The 10 players the NFL’s suspended for drugs since 2004
NFL's Top 10 Most Overpaid Players
There is a lot wrong with the NFL salary structure. Quarterbacks and high draft picks get most of the owners’ money as teams also struggle to unload overpaid starters. Some players take advantage of the system, like DE Julius Peppers. He earned $1 million a game last season from the Panthers and knew somebody would pay his price this year, too (the Bears wrote the free-agent check). Here are my top 10 overpaid players in the NFL. -- John Czarnecki
Bill Romanowski, LB, Denver
Romanowski was the poster boy for the drug craze in the late '90s and early '00s. He went so far as admitting to using steroids and human growth hormone during his playing days, but was never suspended for it.
Shawn Springs, CB, Seattle
Springs missed three games with a hamstring injury in 2000, then was immediately suspended four games the following season for violating the NFL's steroid policy.
Julius Peppers, DE, Carolina
Peppers won Rookie of the Year honors in 2002 and finished the season with a dozen sacks, but then missed the first four games of the '03 season as punishment for testing positive as a rookie.
David Boston, WR, San Diego
Boston's four-game suspension in 2004 stood out a bit more since he was mixed up with the same BALCO agents who dealt with Barry Bonds.
Shawne Merriman, LB, San Diego
One of the more well-publicized suspensions in recent seasons, Merriman missed Weeks 9-12 of the 2006 season as punishment for testing positive for steroid use. This led to the NFL passing a rule which prohibits a player who tests positive from being selected to the Pro Bowl or winning any other performance awards in the same season.
Deuce McAllister, RB, New Orleans
Charles Grant and Will Smith barely avoided suspensions, but McAllister wasn't as fortunate. Deuce was one of four Saints who tested positive in 2008 for a banned diuretic which can serve as a masking agent for steroids.
Will Smith, DE, New Orleans
Smith wasn't forced to miss any games after he was named as an offender by the NFL in 2008. He escaped any suspension after his appeal held up.
Charles Grant, DE, New Orleans
He wasn't suspended, but he had to appeal in order to survive missing any games. He's since been released by the team and is still searching for a team to play for in 2010 despite signing a seven-year, $63 million deal before the 2007 season.
Pat Williams/Kevin Williams, DT, Minnesota
Both mammoth defensive linemen claim to have unknowingly consumed a substance which was on the banned list. Their case is still pending.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City
Bowe was becoming an integral part of the Chiefs' passing attack before missing Weeks 11-14 in '09 because of his suspension. Subsequently, he didn't catch a touchdown pass after Week 7.
Calvin Pace, DE, New York Jets
Pace came over to the Jets from Arizona in a six-year, $42 million deal in 2008 and missed the first four games of 2009 because of suspension. He finished 2009 with 55 tackles and eight sacks.
Luke Lawton, LB, Oakland
Lawton's played for eight different teams since getting drafted in 2004, primarily on special teams. He was suspended for the last two games of 2009 and will miss the first two games next year as well.
David Vobora, LB, St. Louis
On September 30 last year, Vobora was suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance enhancing substance policy. Like Kevin and Pat Williams in Minnesota, he claims the substances he took weren't listed on the label.
Erin Henderson, LB, Minnesota
E.J. Henderson's little brother played minimally for the Vikings in two seasons before getting served a four-game suspension in December.