Over the past 20 years, the definition of a ‘bad boy’ in sports has seen a lot of changes. Most of this has to do with society. Team sports in North America have become organized athletic gatherings or clubs, where kids meet up at a young age and grow healthy, mature, rivalries and friendships that last through adulthood. It’s not uncommon for guys to make it to the NBA or NFL and know their competition from having played with them since junior high. With that being said, it would be kind of weird to twist your best friend’s ankle when you tackle him, or fall onto your brother-in-law’s legs intentionally. Today’s bad boys are less about physically harming each other and more about harming a brand, embarrassing the league, having an unpopular opinion, or being flat out unlikable. This is a list of the NFL’s Top Ten Bad Boys of 2018.
1. Jamies Winston
Famous Jameis took Florida State by storm when he became the starting QB in 2013. That may not have been the only thing he took while he was a student. Crab legs, soda, and liberties wihthe ladies are all things Winston has been accused of taking without permission. What makes Winston number one in my opinion is that he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes. The type of trouble that follows him is getting progressively worse. It’s one thing to say something dirty or vulgar, but more recently and with more money and power, Winston has been accused of groping an Uber driver. He attended college in Florida and now (after being suspended three games for the Uber incident) he’s currently the a starting QB in Florida. When he’s not getting in trouble with the law, he’s missing games due to injury. Much like Reuben Foster, Winston is 24 years old. There’s enough time to change his ways because if this continues, he may find himself behind bars before long.
2. Vontaze Burfict
More than just a bad boy, Burfict is an old school tough guy. Every year he does something bush league or just plain out of pocket. Most of the time it involves hitting a defenseless receiv-er, targeting the legs of a QB or RB, or general mismanagement of emotion. He knows how to play nice but he chooses not to. He was suspended four games to start the 2018 season due to his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, and is already back on the league’s radar after a brutal and illegal blow to Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.
3. Reuben Foster
Reuben Foster scares me. I worry about the kid. He was arrested twice in the span of about a month which led to a two game suspension to start the year. He’s 24 years old with a nine year old daughter. Marijuana, shady women, and a mouth to feed. All a recipe for disaster. He’s a tremendous talent and probably a good person. He needs to make better decisions on what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with. At this rate, he’ll end up like another 49ers linebacker who is no longer in the league, Aldon Smith.
4. Earl Thomas
Although Earl Thomas is injured and out for the year, he was putting together what may have been his finest season yet. Unfortunately, the thing most of us will remember is him flipping his sideline the bird while being carted off the field. The past two seasons have been rough on the vet and he’s expressed his frustrations by sitting out the preseason, telling the Cowboys to, “Come get me,” and pretty much making up his own rules about attending meetings and practices.
5. Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben is nearing the end of his career so he’s pulling no punches. He wants his old coaching staff, he doesn’t want to help groom his replacement, and he may or may not be a suspect in the #MeToo movement.
6. Jalen Ramsey
Looking back on this list at Richard Sherman, Ramsey is Sherman 2.0. He’s younger, faster, bigger, and has a social media presence. He uses his newfound celebrity to slide into the DMs of unsuspecting IG models and would yell in the face of Tom Brady if given the chance.
7. Josh Gordon
Josh Gordon is an amazing talent that has spent almost equal time playing and suspended. When he falls off the wagon, he falls HARD. He’s been arrested and has tried every legal and illegal drug in the book. He has a good heart but his actions are toxic and troublesome. The clock is ticking on his career and this season may be his last opportunity at maintaining employment as an NFL wide out.
8. Ndamukong Suh
I would imagine that growing up with the last name Suh is enough to develop a thick hide of resentment. Over the years, Suh has stepped on someone, hit after the whistle, and openly admitted to trying to injure starting QBs. He seems to have shed a few layers over the past couple years but make no mistake, Suh will hurt you.
9. Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman talks more trash than a dumpster with a broken lid. He’s very good at his job and he knows it. A very opinionated man who speaks on rules, player safety, and in some cases politics. Whether his opinion is welcome or not, you will hear it.
10. Cam Newton
Cam Newton has one of the most sincere smiles you’ve ever seen, but behind that smile is a fiery tongue. His competitive drive and flamboyant clothes and celebrations turn his genuine smile into an evil smirk.