NFL Network's The Top 100 Players Of 2014 countdown reached its conclusion Wednesday with Peyton Manningsitting in the big chair. We imagine Manning partied well into the night upon learning the good news. Either that, or he dangled his leg in a hot tub while reading a playbook with his helmet on. One or the other.
Manning is in select company when we look at the Top 100 series as a whole. Manning is one of just 24 players who have cracked the Top 100 in all four years. Tom Brady has consistently placed the highest, with 3-4-4-1 rankings. Brady and Adrian Peterson are the only players who have placed in the top 10 every year. That's some Canton style right there.
Speaking of jumps, nothing sticks in the minds of voters like a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Russell Wilson (20), Joe Flacco (19), Eli Manning (31) and Aaron Rodgers (11) all received a popularity pop after lifting the Lombardi. That's not a typo, by the way: NFL players declared Joe Flacco the 19th-best football player in the world last year. Hit it, Liz Lemon.
Yes, life is good for NFL quarterbacks. A breakdown by position reveals that 12 signal-callers have landed in the top 10 in four years. After that comes seven running backs, who appear to get more respect from their contemporaries than NFL front offices. Six linebackers and six wide receivers have cracked the top 10, as well as five defensive backs, three defensive linemen and one tight end. That would be Jimmy Graham, who snuck in at No. 10 this year. Pay the man.