Albert Haynesworth and the Biggest Diva in the History of Every Franchise
With all the fame, money and exposure NFL players receive, it is easy to see how they can begin to think more highly of themselves than they really ought to.
When a player takes their thinking to an extreme level they fall into a category simply known as a diva.
A diva will do anything to get more attention. They will make fun of their own teammates (Terrell Owens). It's possible that they will put on ridiculous touchdown celebrations (Chad Ochocinco). Heck, some of these players might even cry numerous times (Vince Young).
Whatever the reason, the following players have transcended normal professional athlete status and became divas. Here are the biggest divas in the history of every NFL franchise.
Arizona Cardinals: Anquan Boldin, WR
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Anquan Boldin's diva reputation started in college when he switched from quarterback to wide receiver simply to gain more playing time. I guess he didn't want to go the same route as Matt Cassel, the career backup.
When Arizona drafted Larry Fitzgerald after Boldin's fantastic rookie season, Boldin took it personally. It wasn't until before the 2010 season that Arizona finally traded him to the Baltimore Ravens.
Boldin's numbers dropped significantly in his first year in Baltimore, and I don't see his statistics improving much next season.
Atlanta Falcons: Deion Sanders, CB
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There are few players who played with as much style as Deion Sanders. From his high stepping to constant taunting, Sanders was an absolute media darling.
He is the only player to ever score a touchdown and hit a home run in the same week. He is also the only player to ever play in a Super Bowl and a World Series.
No one doubts the athletic talent that Sanders had, but his need to be loved and reverenced is well documented.
Sanders is one of the most talented players to ever play the game. He is also one of the biggest divas to ever play the game.
Baltimore Ravens: Elvis Grbac, QB
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The Baltimore Ravens shocked everyone when they released their starting quarterback, Trent Dilfer, after winning the Super Bowl. They continued to shock everyone when they replaced him with Elvis Grbac.
The first thing Grbac did when he became a Raven was trash Dilfer. He felt that Baltimore needed a real quarterback to open up their vertical game. Unfortunately, Grbac wasn't that quarterback. He was constantly criticized by the media and fans in Baltimore.
Baltimore did make the playoffs in Grbac's lone year as starter, but they were knocked out in the second round.
Buffalo Bills: Marshawn Lynch, RB
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Marshawn Lynch has had an up-and-down career in the NFL. After making the Pro Bowl in 2008, he only gained 450 yards the following season.
Lynch's biggest diva issue has been with the law, but he is also fairly confident in his own abilities. He has told people that he goes into "beast mode" when he carries the ball. While that was true on this 67-yard run against New Orleans, living up to those expectations is rather difficult.
Whenever a player has constant contact with law officials, it screams that the player is only concerned with himself and not his team. That has certainly been Lynch's problem and look what it got him, a spot on this list.
Carolina Panthers: Julius Peppers, DE
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No defensive player has a combination of size and athleticism like Julius Peppers. His ability is so rare that I don't know if I will ever see another player like him while I'm alive.
However, even with all of Peppers' ability, he never seems like he is using all of it. He appears to take plays off and sometimes takes whole games off. After eight seasons with Carolina, Peppers was going to demand a trade if a franchise tag was placed on him.
The Panthers didn't tag him, and he eventually landed a huge deal with Chicago.
Carolina is one of the younger franchises, and it is a shame that their best player no longer wanted to play for them.
Chicago Bears: Jim McMahon, QB
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When you are carrying a beer the first time the public in Chicago gets to see you, it is possible there could be some issues. This is especially true if a team just spent the fifth overall draft pick on you.
McMahon always wanted to be the star and would constantly get in verbal confrontations with coaches, teammates and the media.. He was well known for wearing headbands and sunglasses both on and off the field.
While the sunglasses were necessary due to a young injury, the headbands were simply for show.
McMahon was a great quarterback, but he definitely was into himself.
Cincinnati Bengals: Chad Johnson/Ochocinco, WR
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Is anyone surprised that we find this man on the list?
Chad Johnson, or Ochocinco, or whatever else he might call himself, has made a living as a diva. I'm not saying he isn't a great player, because he is, I'm just saying he absolutely is a diva.
Whether he is doing a planned celebration after a touchdown or a race against a horse, it all screams, "LOOK AT ME!"
