If we asked you to guess who you think the NFL’s "most liked" player is at the moment, who would you pick? At this exact second, it would be a little bit hard to argue against J.J. Watt. The guy has single-handedly helped raise more than $25 million—and counting!—for the city of Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
It would also be hard to argue against a guy like Drew Brees, who has meant so much to the city of New Orleans over the course of the last decade. There are also a handful of players—Aaron Rodgers, Antonio Brown, and Matt Ryan come to mind—who have been fantasy football beasts over the last few seasons, which makes them plenty "likable" in the eyes of many NFL fans out there.
But the guy who is actually the "most liked" NFL player? According to a recent poll conducted by E-Poll, it's…
That’s right. The Cardinals wide receiver, who is now entering his 14th season, topped the list of the NFL’s most likable players. The poll was based on a variety of factors, including "awareness," "dynamic," and "exciting." While Fitzgerald didn’t land at the top of the rankings for all of those factors, he did rate very favorably among them all. That helped him land the title of "most liked" player in the NFL.
NFL fans aren’t the only ones who like Fitzgerald: according to a report that came out this week, Fitzgerald has gotten into the habit of offering to pay fines for defensive players who hit him high instead of going low and taking out his legs. Lions safety Glover Quin revealed that Fitzgerald is more than happy to pick up the tab for opposing players if it means extending his career.
"He’ll tell you on the field, like, 'Hey, bro, I’ll pay your fine for you,'" Quin said. "Like, 'Don’t hit me in the legs.' He’ll rather you hit him up high. Don’t take his legs, because obviously, you need your legs to run."
The NFL might not necessarily want to hear that, due to all of the controversy surrounding concussions these days. But it sounds like Fitzgerald has turned into a real people-pleaser both on and off the field.