The NFL has seen its fair share of controversial wide receivers throughout its history. These players have often made headlines due to their on-field antics, off-field behavior, or clashes with teammates and coaches. Here are some of the most controversial wide receivers in NFL history:
- Terrell Owens:
Owens, known for his flamboyant personality and iconic touchdown celebrations, stirred controversy throughout his career. He often found himself in the middle of public feuds with teammates and coaches, creating a disruptive environment in the locker room. Owens’ high-profile disputes with quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Jeff Garcia, as well as his contentious departure from the Philadelphia Eagles, added to his controversial reputation.
- Randy Moss:
An incredibly talented wide receiver, Moss was known for his incredible speed and remarkable catches. However, his occasional lack of effort on the field and off-field issues contributed to his controversial status. Moss had several notable incidents, including an incident where he bumped a traffic cop with his car, as well as incidents involving his behavior during press conferences. Despite the controversies, Moss remains one of the most talented wide receivers in NFL history.
- Chad Johnson (formerly Chad Ochocinco):
Johnson, who changed his last name to “Ochocinco” to match his jersey number 85, was infamous for his flamboyant personality and outlandish behavior. His touchdown celebrations, which often included elaborate dances and props, sometimes resulted in fines from the league. Johnson’s outspoken nature and clashes with coaches, including a highly publicized feud with Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, added to his controversial reputation.
- Antonio Brown:
His talent as a wide receiver is undeniable, but Brown’s off-field behavior and locker room controversies have overshadowed his accomplishments. Brown has faced legal issues, including assault allegations, and has been involved in public feuds with teammates and coaches. His tumultuous tenure with the Oakland Raiders and subsequent short-lived stints with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have further solidified his controversial reputation.
- Plaxico Burress:
Burress gained notoriety for a single incident that made national headlines. In 2008, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg with an unlicensed firearm in a New York City nightclub. The incident resulted in legal consequences and a suspension from the NFL. While Burress had a successful career, including being a key player in the New York Giants’ Super Bowl victory in 2008, the firearm incident remains a significant part of his legacy.
These wide receivers, while controversial, have also left lasting impacts on the game of football. Their exceptional talent on the field often overshadowed their off-field issues, making them captivating figures in NFL history. Whether through their exceptional play or their controversial actions, these wide receivers have certainly made a mark in the annals of the league.