The Dirtiest NFL Players of All Time

List Rules
Please rank the players based on how dirty and underhanded they were during their career

The dirtiest NFL players of all time are some of the meanest and most hated men to ever play professional football. Some of these players are among the most hated NFL players today. You probably won't see these current and former National Football League players earning any sportsmanship awards anytime soon but there's a good chance their names will be in the news for bone-crushing hits, injuries and losing their tempers on the football field.

Each year several sports media outlets asks the NFL players themselves which current player they see as the dirtiest. In recent years, names like longtime Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong "Donkey Kong" Suh have been selected by their peers as the dirtiest. With both players having nasty on-and-off-field incidents to their credit, the selections are not undeserved.

But dirty play is nothing new in the NFL. In fact, many of the dirtiest NFL players of all time are from many decades ago. Conrad Dobler, an offensive lineman who played from 1972 to 1981, bit, hit, kicked and spit on opposing players, including an incident where he punched fellow tough guy and one of the greatest defenders in NFL history Mean Joe Greene. Johnny Sample is another long retired player who earned the reputation for dirty play. The defensive back in the 1950s and 60s even named his autobiography "Confessions of a Dirty Ballplayer."

While professional football is and will probably always be a violent sport, these dirty NFL players took that to another scary level. Vote for the NFL players you think are the dirtiest below or add any that are missing. Think these guys are bad? Check out the most shocking NFL scandals too.

Ranked by
  • Vontaze Burfict
    Cincinnati Bengals
  • Bill Romanowski
    Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers
  • Ndamukong Suh
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Conrad Dobler
    New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Richie Incognito
    Las Vegas Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills
    An all-around jerk; recently suspended for harassing teammate Jonathan Martin
  • Jack Tatum
    Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, Ohio State Buckeyes football
  • Albert Haynesworth
    Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots
  • Lyle Alzado
    Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns
  • Adam Jones

    Adam Jones

  • Cortland Finnegan
    Samford Bulldogs, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans
  • Aaron Hernandez
    Florida Gators football, New England Patriots
  • Dick Butkus
    Chicago Bears
  • Rodney Harrison
    New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Western Illinois Leathernecks football
  • Jack Lambert
    Pittsburgh Steelers, Kent State Golden Flashes football
  • Ray Lewis
    Baltimore Ravens
  • James Harrison
    Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals
  • George Atkinson
    Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders
  • Ben Davidson
  • Joe Greene
    Pittsburgh Steelers, North Texas Mean Green football
  • Hines Ward
    Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Ray Nitschke
    Green Bay Packers
  • Richard Sherman
    Seattle Seahawks
  • Deacon Jones
    Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football, Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins
  • Terrell Suggs
    Arizona Cardinals
  • Matt Millen
    Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Penn State Nittany Lions football