John "the Bull" Bramlett (July 7, 1941 – October 23, 2014) was an American football linebacker who played from 1965 to 1971 on four teams, the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins and the Boston Patriots in the American Football League and the Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League . He was a two time AFL All-Star. Bramlett served as a minister before his death.
Bramlett was an All-State and All-American at Humes High School in Memphis and played college football at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), where he was named an honorable mention All-American his senior year. Bramlett signed a professional baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals but was kicked out of baseball after a few years after getting into trouble. Bramlett then signed a contract with the Denver Broncos and was named runner-up AFL Rookie of the year behind Joe Namath in 1965.
Bramlett only lasted two seasons with the Broncos, making one appearance in the Pro Bowl before being traded to the Miami Dolphins for a fourth round pick in the 1968 NFL Draft. He played two seasons with Miami, making another Pro Bowl appearance, before being traded to the Patriots along with quarterback Kim Hammond in exchange for Nick Buoniconti in 1969.
With the Patriots, Bramlett was named the Most Valuable Player for the team in 1970 but also got in more trouble and was nicknamed the "Meanest Man in Football." . Bramlett was then traded to the Green Bay Packers for Rich Moore. However, he balked at reporting to Green Bay and was released by the Packers before the 1971 season. He was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons and played one season for them before retiring.
Bramlett is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
By Dean Hanley
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