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25 Most Likable NFL Players of 2014

25 Most Likable NFL Players of 2014

Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

No player is universally liked, but there are certain guys that, for one reason or another, capture the hearts and intrigue of fans across the nation. Whether it be through charity, personality or on-field success, these are the most lovable guys in the game right now.

25. Jared Allen

Jared Allen Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

25. Jared Allen

Jared Allen Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of his career, Allen has forged a reputation as a fearsome pass rusher and as a classy athlete. He's considered by many to be one of the nicer guys in the NFL, and he has gotten a lot of attention for his charitable efforts geared towards building homes for wounded veterans.

24. Reggie Wayne

Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

24. Reggie Wayne

Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

He's adored in Indianapolis because of his long history with the team and his success there, but he's also recognized throughout the NFL as a strong leader for the Colts. He also is an avid supporter of the American Cancer Society and hosted a benefit for the organization this year. When coach Chuck Pagano was fighting leukemia, Wayne was one of his most vocal supporters and shaved his head along with many other teammates.

23. Doug Martin

Doug Martin Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

23. Doug Martin

Doug Martin Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Before going down with an injury last season, Martin was by far the most productive member of the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneer offense. He blew fans away with his rookie campaign and, as expected, they anxiously await his return in 2014. He is a beacon of hope for an otherwise lost franchise.

22. Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

22. Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Sherman didn't win over a whole lot of fans with his 2013 trash-talking escapades, but his charity work and talent have. He is considered to be one of the most charitable athletes in the league, and many fans have come to love his hilarious off-the-field personality. As long as his talent and charity outweigh his antics, NFL fans will love him.

21. Cam Newton

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers
Sam Sharpe- USA TODAY Sports

21. Cam Newton

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

At the start of his career, Newton was bashed for his selfish, diva-like attitude. When the going got tough, Newton would be sitting on the bench hiding his face under a towel. In 2013, Newton emerged as the leader of a surprisingly good Carolina Panthers team. He also does a lot of community outreach work through the Cam Newton Foundation and is a large supporter of the NFL Play 60 campaign.

20. Antonio Gates

Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers
Howard Smith- USA TODAY Sports

20. Antonio Gates

Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Gates has one of the best storylines in football. After signing on as an undrafted free agent, he developed into one of the best tight ends in the history of the game. He's known for being very humble and has been involved in a number of charity events.

19. Tom Brady

Tom Brady New England Patriots
Mark J. Rebilas- USA TODAY Sports

19. Tom Brady

Tom Brady New England Patriots
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Of course he's on the list. Brady became the unlikely hero for the New England Patriots and led them to numerous Super Bowl wins. Aside from his success on the field, Brady is well known for his charity work and for his various advertisement campaigns (come on, don't pretend that you didn't want Uggs for men).

18. Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson Arizona Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

18. Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson Arizona Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Peterson has gained notoriety by becoming the anti-Sherman. Bashing Sherman, in itself, made him a few fans, but his real worth came by mentoring the troubled Tyrann Mathieu, shutting down receivers and by being one of the most versatile players in the league.

17. Eli Manning

Eli Manning New York Giants
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

17. Eli Manning

Eli Manning New York Giants
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Manning gained tons of fans from every fanbase outside of New England with his two Super Bowl wins. He's shown great class and poise throughout his career and runs the Eli Manning Foundation, which is one of the more active player charities.

16. Alex Smith

Alex Smith Pro Bowl
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

16. Alex Smith

Alex Smith Pro Bowl
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone would be upset about losing their starting job, but Smith handled that situation with class and poise. Now as the Kansas City Chiefs' starter, he has completely shed his bust status and is playing at the level that was expected out of him when he was drafted. Everyone loves it when a guy turns his career in the right direction.

15. Jason Witten

Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

15. Jason Witten

Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Even if the fanbase hates his quarterback, the Dallas Cowboys' nation loves their tight end. Witten has been one of the top receivers in the team's history (which is really saying something) and has been one of the top tight ends in the league over the course of his career. Above all, he is a nice guy with a bright personality.

