There is a lot of love going JJ Watt’s way, and much its much deserved after his fundraising efforts for Hurricane Harvey victims. This is a look at some of the players in the league who do not have that same love flowing in their direction. These are 10 players, who for some reason or another, are hated throughout NFL fan bases.
10. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
Richard Sherman says what he wants, and has made his fair share of enemies doing so. It started with his famous NFC Championship postseason rant, calling out WR Michael Crabtree, and now he doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut. Lately, it has been too much for even the Seahawks, who’ve been contemplating trading the corner since the end of last season.
Richard Sherman isn’t higher on the list because most of the time he backs up his words with his play, but calling out teammates and coaches is never acceptable. It would do Sherman a lot of good to get himself a filter.
9. Eli Manning, New York Giants
Quite frankly, this appalls me. Somehow amongst two Super Bowl MVPs and an 8-4 playoff record, Eli Manning has been given the reputation of overrated. This bewilders me to no end, especially since it’s common knowledge Manning has had a subpar offensive line protecting him for a long, long time.
The real reason for the hate on Eli has come from the growing popularity of fantasy football. Eli has never been an elite fantasy quarterback, getting drafted high every year only to let down his owners throwing a lot of picks and incompletions, most of which are the result of being pressured and tipped balls, but that’s what the majority of fans are watching for now. Eli get’s wins; he couldn’t care less about his fantasy production, but it is a key perpetrator to all his haters.
8. Ndamukong Suh, Miami Dolphins
Ndamukong Suh’s track record of dirty plays has been well documented throughout his career. But what has made him hated enough to make this list is the chronic-lying after he’s been caught in the act. Please don’t play innocent when there’s video evidence of you stomping straight on a player after the whistle. On one occasion the Lions issued an apology for Suh after he denied purposely stomping on Packer’s OL Evan Dietrich-Smith.
The thing that separates Suh from Vontaze Burfict (we’ll get to him) is that Burfict’s plays are of a football nature. Suh’s actions are usually after the whistle and have nothing to do with the play, which only increases dislike from the fans. Suh has stayed relatively quiet the last couple seasons, yet cannot shake his reputation and so he remains on the list.
7. Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins
Cutler gets a bad rep. 90% of the Jay Cutler haters say they don’t like him because he doesn’t show enough emotion. So what? Now, if you’re in the group that doesn’t like him because of his early exit from the NFC Championship in 2010, that’s understandable. Cutler left the game after an injury and watched as his team suffered a close defeat, 21-14.
Cutler’s never been able to shake the criticism that he gave up, and his lack of emotion adds to the criticism, resulting in questions of whether he cares about winning at all. But nobody comes out of retirement to play football unless they love the game, and I’m sure Jay Cutler’s return is all about playing ball again, and not about the $10 million contract.
6. Josh Norman, Washington Redskins
Josh Norman Is the new Richard Sherman, except that sometimes he can’t backup his words. Just ask the Panthers why they parted ways with the otherwise talented young player. Norman has the ability to make everything that happens about him, complaining just this offseason that he was being singled out in the rule changes because his favorite celebration was not taken off the banned list.
For all the talk, the corner has only made one pro bowl in his first five seasons. Maybe he should stop worrying about his celebrations and guard someone this year if he wants to improve his reputation and be the player he was in 2015.
5. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
No one likes a whiner, especially one that can’t stay on the field. Dez Bryant has great ability, and when he’s producing it’s a little easier to swallow his off the field issues. But when you miss ten games in the last two seasons due to injuries, and are absent or late to 20 to 40 team activities in a season, people start to feel a little agitated with the Dallas receiver.
Dez and Odell Beckham Jr. are the two receivers to make this list, but it would be wise for Dez to remember that he’s got a lot more to prove this year than his New York counterpart, so if I were him I’d keep my mouth shut and my alarms on this year, because his stock has been falling recently.
4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Back-to-back Cowboys at fifth and fourth are no surprise to anyone outside the state of Texas. America’s Team may be polarizing, but not always in a good way, in fact, a big reason Dez and Zeke are this high on the list is because they play for the Cowboys.
But, Elliott has certainly made it easy to dislike him; first he called out his coaching staff at Ohio St. for not giving him the ball, followed with his ridiculous attire on draft night, his inappropriate behavior at a St. Patricks Day celebration, and then recently with domestic violence accusations.
Reckless doesn’t even cover his actions during his short time in the spotlight. There is time for him to mature though, and in the next few seasons we will see whether Zeke rises or falls on this list.
3. Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals
Burfict is playing in the wrong era, that’s it. Ten or twenty years ago his bruising, relentless, and sometimes dirty tactics would make him a feared and respected player in the league. It doesn’t help that his questionable play likely cost his team a playoff win, which it did against Pittsburgh in 2015 when his hit on Antonio Brown put the Steelers in position for their game-winning field goal.
Burfict has been suspended the first three games of the regular season for a questionable hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman, a suspension that was reduced from its original ruling of five games. Burfict has become the poster-child for the changing nature of the NFL, regarding what the league used to be, and what it is trying to become, and it’s a tough place for a linebacker to be.
2. Odell Beckham, New York Giants
Talk about a guy who has some growing up to do. Everyone wants to win, but everyone doesn’t throw a fit when things don’t go there way. Maybe the only thing greater than OBJ’s football skill is his immaturity. We got a real treat when he and Josh Norman showcased their arrogance in 2015 with an on-the-field scuffle, which was a result of their heads getting so big that their helmets were cutting off circulation to their brains.
Beckham also had a season long rivalry with a kicking net last year, taking out his anger on whatever he could find on the sideline. OBJ is well on his way to following in the footsteps of fellow great wide-out Terrell Owens, who no doubt would have made this list back in his day.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Sure, I respect him. That doesn’t mean I have to like him. If there’s such a thing as having too much good fortune, the example would be Tom Brady’s career; becoming a star from a sixth-round pick, five Super Bowls, Belichick, Giselle, ageless, we get it already. Tom Brady will always be hated by anyone who was a fan of Peyton Manning, and he had a lot of fans.
The great debate between the two may be over, but it’s too late to take back the years of disdain we’ve all built up against Tom and the Patriots. No one likes a guy who always wins, especially when they do it the way New England has; Spygate, Deflategate, making everyone expendable, everyone except Tom, that is. When it’s all said and done will Tom Brady be the greatest ever? Not if we all agree to say no.
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