Posted May 16, 2013

Worst Player Offseason Power Rankings

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Desmond Bryant's mugshot went viral earlier this offseason. (Courtesy of Miami-Dade Police Dept.)

Desmond Bryant’s mugshot went viral earlier this offseason. (Courtesy of Miami-Dade County Police Dept.)

Between the draft and free agency, much of the NFL offseason is spent celebrating talent that’s either entering the league or on the move. The extended down time between the conclusion of one season and start of another, though, often means positive news is interrupted by more disheartening stories.

And so, in light of Rolando McClain’s decision to retire rather than attempt to get his career back on track, Audibles presents the 10 players who have had the toughest offseasons, whether due to arrests, controversies, dumb quotes or more general disappointments.

BURKE: Each team’s most pressing question

10. Desmond Bryant: Not exactly sure how to score Bryant’s epic mugshot after being charged with criminal mischief. If you put yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to have a mugshot taken, may as well go for broke, right? That popular photo came as a result of a claim from a Florida family that Bryant showed up drunk at their home at 5:30 a.m., repeatedly banging on the front door and ripping off the door handle.

That didn’t scare teams away from the impending free agent; Bryant still signed a five-year, $34 million contract (including $15 million guaranteed) with Cleveland.

9. Brian Urlacher (and other unsigned free agents): Even now, in mid-May, the list of free agents looking for homes still includes a who’s who of former stars. There’s Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Turner, Dwight Freeney, John Abraham, Kerry Rhodes and, of course, Urlacher.

There were some rumblings that the Vikings had interest in Urlacher, but coach Leslie Frazier shot that down this week. The 34-year-old Urlacher has been one of the best linebackers of his generation. Age, however, may have caught up to him — and his NFL future is very much in jeopardy because of that.

8. Justin Blackmon: Perhaps the coaching change in Jacksonville will be what Blackmon needs to keep his career on the straight and narrow — new head coach Gus Bradley told the Florida Times-Union that he trusts Blackmon because, “He’s never done anything wrong with me.”

That’s all well and good, but Bradley’s tenure will begin sans the team’s No. 1 receiver after Blackmon was suspended four games this offseason for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Despite that, Blackmon insisted recently that he doesn’t have a substance abuse problem. The receiver also has a pair of DUIs on his record, including one while he was still at Oklahoma State. He’s coming off a promising rookie season in which he caught 64 passes, but Blackmon can ill-afford another slip-up. Another violation of the substance-abuse policy will net Blackmon a season-long suspension.

7. Ryan Nassib: Of all the players — and, particularly, all the quarterbacks — who slipped in the draft, Nassib’s fall may wind up being the most damaging. The Syracuse star, whom the Bills were reported to want with the No. 8 pick, dropped all the way to 110th. There, he landed with the Giants, where he now finds himself stuck behind the durable Eli Manning. It was a drop so surprising that even Nassib’s former college coach, Doug Marrone (now the Bills’ head man), talked about how it hurt him to pass on Nassib to start the QB’s precipitous drop. Nassib himself described his draft experience as disappointing and “strenuous.”

6. Rolando McClain: The former No. 8 overall pick “retired” on Tuesday at 23 years old — he’s already hinting at coming back eventually. Even if he does get back on the field, McClain has a long way to go to clear himself of “bust” status.

He’s also dealing with legal issues that he’ll need to sort out, with a July 9 court date pending on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. McClain has been arrested at least three times since 2011, all in his hometown of Decatur, Ala. The most recent, a disorderly conduct charge, came in April, shortly after signing a contract with the Ravens, who gave him a second chance after legal troubles and disappointing play caused the Raiders to sever ties with him.

5. Michael Boley: When you’re a free agent, the last thing you want is to give teams a reason to avoid signing you. Boley did just that with an arrest on charges of felony child abuse in February, just three days after being cut by the Giants. The Giants reportedly were considering re-signing the 30-year-old linebacker. However, with Boley now facing a possible suspension from the league, that scenario seems far less likely.

4. Armonty Bryant: The Browns gave Bryant a shot, drafting him at No. 217 overall, despite a meandering college career that saw the defensive lineman arrested and suspended after trying to sell pot to an undercover police officer.

Bryant rewarded the Browns’ faith in him by getting arrested for a DUI less than a week after the draft. Cleveland has not cut Bryant yet, with the team admitting it considered that option before deciding to give Bryant another chance. Suffice it to say, he’s walking a mighty fine line.

3. Tim Tebow: The Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul, co-owned by ex-NFL QB Ron Jaworski, recently offered Tebow a backup job. And that’s the best opportunity on the table for the 2007 Heisman winner at the moment.

After posting a 7-4 record as a starter and leading the Broncos to a playoff win in 2011, Tebow was squeezed out of Denver’s plans by Peyton Manning. His career then took a serious hit last season, as he wallowed on the Jets’ bench, unable to supplant Mark Sanchez at QB.

The Jets waived Tebow in late April and, since then, coaches and GMs around the league have said rather emphatically that they have no plans to pursue the southpaw QB. Tebow’s chances of landing on an NFL roster prior to the start of the 2013 season are growing increasingly slim.

2. Daryl Washington: Double whammy. Washington drew a four-game suspension back in April for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, then he was arrested in May for domestic assault, with his ex-girlfriend accusing him of grabbing her by the throat and pushing her, causing her to break her collarbone. That situation could lead to an additional suspension, once the legal proceedings play out. At the very least, Washington will miss the first quarter of the 2013 season and likely has a short leash in Arizona now.

1. Titus Young: Where to begin here? Young was arraigned this week on eight separate criminal charges and reportedly was arrested four separate times in a 10-day span. He’s currently facing seven years in prison for a variety of misdeeds, including assaulting an officer.

Young’s father, Richard Young, told the Detroit News that his son suffers from a brain disorder, stemming from an alleged concussion during his rookie season. Richard Young said Titus has not been taking the medication to treat that condition as prescribed.

Young was released by the Detroit Lions after a tumultuous 2012 season. He then signed with the St. Louis Rams, only to be released again a few days later. His NFL career appears to be over.

BANKS: Top hits, misses, everything else of the offseason

82 comments
LeilaniHernandez
LeilaniHernandez

old story. update it by replacing tebow with michael crabtree.

John Daley ii
John Daley ii

Drafted young in middle rounds last year. Woops!

DougDavis
DougDavis

I wonder if Peyton Manning will ever be able to win a playoff game for the Broncos like Tim Tebow did.  Facts are facts, the last time Tim Tebow started at the QB position, he took a losing team on his back and led them on a ridiculous winning streak that included a playoff victory.  Most starting QBs in the league have not had the success of a guy who cannot get a job right now.

With the Lanzas, Holmes, Boston brothers of this world, I would probably not sign Tebow either since it puts your whole team at risk with these leftist crazies hating Tim for his Christian views.

Magic Man
Magic Man

Being stupid is not a brain disorder.  This guy was trouble long before the Lions drafted him.

Vinny Cordoba
Vinny Cordoba

Ok, it's been said before, and I'm certainly no expert here, but can someone please explain why Tebow might not get a tryout as a fullback or tight end? I know these are skill positions that require a lot of reps to become effective, but the guy, for all his faults, is a pretty stud of an athlete.

rick2
rick2

Maybe if T bow prays enough, someone will pick him up....lol

RM444
RM444

The Jets decision not to play Tim Tebow was insane. And, like the Jets, most NFL teams, in spite of all their hoopla, are going to fail this year 30 teams are not going to reach the Super Bowl. 20 teams will not reach the playoffs. And 16 teams are going to lose more games than they win. When he was given the opportunity, Tim Tebow won more games than he lost, reached the playoffs, and won the first playoff game by breaking NFL records. Tim Tebow’s presence on the field electrifies his teammates and the fans. In that atmosphere of faith and expectancy anything can happen. Nothing is impossible, even a Super Bowl. NFL games aren't won by owners, GM's and head coaches. Games are won when a leader like Tim Tebow comes along who can electrify the crowd and the whole team, including the head coach, causing them to believe they can win. But I believe there is an NFL owner and a head coach who will look at their situation realistically and realize that Tim Tebow is by far their best option for starting quarterback who can carry the whole team and make them winners instead of losers.

dorado
dorado

they all seem to have puffy cheeks or huge jaws.

DrRobb
DrRobb

Titus ... the excuse is NOT the brain disorder -whatever it is- the reason is that he's CHOSEN to not take his meds.

HE is the reason for his problem NOT the disorder..

Why do people need to absolve themselves from the responsibility to act correctly by blaming all bad stuff on something other than themselves? "OOOohhh it's not meeee it's the meds ... that I'M NOT TAKING."

Is somebody preventing him? Holding a gun to his head saying not to take those meds or else?

