2. Bill Romanowski – 49ers, Eagles, Broncos & Raiders:
Romanowski was a powerful force who played linebacker with the utmost ferocity. But he took that a bit too far more often than not. He was known for repeated cheap shots and late hits.
Perhaps his most notorious dirtiness, however, came when he was repeatedly accused of being racist. The incidents that prompted the accusations were when he kicked RB Larry Centers in the head and spat on San Francisco receiver J.J. Stokes. He topped all that off by physically removing Eddie George’s helmet in 2002. He even punched former teammate Marcus Williams during a scrimmage scuffle in 2003, forcing him to retire when he broke his orbital bone.
1. Vontaze Burfict – Bengals & Raiders:
There’s just no other name who could top the list of the dirtiest players in NFL history. Burfict is a picture of dirtiness. Burfict was an elite talent in college at Arizona State University, but he wasn’t even drafted because of his off-the-handle tendencies. He latched on with the Cincinnati Bengals and promptly became one of the worst jerks in the league.
He has racked up an unheard-of $4.2 million in fines and subsequently lost salary as the result of suspensions over the course of his career. But all of that pales in comparison to his disgusting 2016 hit on former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown that cost the Bengals a playoff win. The illegal hit came on a fourth-and-long and was completely unnecessary, but it concussed Brown and got Burfict suspended. The Bengals have not won a playoff game for 28 years and that was their best chance by far. Oddly enough, Brown and Burfict are now teammates in Oakland of all places.
That doesn’t change the fact that Burfict is the dirtiest player in NFL history.