Richard Sherman - through a combination of eye-catching displays on the gridirion and headline friendly comments off it - has become one of the NFL's most discussed characters.
The Seattle Seahawks cornerback was back in the headlines earlier this week when one of his positional peers, New York Jets' Antonio Cromartie, called him out for masquerading as one of the best corners in the league during a fairly cutting interview.
Sherman, as you might expect, wasn't going to take the criticism lying down and he fired back today with his own subtle jibe meant for Cromartie.
Asked about Cromartie's assertion that he can't be considered amongst the best in his position until he is brave enough to follow elite receivers for an entire game (rather than sticking just to the left side of the field), Sherman's passive aggressive response put the Jets man in his place:
"That was unfortunate," he said. "You would think that after me helping him get a Pro Bowl bid this year - you know, we went to the Super Bowl, he wouldn't have made the Pro Bowl otherwise - and now he's talking bad."
Cromartie - who was with the Arizona Cardinals in 2014 - doesn't really have a leg to stand on with that one. The Cardinals even published an article in the aftermath of the corner's Pro Bowl call-up highlighting the fact that he was in to replace the Super Bowl bound Richard Sherman.
Top of the pile
Unfortunately for Sherman, whilst he is playing in the ominous Seahawks defense the question marks over his "elite" status will continue to come. The two-time Pro Bowler, though, isn't concerned with having a very specific role in arguably the NFL's strongest D:
"Who coaches the No. 1 defense to be worse, you know what I mean?" Sherman said.
"We're No. 1, it must be working. It's an effective strategy for us, and obviously we're playing at a high level. I guess when you're doing something great you're always going to have naysayers and detractors, and I guess it's one of those situations, but it's unfortunate."
Richard Sherman may still have some way to go to convince everyone in the NFL that he deserves to be ranked about the likes of Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis. The Seattle star does though have just as many Super Bowl rings as those two cornerbacks combined thanks to his left-only approach.
NFL fans: Should Sherman be considered the best cornerback in NFL? Have your say in the comments below...
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms