The NFL Top 100 players ranking, conducted by the players, is complete. For the fourth time in its history, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. comes in at No. 1. One team’s social media account immediately pounced with an objection to Brady being the best player in the league for 2022.
Upon witnessing their guy, Aaron Donald, finish second behind Brady, the Los Angeles Rams’ Twitter account went off on the Top 100 for slighting the all-world defensive linemen. Whoever controlled Twitter on Sunday night for the Rams was in their bag. They went entirely off the deep end, using all caps to voice the “teams’” displeasure with the outcome of this year’s list.
I can’t say I’m as up in arms about this as the Rams, but they aren’t totally off their rocker. This feels a little like one last career achievement award. A final send-off for Brady. In saying this, it doesn’t mean I don’t recognize Tom as the GOAT quarterback. That mythical accolade is bestowed upon a player because of their overall body of work.
If that’s the case, let’s vote Brady No. 1 every year. Brady hadn’t taken the top spot since 2018, which was part of back-to-back years finishing No. 1. This is one list where the guys on the field vote. I’m not taking anything away from them because they’re doing it daily and playing against these players each week during the fall. But that doesn’t mean they always get it right.
Luckily for Brady, plenty of other NFL players like him as a guy. Forget about the respect aspect since he’s earned everyone’s respect. Yes, I say this while poking holes into his No. 1 ranking. But Tom is liked around the league, which sometimes means more in a situation like this than respect.
One example of players getting it wrong came in 2017 by NBA players on the All-Star ballot. Nearly 130 players chose not to vote for LeBron James as an All-Star, and over 150 skipped over Kevin Durant’s name on their ballots. Seriously, LeBron and KD weren’t worthy of being All-Stars in 2017? C’mon man.
That’s where not liking a guy, seems to have canceled out respect and common sense. Obviously, that wasn’t NFL players, but professional athletes were involved and got it wrong. Choosing to vote with heart and emotion over their heads and sensibility. And that’s the vibe I’m getting with this Brady vote.
So, the more I look at this, the more I feel the Rams on Twitter. Let’s not forget this is supposed to be a projection vote for the upcoming season. It’s the projected top players for ‘22. Brady posted great numbers last year, leading the league in passing yards (5,316) and touchdowns (43).
Jameis Winston led the league in passing yards in 2019 in that same Buccaneers system and was second in TD passes. Should Winston have finished in first place for 2020? Now, he isn’t Brady, but of course, he shouldn’t have and didn’t.
Had Aaron Rodgers not lied so elaborately about being vaccinated last year, he may have been in that No. 1 slot. Rodgers’ narcissism was on full display while he played everyone before playing himself. While Aaron finished No. 3, he likely would’ve finished higher was it not for his self-imposed alienation.
Josh Allen didn’t even finish in the Top 10, which feels wrong. Jonathan Taylor is the only running back to finish in the Top 10, taking the No. 5 spot. One somewhat surprising ranking is Davante Adams, coming in one place ahead of Patrick Mahomes. Last year Mahomes was in the Brady spot. Now he’s all the way down at No. 8. Maybe we’re beginning to see a little Mahomes fatigue from players.
Like any other list ranking players, there will always be multiple people who feel snubbed. In this case, it’s the Rams, and I’ll say they have an argument. Outside of any QB room, Donald is the most dominant player in the league on either side of the ball. And he should continue to be that this season. So, I wouldn’t have any problem with Donald retaking the top spot. Indeed, Brady will have a good year, but the best player in the league; I’ll have to balk at that.
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