NFL Punishments Ranked By Length, Cost and Overall Damage to a Player's Career

NFL Punishments Ranked By Length, Cost and Overall Damage to a Player's Career


NFL Punishments Ranked By Length, Cost and Overall Damage to a Player's Career


Wes Welker of the Broncos has been handed a 4-game suspension by the NFL for a failed drug test. Ray Rice of the Ravens got two games for knocking out his then-fiancee in an elevator. Josh Gordon of the Browns was suspended for the entire season for multiple failed drug tests. Josh Brent of the Cowboys was just given a 10-game suspension as part of his NFL reinstatement following the death of teammate Jerry Brown.

These are just four examples of NFL punishments under Roger Goodell. It turns out that a player’s future in the sport has nothing to do with what got them suspended and everything to do with their ability to play football. Rice, Brent and Gordon are young and dealing with various talent levels. Welker is 33 and dealing with concussions.

With those four cases in mind, I thought it was a good time to debut the DEFINITIVE FOOTBALL SUSPENSION RANKINGS. These rankings are based on length, cost, and overall damage to player’s career. This list should help both fans and players alike so everyone knows what is at stake for the player’s future.

These rankings are definitive, so whatever you do, don’t bother arguing or sharing them on social media. That is not the intention of this list. At all. In fact, don’t even read them. Just close this tab right now. Thanks for not reading.

18. Zero Games

Wha’ happened? Probably nothing. This is not a very big deal and the future of the player’s NFL career will likely come down to his ability on the field. To receive a zero game suspension, a player must have done nothing wrong or be very important to the team with a big game coming up.

Done With Football? Not unless you’re a “distraction.”

17. One (I) Play

Wha’ happened? Nobody knows but the player, the coach and whoever else is helping to sweep the incident under the rug. This is a meaningless suspension generally doled out by college and high school coaches. If Will Muschamp could LITERALLY slap a player on the wrist and allow him to start without looking bad, he would.

Done With Football? Someday, but not because of this.

16. Small Fine

Wha’ happened? Taunting. This is a gentleman’s game. Act like you’ve been there before.

Done With Football? Nah.

15. Hefty Fine

Robert Griffin in a bonnetWha’ happened? You tried to kick somebody or wore Adidas.

Done With Football? Nope.


Wha’ happened? You tried to end a guy’s season with a cheap shot.

Done With Football? Not with that talent, son.

13. One Half (I/II) Games

Wha’ happened? This is another college suspension. The most famous case of this punishment occurred last season when Johnny “Football” Manziel was suspended for the first half of Texas A&M’s first game of the season because he wrote his name on some things. This suspension means nothing.
Done With Football? Only after it is discovered that the player is incapable of success on the next level.

12. One (I) Games

Wha’ happened? Smoked a little weed.

Done With Football? No.

11. Two (II) Games

ray rice wife press conferenceWha’ happened? That’s between the player and his unconscious loved one. If you’re a trailblazer in domestic abuse, you get two games as long as everybody is sorry for his or her role in the “incident.” Or you made dogs fight.

Done With Football? No, but that’s OK because you served your time. Or no one pressed charges which is just as much punishment.

10. Three (III) Games

Wha’ happened? You lost to the Jets in the playoffs and got your second DUI. Or you got arrested twice in a single offseason.

Done With Football? No.

9. Four (IV) Games

ben-roethlisbergerWha happened? You brought your gun to the club and didn’t tie the knot in your sweats tight enough. Or you entered the wrong bathroom. Or you participated in a bounty program and the Suspension Wheel stopped on “FOUR.” Also, “violating the league’s substance abuse policy.”

Done with football? Nope. Play out your career once you get out of jail.

8. Indefinitely (X*) Games

Wha’ happened? Lots of stuff, but don’t worry. “Indefinitely” literally translates to mean “unspecified period of time.” This is simply a placeholder. Pacman Jones was once suspended indefinitely.

Don With Football? Maybe! As usual, this comes down to how good you are at football.

7. Five (V) Games

Wha’ happened? You either stomped an opponent’s face or were at one time affiliated with Ohio State. Both are unforgivable offenses.

Done with football? No.

6. Six (VI) Games

jim-irsay-bro-outfitWha’ happened? You’re not sure. It was a crazy night. Or substance abuse. Either way, everybody is mad.

Done with football? Not if you own football.

5. Eight (VIII) Games

Wha’ happened? Police caught you riding dirty or were just arrested four times in just over a year.

Done with football? Nah.

4. Nine (IX) Games

Wha’ happened? A combination of substance abuse and gunstance abuse.

Done with football? NO! Hurry back! We’ve got the Seahawks in week 13 and 15!

3. Ten (X) Games

Wha’ happened? You killed a teammate and failed a drug test.

Done with football? Guess not.

2. For the Season (XVI) Games

joshgordonmugWha’ happened? You smoked A LOT OF WEED. Or attacked a stripper. Or killed a non-teammate.

Done with football? No, of course not.

1. Lifetime Ban

What the fuck did you do!? You shouldn’t have hit your spouse and/or family member once. Then when you did and got suspended 6 games you went and did it again. You’re obviously kind of a dick. Maybe you don’t deserve to get paid to play football. Or you fixed the 1946 NFL Championship Game. Either way, you’re not playing in the NFL ever again. You hear me Frank Filchock, Merle Hapes and Art Schlichter?

*X is an unknown variable

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