The NFL is filled with various player and staff personalities. There are some guys who would rather sit at the back of the classroom and just do their job and mind their own business.
Other players are respected leaders or team captains but play the sport humbly without any drama.
On the other side of the field, are some boisterous and demanding personalities who aren’t shy about voicing their opinions, or going to the extreme to attract attention.
Thus we have compiled this list of NFL guys who have earned “diva” status.
Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver, New York Giants
During his first two seasons in the league, Beckham Jr. turned heads when he posted some record-breaking stats including 2,755 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns in 27 games.
Beckham didn’t achieve his numbers silently however. Passionate about his sport, Beckham visibly got heated at times and has been called a “prima donna” more than once during his short career. Rather than being offended when other players name-call and razz him about his sketchy on-field behavior, Beckham couldn’t care less (most of the time).
Odell on being called a prima Donna: "It doesn't bother me. I sleep like a baby every night."
— Ebenezer Samuel (@ebenezersamuel) October 7, 2015
That said, if OBJ doesn’t like the way a defender is playing him, said defender might just get punched in the face. Due to Beckham’s intolerable behavior towards Panthers cornerback Josh Norman late in 2015, OBJ was suspended for one game.
Fortunately, Beckham is one of the best playmakers in the NFL. This is why the Giants patiently tolerate his antics while hoping to avoid those little yellow flags that could be cause for ejection under the NFL’s new rule.
Cam Newton, quarterback, Carolina Panthers
When the Panthers are winning games and scoring touchdowns, Newton is a happy camper. Just ask the dozens of kids who received touchdown souvenir footballs personally handed out by Newton last year.
Although when the team is losing or the quarterback is having a down-day the whole world sees the moodier side of Superman, who isn’t afraid to ditch a press conference. It’s all smiles and impeccable fashion Newton sports at his post-game pressers when the Panthers are coming from a sweet win. But the hoodie and head towel are only a grab away when Newton didn’t play his “A” game.
Even though Newton’s fans will love and support him through thick and thin, his poor public attitude doesn’t always go over well with those who would prefer to see him show off a mature side that has been in hiding to this point in his career.
Rex Ryan, head coach, Buffalo Bills
Not many head coaches exude as much vibrancy and flair as Ryan does in the league.
Ryan is a coach who wants to be recognized no matter what the task at hand may be. A fine example would be the drawn-out offseason quarterback competition he held last year. That sleepy competition headlined all summer long because Ryan built it up as if it was going to be as thrilling as the Super Bowl.
And, what other head coach would get a tattoo of his wife wearing the jersey of his team’s former first-round draft pick? Yes. Ryan sported his wife wearing nothing but a Mark Sanchez jersey on his upper right arm for five years. When he signed on with the Bills after being fired by the Jets, Ryan had the tattoo altered to show his wife wearing a blue Bills jersey.
Apparently, tattoo removal shops are scarce up in upper western New York.
Ryan obviously loves the limelight and attention as much as he loves his wife. And, that is a good thing, most of the time.
Richard Sherman, cornerback, Seattle Seahawks
Sherman earned diva status a couple of years ago when he proclaimed that he was “the best corner” in the NFL. Isn’t that something his fans should be shouting out?
Not shy at all when it comes to getting his point across to the public, Sherman knows how to attract attention. Remember a couple of Thanksgivings ago when Sherman arrogantly feasted on a Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate winning at the home of the San Francisco 49ers?
And when Sherman isn’t ranting at reporters or in Tom Brady’s face asking if he’s “mad bruh?” he is speaking passionately about current NFL matters. Just recently, Sherman weighed in on the NFL’s newly-adopted rule that would eject a player from a game if he draws two flags for unsportsmanlike conduct in one game.
“I think it’s foolish, but it sounds like something somebody who’s never played the game would say, something they would suggest, because he (Roger Goodell) doesn’t understand, he’s just a face, he’s just a suit. He’s never set foot on the field and understood how you can get a personal foul.”
Freedom of speech is definitely Sherman’s best friend. And, now he has to follow that pesky rule.
LeSean McCoy, running back, Buffalo Bills
Another noisemaker in the NFL is McCoy, whose partying ways and his mouth constantly earn him public attention.
For starters, what guy attempts to arrange an all-female party where the planned attendees must provide a photo and brief bio to be screened ahead?
— Ashley Nicole (@geeksandcleats) July 23, 2015
After posting the party invitation to his Instagram account using the Bills logo, McCoy subsequently cancelled his party after after social media went wild with questionable reactions.
On the field, it wasn’t that long ago that McCoy insinuated that his former coach Chip Kelly was racist, because he got rid of all the “good black players.” And, appearing to still harboring bitter feelings about his trade, McCoy snubbed a few ex-Eagles teammates who threw him a party after the two teams played each other in Philly last fall.
Already making waves during this offseason, McCoy’s latest antics have him involved in an altercation with some off-duty police officers that took place at nightclub. Whatever the outcome of the District Attorney’s investigation is, the Bills are prepared for McCoy to miss time in the upcoming season.
The Bills certainly didn’t receive a quiet running back when they traded for McCoy in last year’s free agency.
Mike Wallace, wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens
After burning his way through three NFL teams in seven years, Wallace was recently signed to the Baltimore Ravens on a two-year deal.
