Sports fans are used to players crying foul for a number of reasons on the field. We’re used to NBA players pulling out mouth pieces and complaining to refs all the time. Not a game goes by without LeBron crying about fouls and being rewarded with 20 trips to the line. This is so common in the NBA that it appears to be encouraged and rewarded when it happens. The NFL should not be like this.
Despite that, the NFL has several crybabies that will belly ache about calls, complain about other teammates, complain about other teams or bust out with any manner of childish freakout. We’ve seen this time and again on the practice field, on the playing field and off the field completely. Some of these players are rewarded for their soft, annoying, and ridiculous weeping; some are ridiculed for that behavior.
Crybabies in the NFL also have their own archetype. You don’t see a ton of offensive lineman, punters or long snappers that are complaining divas. No, the typical NFL crybaby tends to be a quarterback, wide receiver or some other glamor position that enables the crybaby with attention and a sense of self-importance. In looking at it, we can’t rule out starpower either because most of these guys are notable in one way or another – either for their ability to perform or some other notorious aspect that gives them the attention they so desperately need.
Here are 15 current players in the NFL that have very strong crybaby genes in their DNA. As mentioned, they are mostly skill position players like quarterbacks and wide receivers but there’s a few guys in there that might also surprise you.
15 James Harrison
Barely even in the NFL anymore and mostly a backup player, Harrison had a long history of being a total baby about the NFL’s protection rules for players, especially quarterbacks, when Harrison was a perennial All-Pro and nightmarish linebacker. Harrison was repeatedly fined for actions on the field that were in violation of these protection rules and he not only threatened to retire at one point because of it but is still talking about recouping that fine money even today. Let it go, bro.
14 Dez Bryant
The top diva receiver in the NFL right now with an abundance of physical talent to go with it. Bryant has exhibited all the crybaby tendencies: leaving the field early before the game’s over, fighting with his quarterback, fighting other teammates and being critical of his salary and contract situation publicly. The only thing that saves Bryant is his All-World talent, which allows him to be as petty as possible with little repercussion.
13 Philip Rivers
So many people kinda hate Rivers and his smug, holier-than-thou attitude that there are websites dedicated to fans that have expressed their distaste for this crybaby. Rivers is also one of those QBs that is constantly trying to milk the refs – complaining about calls and non-calls alike in any way that can benefit him and his team. Classic Rivers. One of the more annoying players in the league but a guy most fans would kill for to be their quarterback because of his talent.
12 Mike Wallace
The Dolphins’ former $60 Million Dollar Man may have refused to go back into the game during a Week 17 debacle against the Jets in 2014. After the game, Brandon Gibson even answered questions FOR Wallace. So, apparently, President Obama and Mike Wallace share a press secretary connection. Wallace was also unable to produce to the worth of his contract. He was subsequently traded to the Vikings for a 5th round pick where he will surely have a Hall of Fame career because no one knows how to under-utilize talent than the Miami Dolphins.
11 Steve Smith
Notorious NFL tough guy/bully/badass/funny dude Steve Smith has had a long history of altercations with teammates, opposing players, and mouthing off to anyone that will listen. He’s threatened other players even though he’s a complete jerk as well. He was especially critical of the Panthers after the team let him go in the 2014 offseason. Smith, however, tends to back up his tough talk as he notched 139 yards receiving and 2 TDs against his old team. Ice up, son.
10 Richie Incognito
Bully ringleader of the Dolphins 2013 bullying disaster involving former player, Jonathan Martin. Incognito and his complete disregard for decency were at the center of the storm and Incognito has remained largely unapologetic of his behavior. The now Bills guard continues to be one of the dirtiest players in the NFL and is always acting out whether he’s waving bye-bye to the opposing team in an inflammatory way or complaining about calls made against him.
9 Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman is such a crybaby. A great player but he has a tendency to try to get under people’s skin and consistently claims he is a ‘shutdown corner’ yet he only plays on one side of the field (therefore, just move your star WR to the other side). Plus, who can forget the ultimate crybaby gif in Super Bowl history?
8 Antonio Cromartie
The Man With Several Children He Struggles To Name has been critical of Commissioner Roger Goodell in the aftermath of ‘Deflate-Gate’, saying “Nobody is safe. No matter what you are. Roger is going to do what he wants to do. It doesn’t matter what the rules say, he’s going to make his own rules as he goes.” Hmmm…I see several fines and suspensions in your future, Antonio. Nice work there ‘expressing’ yourself. Then again, Goodell could be considered quite the crybaby during his tenure as well.
7 Jay Cutler
We might be putting Cutler here because he is one of the most meme-able QB's in recent history, and his incredible ability to look forlorn and depressed after throwing 4 interceptions is second to none. Despite being one of the most overpaid players in the league, Cutler always manages to come away frowning more often than not.
6 Eli Manning
No one is more HARRUMPH than Manning. He’s had one of the worst offensive lines in football over the last few years and Manning’s body language just says ‘please kill me but don’t tell my dad’. It’s just sad to watch him pick himself up over and over again but he’s not exactly Dan Marino yelling in the face of his offensive lineman to get their crap together. No, if you need Eli he’ll be in his room crying and listening to Dashboard Confessional.
5 DeMarco Murray
Fresh hot take! DeMarco Murray just came out and criticized the play-calling by Chip Kelly and his squad stating that he wasn’t getting enough touches. Naturally, Murray is a bit salty because he was a 1,000 yard rusher last year with the Cowboys and now he’s got 29 carries for 47 yards through 4 games. This should be interesting moving forward given how volatile the Eagles are and how in-over-his-head Kelly seems to be.
4 Peyton Manning
Almost no one gets the benefit of calls the way Peyton does. Mr DirecTV cannot be allowed any more neck surgeries, thank you. He’s a very delicate flower at this point and one cannot count the number of times that Peyton has rushed up to a referee after an initial call only to explain his side and the ref mysteriously overturn a call in Peyton’s favor. The worst.
3 Brandon Marshall
Temper tantrums in practice, domestic violence situations, throwing the ball at the opposing sideline, making a consistent spectacle of himself on every team he’s been on and nearly every press conference, Brandon Marshall is one of the all-time greats when it comes to NFL crybabies. He attributes all his erratic behavior to his borderline personality disorder but he’s also just kind of a dick.
2 Ndamukong Suh
Before becoming the Cable TV version of Suh after he joined the Dolphins, Ndamukong was one of the most feared, reviled, and dirtiest players in the NFL. Now with the Dolphins he’s resorted to storming out of press rooms, making excuses for his lack of production and seemingly doing whatever he wants to do on the field now that he’s a $116 million dollar man. Jesus, the Dolphins are stupid.
1 Tom Brady
Sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer but also a total baby that cries to the officials after every time he’s knocked down. It was already bad pre-2008 but then Bernard Pollard ended Brady’s season on opening day and now he’s more insufferable than ever. God forbid anyone should even touch the golden boy QB with the supermodel wife and accidental propensity for cheating! Gasp! Please don’t. Oh jeez how long before Brady’s attorneys contact us for even mentioning his total and complete crybaby ways. The world is unfair. Never forget that.