Don't expect Chad to change anytime soon. He will be a diva long after he is finished playing football.
Cleveland Browns: Jim Brown, RB
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Jim Brown is easily one of the greatest football players to ever play the game. He took pleasure in getting tackled because he knew when someone tackled him, that player was going to feel pain.
Brown wasn't so much a diva on the field as he was off the field. He starred in numerous movies and was very verbal after retirement. Franco Harris was one running back that Brown disliked greatly.
He even considered coming out of retirement once when Harris was close to breaking his rushing record for career yards.
Dallas Cowboys: Michael Irvin, WR
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It was always difficult for Michael Irvin to be out of the spotlight. Even when he was overshadowed by Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman in talent, Irvin was never overshadowed in showmanship.
Irvin has had legal issues and numerous controversial comments. He has also been in movies and appeared on television. Irvin loves being the center of attention and will do just about anything to get there.
In 2006, Irvin was employed by ESPN and made comments concerning Tony Romo's heritage. He was eventually let go by the company.
We will surely see Irvin, either on TV, radio or print, being a diva for many years to come.
Denver Broncos: Jay Cutler, QB
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When Cutler got wind of the Broncos being interested in quarterback Matt Cassel, he demanded a trade. To him, even the idea of his team thinking about another quarterback was to much for him to handle.
He eventually got his trade and ended up in Chicago where he has yet to be very impressive.
In fact, after Cutler's last playoff game for the Bears, he almost made this list twice.
Detriot Lions: Charles Rogers, WR
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When you are compared to Randy Moss coming out of college, it can mean two things. Either you are extremely talented, which Rogers was, or you have some major issues, which Rogers does.
The second pick in the 2003 NFL draft lasted only two years in the NFL. Over that span, he recorded 36 receptions and four touchdowns. Some of that was due to injury, but his low production was mainly due to his work ethic.
He thought he was so talented that he didn't need to work to make an impact.
Unfortunately, that thinking didn't work out for Rogers and after Detroit cut him, no other team wanted to go near him.
Green Bay Packers: Brett Favre, QB
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I don't even know where to begin with Brett Favre. My once favorite player, I now despise because of his diva mentality.
All Brett had to do was retire. He would have gone down as one of the greatest to ever play the game. But no, Favre had to not only return once from retirement, but a total of three times. To make matters even worse, he came back to play against Green Bay's arch rival, the Minnesota Vikings.
Brett wanted it to be all about him and got all upset when the Packers were ready to move on past him. Favre's last season was laughable while Green Bay rode his replacement, Aaron Rodgers, to a Super Bowl victory.
Houston Texans: Dunta Robinson, CB
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Houston is an extremely young franchise and so far they haven't really had to deal with divas.
The only exception was Dunta Robinson back during the 2009 season. Robinson was ready to become a free agent following the season and was upset that the was given the franchise tag. He would sit out all of training camp before finally signing a one-year deal.
During the first game of the year, Robinson wore a special message to Houston's general manager on his shoes that said "Pay Me Rick."
Houston decided not to pay him, and he ended up in Atlanta.
Indianapolis Colts: Jeff George, QB
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Most people forget that Jeff George was actually drafted by Indianapolis with the first pick of the 1990 draft. Many Indianapolis fans are still trying to forget George's short stint with the team.
Things started off bad for George and continued that way until he was finally traded to the Atlanta Falcons. He often argued with his coach and teammates. He held out and demanded trades.
However, the worst thing he would do was make inexcusable gestures towards Colts' fans.
George went on to have a long and productive career in the NFL. He was supposed to have that career in Indianapolis, but it was clear from day one that that wasn't going to happen.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Keenan McCardell, WR
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Keenan McCardell teamed with Jimmy Smith to form one of the best receiving duos in the NFL.
Smith was always the quiet, polite player while McCardell was all about showmanship. He would often showboat on the field after simple receptions. McCardell was also rather verbal about his teammates and got into many spats with players.
McCardell would eventually end up with Tampa Bay and San Diego where he kept his diva status alive.
Kansas City Chiefs: Larry Johnson, RB
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When Johnson got onto the field in 2005, many thought they were seeing the next great running back. He continued his great play the following season when he finished with over 1,700 rushing yards.
Unfortunately, it all went down hill from there with Johnson. His diva mentality ruined a promising career when he was suspended by Kansas City for comments about his coach.
After he returned from suspension, Johnson got into a Twitter battle with a fan over how much more money he made.
He was waived by the Chiefs and wound up as the fourth-string running back in Cincinnati. He is currently unwanted by any team.
Miami Dolphins: Mercury Morris, RB
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Being a member of the only perfect team in NFL history is quite an honor. However, that honor doesn't need to be rubbed in every team's face for the rest of eternity.
For all the talk Morris has brought in recent years, he wasn't even the best running back on Miami's roster for most of his career. In fact, he did most of his damage as a kick returner.
I'm not saying that a kick returner can't be great for a team, just look at Devin Hester.
I am saying that the second best running back on a team should not be a diva.
Minnesota Vikings: Randy Moss, WR
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When Randy Moss entered the NFL draft, he fell down many teams draft board due to his personality issues. While many teams regret passing on Moss because of what he has done on the field, some feel lucky to not have had to deal with Moss' diva status.
When Moss was traded to Oakland in 2005, he had worn out his welcome in Minnesota. He was injured during his last season with the Vikings and was often used as a decoy. Of course, this never sat well with Moss.
In Oakland, he continued his poor play and was even unwilling to participate at times.
After brief success with New England, Moss got back to his old ways by being traded back to Minnesota and finally to Tennessee
New England Patriots: Terry Glenn, WR
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I've heard numerous insults in my life. Yes, most were directed at me, but that is beside the point.
However, I've never been called a "she" by someone and especially not one of my coaches. Bill Parcells was so fed up with Terry Glenn's antics that he referred to Glenn as a "she." Now if that is not being considered a diva, then I don't know what is.
Glenn was also suspected of faking injuries and was constantly being disciplined for his off-field behavior. He was deactivated for his last season in New England because of these issues.
New Orleans Saints: Ricky Williams, RB
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Ricky Williams is a pretty strange dude. Before being traded to Miami where his strangeness really took off, Williams was considered a diva in New Orleans.
He was known to give interviews still wearing his helmet. That wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that Williams helmet often included a darkened visor. It is hard to give an interview when you can't look a person in the eyes.
I'm not sure if Williams was just shy or if he felt reporters weren't good enough to see his full face. Like I said before, Ricky Williams is a pretty strange dude.
New York Giants: Jeremy Shockey, TE
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Coming out of the University of Miami, Jeremy Shockey was expected to be a fantastic tight end. However, injuries derailed his career.
Injuries have always hampered Shockey's success, but his attitude has also been a major issue. While a member of the New York Giants, Shockey was never really happy with his position on the team.
He always felt like he should be utilized more than he actually was. His unhappiness reached a pinnacle when he stayed in the locker room during a minicamp practice.
Shockey got his wish when he was finally traded to New Orleans, but he is still injury prone is hasn't made much of an impact for the Saints.
New York Jets: Joe Namath, QB
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With a nickname like "Broadway Joe," it just screams diva.
Joe Namath might be the grandfather of divas. He tried to open a bar called "Bachelors III" and when he was asked by commissioner Pete Rozelle to sell his share of the bar, he retired from football.
Namath also appeared in numerous movies and was constantly seen in the New York City night life.
Namath still continues to live the diva lifestyle and is the second oldest diva on this list.
Oakland Raider: DeAngelo Hall, CB
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In my humble opinion, DeAngelo Hall is extremely overrated. His good overall statistics are far less impressive when you watch how many times he gets beat by receivers.
It doesn't matter what people think about DeAngelo Hall because DeAngelo Hall thinks DeAngelo Hall is the best cornerback in the NFL.
Oakland saw Hall's diva mentality first hand. After the Raiders signed him to a huge contract worth $70 million, they released him partway through the season. Hall didn't want to play Oaklands style of defense, so instead of changing, he just played poorly.
Now Hall's divaness is Washington's problem, but he is often overshadowed by another diva who will be named later.
Philadelphia Eagles: Freddie Mitchell, WR
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Being good at football and being a diva is one thing. Often times, teams will put up with a players personality if they produce on the field. I mean, just look at Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco.
However, being bad at football and being a diva is a completely different story and the lead character in this story is Freddie Mitchell. Mitchell just didn't know how to keep his mouth shut. He often said that he was the best receiver on the Eagles roster, but 90 career receptions doesn't back up the statement.
