Nicknames form an integral part of the NFL’s identity. But what is the best nickname in the NFL right now? That is for you guys, the sports fans of America, to decide. All we can argue is that many of the nicknames administered in the game are absolute gems. That’s why we have assembled a collection of some of the best current-player nicknames for you to choose from, starting with this belter from the New York Giants.
The clever pun ‘SaQuads’ has become the unofficial moniker of running back Saquon Barkley after it was given to him by teammate Odell Beckham Jr. having caught a glimpse of the new player’s legs. This is not the only time the New York Giants have shown some genius creativity. Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison’s alternative name was assigned to him by former Jets defensive line coach Karl Dunbar who claims that Harrison was constantly snacking in the meeting rooms. All hail the New York Giants!
Over at the Carolina Panthers, the quarterback Cam Newton had to give himself his own nickname and chose the ‘Sensei of Nicknames’. This, it transpires, is because he takes it upon himself to anoint nicknames to his teammates. Highlights include; Luke ‘Captain America’ Kuechly, Julius ‘Frazier’ Peppers and Thomas ‘The Mayor of Charlotte’ Davis.
Minnesota Vikings’ Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is another player who has been given a clever play on words as his NFL title. ‘Rhodes Closed’, which speaks for itself, was dropped on the Vikings’ star after he allowed the lowest percentage of passes, some – 48 percent – to reach completion in the 2016 season. By intercepting almost half of everything coming his way, he boasted the best average among all corner backs in the league and continues to shut down the league's top receivers to this day.
Now, it’s not just the NFL that boasts great nicknames for its stars, plenty of other sports do too, but the creativity shown in the NFL is unique. Like Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Defensive tackle Vita Vea, who has a Disney-based nickname. Coined ‘Maui’ after the South Pacific demigod in Disney’s Moana by Gerald McCoy, Vea even has to occasionally satisfy his employer’s demands and act the part too. In Vita's mandatory rookie duties, McCoy insists his new star has to tell McCoy’s children that he is, in fact, Moana’s Maui.
Another cartoon-based nickname is Mighty Mouse, used as code for Jakeem Grant. Now, we understand the mighty part but admit that applying mouse to a 5-foot-7 man that weighs 169 pounds, is more than a little confusing.
Returner for the Detroit Lions Jamal Agnew has the nickname ‘Swagnew’ after he became known for his on-field swagger while playing at the University of San Diego. Agnew loved the nickname so much that it was, briefly, used as part of his Twitter handle before tiring of it.
Finally, wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, Michael Thomas wears his nickname ‘CantGuardMike’, as a badge of honor. Thomas accepts the responsibility that comes with the nickname and is another who uses his alternative identity as his Twitter handle, even using it before he broke out at Ohio State. The nephew of Keyshawn Johnson claims that it’s all part of the having the right mindset of a successful playing receiver. He should know I guess!
What’s your favorite NFL nickname?