Football is often called the ultimate team game. This is proven on every single play of the game. For example, in order for a quarterback to complete a pass everyone on the field has to do their job. If just one person fails, the play will fail. You need good teammates to be successful.
Good teammates work together, work hard and get along for the good of the common goal. You know their names: Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald, Drew Brees…these are men who sacrifice for the good of the team.
This list is not those guys. These are men who you’d hate to have your locker next to. These are men who no one wants to practice with, or even be around. For this list we aren’t even touching off the field legal issues, just on the field and in the locker-room jerks.
25. IK Enemkpali
Who? Yeah, that’s right you’ve probably never heard of him but chances are you know what he did. This was the Jet’s backup linebacker who punched starting quarterback Geno Smith in the face, supposedly over a $600 plane ticket. The punch broke Smith’s jaw and he was out for most of the season.
Hey IK, don’t punch the starting quarterback in the face right before the season begins. He was cut in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Good riddance, what a jerk.
24. Art Schlichter
Schlichter’s off field legal issues qualify him for our list because they were directly related to his on field ability to be a teammate. As most people know Art Schlichter was an incredibly talented quarterback and a gambling addict.
It got so bad for Schlichter he eventually had to become an FBI witness to avoid his bookies black mailing him. While he claims to having never thrown games, the NFL kicked him out for gambling on other sports. Who wants to be teammates with a guy who you aren’t sure has the team’s best interests at the center of his on field actions?
23. Terrell Owens
When you are incredibly talented at what you do, your employer typically values you and wants to keep you around. Well, TO is an example of what happens when you are incredibly talented and an incredible jerk.
TO played for six teams over his 15-year career, which is easy to do when you verbally assault your quarterbacks, coaches and offensive staff. While extremely productive, most teams were glad to see the back of the selfishly vocal Owens when he left.
22. Richie Incognito
Richie Incognito is incognito no more after his actions in 2013 brought adult bullying to the forefront of the NFL season. Incognito was accused of bullying teammate, and fellow lineman, Jonathan Martin while playing for the Miami Dolphins.
Incognito is accused of regularly harassing Martin, calling him expletives and slurs, and threatening him family members. Incognito was also found to have racially abused members of the dolphins training staff. Incognito, to this day, maintains he wasn’t harassing or bullying anyone despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.
21. Willis McGahee
To be fair to McGahee, he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder after entering the league the year following blowing out his knee in Miami’s BCS Championship loss to Ohio State.
However his attitude didn’t improve once he found success in the league. After successive 1,000 yard seasons in Buffalo he decided he was to big for the Bills, trashing the city and his teammates in an attempt to force a move. Eventually the Bills had no choice but to move him.
20. Steve Smith
Football is a violent sport that often gets emotions running high. So a player could be excused for being involved in a practice dust-up. However, Smith takes it too far. Not once, but twice Smith has broken the noses of teammates.
Steve Smith is lauded on the field for his tough play at the receiver position, but breaking your teammates noses causes them to miss games. Fortunately for players still in the league, Steve Smith has retired. Their noses are safe.
19. LenDale White
White had an interesting entrance to the league. During his rookie season he not only spit in the face of teammate Donnie Nickey, but he also complained he wasn’t getting the ball enough. This was all happening while the Titans had one of the best records in the league. Hey rookie, welcome to the NFL.
Eventually, LenDale admitted he tuned out during meetings because the Titans weren’t using him enough. He was moved to Seattle where he proceeded to publicly criticize head coach Pete Carroll. LenDale White: not that good at football, but really good at burning bridges.
18. Kellen Winslow Jr.
Winslow was one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in college football during his time at Miami. So when he was drafted by the Browns there was hope he could lead Cleveland to success.
Instead, he practiced tricks on his motorcycle until one day he hit a curb and tore his ACL. He missed the entire 2005 season. What’s worse, Winslow had a clause written into his contract forbidding motorcycle riding. What a selfish act that cost both his teammates and his fans.
17. Jeff George
No one likes Jeff George. It’s possible his own mother doesn’t like him. That’s the reason why the uber-talented George was shipped around the league 8 times in 16 NFL seasons.
No one denied his arm strength and accuracy, but he was so incredibly arrogant that no one wanted to work with him. During games he would very visibly berate his offensive lineman and wide receivers for what he considered to be mistakes. If you were watching at home on TV you would wonder what that guy’s problem was. How embarrassing.
16. Keyshawn Johnson
We expect diva behavior from wide receivers, but Johnson takes it to another level. He wrote a book about himself during his rookie year. Who does that? Brash and arrogant.
Johnson quickly wore out his welcome at each of his stops. In fact, after the Bucs deactivated him for the final 7 games of their season, the Panthers cut him just one year into a four-year deal they had with him. Talk about a toxic work relationship.
15. Randy Moss
Nothing says bad teammate like “I play when I want to play.” Yes, Randy Moss actually said that. Moss once openly complained about a current head coach then, in the same sentence, praised an ex-coach. Yikes.
The coach he praised reportedly shipped him out because his poor practice habits were beginning to rub off o the other players. And when Bill Belichick thinks you’re bad for the team, you’re gone. It’s too bad he spoiled what was a Hall of Fame career.
14. Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson
It’s one thing to be a distraction to the team with selfish off field antic, and Ochocinco is good at that, but it’s another to actively hurt the team with those antics. In his book, Johnson criticized Bengals management, while still playing for them. Probably not on the company Christmas card list anymore.
While still with the Bengals, he talked openly about wanting to move to the Patriots. How do you think teammates responded to him at work the next day? It would be difficult to work with a guy who, despite being one of the highest paid players on the team, was constantly complaining about his situation.
