The 7 Craziest NFL Training Camp Fights of All Time

Training camp fights are a common occurrence in the NFL. STACK describes seven of the craziest melees.

Training camp is hell. Simmering hot days, endless practices, exhausting conditioning drills—it's enough to make players a little bit heated (no pun intended). A simple Google news search reveals the fact that there have already been dozens of training camp fights across the NFL this season. With the dog days of summer firmly upon us and more stories of training camp scraps sure to come, we thought it would be a good time to look back at seven of the wildest camp fights in NFL history.

Warning: some of the following clips may be graphic and contain graphic language.

1. Dez Bryant and Tyler Patmon Throw Hands

Tale of the Tape
Dez Bryant: 6-foot-2, 220-pound receiver
Tyler Patmon: 5-foot-10, 188-pound cornerback

During a 2015 Dallas Cowboys' training camp practice, Dez Bryant and Tyler Patmon suddenly found themselves in a helmet-less boxing match. What went down? Bryant came off the line strong and got some of Patmon's face mask, which caused Patmon to retaliate. Dez's helmet popped off, Patmon's followed suit, and the two threw some wild punches before teammates could separate them. "It's just brothers. Brothers fight. That's just what happens sometimes. We go at it, after that we squash it and it's over," Patmon told following the incident.

Winner: No Decision

2. Texans and Redskins Have a Massive Brawl

Tale of the Tape
Texans: Average height, 6-foot-2; average weight, 247 pounds
Redskins: Average height, 6-foot-1; average weight, 245 pounds

Holding a joint training camp practice seems like a recipe for fights. Think about it for a second—most players are willing to fight their own teammates after a week or two in camp. When an opposing team comes in, there's no camaraderie or allegiance (or fines) stopping the players from going at it.

Such was the case when the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins held three days of joint practices in Richmond, Virginia. By the final day, tempers had reached a boiling point. Cameras from HBO's Hard Knocks series were on hand to capture a colossal brawl that was sparked by a low hit from a Texans defender.

"Everyone came and had each other's back, even when the defense got into it. We all ran to each other's side. Obviously we can't do that in a game because everyone would get fined and suspended, but we did what we were supposed to do as a team," Redskins tight end Niles Paul told ESPN.

Winner: HBO

RELATED: Redskins Fans Shouldn't Freak Out Over Josh Norman Getting Burned

3. Cam Newton's Photogenic Fight Against Josh Norman

Tale of the Tape
Cam Newton: 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback
Josh Norman: 6-foot, 200-pound cornerback

RELATED: Cam Newton's Workout

When Josh Norman and Cam Newton got into a melee last August, few would've predicted that the Panthers would be heading to the Super Bowl six months later. After all, this was the franchise's $103 million quarterback going mano-y-mano with their top cornerback.

How did the fracas get started? Norman picked off one of Newton's passes then stiff-armed the quarterback as he approached the end zone. Newton grabbed Norman by the helmet to exchange words, and Norman responded by knocking Newton's helmet off. The two tussled on the ground before teammates intervened.

"It's really that time of year. Guys get into training camp and it's usually [practice] nine or 10 and that's kind of what happened," Ron Rivera told the Charlotte Observer. "You really don't expect it to be your quarterback. But the thing I try to take away from it, and you try to look for the positive in it, is hey, he stood up for himself, the other guy stood up for himself. I know it's the quarterback, but we treat everybody the same."

Winner: Cam. Any time you can take a guy down while simultaneously cheesing for the camera, you win:

Cam Newton Brawl

Photo via the Charlotte Observer

4. Albert Haynesworth Gets Tossed by Zach Piller

Tale of the Tape
Zach Piller: 6-foot-5, 315-pound guard
Albert Haynesworth: 6-foot-6, 320-pound defensive tackle

Albert Haynesworth found himself in the middle of several skirmishes during his first NFL training camp in 2002. Shortly after getting into a scuffle with offensive lineman Benji Olson, Haynesworth found himself confronting Zach Piller. Piller proceeded to throw the 300-plus pound Haynesworth like a sack of potatoes, effectively ending the incident.

"I guess it started with Benji and kind of finished with me. It was nothing personal, obviously. It's on the field. I hollered at him in the training room and said it's nothing personal, and we live and learn," Piller told

Winner: Piller. Unanimous decision.

RELATED: Ezekiel Elliot Embarrasses Teammate With Nasty Juke

5. Cowboys and Rams Get Into a Full-Blown War

Tale of The Tape
Cowboys: Average height, 6-foot-2; average weight, 245 pounds
Rams: Average height, 6-foot-1; average weight, 242 pounds

2015 was filled with NFL training camp fights. This one, from a joint practice between the Cowboys and Rams last August, might be the single craziest training one ever. For one, it's a massive amount of mayhem—seemingly every player on both teams is involved. Two, it's not just a bunch of guys standing around a pile. Players are crashing into each other like tidal waves and tossing one another like it's judo practice. The fight quickly veers into scary territory as a group of players crash into the fence and begin piling on top of one another. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured.

Winner: Dez Bryant, solely because of this video:

6. Richard Sherman vs. Phil Bates (and The Entire Seahawks Offense)

Tale of the Tape
Richard Sherman: 6-foot-3, 195-pound cornerback
Phil Bates: 6-foot-1, 220-pound wide receiver

This fight actually went down during the Seahawks' 2014 minicamp. Minicamps are usually less intense than training camp, but anytime Richard Sherman's around, you know things can get heated. The conflict kicked off with Phil Bates throwing a clean block on Sherman. Sherman apparently didn't like the way Bates was pushing him around, so he decided to grab the shoulders of his jersey and fling him aside.

Sherman successfully pulled Bates' jersey over his head, but he still didn't relinquish the garment from his grip. Bates's helmet popped off and he (rightfully) felt disrespected. He threw some shots at Sherman before teammates managed to get between the two. Sherman then proceeded to engage in a bit of a donnybrook with Doug Baldwin.

Winner: Richard Sherman

RELATED: Richard Sherman Explains Why He Never Posts His Workouts on Social Media

7. Stephen Davis and Michael Westbrook's Graphic Rumble

*Fight starts at the 1:00 mark

Tale of the Tape
Stephen Davis: 6-foot, 230-pound running back
Michael Westbrook: 6-foot-3, 221-pound wide receiver

This is perhaps the most infamous training camp fight of all time. Back in August of 1997, TV cameras caught Michael Westbrook repeatedly slugging his Washington Redskin teammate Stephen Davis. This was well before the smartphone era, so this footage was really the first time a training camp fight was widely broadcast. The brutal incident earned Westbrook a $50,000 fine, and the reason for the fight is still a mystery.

Westbrook recently sounded off on the idea that training camp fights have grown more common in recent years. "[Fights are] not happening more. It's just obviously, we have social media. We have Twitter. We have 24/7 surveillance of everything that goes on in everybody's lives. Period, point blank," Westbrook told the Washington Post.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock