Interesting title I know, but I'm just talking about those guys that are given these labels because they "take more than give" to teams.
Now looking back on the Randy Moss deal, I am sort of glad now the Falcons passed on Moss. I guess I was under the naive impression that despite Moss's cancerous nature, he would bring more to the team than take. And that may have been true for the short-term, but for the long-term, those that disagreed with me were probably right. For the team's long-term success, the Falcons made the good decision to pass on Moss.
And this leads me into the proper assessment of which players are downright "turdish" and which ones are not. The "headcase"-labeled players IMO can be split into 2 categories:
1) Bad External environment
2) Bad Internal environment
The first category refers to guys that the most of the "turdish" behavior derives from the players, coaches, and people surrounding them and their behavior in relation to these people. The second of course refers to the "turdish" behavior that comes from within regardless of if the "right" people surroudn them.
Moss fits into the latter category, and it's these types of players that I think are the ones to avoid. The first group should also be red-flagged, but not avoided at all costs. I think guys like Corey Dillon and Terrell Owens fit into this category. I don't think anybody questioned either players' desire to win and improve, but I think both were in environments which they felt were negligent to their abilities to do that. I don't think anyone can question that with Cincinnati pre-Marvin Lewis, and Dillon proved this in New England. He was always a hard worker, just hated playing for the Bengals and that organization. I think T.O. in San Fran's problems mostly came from a lacking personal rapport with Jeff Garcia. Which is not the same as he doesn't get along with all QBs, just he doesn't get along with Jeff Garcia. Also his problems with the coaching staffs are well-documented, but complaining about not getting the ball enough is really nothing exceptional, particularly for WRs. It's no coincidence that most of that negative commentary comes after losses, which I think is very highly related to frustration rather than a perpetual loathing for the coaching staff. Of course, losing over and over again can turn into that perpetual loathing.
I bring up this mostly because of the recent comments of Freddie Mitchell. Mitchell I think is trying to play his situation as one of the former cases, in which he's in an environment that inhibits his ability to perform. But I think in fact, he's one of the latter cases. It will also be interesting to see how David Terrell does in New England this year, because he's in a similar situation.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.