I've been reading the comments and there's one trope among the fans here I keep hearing. "Character" players are a must. Arrests and bad publicity only hurts the 49ers. It's better to "lose" with class than win without it. And it kind of irks me, to be honest. After the jump, we'll look at the glory years of our beloved 49ers and determine just how much "character" the greatest decade dynasty had.
#1: John Taylor
Taylor is one of my favorite 9ers ever. He had deceptive speed, outstanding hands, and exceptional RAC(run after catch) ability. But one thing Taylor was not was a saint. Taylor, as most of you know, was suspended in the 1988 season for cocaine use. He received a lot of media scrutiny for it( as the media usually does) and the 49ers went on to win the SB the same year. I guess he wasn't a "distraction".
#2: Charles Haley
Haley was one of the more talented pure rush linebackers of all time. He also has been a 5 time (5 TIME!) super bowl winner, 2 with the 49ers and 3 with the Cowboys. Haley is one of the most scrutinized players of all time because of his antics. He urinated on teammate Tim Harris' car, forcing Coach Seifert to trade him , had even worse stories and incidents with the Cowboys, yet the man won 5 super bowl rings. Was Haley a "distraction to the locker room"? I'm guessing yes, but I'm also guessing it had no effect whatsoever on performance on the field.
#3: Kevin Fagan
Fagan was a very nice defensive lineman for the 49ers, but even he got in some trouble. In 1988( lots of drama that year, right?) Fagan was arrested for resisting arrest, obstructing justice and misdeameanor battery . Not the best character, but again, was a dominant player for our scheme.
So I have come to the conclusion that "the chemistry in the locker room" and "character guys" mean absolutely squat when we are talking about winning football games. If one of the greatest (and IMO the greatest) dynasty in NFL History can win with all these bad apples, why are we as fans forcing ourselves to automatically write off draft prospects that have a "bad character" tag, or likewise with free agents (like Terrell Owens, who has NEVER been arrested, btw)? And why is Trent Baalke doing the same thing in cherry picking draft prospects with good character and giving them a gold star, possibly missing out on more talented football players?
Do we want to be the Boy Scouts, or do we want another Championship?