With Aaron Hernandez leading the charge, the NFL has become more like a game of Grand Theft Auto than a gentlemanly sporting endeavor. And with the NFL season getting underway we thought this would be a good time to take a look at the worst of the worst when it comes to these reprobates and degenerates. Sure, we all like to laugh at the Pacman Jones’ of the world or at Plaxico Burress trying to blow his own dick off in a club, but those are the actions of relatively harmless idiots, especially when compared to these, the nine biggest criminals in NFL history.
Convicted of: Forgery, fraud, theft, in addition to over 20 gambling relating felonies
Prison Sentence: 16 years from a 1997 conviction, 10 years and 7 months from a 2012 conviction after getting out on parole
Art Schlichter is the prototypical degenerate gambler. The former Ohio State quarterback and infamous NFL Draft bust spent only a handful of games in the league and the rest of the time gambling his entire life away. He blew his entire rookie signing bonus gambling before the season was even halfway through and went on to blow just about every dime he ever made, which then led to him robbing various friends and acquaintances of more than $1.5 million. The law caught up with him, which, honestly, is probably better than the mob catching up with him, and he went to prison, where he kept right on gambling and was placed in solitary confinement. After being paroled, he did what he does best – gambled – and stole a bunch more before getting busted again, this time with cocaine in his system. All this begs the obvious questions – didn’t Art Schlichter ever win any bets?
Convicted of: Multiple assault charges including assault with a deadly weapon (driving his car into a bunch of teenagers)
Prison Sentence: 31 years
Lawrence Phillips was a known degenerate before he was even drafted by the St. Louis Rams. While at Nebraska, Phillips became notorious for beating on his girlfriend, including an incident where he dragged her by her hair down three flights of stairs, which was probably too far for even a caveman to overlook. But, Phillips largely escaped punishment while at Nebraska and kept on beatin’ on, even though it helped ruin his professional career. His nadir came after his retirement, as the law closed in on all sides, because no matter where he went he couldn’t seem to stop slapping people around. He beat the shit out of his girlfriend, which by that point was probably like comfort food to him, and hilariously picked a fight with a bunch of kids and then tried to run them all down in his car. All told, Phillips was convicted of several assaults and isn’t eligible for parole until he’s 57 years old. But hey, at least he was eligible to help Nebraska win that national championship, right Tom Osborne?
Convicted of: Drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit murder
Prison Sentence: 41 years
Another former Ram, Henley was busted for trafficking cocaine while he was still in the league. But this wasn’t just a dude who got caught with a few grams during a traffic stop. Oh no. Henley was accused of running a nationwide coke ring out of his home. I guess these guys have to plan for their retirement somehow, but still, he may have gone a touch overboard. Henley then tried to frame a Rams cheerleader and her parents for the whole deal, probably because he’s such a high class guy, and then went that didn’t work, he tried to have the cheerleader and the judge presiding over the case whacked. But what the hell, I guess that was still all better than actually playing for the Rams in the mid-90s.
Convicted of: First Degree Murder
Prison Sentence: Life without the possibility of parole
A former lineman for the Patriots and Colts, Eric Napolski spent his retirement years running around like a character from a seedy film noir. He became romantically involved with a shady chick named Nanette Johnson, who just so happened to be dating a rich dude. You can already see where this is going, right? Good ol’ Nanette convinced Napolski to off the rich dude so that she could collect his life insurance money and the two of them could live happily ever after. Sounds legit. Napolski did the dirty deed and the crime went unsolved for 15 years before the authorities finally went all Cold Case on it and dragged Napolski before a jury, where he was promptly convicted of both murder and for being a huge chump.
