Robert Griffin III (2011)
To borrow his own words, Robert Griffin III’s meteoric ascent in 2011, culminating in him winning the Heisman Trophy (and eventually becoming the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft) was “unbelievably believable.” He had the combination of a rocket-launching arm, and elusiveness of a running back. He was absolutely sensational in his rookie year with the Washington Redskins, leading the team to an NFC East championship and winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
But his conflicts with head coach Mike Shanahan in his sophomore season, and his inability to adapt to Jay Gruden’s offensive philosophy, created an irreparable rift between Griffin and the Redskins, eventually leading to his release after the 2015 season. He signed on with the Cleveland Browns, but suffered a shoulder injury in the Browns first regular season game, likely ending his season. Although he’s still only 27 years old, Griffin is currently unsigned, and it looks like his once promising career is already over.