No. HE is choosing not to. So give me a freaking break. He has thrown away a life because HE CHOSE to.


JohnRobert
JohnRobert

Titus Young has a (never diagnosed) "brain disorder", and this is what is causing his behavior?  (It's not just his incredibly stupidity and lack of judgement)?  IF he had an injury which caused a "brain disorder", then he should have immediately hired a doctor and a lawyer in order to sue for damages in civil court.  Did he do that?  No, he did not, because his only "disorder" is his extremely low class stature in life.  Congratulations, Titus Young for your station in life.  It's very impressive.  

(Also, I got a kick out of his own scouting report.  He said he would be as good as Megatron, if not better if the Lions would throw him the ball more).  (Incredible, he's actually too ignorant to be a football player.  Who knew)?  

Jive_Turkey
Jive_Turkey

how can you call titus young a bust when he sucked in college as well?

Jive_Turkey
Jive_Turkey

when i see Desmond Bryant's mugshot..well has anyone seen the movie 21 jump street? remember when they were hallucinating  after taking the drug and talking to the coach in the hall?

Jive_Turkey
Jive_Turkey

I admit im no fan of Tebow and thought he was overhyped coming into the draft.  However its not really his fault he is a 'bust'. he hasnt been given a chance. after manning came to Denver - welll nuff said.. However i dont understand why NY didnt give him 1 chance to come off the bench.  i mean Sanchez STRUGGLED and the ny coach didnt even give tebow a chance to show himself.

Annabel
Annabel

What do Nassib, Tebow, and Urlacher have in common?

Yeah I Said It So What?
Yeah I Said It So What?

Titus Young: "Young’s father, Richard Young, told the Detroit News that his son suffers from a brain disorder, stemming from an alleged concussion during his rookie season. Richard Young said Titus has not been taking the medication to treat that condition as prescribed."

Fact:  Take your medicine, get paid millions.  That's a pretty simple equation.

Truth be told Dad, your giving an X-Cuse, not a reason.  Period. 

Alan16
Alan16

@DougDavis "leftist crazies hating ..."?  Really, Doug? What a strange world you live in, where "Christian" = "not leftist", but by deduction must mean right-wing. FYI, many you would judge as "leftist" ARE Christian. BTW, would you claim Jesus' views were more right-wing ??? Feh.

scoutxx
scoutxx

@DougDavis@DougDavis This is an extremely biased way of looking at what happened with Tebow in Denver. The reality is that Denver's Defense took the offense on its back and kept them in games long enough for Tebow to luck into the end zone a few times. Now, I'm not a Tebow hater in any way. I loved watching him play for Denver. That was some of the most entertaining football I've ever seen, but to say he carried the team is ridiculous. Especially since the very next year that same Denver defense was #2 in the entire league. 

As far as hating Tim for his "Christian views"... I don't think so. His "Christian Views" aren't exactly "Christian" if you go by what Jesus Christ actually taught, but there aren't many "Christians" out there who pay much attention to what Jesus actually taught, so I can't put Tim in that boat by himself. The truth is most of the people who don't like Tebow don't like him because he's just not very good at playing QB in the NFL, yet he gets an insane amount of press. 

If Tim had stayed with the Broncos, he would've been badly injured halfway through last season (he could barely stand after the Pittsburgh playoff game). The NFL isn't the SEC. They would've hurt him, badly. Tim's lucky he's getting out while he can still walk. 

R C1
R C1

@DougDavis Geez.  Tebow sucked.  Grow a brain, watch some football and get a clue.  Also, Denver, should have won that game.  Pretty sure he wasn't the one who blew the coverage to allow Baltimore a 70 yard TD pass to tie the game.

Tebow doesn't have the skills to play QB, and he's to prideful and egotistical to switch positions to play the game.  Got nothing to do with crazy leftists, though that comment does prove what a useless tool you are.  Seriously, if you believe crazy leftwing extremists are behind some anti-Christian plot to bench Tebow, you need to crawl back underneath your rock and wait for the next ice-age.  Aka, you're a neanderthal.

Alan16
Alan16

@Magic Man No, but by calling someone with mental health issues "Stupid", you certainly have earned the name yourself, along with Willfully Ignorant.

kathyisntright04
kathyisntright04

@rick2 Oh hey, a hater of prayer.  Must be hard to buck the trend and mock religion.  What a risk taker you are.

