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FOX: NFL EUROPE: All-time Euro Trash Team


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NFL EUROPE: All-time Euro Trash Team


In NFL Europe, high hopes brought to a distant land do not always translate into success in the NFL. For every Kurt Warner, there is a Lawrence Phillips. And for some, the scenic route leads to a dead end.

Here is a look at players who went to NFL Europe with hopes of reviving floundering pro football careers, but either came away with an inglorious end, or fizzled after making it to the NFL:

Mario Bailey

Bailey played wide receiver for the Frankfurt Galaxy from 1995 to 2000. He was a major contributor for a Galaxy team that appeared in four World Bowls, winning two, and developed into one of NFL Europe's all-time great receivers. But he never got a shot at the NFL, and Bailey turned to the XFL, where he was a member of the Orlando Rage. For the Rage, Bailey caught 27 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns. Like many of Bailey's XFL contemporaries, Bailey latched on to the Arena Football League and found work in football's 50-yard war.

Anthony Dilweg

As an "NFL enhancement" quarterback for the 1992 Montreal Machine, Dilweg joined the team with high hopes. The Machine finished 4-6 in 1991, and with the addition of Dilweg, the team figured it was on its way to the World Bowl.

Unfortunately for Montreal, injuries ravaged Dilweg's chances of leading the Machine to the title game. Eventually, Dilweg landed on the injured-reserve list and the Machine finished a dismal 2-8.

In the NFL, Dilweg played two seasons with the Packers (1989-90), managing to earn "Player of the Week" honors for Week 1 of the 1990 season. That season was Dilweg's best, as the Duke alum passed for 1,267 yards and eight touchdowns. However, after his WLAF misadventure, Dilweg would never play another down in the NFL.

Babe Laufenberg

Had a brief and unceremonious NFL career, playing four seasons in the league (1986, '88-90) as a quarterback for the Saints, Chargers and Cowboys. His most productive season came in 1988 with the Chargers when Laufenberg passed for 778 yards and five touchdowns.

Out of the NFL, Laufenberg turned to WLAF and played for the Ohio Glory in 1992. The Glory - coached by former Dolphins offensive lineman and Pro Football Fall of Famer Larry Little - were bad, and finished 1-9 in the team's only season of play.

Though he never again strapped it on in the NFL, Laufenberg has remained close to the game as a sportscaster in Dallas. In addition, Laufenberg works as the color commentator for Cowboys radio broadcasts.

William "Refrigerator" Perry

The rotund defensive tackle made quite a name for himself as a member of

In 1996, William Perry showed up overseas and strapped it on for the London Monarchs.


the Chicago Bears' 1985 Super Bowl championship team. He clogged the middle on Buddy Ryan's "46 defense," and in his spare time took handoffs from quarterback Jim McMahon on short (very short) yardage situations. Perry even scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XX.

But, by the '90s, Perry and his girth wore thin in the NFL. In 1996, Perry showed up in Europe to play his one and only season with the London Monarchs.

It's not like Perry didn't have a productive career. He played in the NFL for 10 seasons, most of which with the Bears, scoring three touchdowns and recording 29.5 sacks.

Lawrence Phillips

As a Heisman Trophy candidate at the University of Nebraska, Phillips was one of college football's top NFL prospects.

Off-the-field problems made Phillips a draft risk, but the St. Louis Rams took a chance on the troubled running back with the No. 6 overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. He Phillips played in 25 games for the Rams, but spent a total of 19 months in jail. Eventually, the Rams released him for insubordination toward members of the coaching staff.

Phillips resurfaced in NFL Europe in 1999 and appeared to have turned the corner in a record-breaking season. As a member of the Barcelona Dragons, he rushed for 1,021 yards and scored 14 touchdowns, both single-season league records. Phillips was named NFL Europe's offensive MVP.

After his record-breaking NFL Europe season, the 49ers took a chance on Phillips. He played in eight games - rushing for 144 yards and two touchdowns - before he was cut for missing practice. Phillips later signed with the Dolphins, but was soon released.

In 2000, with his NFL career over, the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes turned to Phillips. The troubled back was uninterested in heading north, and Phillips backed out of the CFL.

Phillips then became interested in playing in the new XFL, but Phillips' off-field problems and the XFL's policy against signing players with such problems quickly nixed that idea.

Last year, Phillips signed with the Arena Football League's Florida Bobcats. But, after just a week with the Bobcats, he mysteriously left the team and was out of the AFL for good.

With little to no hope of ever joining up with the NFL, NFL Europe, CFL or the Arena Football League, Phillips' football career is now apparently over.

Ron Powlus

As one of Lou Holtz's most prized recruits, Ron Powlus' career at Notre Dame never really materialized to the otherworldly expectations many placed on the talented quarterback.

Nonetheless, Powlus - a four-year starter at Notre Dame - owns 16 Fighting Irish passing records.

After having tryouts with the Tennessee Oilers, St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions, Powlus was signed by the Eagles and shipped off to NFL Europe. As a member of the Amsterdam Admirals, he was one of NFL Europe's top passers in 2000.

Powlus made the Eagles' final cut in 2000, but that was his last taste of the NFL and a once-promising career in football has come to an inglorious end.

The 1996 Heisman Trophy winner was a fourth-round draft pick by Mike Ditka's New Orleans Saints in 1997.

In a three-year career with the Saints, Wuerffel passed for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns while playing in 16 games (four of which were starts).

After Ditka was fired and replaced by current Saints coach Jim Haslett in February of 2000, Wuerffel was released. That spring, Wuerffel caught on in NFL Europe. Playing for the World Bowl champion Rhein Fire, Wuerffel threw for a league-record 25 touchdowns and a league-leading 2,042 yards. The Packers gave Wuerffel a second chance in 2000. In 2001, Wuerffel was a third-stringer with the Bears. After getting gobbled up in the expansion draft by the Houston Texans, Wuerffel was traded to the Redskins, a team coached by his former University of Florida mentor, Steve Spurrier. This off-season, Wuerffel finally retired after six NFL seasons.

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I've really enjoyed watching Hamden this season - I've watched about every game that NFL Network has played. That kid has really got a gun on him and Amsterdam scores often when he's in at QB. For as raw as he is, I can see what Spurrier and Co saw in the kid. He has remarkable pocket awareness for someone with so little experience at the position. If Hasslebeck stumbles for some reason, I think he's a real option for the #3 job.

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