13. Johnny Manziel
Johnny Football has been a distraction to every team he has ever been on. While in college it was acceptable as he was the best player in the country. However, when he made his way the NFL and failed to produce, patience ran out.
While out injured during the 2015 season, Manziel traveled to Las Vegas to party. While living it up, he posted a picture of himself at home with his dog. This was supposed to throw the Browns off the scent, but it didn’t work. Manziel was eventually cut after just 2 seasons and never got another NFL job.
12. Albert Haynesworth
After signing the one of the NFL’s richest contracts, Haynesworth pretty much gave up. According to teammates he stopped paying attention in meetings, stopped trying in practice and it showed in his performances on the field. Apparently he even showed up to his first day of work massively overweight and out of shape.
Despite his lack of production on the field Haynesworth complained about the defensive schemes, his coaches and his teammates. He played with the Redskins for just 2 of the 7 yeas on that massive deal.
11. Percy Harvin
If your team was about to play for the Super Bowl, you’d be feeling pretty good. You’d probably be in a positive mood, enjoying the excitement and attention the Super Bowl brings.
Well not if you’re Percy Harvin, who punched fellow receiver Golden Tate in the face ahead of the biggest football game in the world, giving him a back eye. Also while in Seattle, he reportedly got in a fight with Doug Baldwin. Maybe he just doesn’t like other receivers?
10. Deion Sanders
Deon was a notoriously bad influence while he was in Dallas. According to teammates, players who should have been studying for games would be off with Deion focusing on other things.
According to some Sanders caused a division in the locker room, one led by himself and the other by quarterback Troy Aikman. It’s even rumored that “Neon Deion” tried to cause a racial divide in the locker room. Ugly stuff from one of the most colorful players of the 90’s.
9. Freddie Mitchell
Despite having earned the nickname “No Hands” from Eagles fans he once said “I’d like to thank my hands for being so great.” Being bad at catching football doesn’t make you a bad teammate, but throwing your teammates under the bus for your mistakes does.
Mitchell had a notoriously bad relationship with quarterback Donovan McNabb, and was always upset that McNabb didn’t throw him the ball enough. To make things worse, he provided the Patriots with ample bulletin board material after criticizing Bill Belichick ahead over their Super Bowl 39 clash. How many rings does Mitchell have?
8. Aaron Hernandez
We’re not going near the Aaron Hernandez murders, and because he was such a bad teammate we don’t even need to. As a Patriot he was known to be a bit menacing and unstable around the practice facilities.
Wes Welker gave, then rookie, Hernandez some light ribbing to which Hernandez responded by shouting, “f— you Wes, I’ll f— you up!” Surely they stayed away from the traditional rookie hazing pranks after that incident.
7. Jay Cutler
Is it possible that in our social media culture that Jay Cutler really isn’t that bad and instead just a victim of instant reaction and meme-enshrinement? No, it’s not. Jay Cutler just doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about winning, and he doesn’t care about football. He just cares about the check deposited in his bank account.
It’s a shame all that talent was wasted on someone who couldn’t be bothered to try. One Bears teammate once summed up a question about Cutler’s performance in a payoff game with the question, “Like, man, could you try?” Who would want a guy like that on their team?
6. Dez Bryant
Bryant is a great teammate when everything is going his way and when the team is winning. Unfortunately, that’s when it’s easy to be a good teammate.
When his team is struggling Bryant is a different character; lashing out at teammates and the media. He’s especially good at placing the blame everywhere but on himself. It’s no wonder that after the Cowboys released him in 2018, there was a short line of suitors for his services. He’s not on a team at all in this 2019 season.
5. Antonio Brown
The man has been described by a former teammate as a “selfish fraud.” The trouble started when he live streamed a postgame speech from coach Mike Tomlin from inside the Steelers locker room. From there he has gone on to publically criticize his quarterback, fight with teammates, claiming he “is the franchise.”
This off-season he was unable to practice or play after he injured his feet in a French cryo-therapy chamber, and fought with the league over what helmet he was going to wear. Undoubtedly most of his teammates didn’t appreciate this behavior as they prepared for a new season.
4. Bill Romanowski
We wonder what Bill Romanowski would have been like as a person if he hadn’t taken all those steroids. But he did, and he was a poster child for “roid rage.” One of the dirtiest player in league history on the field, he eventually took out his rage on a teammate.
Romanowski once ripped off a teammates helmet during practice and then punched him in the face. The punch crushed Marcus Williams’ eye socket and the backup tight end was forced to retire due to the injury. Romanowski was crazy.
3. Michael Irvin
Michael Irvin is without a doubt one of the best wider receivers in the league’s history, but the guy was a little wild during the Cowboys dynastic run in the 90s. One such example of this is when he allegedly used barber scissors to cut a two-inch incision in Everett McIver’s neck while the pair were arguing.
What would cause someone to do such a thing? The two were arguing over who would go next in the barber chair. Seriously. The Cowboys tried to cover up the incident, which came to be known as “Scissorgate” but we all still found out.
2. Ndamukong Suh
Suh has long been known as a dirty player on the field. The talented defensive lineman has been known to stomp on opposing player legs, gouge eyes and twist ankles. Eventually his dirty nature spilled over to his teammates.
In the middle of the 2015 season with the Dolphins he told his teammates to their faces that none of them were good enough to play with him and that he wasn’t sure how long they’d be on the team. He then continued to trash his defensive coaches. Classy move.
1. Charles Haley
This man was so vile that he once climbed on the room of a teammates car and urinated through the open sunroof into the car. Just disgusting.
That’s not the worst thing he did with that particular organ while in the presence of his teammates, but we’ll let you look that up on your own. The man was a monster on the field, an apparently a monster in the locker room.