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

@RM444 So you know more about football and are smarter than all 32 NFL GMs who say Tebow is not an NFL quarterback? I bet you thought Romney would be elected President.

zonkeriah
zonkeriah

@Jive_Turkey I am no fan of the guy, but saying he sucked is hard to sell. He had 204 receptions for 3,063 yards and 25 touchdowns in his collegiate career, including 71 receptions for 1,215 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2010.

JROD13
JROD13

Lmao totally thought the same thing lol

imrieandrew
imrieandrew

@Jive_Turkey The ironic thing about teams staying away from Tebow is that he has welcomed and encouraged any and all attention that came his way, now that is the very attention which has kept teams from signing him.

DrRobb
DrRobb

@Jive_Turkey Here we go again, "It's not his fault its this or that ... boo hoo"

It IS his fault. He is the only one who can control his actions and it's his actions which have led to this result.

Get over the psycho-mumbo jumbo BS that blames everything on somebody other than the person responsible.

eltex.tx
eltex.tx

@Jive_Turkey Actually, it is the fault of Tebow. You are implying that he should just be handed everything, including a starting job on a winning team. Here is an idea, stop with the pretty boy routines and focus on practicing what it means to be a pro QB. If you coach looks at you in practice and says you are worse that Mark Sanchez, maybe it's time rethink what you want to do for a living.

StevenKeys
StevenKeys

@LeilaniHernandez You two (BU) likely won't ever meet up, but guessing you wouldn't be laughing if standing ten feet from the future HOF'er.  Quite the menacing glare, no?

Hendo
Hendo

@Annabel They all appeared in a porn with your girlfriend?...just a guess.

JohnRobert
JohnRobert

@Annabel Clearly, the article is trying to say that all three had bad NFL offseasons, which is true.  

JohnRobert
JohnRobert

@Annabel Not much.  Let's see, Urlacher is a linebacker whose best years were 4-8 years ago.  He was a very good LB for many years.  Nassib is a rookie QB out of Syracuse who dropped in the draft much like many other QBs this past draft (Barkley, Smith, others).  He looks like he could be a good backup, and might even start when Eli retires.  The truth is that Nassib is in a VERY good situation.  Little is to be expected, or needed from him for the next 2-3 years, and he can transform his body into a more typical NFL QB body while improving as a QB through diligent practice time with the Giants.  Tebow had a good college career, but unfortunately, his skills do not transfer well to the NFL.  This offseason, in fact there were reports that his throwing motion had been corrected again.  Of course, if he wanted to be a successful NFL QB, like he indicates, he would have corrected his throwing motion about 2-3 years ago.  

What do these three have in common?  Very little.  If you're going for a racist comment, note that many black players are also transitioning out of the league at the same time.  If you actually don't know what they have in common, I told you in the above paragraph.  

zonkeriah
zonkeriah

@Yeah I Said It So What? Its a little hard to buy that explanation as the reason for his problems. Young was frequently in trouble off the field during his career at Boise State. He was suspended for most of his sophomore season after fighting with a teammate. I am sure it is possible that a concussion may have exacerbated the issue, but he had a history of being a problem long before his rookie season in the NFL.

Nick18
Nick18

@Yeah I Said It So What?

 @Yeah I Said It So What? "Fact:  Take your medicine, get paid millions.  That's a pretty simple equation." 

If only it were that simple for patients with mental illness. Do you know that major side effects of such meds are weight gain, fatigue, and lethargy?  Now, why would a professional athlete not take his meds?

Holden
Holden

@scoutxx...the FACT is, Denver sported the league's TWENTY FIFTH RANKED DEFENSE...LOOK IT UP!  The vaunted Broncos defense stunk...the end.  The defense that contributed to a 1-4 start made no personnel changes...and Von Miller broke his hand and came back with a cast the size of a Buick on his hand.  Oh, and the team's BEST receiver, Brandon Lloyd, was sent packing.

The SOLE difference, was dumping "Mr. 65% completion ratio" and promoting a LEADER.  Did player performance, overall, improve?  You betcha.  Tebow LED his team to play better...it's what leaders do.  Team morale is a dicey proposition--look at the Eagles' "Dream Team" that wasn't so dreamy, for instance.

Tebow exudes confidence--in himself AND in his teammates...and they play harder for him.  Defenders getting sacks were Tebowing and players on the sideline showed enthusiasm for what was going on, on the field--whether special teams, offense or defense.

