No NFL player in history, it's safe to say, has faced a bigger task of rehabilitating his image with a new club than Michael Vick does while in Philadelphia. Here, though, are some others who had amends to make when starting over in a new city. Who would you add to the list? Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 of 10AP
Jeff George's sideline argument with coach June Jones in a September 1996 game resulted in a suspension and subsequent release by the Falcons, this after he had worn out his welcome in Indianapolis three years earlier. No surprise, then, that George's signing with the Raiders prompted this headline in the New York Times: "Bad Boy, What's He Gonna Do? George Under Raiders' Scrutiny Now"
3 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Any time a team deactives you with pay with six games to go and tells your teammates it's better if you're not around, you know you have a lot of fences to mend. That's the position Johnson, with his me-first, Just-Give-Me-the-Damn-Ball attitude, found himself in after Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden booted him in November 2003. One of his former coaches, Bill Parcells, helped Johnson rehabilitate his image in Dallas.
4 of 10Bob Rosato/SI
Collins was put on waivers by the Carolina Panthers in 1998 with two strikes against him. First, his battle with alcoholism had resulted in a drunk driving charge. Worse, he had damaged his reputation in and out of the locker room by using racial slurs in reference to two teammates. "The guys were talking to each other that way, and I was trying to be funny and thought I could do it, too," he later explained. "It was bad judgment. I could have been labeled a racist for the rest of my career." After the Panthers waived him, Collins signed with the Saints, then the Giants and Raiders before finding his current home with the Titans.
5 of 10Patrick Murphy-Racey/SI
The second pick in the 1998 NFL draft after Peyton Manning, Ryan Leaf got off to a tough start with the Chargers, throwing two TDs and 15 interceptions in his first 10 games. Tirades against the media, fans and San Diego GM Bobby Beathard accumulated as well, but lying about an injury to play golf, and playing flag football while he was supposed to be rehabbing his shoulder and wrist spelled the end of Leaf in San Diego. After his release from the Chargers, Leaf attempted comebacks with the Bucs and Cowboys, but was released quickly by both organizations.
6 of 10Bill Frakes/SI
A playoff "mooning" incident, persistent criticism for a lack of effort and an off-the-field incident with a Minneapolis police officer ensured that Randy Moss wouldn't last with the Vikings, who traded him to the Raiders in March 2005. Injuries and more criticism of his unwillingness to play in Oakland prompted another trade, this time to the Patriots, baggage and all. Fortunately for Moss, the rumors and criticism have all but evaporated as he and Tom Brady have become one of the most prolific passing combinations in NFL history.
7 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Since leaving the San Francisco 49ers, where hasn't Owens gone that he didn't have an image problem to overcome. Philadelphia, check. Dallas, check. Buffalo, check. It's never a matter of if he'll stir things up, but when.
8 of 10James D. Smith/Icon SMI
A string of weapons charges meant that before Johnson could play in Super Bowl XLI in Miami, the DT had to appear before a Circuit Court judge to get permission to leave Illinois for the game. More weapons charges, a 120-day prison stay and a speeding ticket (during which police initially suspected Johnson was impaired, though his blood alcohol level was shown to be within the legal limit) spelled the end of his Bears career and made Johnson a guy that not many teams would touch. After serving an eight-game suspension to start the '07 campaign, he did play 24 games with the Cowboys. This offseason he signed with the Bengals.
9 of 10John Biever/SI
After Cedric Benson was arrested twice within a five-week period on alcohol-related charges, the Bears cut ties with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft. Although Benson was never indicted and eventually joined a Bengals team that was a laughingstock for its history of bad apples, he arrived knowing he still had a lot to prove.
10 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Since his days at West Virginia, Jones has found more than his fair share of off-the-field trouble, particularly at night clubs. Charged with assault, felony vandalism, violating the terms of his probation, obstruction of justice and misdemeanor assault (for allegedly spitting in a woman's face), Jones was suspended by the NFL for a year. At the time, Titans GM Floyd Reese said Pacman had been "nothing but a disaster off the field." When Dallas signed him, he knew he needed to be on his best behavior. Fat chance. After fighting with his own bodyguard and battling injuries, Jones was released, but only after Dallas learned that he was a suspect in a 2007 shooting. Who would you add to the list? Send suggestions to email@example.com.
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