In an era when runners are paid like kickers and punters, NFL players still believe in the featured back.
When the NFL Network unveiled its final wave of The Top 100 Players of 2014, no fewer than three workhorses found their way into the top 10.
When the ATL gang crafted our own top-10 lists, I didn't include a single back. Why? Because I'd sooner take a franchise signal-caller or game-changing pass rusher over anyone toting the rock.
While this year's player-voters disagree, consider the shaky outcome: Three running backs rank higher on The Top 100 than Aaron Rodgers.
That's just wrong.
Here's what else we learned from Wednesday's Top 100 curtain call:
» I spent all day sitting beside an enraged Chris Wesseling. He was red-faced to discover that Julio Jones was left off this list. It's an oversight that ranks alongside last year's exclusion of Jimmy Graham and only further muddies the voting process. Does anyone really believe Jones isn't a top 100 player in 2014? Beyond outrageous.
» The players justifiably adore Calvin Johnson -- No. 2 on the list -- for his freakish athletic gifts. I wouldn't take him over Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but Megatron is a lock for the Hall of Fame and worthy of every accolade despite playing a position that will never have the impact of a top-tier passer.
» Peyton at No. 1 is a no-brainer. It's also refreshing to see the players back Brady at No. 3. The offseason's most tedious narrative -- suggesting that he's no longer a top-five quarterback -- has been shattered against the rocks by his peers. Any defender facing Brady's two-minute offense last autumn knows he's still a cold-blooded machine on the field.