Why is there a growing trend of NFL wide receivers acting up? Over the last year and a half, wide receivers have been headlining issues in the NFL. Take out Pacman Jones, Larry Johnson, and a few other players and the problems caused by players have been created by the wide receiver position and it is sickening. Here is a quick rundown of the 2008 wide receiver issues:
Plaxico Burress: Was suspended an entire game for skipping team meetings, followed later in the season by him shooting himself and he now faces multiple charges and may be facing serious jail time.
Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson: Johnson was ready to sit out the entire season. Johnson refused to attend any team functions and demanded a trade. Johnson ended up rejoining the team after changing his name to Chad Ocho Cinco.
Terrell Owens: T.O started to fall apart in the middle of the season as he was apparently not getting enough looks by quarterback Tony Romo. Owens allegedly instructed TE Jason Witten not to talk to him and has an obvious beef with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
Marvin Harrison: Was accused of firing a gun he owned outside an establishment also owned by Marvin Harrison. Not enough evidence was found, so charges were dropped.
Anquan Boldin: Boldin, much like Chad Johnson held the threat of sitting out against the Cardinals due to his teammate Fitzgerald receiving a contract but not being offered an attractive new contract himself. Now during the final drive of the NFC Championship game he explodes against his offensive coordinator and then “practically fought with teammates while they were celebrating the NFC Championship”.
Why does it seem like the biggest ego’s and issues both lie within the wide receiver position? Is there an unwritten rule that wide receivers don’t have to be good teammates? I can understand some of the frustration that wide receivers may feel in regards to their production. I don’t have any sympathy for them, but the wide receiver position is the only position in football (TE’s sometimes included) that completely rely on one players decision, the quarterback. The quarterback always gets the snap, the running back always gets the handoffs, but the wide receiver has to depend on the quarterback to throw the ball in his direction. Play calling is an obvious contributor to receivers frustration as many of these wide outs have been seen yelling at the offensive coordinators on numerous occasions(mostly T.O. and Boldin). It could be just an odd coincidence, but this infectious trend looks to be on the rise with bigger ego’s, increased yelling, and blatant stupidity.
There’s no telling if this trend of stupidity and selfishness displayed by wide receivers league wide will continue. The consequences that these unruly wide receivers face could help others see that there is nothing to gain by yelling at your coordinator or putting down your teammates. It seems as though they don’t even realize how many millions of people would love to be in their position.
I would not be surprised if teams started to focus more on character flaws than ever before. Plaxico, Vick, Pacman, and other shady characters have cost franchises millions, and it looks like these wide receivers could cost their teams in the long run as well. The ignorance of the wide receiver must be stopped or the T.O.’s and Boldin’s will continue to get their way and will never become good teammates and role models.