Warren Wells (November 14, 1942 – December 27, 2018) was an American college and professional football player, who played wide receiver for five seasons, with the Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders. He had success with the Raiders with one 1,000-yard season and a Pro Bowl nomination, but saw his career end because of legal troubles.
|Born:||November 14, 1942|
|Died:||December 27, 2018 (aged 76)|
|NFL Draft:||1964 / Round: 12 / Pick: 160|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Player stats at PFR|
Wells grew up in Beaumont, Texas, where he attended Hebert High School; he was one of 16 pro footballers honored with the keys to the city in 1971. He attended Texas Southern University until 1964 when he was taken in the 12th round of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
Professional football careerEdit
He played for one season in Detroit before he was drafted into the U.S. Army. In 1967, he returned from his military service and signed with the Raiders. While with the Raiders, with mostly Daryle Lamonica as his quarterback, he was one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the league, finishing with over 20 yards per catch in all four seasons. In 1969, he led the AFL in yards received (1260), yards per catch (a whopping 26.8), and touchdowns (14). He also led the AFL in touchdowns in 1968 (11), as well as finishing 4th in yards received (1137). He was an AFL All-Star in 1968 and an AFC-NFC All-Pro in 1970. Wells held the career NFL record in yards per catch (23.1) up to the date of a change in NFL guidelines, currently a minimum 200 career receptions, Wells falling short at 158.
Before the 1971 season started, Wells' career was cut short following legal difficulties relating to his divorce and subsequent criminal charges. Following the Pro Bowl game in Los Angeles on January 24, 1971, Wells was met by police in the locker room and arrested on a warrant for a probation violation originating from his conviction in 1969 for aggravated assault (Eugene Register Guard, Jan 25, 1971 "Warren Wells Nabbed After Tilt"). Further, according to an article in the Dallas Morning Star, dated July 7, 2016, (Flashback: DFW produces a ton of football talent, but another part of Texas is 'the pro football capital of the world') "in 1969, he was charged with rape, a charge later reduced to aggravated assault. His probation was revoked in 1970 because he was drinking in a bar, a violation further complicated when a woman stabbed him in the chest. He missed the 1971 season while serving 10 months in a California prison. The Raiders released him in 1971 and he never played football again. His career over, his personal life disintegrated quickly. In 1976, he was arrested in Beaumont for robbery while panhandling." Also noted by the Bay Area newspapers during this time, Wells was arrested for carrying a gun in his car, and a judge, instead of sending him to prison, allowed him to enter Synanon House, a drug rehabilitation center.
Later life and deathEdit
Following his career, Wells continued to struggle with alcoholism and later dementia, but later became sober. Wells died in Beaumont, Texas on December 27, 2018 from a heart attack at the age of 76. His brain was later sent to be tested for chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
- Sherrington, Kevin (July 7, 2016) . "Flashback: DFW produces a ton of football talent, but another part of Texas is 'the pro football capital of the world'". The Dallas Morning News.
- Slotnik, Daniel E. (31 December 2018). "Warren Wells, Star Receiver With a Derailed Career, Dies at 76" – via NYTimes.com.
- Parker, Craig; Kimball, George. Football's Blackest Hole. Frog Books, 2003. ISBN 1-58394-092-8, ISBN 978-1-58394-092-1
- Travers, Steven. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Oakland Raiders: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping, and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Oakland Raiders History. Triumph Books, 2008. ISBN 1-57243-927-0, ISBN 978-1-57243-927-6
- "Warren Wells Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- "NFL Records". www.nfl.com.
- Dickey Glenn. Just Win, Baby: Al Davis and His Raiders. Harcourt, 1991. ISBN 0-15-146580-0, ISBN 978-0-15-146580-4
- "Warren Wells, former Raiders wide receiver, dies at 76". NBCS Bay Area. 27 December 2018.