14. Charles Tillman

Charles Tillman
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

14. Charles Tillman

Charles Tillman
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Tillman has earned the reputation of "family man" after saying he might have to sit out a game to witness the birth of his fourth child. The Tillman family has faced a lot of hardship, but his fans have stood with him in the long run. He won fans over with his tight coverage and aptitude for forcing fumbles, but he kept them with his heartwarming story.

13. Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh Detroit Lions
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

13. Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh Detroit Lions
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Suh has had no shortage of issues, but his incredible play and charity have gone a long way in making this terrifying big man as lovable as a teddy bear. He's considered by many to be one of the most charitable players in the NFL, if not the most charitable.

12. Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

12. Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Since announcing his treatment for bipolar disorder, Marshall has started to become the Magic Johnson of mental illness. He has been a huge promoter of mental health awareness and was even fined by the league for wearing green cleats (the color for Mental Health Awareness Month) during a game.

11. Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

11. Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson is loved most for his impossibly athletic style of play and his inherent physical attributes, but he's also one of the smartest and quietest receivers in the game. He started the Calvin Johnson Jr. Foundation and supports numerous other charities.

10. J.J. Watt

JJ Watt Houston Texans
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

10. J.J. Watt

JJ Watt
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

There were very few fans who didn't want to see Watt break that record, and his likability would be much higher if he had. Even so, Watt is one of the most personable and down-to-earth guys in the league, which he has showcased as a guest star on a few television series.

9. Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

9. Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard not to love a No. 1 overall pick who lives up to expectations. Luck has been everything that the Indianapolis Colts thought he would be (and then some). He's a charismatic and humble player, much like his predecessor, which leads one to believe that his popularity will continue to soar.

8. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

8. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

He may not be the most popular guy amongst the Seattle Seahawks' fanbase (Sherman may own that title), but he's certainly more loved across the spectrum than anyone else on the team. He's an exciting player to watch, and his personality and charm make the postgame interviews enjoyable. Winning a Super Bowl also helps.

7. Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

7. Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

After years of seeing his bushy hair in commercials, it's hard not to love Polamalu. He's very personable and outgoing, and, though he's no longer in his prime, he's still one of the hardest hitting safeties in the league.

6. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

6. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Just as there isn't a defense that doesn't dread playing him, there's hardly a fan out there who doesn't respect "All Day." Since his rookie season, he's been arguably the best running back in the league. Through fantasy points and real success, he's worked his way into the hearts of fans.

5. Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

5. Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As one of the most charismatic characters to enter the league in years, RGIII might be as close to universally loved as it comes. He's very humble and shows terrific leadership ability for such a young player, and he spent a lot of time doing charity work. If he ever returns to form, expect him to be No. 1 on this list soon.

4. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

4. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the smoothest quarterback transition in history was the one between Brett Favre and Rodgers. Rodgers immediately became one of the best passers in the league and notched a Super Bowl victory. Like many of the others, he does an immense amount of charity work and has a very down-to-earth personality.

3. Drew Brees

Drew Brees Pro Bowl
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

3. Drew Brees

Drew Brees Pro Bowl
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There is no one more beloved by their own franchise than Brees. He (and Sean Payton) are largely credited with pulling the city of New Orleans out of despair with their Super Bowl victory, and that might not be far off. Brees runs the Brees Dream charity and raises money for hurricane relief efforts.

2. Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to being nice, no one is better than Fitzgerald. Without a doubt, he's one of the most personable and relatable big names out there, as well as one of the best receivers in history. He's a living legend for the Arizona Cardinals, and he has become the standard for class acts for the rest of the NFL.

1. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

1. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The only people who really hate him are those who have to play him next. Like his brother, he's incredibly charitable and has that charismatic personality that fans love. Above all, he is respected as a competitor. No player in the game right now knows more about football than he does, and that's just something that people have to like.