It might seem like it’s easy to these athletes, but there is nothing easy about making it into the NFL. These players have been playing football their entire lives, and have sacrificed countless aspects in their lives in order to help make their dream come true. They have also been told their entire lives that they are outstanding at football, so why wouldn’t it increase your confidence? There are some players that have been doubted their entire lives, and use that as motivation such as Russell Wilson. But for every Wilson in the league, there’s an arrogant counterpart to his demeanour.
It’s a game that you need to be passionate about to excel, so it may not be shocking that some players passions get translated into arrogance.
You don’t have to be humble to be in the NFL, you just need to make sure that you are good at what you do. Unfortunately for some of these players, it’s their undeniable talent that helps lead to ego’s that often go unchecked. How do you tell the star of the team that he is acting like a whiny little kid, without being afraid that it will strain the locker room?
You need to hope that if you are excelling in the NFL, that you are aware that what you are doing is an incredible opportunity. That should keep you humble and help you really use that platform that the NFL gives you, to the fullest.
It can be awful when players you idolize, clearly don’t give a crap about the fans and instead care more about promoting their own sense of self.
Talented or otherwise, these are the 20 least humble players in the history of the NFL.
20 Odell Beckham Jr.
There is every reason in the entire world for OBJ to be confident in his abilities. Going into his 3rd year, OBJ has already received endorsement deals left right and center, and he’s on pace to be one of the greatest wide receivers of all time. Yet all of that success has also led to a swelled head for OBJ, as he is clearly not shy to showboat, as well as being a bit of a hothead. OBJ’s most prominent example come from the outstanding game against the Panthers, in which OBJ’s immaturity was in full effect as he sparred with Josh Norman.
19 Sammy Watkins
When you are essentially the only wide receiving target for the Buffalo Bills, there may be every reason to be confident if you are Sammy Watkins. But not matter how good you are, that’s not going to sit well when you call out the fans and the team halfway through the 2015 season. In a grammar challenged speech to the fans, Watkins made it clear that we can "keep working our little person jobs while he still makes it big as an NFL superstar." Definitely far from a humble statement to make from a player who is only going into his 3rd year in the NFL.
18 Doug Baldwin
The Seahawks are well documented to have a chip on their shoulder. With several players on the team being undrafted or late round selections, it shouldn’t be shocking that one of the loudest is the undrafted superstar, Doug Baldwin. Baldwin had a fantastic 2015 campaign including new highs in TD’s as well as yards. Before this, he was largely known around the league as Angry Doug Baldwin (ADB). Baldwin was not shy from publicly going after Cris Carter back when he called the Seahawks receiving core out for being pedestrian. Baldwin would state just how talented the receiving core was. Baldwin had every reason to want to defend himself and his teammates, but he definitely didn’t do it humbly....he also pretended to poop out a football during the Super Bowl..
17 DeAngelo Hall
DeAngelo Hall used to be a pretty good cornerback in the NFL. Unfortunately a few injuries have robbed him of some of his skill, and he’s hardly one of the top tier guys anymore. Yet when he was at the very least, a better player, he dropped the gem:
“I always feel like I'm the best guy out there," said Hall. "When a guy catches a pass, it almost seems like luck to me. If a guy makes another catch, I'm like, 'Two? How did that happen?'"
…well it happens because you’re not the best cornerback, but I appreciate the confidence in yourself? I can only imagine the ego’s colliding when him and fellow teammate DeSean Jackson (...who may just appear on this list), get together.
16 Adam Jones
I absolutely cannot STAND Adam “Pacman” Jones. The guy constantly makes incredibly boneheaded plays and refuses to ever own up to the fact that he makes consistent mistakes. Most prominently he cost his team a playoff game when he went after Joey Porter, the assistant coach, for the Pittsburgh Steelers and received a 15 yard penalty. Despite it clearly being illegal to put your hands on the coach (which Jones did), he decided instead to rant to reporters after the game about how it was Porter’s fault. Let’s not even get into the fact that he attacked Antonio Brown for faking an injury, despite Brown being knocked out and receiving a concussion on the play. The league will be a better place when Jones is not in it.