Mile High Stadium, in both iterations, is legendary for years long waiting list for season tickets, yet THOUSANDS of no-shows were common.  THAT changed when Timmy started...so did TV ratings, which set all sorts of records.

It took Peyton Manning to supplant the kid, who STILL has the Broncos' last playoff win.  The Jets had NO intention of playing him at quarterback and Ryan's unwillingness to give him a shot, while finding all sorts of ways to put him in harm's way, was disrespectful.  How else to describe him not even being willing to give Tebow ONE series of downs--throughout a 6-10 season?

NFL history is littered with thugs who beat their women, play with guns, use drugs and jeopardize their teams' seasons, in the process.  They get second, third, fourth chances from numerous teams.  It's not like Tebow didn't win...which is the OBJECT OF THE GAME.  There are a DOZEN teams which, perennially, stink.  What would the Bills have to lose?  The Raiders?  The Cardinals?  The Browns?  The Bengals?  I could go on.

I guess, the "circus atmosphere" of a home playoff game is just too high a price...

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@R C1 @DougDavis I'm not too crazy about DD's "leftist" slam myself, RC1 (TT should give TE a try), but c'mon: "Grow a brain," "useless tool," "neanderthal."  Wow.  Too much hostility, too many throws 'below the belt' on these comment threads.  If it keeps up and we can't behave, the interns or the cufflinks here are gonna' cut us all outta' the loop, without a moments notice, as they usually do.  Be strong, keep it cool.

Hendo
Hendo

@JasonMacBride @RM444 What do his football views have to do with politics? ... While we're there, enjoy your boy Obama and his lies.

ebay1816
ebay1816

@DrRobb @Jive_Turkey What actions are you talking about Doc?  You make it sound like he murdered someone and is complaining about being charged.  All the guy does is work his but off and play hard.  Does he have the talent to be an NFL quarterback?Maybe not.  It's just funny how you act like his lack of quarterback skills is because of his effort and "actions".

ebay1816
ebay1816

@eltex.tx @Jive_Turkey Nobody said he should be handed anything.  He should get a "shot" because the starting quarterback is horrible.  Stop the Pretty boy routine and practice? It is well documented that he is a relentless trainer and hard worker.  He also has spent countless hours working on his throwing.  He may amount to nothing in the NFL.  With that being said he still has accomplished more than Mark Sanchez.  That is pretty said and last year he should have got a shot, otherwise why even sign him?

Annabel
Annabel

@JohnRobert @Annabel These are the only 3 with supposed 'issues' that are (a) non-legal and (b) out of their control.  And to go one step further, I would say (a) Gronk has had a much worse off-season than Nassib and Urlacher; and (b) Nassib doesn't belong on this list - you don't have an off-season until you have played a game in the league.  Lastly, Hendo - you a clown, bro.

DrRobb
DrRobb

@Nick18 @Yeah I Said It So What? Take your frickin MEDs! There is no excuse. HE chose NOT to. That's HIS doing and no one elses.

They wouldn't take their meds because they are morons!

DanielCrespo
DanielCrespo

@Holden @scoutxx  Tebow doesn't make anyone better from an overall offensive standpoint.  WRs cannot improve their route running.  OL cannot hold their blocks because of poor progression.  

Your argument is pro-Tebow and that's ok.  Anyone leading the NFL in 3 and outs will drop any defense at the bottom third in the rankings but it was defense that won 90% of the games.  I am one Bronco fan that is glad he's no longer on the team and its because of fans that believe he deserves to start.

By the way, The Bengals have been making the playoffs which is impressive considering their in the same division as the Ravens, Steelers and even the Browns have a solid defense (inept at management).  


pickle
pickle

@Hendo @JasonMacBride @RM444 I'm going to avoid the whole politics thing since I think it is stupid that people bring that stuff up here. But the original post about Tebow was even more idiotic. There are multiple wide receivers/offensive linemen in the NFL who can throw more accurately than Tim Tebow. Those games in Denver he won were all the defense shutting the other teams down, Tebow had maybe 1-2 good plays per game. Then he faced the Patriots who had one of the worst defenses in the whole NFL and could barely even get a few first downs.

zeebaneighba
zeebaneighba

@DanDippel Doesn't work that way. The more serious the mental illness, the harder it is to avoid the side effects. Also, one of the problems with being mentally ill in the first place is that it causes people to think they don't need to take their medication. If you've ever been close to someone with a serious mental illness, you'd realize that.