Convicted of: Criminal sexual conduct and burglary
Prison Sentence: 30 years
Dave Meggett was one of Bill Parcells’ favorite players, a versatile do-anything sort who Parcells brought with him whenever he got a new coaching gig. It turns out that Dave Meggett was also versatile when it came to the sexual assault game. In 1998, Meggett was arrested after assaulting a prostitute following a threesome, but the case ended in a hung jury. There’s no word on whether it was a devil’s threeway, but let’s not get sidetracked here. The important thing is that he was able to move on to a new life, which he promptly ruined by sexually assaulting an ex-girlfriend. He received two years probation, and was forced to move on, roaming the countryside like a rapey version of Kane in Kung-Fu, before he was finally busted again for robbing the home of a college student and then raping her. This time, the law decided enough was enough and gave him 30 years. But seriously, was it a devil’s threeway, or not?
Convicted of: Multiple murders, check kiting
Prison Sentence: Multiple, currently serving 25 years
A former St. Louis Cardinal – yes, St. Louis, Rozier was one of the OG’s of the NFL murder game – Rozier got himself mixed up with the infamous Yahweh ben Yahweh and his black supremacist cult known as “The Brotherhood.” Apparently, instead of an initiation consisting of scrubbing toilets with toothbrushes and jerking off goats while his bros laughed and then did keg stands, the Brotherhood’s initiation was simple – kill a white dude, or more specifically, a “white devil.” Rozier ended up killing 7 different white dudes just to please Yahweh, but when he was finally arrested he miraculously saw the light and decided to testify against his bros in exchange for a reduced sentence. Frat boys gone wild, am I right? Rozier was released after serving 10 years for the murders, only to get busted again for check kiting in 2009. Hilariously, after murdering seven dudes and doing so much damage that he ended up in the witness protection program, Rozier received a sentence of 25 years to life in prison for passing bad checks. The lesson? As always, don’t fuck with the bank.
Convicted of: Multiple charges including sexual assault, armed robbery, kidnapping and burglary
Prison Sentence: 234 years
234 years! Jesus! That list of charges reads like that scene in Blazing Saddles where they are interviewing lowlifes for the pillaging of Rock Ridge. All told, Wright, who bounced around the NFL as a fringe player for a few years, was convicted of 19 charges centering around a string of home invasions/rapes in the Sacramento area. He was finally busted after being arrested for breaking into a woman’s home and robbing and raping her at gunpoint. His crime spree was so wild that some Sacramento residents were quoted in the aftermath saying that they had become afraid to even take their children to local parks. The 234 year prison sentence means two things: one, unless he’s a Highlander-style immortal, he’s gone for good, and two, he is the proud owner of the NFL record for longest prison sentence, which as we can see is a prestigious honor, and flies in the face of all those who say Keith Wright’s NFL career was a failure.
Convicted of: Conspiracy to commit murder
Prison Sentence: 24 years
Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, which, big deal, right? I mean, as we have already seen, in the NFL that is the equivalent of jaywalking. Well, Carruth’s crime goes from mundane by NFL criminal standards to truly heinous because the person he was convicted of trying to murder was his girlfriend, and she was eight months pregnant with his baby. The story goes like this: Carruth hired a dude to kill her because she refused to get an abortion and then was the wheelman for the ensuing drive-by. His lady was shot five times and survived long enough for the baby to be delivered by emergency c-section. She then fell into a coma and died a month later. Carruth eventually was found in the trunk of a car outside of a motel, hiding with candy bars and a bottle filled with his own urine. He was convicted and was then released by the Panthers for “violating the morals clause” of his contract. I’ll say. All this could have been prevented if the dude would have just worn a condom, or at least pulled out.
Convicted of: Robbery, kidnapping, and also he allegedly, uh, well, you know…
Prison Sentence: 9 to 33 years
If you need me to explain this one, then you are either a monk living somewhere deep in the Himalayas or, well, that’s about the only explanation, actually. And even then, chances are you would have heard about him. I mean, come on, it’s OJ! He’s a cultural
punchline. His actual convictions and acquittals don’t even really matter. Bloody gloves, Johnnie Cochran, the fucking Kardashians – his murder trial was a pop culture supernova, its exploded stardust creating other pop-culture parasites and punchlines. He is the godfather of NFL degenerates.