15 Johnny Manziel
What does Manziel have to be confident about?! It’s understandable that he had himself a nice career at the University of Texas, but the guy has flamed out on a constant basis in the NFL. Failing to represent himself as a professional on multiple occasion, clearly demonstrates behavior from a player who thinks he is bigger than the game. Given that it is now being rumored that Manziel may be dropped by his Nike line, perhaps that will be the final wake up call to get Johnny Football, to realize he needs to be good at football.
14 Chad Ochocinco
When you wear a jacket on the sidelines that states “HOF 20??”, you’re clearly sending a message to the entire league that you think you’re not only one of the best in the game, but all time. The joke ended up being on Ochocinco whose NFL career came to an uneventful end and he found himself suiting up in the CFL. Chad was definitely talented, and there were a few seasons where he was among the best, but no talent could ever reach the ego that he had. Not to mention the fact that he literally changed his name from Chad Johnson, to Chad Ocho-Cinco because he wore number 85. At the very least Chad has one of the biggest personalities that have ever been in the game.
13 LeSean McCoy
There is no doubting that McCoy is not a huge fan of how he left the city of Philadelphia. After being bounced by the Chip Kelly regime, McCoy went on several rants against the organization including accusing Kelly of being a racist. It’s understandable that McCoy was upset he was traded, but a humble player would realize that it is part of the business, without going on a rant attacking your former place of employment. Combined with the fact that he refused to shake Chip’s hand on the 50 yard line after the Bills/Eagles game this year helps cement the fact that if he’s not arrogant, McCoy at the very least holds a grudge.
12 Titus Young
Do you recognize the name Titus Young? You should! After all, didn’t you hear that he was going to be one of the greatest wide receivers of all time (just ask him) and is clearly better than Calvin Johnson. The player’s arrogance was too much for the Detroit Lions, or anyone else in the league to handle, and the player’s career flamed out. The best example may be how he lined up in the wrong position, and then got into a verbal confrontation with the Lions WR coach about it. It was the last straw for the Lions, who deactivated Young after the game. It’s definitely frustrating, but it also doesn’t excuse tweeting out things like how if he doesn’t get the ball anymore then he doesn’t want to play anymore. It also doesn’t help that he was arrested twice on May 5th, 2013. Once for drunken driving, and once later that day for trying to steal his car back from the impound lot.
11 Steve Smith
One of the most entertaining personalities to ever be in the NFL is Steve Smith. A long time Carolina Panther, Smith allowed the edge that he kept on his shoulder to greatly impact his game. Clearly realizing that trash talking is part of the equation, Smith made sure to state “I ran around those boys like they was school yard kids” after his new team (The Ravens) dismantled his former team (The Panthers). There’s no doubting the talent of the future Hall of Famer, he just made sure the world knew that he was good too.
There were rumors that one of the reasons behind Smith’s departure from Carolina, was that he was preventing Cam Newton from truly developing into a leader with his personality.
10 Bart Scott
There is no doubting that Bart Scott was not a fired up player. Scott played for several teams, but his most prominent moment came as a member of the New York Jets. After beating the Patriots in the playoffs, he loudly yelled “TO ALL THE NON-BELIEVERS, ESPECIALLY YOU TOM JACKSON, ANYONE CAN BE BEAT..POETIC JUSTICE, WE WERE PISSED OFF…” before yelling that he CAN’T WAIT to go and play Pittsburgh. On top of that fun moment, Scott made headlines for his loud trash talking of Wes Welker.
After Wes Welker teased his coach, Rex Ryan, Scott stated his “days in a uniform” are numbered. Yikes! Clearly heavy trash talking from a brash player.
9 Terrell Suggs
When it comes to some of the biggest trash talkers in the league, Terrell Suggs has to be up there. The player has a public feud with a few players, most notably Tom Brady, and is proud of his Baltimore Ravens. When asked how he felt about watching Pittsburgh beat Tom Brady, he stated "It was a lose-lose game for me. I like when they hit him but, like I said, whatever the outcome of the game, I couldn't win." Clearly a player who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. If you check out his twitter account, there are also no shortage of moments where he’s loudly and proudly taunted his oppositions.
8 Michael Crabtree
Now Crabtree definitely started his NFL career off badly. After dropping in the draft, Crabtree decided his first NFL move should be to hold out for a better contract. Thank God the league rectified what used to be an awful rookie system. Now you can make the argument that Crabtree has grown up since his first few years in the NFL, but he was still far from a humble player. Thankfully his career seems to have turned around with Oakland, because after Sherman publically humiliated him as a 49er, Crabtree needed a fresh start.
