Being an NFL player also means being a celebrity. Most players make millions of dollars during their careers, many of them are highly recognizable in the public.
NFL players are public figures and therefore their mistakes are rarely kept private. When they get into trouble for breaking the law, the public quickly hears about it, especially in the modern world of social media.
Drug charges against NFL players is nothing new. It's an unfortunate issue that has plagued the league for decades and has only escalated in recent years.
Here are five high-profile players who have been arrested on significant drug charges during their NFL careers.
#1 Jamal Lewis
Jamal Lewis helped the Baltimore Ravens win a Super Bowl ring during his dominant run with the team. He also won the Offensive Player of the Year award in 2003 after exceeding 2,000 rushing yards in a single season. He ended his career with the Cleveland Browns.
Lewis was arrested in 2004 for his involvement in a drug deal. He was charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. He spent four months in federal prison for his role in the case.
#2 Santonio Holmes
Santonio Holmes spent nine seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears. He is best known for his performance during Super Bowl XLIII, where he made a miraculous game-winning touchdown reception and was named the MVP of the game.
During the 2008 NFL season, when he was still with the Steelers, Holmes was arrested and cited for possession of marijuana. He missed one regular-season game because of the incident, which he issued a public apology for.
#3 Adam "Pacman" Jones
Adam "Pacman" Jones has been involved in many legal issues since he was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
He was placed on probation for a fight in college when he entered the draft and it never really got better from there. A year later, he was caught with marijuana, but the charges were dismissed.
Jones was involved in a club shooting in Las Vegas in 2007 and was also connected to a cocaine distribution case in which his car was used to make a drug deal. Over the next 15 years, he was charged several times in various cases, including multiple assaults and substance-related incidents.
#4 Le'Veon Bell
Le'Veon Bell spent the bulk of his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he developed into one of the best running backs in the league. His achievements include exceeding 1,850 total yards three times.
He later spent time with the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During the 2014 offseason, Bell was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana after he was pulled over and his car was searched.
His girlfriend Mercedes Dollson and teammate LeGarrette Blount were also charged. Bell was sentenced to 15 months of probation and had his driver's license suspended.
#5 Greg Robinson
Greg Robinson was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the second overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He was tipped to be the best offensive lineman in the draft class, but failed to live up to expectations. He later spent a season with the Detroit Lions and two years with the Cleveland Browns.
During the 2020 offseason, while he was a free agent, Robinson and former NFL player Quan Bray were charged with possession of 157 pounds of marijuana. This was after their car was searched by Border Patrol.
Robinson was sentenced to five years of probation before being arrested again two years later for possession of $120,000 worth of assorted illegal drugs.