The NFL is made for the greats. However, some players fall from grace even before they reach greatness.
Below are some of the fallen NFL players who sadly ruined their own careers.
1) Ryan Leaf
Leaf was imprisoned for five years in 2014 due to violations of his probation. He was on probation because of burglary charges.
He was the 1998 NFL Draft’s second top pick and played for San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys. He had 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.
Leaf’s professional football career was halted not just by his imprisonment alone, but also his addiction to painkillers.
2) Todd Marinovich
Marinovich had to grow up with an abusive father around. Because of this, he never experienced a normal childhood. Although not confirmed, this could be one of the reasons why he resorted to substance abuse.
One time, while he was still playing, the police cops caught him at their neighbour’s backyard naked and high. In 2011, he claimed sobriety. However, he was arrested again for possession of marijuana, controlled substance, and drug paraphernalia in 2016.
Marinovich attempted to stage a comeback. He was with the World Developmental Football League.
3) Aaron Hernandez
Hernandez affiliated with gangs and lost the chance to become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
He was accused of murdering two people in Boston in 2012 but found not guilty. However, he was found guilty of killing Odin Lloyd.
In April 2017, he took his own life, leaving several notes to his family. Before committing suicide, though, Hernandez was diagnosed with severe CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).
4) Terrell Owens
Owens was unarguably one of the best wide receivers in NFL history. He was included in the NFL Pro Bowler and All-Pro for six and five times, respectively. He was also recently voted for Hall of Fame.
He was awarded a multimillion contract but lost all his earnings, amounting to $80 million, to bad investments. He also lost $2 million buying a home in New Jersey and another $750,000 for rental expenses.
All the money he made through playing football was never put into good use. Owens is currently into modelling.
5) Michael Vick
Vick used to be Atlanta Falcons’ star player as a quarterback. He even appeared in the Pro Bowl selection four times.
In 2007, he was arrested and pleaded guilty for dogfighting charges. Vick spent 23 months in prison. The league put him on indefinite suspension without pay.
In 2009, Vick was reinstated, signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. His story has a good ending, though because he was chosen as the comeback player of 2010.
6) Johnny Manziel
Manziel is notorious for his party boy lifestyle. He showed up to Cleveland Browns practice hungover despite being under a concussion protocol.
The Browns released him because of that and other reasons mainly pointing to his performance. While he got all the hype as a dominant quarterback in college, he did not perform to expectations.
Manziel was known for his inability to adapt to the changing speed of the game while he was still with Browns.