From Jones to Newton: The NFL’s Top 10 Turkeys

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and warmth. It is also a time to highlight the NFL misfits who have especially mucked up this season. The storylines and degrees of ineptitude vary but the turkeys listed below should all have to eat cranberry sauce from a can.

Jerry Jones, Cowboys Owner

Let’s start with the obvious. Jones would probably be honored to be on this list because he finally admits being the bad guy is his modus operandi. Take the past month alone. After purporting to be a unifier, Jones went full Trump in declaring that any of his players who kneeled would be benched. Then he threatened to sue the NFL over Roger Goodell’s contract extension. Then a video surfaced in which Jones said to a recently engaged couple, “Jennifer, congratulations on the wedding. Now, you know he’s with a black girl tonight, don’t you?” The grossness of Jones could fill a novel. He will never not be on this list.

Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner

Duh. On the spectrum of Goodell bungling, this year has been one of the less severe in his tenure of doom. All he’s done recently is botch a year-long investigation into Ezekiel Elliott’s domestic violence case by suspending him without considering the recommendation of his lead investigator, which was to not suspend. Goodell must sleep with a copy of the CBA turned to the page about Article 46 because he sure as hell utilizes his power on frighteningly frequent basis.  Oh, and he’s supposedly asking for $50 million a year contract extension, plus a private plane for laugh while the NFL’s ratings are dropping and the league is fraught with issues.  Extra turkey for Goodell.

Sean McDermott, Bills Head Coach

With no valid reason McDermott benched Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nathan Peterson in Week 11 as the Bills were facing the fearsome duo of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. After poor Peterman threw five interceptions in one half, the Bills turned back to Taylor. Meanwhile the franchise slipped out of playoff contention while toying with the psyche of two quarterbacks. McDermott kept the disaster going after the game by saying he needed to evaluate the position before determining Taylor would be the Week 12 starter. This series of events has been unexplainable and disastrous.

John Elway, Broncos Executive Vice President and GM

The Broncos started off 3-1 before losing six in a row. Ahead of the latest loss, Elway threw his team under the bus, alienating many players after speaking at a Mile High event.

“I will tell you I think we got a little bit soft. To be dead honest with you, we got a little bit soft,” he said.

Of course it is Elway who made a very questionable coaching hire in Vance Joseph and failed to sign or draft anyone close to a franchise quarterback since Peyton Manning’s retirement.

Bob McNair, Texans Owner

OK look another rich friend of Trump alienating his entire team in five seconds. As reported by ESPN, McNair offered a disturbing and archaic take on the players’ protest during the latest owner’s meeting when he said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.” Good luck landing those free agents, Bobby!

Marcus Cooper, Bears CB

Turkeys happen on the field, too. Week 3 saw one of the more boneheaded plays in recent history. After the Bears blocked a punt, Cooper ran it back with distance to spare for what was a sure TD. That is until he slowed up to celebrate and the Steelers caught up to force a fumble on the 1-yard line.

Cam Newton, Panthers Quarterback

In early October when asked a benign question about Devin Funchess’s improved route running from a female reporter, Newton responded, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.” Not only that but he smirked after as if what he had said was so relatable. Newton apologized after Dannon dropped him as a sponsor but for the line alone, he is a Hall-of-Fame turkey on this website.

The Browns

The Browns have somehow managed to hit a low point in their franchise history, which is really saying something This team hasn’t won a game in almost a calendar year, and they’ve only own four games in three years. Meanwhile after passing on Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson on recent drafts they are jeopardizing the career of QB Deshone Kizer with a desperate game of quarterback carousel.

It gets worse for the Moneyball-inspired front office. The Browns agreed to trade for QB A.J. McCarron, a potential solution under center, five minutes before the deadline. But they failed to file to paperwork in time because they were too busy celebrating. Factory of sadness indeed. 

John Fox, Chicago Bears

Fox is basically a dead man walking in Chicago after dragging his feet over letting promising rookie Mitchell Trubisky start. Once Trubisky did start, Fox hamstrung him with woefully conservative play calling. But what really did Fox in is the worst challenge in history. In Week 10 against Green Bay, RB Benny Cunningham reached for the pylon and was pronounced out of bounds at the Packers’ two. Fox challenged the call and the replay showed Cunningham not out of bounds but instead fumbling the ball into the end zone for a Packers touchback. [Insert Curb Your Enthusiasm theme.]

Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts

Pagano could have made this list for his strange vagueness about Andrew Luck’s shoulder in the months leading up to Luck being placed on IR. But far more egregious is his pick for best Thanksgiving dish.