Picking the best trash-talker for all 32 NFL teams

NFL Nation reporters choose the best trash-talkers in the league, including Steve Smith, who once said he "came out of the womb trash-talking," and Philip Rivers, who talks trash without cursing.


Buffalo Bills: Defensive end Jerry Hughes has developed a reputation for getting heated with opponents and officials. He was by far the Bills' most penalized player over the past two seasons, including five flags for unsportsmanlike conduct. Hughes was fined $31,000 after a loss to the Giants this season for both abusive language toward an official and head-butting an opponent. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins might be the NFL team that talks trash the least. They don't have any genuinely mouthy players, but second-year receiver Jarvis Landry does play with a certain take-no-prisoners edge. Usually that edge is positive and helps Landry get the most out of his talent, which is evident in his making the Pro Bowl in just his second season. But occasionally that intensity can go overboard, and Landry gets into it with opponents, sometimes resulting in costly penalties. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: Have you heard of the miked-up segments with wide receiver Julian Edelman? There is some good stuff there, which highlights how he likes to chat it up with the opposition. Most recently, he reminded Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters that it was Peters' first-ever playoff game. Edelman always does it in the spirit of the game, and it's not necessarily derogatory, so it's not true trash talk. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: It's a tough call between Willie Colon, Sheldon Richardson and Damon Harrison, but Colon gets the edge. Because of a knee injury, he played only six games, but that didn't stop him from trash-talking. In a late-season game against the Giants, Colon -- in street clothes -- walked outside the bench area and unleashed some of his Bronx vocabulary at a Giants receiver who got knocked out of bounds. It resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Jets' bench. The offense certainly missed his in-your-face mentality on the field. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens arguably have the reigning king of trash talk in wide receiver Steve Smith. He once said, "Man, I came out of the womb trash-talking." Smith hasn't stopped since. He famously told Aqib Talib to "Ice up, son" after the cornerback failed to finish a game against him. He once celebrated in the end zone by imitating rowing a boat to mock cornerback Fred Smoot, who was involved in the Vikings Love Boat scandal. If there is a Hall of Fame for trash-talking, Smith would be a surefire, first-ballot inductee. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: All you need to do is watch one Bengals practice to know which player talks the most trash. It's cornerback Adam Jones. He's the Bengals' most vocal player during games, and his teammates respect that. Fellow corner Dre Kirkpatrick typically feeds off Jones' trash talk and has his share of exchanges with receivers during one-on-one matchups. Although Bengals receivers occasionally will respond to Jones and Kirkpatrick in practice, you'd be surprised to know who always gave the most clever replies: former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. The new Browns head coach was once Jones and Kirkpatrick's position coach, as well as Chad Johnson's. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: The Browns had a hard time identifying a single trash-talker. They were a quiet team last season, probably because they didn't have much to talk about. If one player had to be picked, it was safety Donte Whitner. He's talkative, but not a world-class trash-talker. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: Believe it or not, the Steelers' best trash-talker is wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is mild-mannered and respectful in interviews. But he loves to talk on the field. "If he beats you, you're probably going to hear about it," former Steelers cornerback B.W. Webb said. Brown has been known to tell defensive backs that they can't cover him -- which they can't. After Brown, there are a few close seconds, such as guard Ramon Foster or linebacker Vince Williams. But Brown runs his mouth as fast as his routes. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: The Texans aren't a very chatty team when it comes to trash talk, but three players came up consistently when I asked around about the team's best trash-talker. Cornerback and special-teams dynamo Charles James, linebacker Brian Cushing and running back Arian Foster. Foster was injured most of this season, but he had a classic line while miked up once in which he said, "I don't know you, bro" to an opponent, then asked him to turn around so he could read his name. He actually did know the opponent and had played against him in high school. As for Cushing, a lot of his best work didn't even make it to his miked-up segment, but HBO was able to show his jabs on "Hard Knocks" last summer. And James is one of the Texans' most talkative players on the field. We'll give the nod to James. He once described special-teams players as "a little off in the head," and that quality likely helps with trash-talking as well. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: Linebacker Erik Walden isn't known only for his celebration dances after recording a sack; he also likes to have "friendly" conversations with opponents during the game. He's best known for being suspended for a game during the 2014 season when he head-butted Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker. Walden, who had a helmet on, head-butted Walker, who wasn't wearing a helmet. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: Spend time on the practice field and you're going to hear safety Sergio Brown. A lot. So much so that he even gets on his teammates' nerves. There were several instances during training camp when Brown got under the skin of running back Bernard Pierce, and they spent a few moments jawing at each other after plays. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: Backup safety and special-teamer Daimion Stafford is the player the Titans point to when asked about their premier trash-talker. But he apparently does his best work in practice, going back and forth with Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker. Stafford is a big hitter who laughs when asked questions about being a spark plug, and he's certainly not shy about delivering a message. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: In the locker room, it is hard to find anyone who dishes as well, and to as many targets, as linebacker Von Miller. Tackle Ryan Harris is also adept at the give-and-take with his teammates. But on the field, many Broncos players say it is cornerback Aqib Talib's high-decibel, rapid-fire stylings that give him the top spot. Talib never takes a break, even in practice against his teammates. Even quarterback Peyton Manning has said Talib's nonstop efforts consistently raise the energy of the Broncos' practices, but that Talib saves the edgiest stuff for the opponents. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: Tight end Travis Kelce isn't afraid to engage in a war of words, or even gestures. He had an exchange with New England quarterback Tom Brady before the recent playoff game against the Patriots. Kelce also made an obscene gesture toward Denver's Von Miller after a roughing-the-passer penalty on the Broncos star during a 2014 game. Kelce was fined $11,025 by the NFL for the gesture. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: Following the trade of linebacker Sio Moore, his boom box, Halloween masks and SpongeBob SquarePants pajama bottoms, the "honor" of biggest trash-talker on the team goes to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who brought his unique brand up I-880 from Santa Clara. As a 49er, Crabtree was known to engage with the likes of Richard Sherman, who called him "mediocre," but the Raiders wideout, who tied a career high with 85 catches for 922 yards and a career-best-equaling nine touchdowns, brought the heat to Chiefs rookie cornerback Marcus Peters after beating him for a 31-yard score. "I was just tired of the No. 22 talking noise like he was that great," Crabtree said, per Raiders.com. "So, we just went deep on him for six. He was mad after that." -- Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers: Don't let quarterback Philip Rivers' "Aw shucks" demeanor fool you. He likes the back-and-forth banter during games, talking a lot of trash to opponents. You just won't hear any cuss words uttered by the feisty, 34-year-old signal-caller. Whether he throws a touchdown or takes a cheap shot he doesn't like, Rivers will let you know about it. "There's no need to talk trash to Philip because he feeds off of that," Chiefs edge rusher Tamba Hali said. "We're not going to give him what he needs. Basically, if we start talking trash, he might play better." -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: People might think the answer is wide receiver Dez Bryant, but the correct answer is tight end Jason Witten. In training camp, he is constantly carping on the defense after he makes a catch or if the offense dominates in a drill. Witten's trash talk isn't about him being the greatest. He can be sarcastic and sharp with his wit the way Larry Bird was on the basketball court. Neither was demonstrative with his talk, but their delivery mattered. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: Teammates insist he has to be provoked first, but star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is the Giants' most active and animated trash-talker in games and in practices. Obviously, this is a potentially serious issue that bubbled over and resulted in a suspension when Beckham got into it with Josh Norman and some of the other Panthers in Week 15. But Beckham is hyper-energetic and does a lot of talking to opponents when he gets fired up. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: Ask Eagles players about trash-talking and they can't help but think of teammate Brandon Graham. The outside linebacker drew a penalty for taunting during the team's 33-27 overtime win in Dallas in November. After tackling Darren McFadden short of the sticks on a third-and-1 play, Graham drew a 15-yard penalty. His crime? Graham took out his mouthpiece and shouted "We set the edge here!" Not very provocative, but it left an impression. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: When several players were asked who the best trash-talker was on the Redskins, they didn't have to think long: receiver Pierre Garcon. He's not the most animated player in the locker room and doesn't give flashy quotes. But on the field, he makes his presence known. As running back Chris Thompson said, "He doesn't say much in the locker room or in practice. But when he steps on that field, he flips a switch and he's totally different. We know on game day that the angry Haitian guy is coming out." Garcon, a native of Haiti, has always displayed passion and toughness, both of which are among the reasons he's popular with the coaches, too. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: Tight end Martellus Bennett is without question the best trash-talker on the Bears. The brother of outspoken Seattle defensive lineman Michael Bennett, Martellus relishes taking jabs at opponents. "I consider St. Louis to be Seattle's little brother," Bennett said on Nov. 16. "So it's a bunch of front-runners. No. 97 [right defensive end Eugene Sims] is a little b----. So overall, I was happy just to go out there and kick their ass." Bennett's act may have worn thin with Bears management -- Bennett could be traded or released in the offseason -- but the veteran is entertaining when he runs his mouth. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: In a locker room full of guys who don't talk trash for the most part, Darius Slay stands out. The cornerback will talk about almost anything to anybody, and he has no problem ragging on teammates, either. He comes up with nicknames for almost every teammate he has and started calling himself "Big Play Slay." Heck, it's his Twitter handle. Slay has started to talk more on the field as well, including incorporating a Dikembe Mutombo finger-wag after breaking up opposing passes. He has no problem praising other athletes as well, including Cleveland cornerback Joe Haden, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and his favorite all-time athlete, Kobe Bryant, whom he sought out for a picture and an autograph after a Lakers-Pistons game this season. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: Go back and watch the Packers' Week 4 game at San Francisco and you'll find out why linebacker Clay Matthews is the Packers' biggest trash-talker. TV cameras on the Fox broadcast picked up sound of Matthews shouting this at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick: "You ain't Russell Wilson, bro." Earlier in the same game, Matthews sacked Kaepernick and mocked his trademark biceps-kissing celebration. In the Week 16 game at Arizona, Matthews pretended he was going to help up Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, but when Palmer extended his arm, Matthews pulled away. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: The pugnacious Captain Munnerlyn takes this honor for the Vikings. The 5-foot-9 cornerback is the first to admit he has dealt with short man's syndrome his whole life, and whether he's defending his South Carolina Gamecocks in the Vikings' locker room or jawing with an opponent on Sundays, Munnerlyn's mouth is usually moving. He has said he's at his best when he can get up close and challenge a receiver, and when he does it, Munnerlyn usually isn't shy about saying something to the man across from him. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: Veteran wide receiver Roddy White can talk trash with the best of them, so don't get him going. White had plenty to say on the field to mouthy Josh Norman when the Falcons and Panthers battled throughout this past season. White made sure to point out he couldn't even understand what Norman was saying -- just another shot at the Pro Bowl cornerback. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: This is a tough call. You would think cornerback Josh "The Dark Knight'' Norman would be a slam dunk. After all, he goes to his dark side and often gets in the face of receivers such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant. But if he respects you and you respect him, you might not hear a word from him. I'm tempted to go with quarterback Cam Newton, who finds a way to get under the skin of defenders in ways besides his dancing. Newton and Norman definitely spent a lot of time trash-talking among themselves in training camp, which led to a fight. It's close, but I'll go with Norman. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: Saints players I asked had trouble nominating anyone as the team's best trash-talker -- partly because they admittedly haven't had much to crow about during the past two seasons. Rookie middle linebacker Stephone Anthony, however, has the potential to develop in that area. Anthony agreed, saying he likes to talk on the field, but he said he has mostly kept it to guys he knows around the league so far. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are a relatively quiet team and they don't talk a lot of trash -- unless they're the victim of trash talk. That's when wide receiver Mike Evans and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins can get vocal. Nothing too outlandish, though, because that's really not their style. -- Mike DiRocco


Arizona Cardinals: There wasn't a consensus winner when players were asked to name the best trash-talker. For humor, it was safety Tony Jefferson; for quantity, it was either cornerback Patrick Peterson or linebacker Sean Weatherspoon; for in-your-face talking, it was safety Deone Bucannon; and for subtlety, it was defensive tackle Frostee Rucker. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams: Ask around the Rams' locker room and you'll get multiple names and explanations, but defensive end William Hayes is the one whose name comes up the most. One player mentioned running back Benny Cunningham as the wittiest trash-talker, and receiver Tavon Austin and cornerback Trumaine Johnson also were recognized by multiple players. But Hayes takes the crown for his "nonstop talking" and his firm belief that "he's always right." -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: Remember that classic sketch in "Chappelle's Show" when, in one breath, Rick James claimed he never grinded his muddy boots into Eddie Murphy's suede couch but in the next breath said he remembered doing exactly that? Cue Niners wide receiver Quinton Patton. "I'm not the biggest trash-talker on the team," he told me before I told him some teammates thought he was. "I guess I am, then." The 6-foot, 204-pound Patton, who caught a career-high 30 passes for 394 yards and his first TD this season, could often be found jawing with opponents much larger than he -- so long as he had numbers in his favor, as in teammates, behind him. Unless he was fighting with Niners D-lineman Tank Carradine in training camp. "I don't know if QP's the biggest trash-talker," running back Mike Davis said, "but he definitely talks the most." -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: He might not be as chatty as he used to be, but Richard Sherman is still the best trash-talker on the Seahawks. "I'm more of a responder," Sherman said during the season. "I don't go after anybody. If somebody wants to say something outrageous and outlandish to me, I'd happily put them right back in their seat. That's just how it's always been." After his first NFL start, Sherman was already calling Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green overrated. He has mixed it up with Tom Brady, Michael Crabtree and others. In 2015, Sherman spoke respectfully about most of his opponents, but he still called out Arizona Cardinals receiver John Brown in the regular-season finale, drawing a 15-yard penalty. -- Sheil Kapadia