A blazing fast receiver, Wallace could thrive on the right offense. Though he has earned a bad reputation for his poor attitude on the field. Often heard complaining about his usage in games, or about his quarterback, Wallace has rubbed many people the wrong way through the years.
After two turmoil-filled seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Wallace eventually found his way to the trading block. But this wasn’t before his teammates claimed he quit on them late in 2014. Wallace denied the report, but the damage had already been done.
Wallace’s one-year venture with the Minnesota Vikings didn’t go very well for the receiver either. It was Wallace’s worst year statistically, and conflicting reports surfaced that Wallace took parting shots at quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after his release.
We’ll see if Wallace meshes any better with the Ravens, who are giving him another chance.
Tom Brady, quarterback, New England Patriots
When everything is going swell for Brady, living his perfect life with his perfect wife in one of his mansions, the quarterback is all million-dollar smiles.
Though, behind the scenes if something goes awry, such as the debated color of a pool cover, Brady can lose his cool.
When Brady’s emails became exposed to the public during the Deflategate investigation, one involving an argument with a pool company could not be ignored. Brady didn’t understand why he couldn’t use the same pool cover all year and reportedly argued about the cost and color of the winter cover he needed to purchase.
He basically cussed out personnel at the pool store because he had to pay $8,500 for a cover that wasn’t white, which was the color of his choosing.
“What kind of morons don’t have a white cover? Can we check with another company?” Brady wrote to his manager, after whining on email, per Josh Saul of pagesix.com. “These f - - king idiots, why don’t we have that same cover for the year-round cover?”
Brady’s wife eventually intervened and ordered a gray cover.
And, when it comes to fashion, Brady doesn’t exactly hit the podium wearing clothes from the Men’s Wearhouse. He reportedly consults with high-end fashion designer Tom Ford to order clothing created with specific rugby fabrics, per Saul.
We can safely assume that if Brady’s clothing doesn’t arrive to him with the exact texture and color he ordered, heads could roll.
I hope Tom Ford got Tom Brady the shirts he asked for. Better have!
— Evan Cohen (@EvCoRadio) January 11, 2016
While we are all wondering what the heck a “rugby” fabric is, Brady is probably off on some offseason exotic adventure wearing his designer swim trunks.
Jerry Jones, owner, Dallas Cowboys
Not many team owners have their name in news headlines as much as Jones does.
When he’s not hobnobbing with Governor Chris Christie in the owners’ box at AT&T Stadium during the regular season, Jones keeps plenty busy during the offseason.
Jones recently created a huge buzz when he said he wanted to help Johnny Manziel with his off-field problems. He then followed that up by making a bold claim that playing football and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) are not related.
“No, that’s absurd,” Jones said per Mark Maske of The Washington Post. “There’s no data that in any way creates a knowledge.”
Talk about opening up a can of worms, especially after the NFL acknowledged publicly on Capitol Hill that there is an association between football and CTE, per Maske.
On to lighter matters, we must mention Jones making news a couple of years ago when provocative photos of him partying with two much younger woman hit social media.
As owner of one of the most lucrative sports franchises in history, we shouldn’t expect Jones to shy away from the limelight anytime soon.
Dez Bryant, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Bryant plays with his emotions on his sleeve. In fact he pours so much of himself into the game, that it often causes drama.
Temper tantrums on the field, stormy departures from the field and training camp fights have Bryant securely fixed as a diva.
Addressing his status, Bryant would prefer the “D” word not be used when describing his personality, per Michael Silver of NFL.com.
“I hate the word diva, by the way,” Dez Bryant said, his eyes ablaze with passion, his raspy voice nearly trembling with intensity. “I hate it. That fits me nowhere.”
Most might argue that diva fits Bryant like a glove after he threatened to hold out in the 2015 NFL season while he waited for a new contract with the Cowboys.
Eventually, Bryant’s threats paid off when he and the Cowboys agreed to a deal that set a new contract trend for elite wide receivers. Then the unforeseen struck when Bryant sustained a broken foot causing him to miss several games last fall.
Coming off an injured and overall down-season in production, we must wonder if a more humble version of Bryant will hit the field this fall.
Johnny Manziel, quarterback, NFL
Manziel could literally be living on another planet and he would draw headlines.
The ex-Cleveland Browns quarterback appears to thrive on public attention. Throughout his two seasons with the Browns, Manziel has been spotted throughout social media in many ridiculous and compromising situations. From floating on inflatable swans drinking champagne to wearing a cheesy disguise in Vegas, Manziel obviously craves the spotlight.
A brief stint in a rehabilitation center that Manziel checked himself into last February appears to have not helped the quarterback one bit. If excessive partying, missing team meetings and allegedly showing up to practice intoxicated are not bad enough, Manziel is now waiting for a grand jury ruling on a domestic violence allegation made by ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley.
The last thing Johnny Football needs at this point is football. Therefore, it would be truly shocking for any NFL team to want to inherit Manziel’s baggage now that he is a free agent. Though, drama ignites more drama which is why Jerry Jones has volunteered to help the troubled quarterback.
Facing potential jail time, Manziel is currently enjoying a nationwide club-hopping tour.