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Joe Montana and Steve Young with the San Francisco 49ers

5 NFL teammates who hated each other's guts

Players in the NFL spend the majority of their lives together during the regular season each year, either in the study room, traveling to and from games and, of course, out on the football field.


Thousands of players have spent countless hours with their teammates and become lifelong friends both during and after their careers have ended, but there have also been plenty of examples of teammates who simply despised each other. Here are five NFL teammates who HATED each other.

5 NFL teammates who HATED each other

#5 - Geno Smith and IK Emenkpali

Baltimore Ravens v New York Jets

Right before the 2015 NFL season got underway, New York Jets duo Geno Smith and IK Emenkpali got into a bust-up, which left quarterback Smith with a broken jaw.

Emenkpali had bought a $600 plane ticket for Smith, so he could attend his training camps, but he didn’t show due to personal reasons. When linebacker Enemkpali asked for the money back, Smith refused, which led to a broken jaw. Smith missed a lot of time due to the injury, and sat behind Ryan Fitzpatrick when he returned, as Fitz had a career year, leading the Jets to a 10-6 record.

Emenkpali was released by the Jets the very next day and signed with the Buffalo Bills before spending time on the Oakland Raiders' practice squad in 2017. He’s not played in the NFL since.


Smith is still in the league, currently with the Seattle Seahawks, where he might start this year as he competes with Drew Lock for a starting berth after Seattle traded away Russell Wilson.

#4 - Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins

Terrell Owens was one of the best and most controversial wide receivers of his generation, and this was on display when he got into a spat with his quarterback at the time, Donovan McNabb. While they were both members of the Philadelphia Eagles, Owens was interviewed by Michael Irvin on ESPN and said he would rather have Packers quarterback Brett Favre throwing to him than McNabb.


McNabb admitted he took the comments personally, and also saw it as a "black-on-black crime" as Owens wanted a white quarterback over him. The pair spent two years together in Philly, where they went all the way to the Super Bowl in 2004, both making Pro Bowl appearances.

However, after the spat, the two evidently fell out, and T.O. was shipped off to the Dallas Cowboys after the ’05 season. He recently returned to the gridiron at the age of 48 in the Fan Controlled League.

It's the year 2022 and Terrell Owens is still scoring TD's

(via @fcflio)

McNabb left the Eagles after the 2009 season and spent time with Washington and Minnesota before retiring in 2013.


5 NFL Teammates who HATED each other

#3 - Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin

Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin of the Miami Dolphins

Offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin had a massive bust up while they were both members of the Miami Dolphins. It was reported that Incognito, along with fellow linemen Mike Pouncey and John Jerry, regularly harassed Martin, which eventually caused him to leave the team.

Incognito took it a step further, however, apparently using gay slurs against Martin and making sexual references about Martin’s sister to him.

Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins after the revelations, but signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2015.

Martin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, where he played for just one year before retiring from the NFL in July 2015.

#2 - Peyton Manning and Mike Vanderjagt

Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens

Peyton Manning had a massive falling out with his kicker Mike Vanderjagt when they were both members of the Indianapolis Colts. Following the Colts’ 41-0 defeat by the New York Jets in the 2002 Wildcard Playoff, Vanderjagt criticized coach Tony Dungy on Canadian television, calling him "mild-mannered" while also questioning Manning’s leadership skills.

Manning didn’t take kindly to these comments. He hit back at the Pro Bowl. When he was asked about the incident, he said Vanderjagt was an "idiot who got liquored up and ran his mouth."

The pair spent three more years together after the incident, with Vanderjagt making NFL First-Team All-Pro once he’d moved onto the Dallas Cowboys, while Manning won two Super Bowl titles and was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2021 after a storied 18-year NFL career.


#1 - Joe Montana and Steve Young

Joe Montana and Steve Young with the San Francisco 49ers

Arguably, the two best quarterbacks to ever play for the San Francisco 49ers, Joe Montana and Steve Young absolutely hated each other. Joe Montana was the undisputed starter when the team traded for Steve Young to back him up, but following Montana’s struggles with injury, Young stepped in to start and never looked back.

Montana felt as though the Niners had planned to replace him all along, which is why Young was brought in. The team's president at the time, Carmen Policy, said the situation had become so divisive the 49ers had no choice but to trade Joe Montana to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993.

Reports claimed the two didn’t get along from the time Young was traded for in 1987, and things only got worse from there.

The pair, of course, will forever be known for what they gave to the NFL, especially the San Francisco 49ers. Both have been inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, but they will also be forever tied together due to their hatred of each other.

49ers quarterbacks with 400 Pass Yds and 4 TD in a game:

Joe Montana (3 times)
Steve Young
Jimmy Garoppolo
Edited by
Windy Goodloe
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