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Cooley says Gonzalez is best TE ever, but not in today's top 50

During a visit to the NFL Network studios last week, Chris Cooley said Tony Gonzalez was the greatest tight end of all-time.

But, Cooley insisted, Gonzalez doesn't belong on NFL Network's "The Top 100 Players of 2011," as voted by players. For the record, Gonzalez checked in at No. 46 on Sunday.

Cooley, one of the players who voted, said he only factored in the 2010 season and didn't want to turn the poll into a popularity contest like the Pro Bowl.

"He is not the 46th-best player from 2010," the Washington Redskins tight end said of his Atlanta Falcons counterpart. "He's a year away from retirement if he doesn't retire this year. So you are telling me that if they did a draft right now, he would go 46?

"If we do a Top 100 list of all time, he makes it. But not based on 2010."

Would Cooley consider Gonzalez the top tight end of all time?

"Absolutely," Cooley said. "But if I had to pick (among tight ends playing) now, he's not in my top five."

Cooley's top five: No. 5, Jacksonville's Marcedes Lewis; No. 4, Indianapolis' Dallas Clark (or whomever starts at tight end for Peyton Manning); No. 3, San Diego's Antonio Gates; No. 2, San Francisco's Vernon Davis; and No. 1, Dallas' Jason Witten.

So what do you think? Does Gonzalez deserve to be in the Top 100? Who is the best tight end in the NFL right now? Is it Lewis, or Gates, or Davis? Or do you go off Cooley's board and pick someone like Green Bay's Jermichael Finley?

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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