Mitchell really showed how he is a diva following Super Bowl XXXIX. Mitchell stated that the Eagles would have beat New England had he gotten the ball more and Terrell Owens had gotten it less.
I hate to break it to you Freddie, but Terrell Owens has put up better numbers in a single season than you have in your entire career.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Plaxico Burress, WR
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Plaxico Burress is not only a diva, but he also appears to have problems safely handling a gun.
Burress gained the reputation of a diva when he allowed MTV to film his rookie season for their show True Life. He continued to frustrate the Steelers when he decided to not show for a team practice during the 2004 season.
Burress actually had a rather successful career in Pittsburgh, but after a playoff loss in 2005, he decided he was too good for the Steelers and wanted to find a new team to play for.
Plaxico is now out of jail and looking for a team to play for. I guarantee that Pittsburgh isn't interested.
San Diego Chargers: Shawne Merriman, OLB
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When Shawne Merriman came into the league, he was an offenses worst nightmare for his first three years. He was the Rookie of the Year in 2005 and made it to the Pro Bowl for three straight seasons.
Before Merriman was an actual NFL player, he held out for a long time to get the contract he felt he deserved. He tested positive for steroids in 2006 and even had a rule named after him.
Injuries began affect Merriman during the 2008 season and he was never the same. He is now a backup for one of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills.
San Francisco 49ers: Terrell Owens, WR
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If I was ranking this list, Terrell Owens would be at the top of my list. I even considered putting Owens on this list for numerous teams because of how big of a diva he is.
He showboats. He trashes teammates. He has issues off the football field. The list could literally go on and on about how Terrell Owens is a diva. The main reason I picked San Francisco for his team is because of the comments he made about his quarterback at the time, Jeff Garcia.
There is little doubt that Owens has put together a Hall of Fame career. His diva status is legendary and a trip to Canton will only cement that status in his mind.
Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Trufant, CB
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Seattle was the most difficult team to find a true diva for. I guess that should be considered an honor for the Seahawks franchise.
There isn't much that Trufant has done to be considered, but he has begun to let his fan's love get to his head. Hopefully, it doesn't turn into anything too serious.
St. Louis Rams: Eric Dickerson, RB
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I'm pretty sure I saw Kim Kardashian wearing a similar pair of glasses last week. Of course I kid, but seriously, what is up with those glasses?
Dickerson was a smooth runner with a smoother personality. Living in Los Angeles can change a player's personality and that is exactly what happened to him.
His immediate success in the league was on factor that led to him becoming a diva.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Warren Sapp, DT
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As a Packer fan, I remember the constant jarring between Warren Sapp and Brett Favre. It looked like all fun and games, but I'm sure there were times when pretty serious words were spoken.
Sapp will always be remembered for his excessive talking while on the field. No player or coach was safe from getting verbally assaulted by his trash talking.
These outbursts would sometimes results in fines from the NFL. He was even thrown out of a game once for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Sapp is one of the most successful defensive tackles in NFL history. He is also one of the worst contestants in the history of Dancing With The Stars.
Tennessee Titans: Vince Young, QB
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I am completely honest when I say that crying is a good thing for a man. Whether it is the birth of a child or a sappy love movie, crying can sort of be therapeutic. Plus, women really like a man that cries.
With that said, some people take crying over the edge. One of those people is Vince Young. Young has been benched and cried. That experience caused him to want to quit football. It wasn't any better for him last season either after he was benched midway through the season.
Young got so angry by not being allowed back in a game that he threw his shoulder pads into the crowd and stormed off the field.
When you throw more hissy fits in a season than you do touchdown passes, you get on this list.
Washington Redskins: Albert Haynesworth, DT
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Albert Haynesworth is either a great player or the greatest con man in sports history. I mean seriously, the guy signs a contact worth $100 million and has sat out more games than he has played.
Since signing with Washington, he has missed practices and played poorly during games. He has showed up out of shape and overweight. There were even reports that he could barely run without getting tired.
Mike Shanahan was so fed up with Haynesworth's antics that he suspended him for the rest of the season in December.
Haynesworth might go down as the worst free agent signing in NFL history. He might also go down as one of the greatest divas in NFL history.
Few players will ever get both those titles, so I guess Haynesworth should be proud of himself.