he is great and that is part of the reason why he was such a cancer in the locker room.
He knew that if they lost a close game and he only had a couple catches, that it was not because of anything else except for the lack of touches he received that day. He wanted the ball all the time and with the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees, that is just not how it works down there.
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