SI conducted an informal poll of more than 200 players to come up with the NFL's 10 Cleanest Players list. The results:
1) Walter Payton, Bears running back. Says Lions defensive end William Gay, "If there's a prince of football, put him at the top of the list."
2) Mike Singletary, Bears linebacker. Says Vikings center Dennis Swilley, "He has had a couple of cheap shots he could've given me. Last year, on one interception, he said to me, 'I could've taken your knee out, but I wouldn't want someone to do it to me.' "
3) Steve Largent, Seahawks receiver. Says Chargers safety Gill Byrd, "He's just a professional who doesn't bad-mouth anyone."
4) (tie) Lawrence Taylor, Giants linebacker, and Howie Long, Raiders defensive end. Says Oilers tight end Jamie Williams of Long, "He told me 'Good block' one time. I couldn't believe it! My head swelled up and everything."
5) Mike Haynes, Raiders cornerback.
6) (tie) Tony Dorsett, Cowboys running back, and Dwight Stephenson, Dolphins center. Says 49ers linebacker Riki Ellison of Dorsett, "He looks like a comedian. He keeps smiling even after you knock the hell out of him—like the joke is on you or something. Then he gets up and skips away like nothing's wrong. It's galling." Chiefs safety Deron Cherry says of Stephenson, "He plays the game the way I've never seen anyone play it. He's physical and he's dominant, but he's clean."
7) Charlie Joiner, wide receiver for the Chargers.
8) (tie) Mark Gastineau, Jets defensive end, and Clay Matthews, Browns linebacker. Says one AFC quarterback who asked to remain anonymous, "[ Gastineau] had a chance to rip my head off once last year. He shot past the tackle and almost got to the setup point before I did. He could have killed me, but grabbed me easily instead."
9) Marcus Allen, Raiders running back. Says Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson, "When he comes to block you, he makes sure you see him first. He's not trying to take anybody's career from them."