No change at the topI don't see any reason to believe, barring a serious injury, it's not Brady again. He's coming off a season in which he ran away with the NFL MVP award, he's still very much in his prime, and the young playmakers around him in New England -- particularly those tight ends -- are only going to get better.
If anyone could do it, it's Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but I don't see that changing of the guard happening just yet. Yes, the Patriots need to win a playoff game, as they've hit a dry spell in that regard since their last Super Bowl appearance, and I fully expect them to do so -- and I expect Brady to be a very big part of whatever success they have.
As long as peers vote, Brady likely stays No. 1What reason would there be for Brady not to be No. 1 again? If he stays healthy, he's going to put up big numbers. The Patriots will be among the best teams in the league. His receivers will have gaudy totals. He will have driven his rival defenders crazy.
One thing about players voting on these things, they take into account how hard it is to play against other players. That's why Peyton Manning and Brady always will be at the top of lists like this as long as they play. They're one step ahead in terms of reads. They're accurate, and they're money when it matters.
Although Manning might end up with more coin after he signs his new contract, Brady probably will get more love from his peers again.
This thing is too predictableWhat does it really matter? The top two finishers in next year's list will be Brady and Manning. The players are programmed to ignore Manning's inability to rise to the occasion in the playoffs or that Brady hasn't won a playoff game in quite some time.
The sad thing is that the players only use Twitter to give their true feelings on their colleagues. When it comes to lists like this, the players are just as lazy as the fans who vote in the MLB All-Star Game balloting and will select Derek Jeter as a starter even though the game passed him by quite some time ago.
Brady, Pats will remain among bestBrady always has a chance to be No. 1 with his performance. Keep in mind, the Patriots were in a youth movement and a rebuilding season in 2010 and still won 14 games. Brady will have an improved supporting cast around him, and if the Patriots provide some significant help in free agency, they could be headed back to the Super Bowl, and he will win again unless, of course, people want a new leader.
Consistency (and popularity) keep Brady at No. 1Not to be a jerk, but can I say I think Brady will likely be No. 1 next year as well? Even if he doesn't have a season that merits putting him in the top one, two, or three, he's so consistently good that I don't see him being usurped.
Frankly, I think Brady is more popular around the players than Peyton Manning ... and considering they vote on the Top 100 list, that counts for something.
If Aaron Rodgers plays lights out again, and the Packers repeat, that might change things. Or, maybe if Michael Vick wins the MVP ... maybe.
But in this era, a quarterback is going to finish No. 1 on the Top 100 list, and the best player at that position wears jersey No. 12 on the Patriots. Not to mention ... even though guys aren't supposed to vote on past accomplishments, it's pretty tough for an NFL player to ignore three Super Bowl rings.