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Stevens Production Hardly Merited Multiple 2nd Chances

With his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and pending legal issues resulting from his arrest on drug charges, the professional football career of Jerramy Stevens is probably over. In a league as image conscious as the NFL (see: “Roethlisberger, Ben” “Favre, Brett” and “Vick, Michael”), one has to wonder how someone like Stevens, with a history of criminal behavior (if not criminal convictions) that began before he even got into college, lasted as long as he did. Here are his total career statistics:

G GS Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G

Career 119 40 202 2217 11.0 22 35 1.7 18.6
5 yrs SEA 71 26 130 1458 11.2 15 35 1.8 20.5
4 yrs TAM 48 14 72 759 10.5 7 31 1.5 15.8

For the sake of comparison, here are the stats for the first nine years of perennial all-pro tight end Tony Gonzalez:

G GS Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G

9 yrs KC 143 127 648 7810 12.1 56 73 4.5 54.6

Gonzalez is a future Hall of Famer, one of the best to ever play his position. So for the sake of comparison, here are the career numbers (so far) for Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow, who’s been named to the Pro Bowl once so far:

G GS Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G

Career 66 54 325 3644 11.2 16 49 4.9 55.2
4 yrs CLE 44 40 219 2459 11.2 11 49 5.0 55.9
2 yrs TAM 22 14 106 1185 11.2 5 42 4.8 53.9

Clearly, Stevens was not an elite NFL talent. If he were, it might make sense. It wouldn’t make it right, of course, but at least it would be understandable. And at 30 years old, he was well past the age where he could be considered a prospect with raw potential to be developed. Ultimately, Stevens was, at best, an unexceptional player on the field who demonstrated extraordinarily poor character off of it who managed to last 8+ years in a league where the average career lasts 3 1/2.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.