Some NFL players have been vocal about how the league operates and treats its players. Eric Dickerson is one of them. The former Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts superstar isn’t the biggest fan of the NFL despite dominating on the football field for more than a decade.
Dickerson put the league on blast in a recent interview.
Eric Dickerson played 11 seasons in the NFL
The LA Rams selected Eric Dickerson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft. He was a consensus All-American at SMU, which made him a highly sought-after pro prospect.
Dickerson spent his first four NFL seasons in LA. He took the league by storm from Day 1. The Sealy, Texas native rushed for 1,808 yards and 18 touchdowns as a rookie. He led the league in rush attempts and rushing yards that season.
Dickerson won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 1983. He continued to be a dominant force running the football throughout his tenure with the Rams.
After a falling out with Dickerson, the Rams traded their star running back to the Indianapolis Colts as part of a historic ten-player deal, per CBS Sports.
The veteran running back picked up where he left off in his first full season with the Colts. He led the NFL in rush attempts and rushing yards in 1988 as well.
Dickerson’s talent was never in question. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in eight of his 11 seasons and won four rushing titles.
Eric Dickerson still holds the NFL’s single-season rushing record after galloping for 2,105 yards in his second year in the league.
The Hall of Fame running back doesn’t like how the league treats players
Eric Dickerson’s stellar on-field production earned him a spot in the illustrious Pro Football Hall of Fame. The committee inducted him in 1999, and his bust will forever have a place in Canton, Ohio. For as much as the game gave him, though, Dickerson doesn’t have too many good things to say about the NFL.
The six-time Pro Bowl running back sat down with Terrell Owens on fubo Sports’ Getcha Popcorn Ready with T.O. and Hatch.
The show’s other co-host, former NFL wideout Matthew Hatchette, asked Dickerson if NFL stood for “No Fair League.” “It should because it’s not,” said the former running back. “It’s a lot of good things the NFL has done…but as a former player, you hate to see something that you love so much, and then you have almost like a disdain for it.”
Dickerson argues that the problems with the NFL come from the people in power.
“I think the NFL is full of s***,” he said. “I think they exploit the players. They don’t take care of the players. They don’t treat the players right. What they want is for you to play for them, make them a lot of money, and go somewhere and die.”
Dickerson added that no matter how big a player is, the NFL may treat them the same way unless they’re one of the “chosen ones.”
“They made me hate a game that I love so much,” said Dickerson. The Hall of Famer added that a lot of former players share the same sentiment. He recalled a Lawrence Taylor story. Dickerson had a reporter ask the linebacker how he felt about the league. “F*** the NFL,” Taylor responded.
The former All-Pro says his career was similar to Terrell Owens’
Eric Dickerson loved playing the game of football, but he doesn’t have the same love for the league that made him famous.
The five-time All-Pro running back spoke about his budding relationship with Terrell Owens. Dickerson said that he sees some similarities between his career and that of the former wide receiver.
“They tried to give you this black eye like you’re a bad guy,” he said of the NFL’s treatment of Owens. “And I was the bad guy. I was the bad guy because I wanted to get paid.”
Dickerson felt the LA Rams underpaid him. The running back did not appreciate the offer the team presented him to satisfy his lofty demands. The disagreement between Dickerson and the Rams led to the front office dealing him to Indianapolis.
Owens suggested things would’ve been hectic for Dickerson if he played in the era of social media. “These things here have caused more problems,” said Dickerson of today’s media coverage.
Much like Dickerson, Owens was an outspoken player. He moved around a bit during his NFL career because his personality didn’t mesh with certain organizations.
Both players produced at a high level, as evidenced by their Hall of Fame inductions. Still, they received criticism. “I was money hungry. I was words I had never heard of. I’m like, ‘What is an ingrate?'” said Dickerson.
Terrell Owens’ mislabeling is what drew Eric Dickerson to him. The NFL’s treatment of Owens is an example of why the Hall of Famer is criticizing the league.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.