For a few years, the best three receivers in the NFL were also associated with locker room problems, and receivers in general were looked at as selfish players. Today, Randy Moss is amidst his going away tour with the San Francisco 49ers, Chad Ochocinco has moved on to Miami, and the king of locker room problems, Terrell Owens, is currently out of the NFL and looking for a way back in.
During their reign as the NFL’s best, these three receivers caused defensive coordinators’ nightmares during the week leading up to playing their respective teams. They also cost themselves millions upon millions of dollars by not shutting up and playing football (with Ochocinco being the one exception). During that period of time, these three guys were as likely to get on the highlight reel due to an unorthodox celebration or press conference as they were due to a great touchdown catch.
Thankfully, we’ve moved on from the era of loudmouthed elite receivers. No, those types of players will never completely go away, but it’s also unlikely that the three best in the league (at least 3 of the top 5 in the league) will all be providing media feeding frenzies simultaneously.
In my mind, the three best receivers today are Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. Of those three guys, not one of them has ever, to my knowledge, been known to be a problem player. Larry Fitzgerald has been rather outspoken this offseason about Michael Floyd’s off field habits, but it seems more along the lines of a big brother sort of way and not a me-me-me way. Then there was the time that Andre Johnson punched Cortland Finnegan, but that seems to have been an isolated incident.
I don’t have a problem with players seeking the recognition they deserve, but the elite receivers of yesterday were self promoters to an extreme level. The elite receivers of today’s game are what any young receiver should aspire to be. They go out every Sunday and do their job to the best of their ability. When the game is over, they start working towards being ready for their next opponent. They’re doing it the right way.