- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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If you're talented enough, plenty of teams will still accept diva behavior from a wide receiver.
But rattle off the league's best guys now, and they all are far more mellow than showy, including the AFC South's two best guys: Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne. Add Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Wes Welker and while you might want to get your popcorn ready to watch them play, none of them will be heading to the sideline to propose to a cheerleader after scoring a touchdown.
I asked Wayne this week if the era of the diva wide receiver is over.
"I don’t know, I would assume so," he said. "Those guys you named, they are hard-working guys. They aren’t into all that diva stuff. I got kind of upset a couple of years ago, somebody put me into that category. I don’t even know what it means. As a professional football player at the receiver position, you know how much running and how much hard work it is that you have to dedicate yourself to, to be successful. Whenever you say those names that you did, I respect all of those guys. I respect everybody in this league, period. As far as the diva stuff, man, I hope it is gone. I hope you get more guys out there that like to work hard and go out there and enjoy playing football."
That thinking struck up a conversation with my colleague from Yahoo! Sports, Michael Silver on the radio this week.
He pointed out that if you're a quality receiver who's easy to have around, like Derrick Mason was, you can have a 15-year career. If you're Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson and you bring a tiresome act, those years at the end when you're more average aren't likely to get tacked onto your resume because of the hassle.
Randy Moss is getting one of those years now in San Francisco, but only because he appears to have come to an understanding of what he has to be at this stage.