7 DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson is no rumor to off the field issues, and arrogant moments on the field. Have you watched him play? It seems that almost after every single catch, Jackson finds it within himself to celebrate or taunt the opponent. Not to mention the fact that there have been several occasions of his career in which he tries to showboat or make a play, and it costs his team a championship. Jackson called out his own effort in the recent playoff game against the Packers, in which he thought he had a TD but instead had stepped out before crossing the plane.
Combined with the fact that Jackson burned countless bridges on his way out of Philadelphia and it makes it clear that he is one of the most arrogant players in the NFL.
6 Justin Gilbert
It takes a special talent to be drafted in the first round, and already have your career be flamed out by the time your rookie contract is over. Gilbert was a horrendous pick by the Cleveland Browns, and as if his on field performance wasn’t dismal enough, his attitude is even worse. Gilbert has been called out by his teammates for his lack of effort and dedication that it takes to be successful at a high level. It takes a special type of arrogance to not try, fail, and continue not trying.
The team failed to meet with Gilbert before drafting him, which is ridiculous in it’s own right.
Local Cleveland writer Kevin Jones stated “what’s troubling about the matter is that Gilbert’s personality problems are apparent to anyone who’s been around him for longer than a day,”…yikes.
5 Cam Newton
Cam Newton has done a ton of work off the field to help improve the lives of others. The player received some scorn back in 2012 for his behaviour at the Pro Bowl which several other NFL players described as arrogant. On top of that, Cam is never afraid to flash his trademark smile or strike a pose which has been known to get under the skin of his opponents in the past. It is very possible that Newton has calmed down in recent years, but with a potential MVP award coming, there is no doubting that Newton does not have all the reasons in the world to be confident.
4 Michael Vick
Vick is immensely talented, physically, and it was that physical skillset that made him one of the most electrifying players in the history of the NFL. Vick’s statistical performance has been good enough for two different teams (the Falcons and Eagles) to offer him 100+ million dollar contracts. Vick was also known for his time in Atlanta as being an incredibly lazy football player, who never put the true time and study that could have elevated him to the next level. After a stint in jail for dog fighting allegations, Vick returned to the NFL and at least appeared to mature a little bit. There’s nothing quite like the arrogance that comes along with a 100+ million dollar contract and still not putting in the effort.
3 Deion Sanders
Deion Lewis is arguably the most athletically gifted athlete to belong on this list. Sanders not only excelled as an NFL cornerback, earning a spot in the Hall of Fame, but he also had some successful seasons in the MLB. Sanders played in an era of football where taunting, celebrations, and trash talking were all just par for the course. Whether it was making highlight reel plays, talking some trash, or doing a dance, it was clear to everyone that Sanders loved the spotlight. What else would you expect from a player that was nicknamed Prime Time?
Perhaps his funniest quote comes when he was asked about his first contract with the Falcons
"It's gonna be a lot of zeroes in that contract. You gonna think it's alphabet soup or something, all those zeroes in there."
Funny to us, expensive for the franchise.
2 Tom Brady
Tom Brady is probably the greatest quarterback to ever play. A winner of several Super Bowl's, MVP’s, and to top that all off, he’s married to a super model. Brady’s a confident player, and he’s not afraid to be outspoken both on and off the field. There is no marking the arrogance that occurred on Brady’s part when leading into the Patriots into the Super Bowl with a perfect record. When asked about a report that the Patriots would score under 17 points, Brady laughed off the question, finding the idea of such a high powered offense producing so little, to literally be laughable. Joke was on Brady when they lost 17-14. He has absolutely every reason in the world to be arrogant, I suppose that explains why he is.
1 Richard Sherman
Sometimes the athletes who are the least humble, have every reason to be. When Richard Sherman deflected a pass away in the NFCCG, sending the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, he loudly proclaimed how he was the best cornerback in the game. In the process, he made sure to let the world know that he thought Michael Crabtree was a mediocre receiver. It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you go on television after the biggest game of your life (thus far) and proclaim how awesome you are and how awful the opponent is, you’re going to land on the top spot on the list.