NFL

26 Most Notorious Lawbreakers In NFL History

Mike - July 3, 2019
NFL

26 Most Notorious Lawbreakers In NFL History

Mike - July 3, 2019

3. Lawrence Phillips, St. Louis Rams & Many Others:

Phillips made our list of biggest NFL draft busts, and he’s also one of the most notorious criminals in NFL lore. It all began during his college days with the Nebraska Cornhuskers where he drug an ex-girlfriend down the stairs of an apartment building where she was supposedly sleeping with current Nebraska head coach Scott Frost.

But things got much worse for Phillips after his playing career was over. He was arrested in 2005 for hitting three teenagers with his car after a pickup football game. He was also wanted for three other alleged assaults in California at the time. He was convicted of seven out of his 10 total counts and sentenced to 10 years in prison. While serving out that term, he was convicted of another assault on ex-girlfriend Amaliya Weisle. He was again found guilty on seven counts, including assault with great bodily injury, false imprisonment, making a criminal threat, and auto theft. Phillips was sentenced to another 25 years in prison for the charges.

He was then charged with the murder of his cellmate Damion Soward in April 2015 while in prison. While awaiting trial for first-degree murder, Phillips hung himself in his cell and was found unresponsive. A sad ending to a sad life of one of Nebraska’s most talented football players.

2. Rae Carruth, Carolina Panthers:

Carruth had his friend Van Brett Watkins Sr. shoot his then-girlfriend Cherica Adams four times in a drive-by in 1999. Adams survived long enough to call 911 and told police Carruth had stopped his vehicle in front of her so she could not leave. Another vehicle drove up and someone shot her.

She was eight months pregnant with Carruth’s baby at the time. The child was delivered via emergency C-section but suffered brain damage. Adams died. Carruth fled after she died but was caught hiding in the trunk of a car outside a motel. Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child and sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison. The Carolina Panthers released him immediately and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

1. OJ Simpson, Buffalo Bills:

Just like no other player could other than Ryan Leaf could top our list of the NFL’s biggest draft busts, there’s no other player who could top the list of the NFL’s 25 most notorious criminals.

You know the story. Legendary NFL running back-turned-actor OJ Simpson was arrested for the murder of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. He led police on a nationally televised chase in the famous white Bronco that pre-empted the NBA Finals. It seemed that Simpson was clearly guilty of the grisly killing, yet his infamous lawyer Johnny Cochrane got him off thanks in part to his infamous “if it does not fit, you must acquit” defense. The case was arguably the most high-profile murder case in US history.

Brown and Goldman’s families sued him after the case. A $33.5 million judgment was ruled in favor of the families. Simpson later got into more legal trouble and was arrested in Las Vegas on nine felonies including robbery and kidnapping. Simpson was convicted and sentenced to 33 years in prison, of which he served nine years. He was released on October 1, 2017, and is now out.

However, for his crimes – convicted or not – Simpson is undoubtedly the most notorious criminal in NFL history, and it’s not really even all that close.

Advertisement