Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is no longer among the top ten players in the National Football League.
Before you ready your pitchforks and torches to throw at this writer, this is not my own opinion. Even placing bias aside, Rodgers is easily one of the top FIVE players in the league. To suggest he’s not even in the top ten is ludicrous.
Well, that’s what this year’s NFL Network list of Top 100 NFL Players did. Rodgers ranked number 11 this year versus number six last year and. number one in 2012.
Normally lists like this mean absolutely nothing, but this list is voted on by other NFL players though who those players are and how many are surveyed has not been disclosed. The fact Rodgers ranks that low amongst even some of his peers is mind blowing.
Before going off on too much of a tangent, let’s try and see what those players were looking at when they placed Rodgers where he was. This is supposed to be a listing of the top players of 2014. So if those voters are basing their numbers off of 2013, then they are taking his collarbone injury into account. That makes some sense.
Then again it is a list for 2014, so the votes should be based on what they see Rodgers doing this coming season. Are they predicting a dip in performance because of all the new talent at wide receiver or could they possibly have concerns about Rodgers’ durability thanks to last season’s injury?
Also, Rodgers’ ranking isn’t the only anomaly on this list. The player ranked directly below Rodgers at number 12? JJ Watt of the Houston Texans.
Perhaps the players who voted just hate Wisconsin? Who knows?
Rodgers ranked as the fourth best quarterback on this year’s list with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady presumably ahead of him. Those are the top four quarterbacks in the league but is Rodgers really the lowest ranked of those four?
That’s another debate for another day.
That isn’t all the bad news for Rodgers, either. The fan vote portion of the list (which doesn’t count towards the list broadcast on NFL Network) had Rodgers ranked 14th. It’s amazing what one injury can do to a player’s reputation.
Thankfully for Packers fans, this news will probably leave Rodgers feeling slighted. When Rodgers feels slighted, he gets a chip on his shoulder and when he gets a chip on his shoulder, look out NFL.
Not too long ago, Rodgers did some media rounds and he mentioned how happy he was and how comfortable he was with his fame and his life and he sounded content. Many fans wondered how Rodgers would do without that perennial chip on the shoulder that propelled Rodgers into the league’s elite.
Well those fans will have to wonder no more. Consider that chip firmly back on the quarterback’s shoulder and that could mean great things are ahead for Rodgers, the Packers and their fans.
In the grand scheme of things, this list will have no impact on the 2014 season. It’s basically just filler material for fans to have something to discuss while waiting for training camp to open.
Still the fact remains that the players on this list are ranked by the opinion of their peers. Plenty will find motivation to either prove the voters right for their high ranking or wrong in ranking them so low.
For Rodgers, this could be the spark that pushes him to his second MVP season. Throw in the fact he was injured last season and some are picking the Bears to win the division and Rodgers isn’t lacking motivation at all for 2014.
As for Packers fans, buckle up. You probably don’t want to miss what Rodgers has in store for the Packers opponents this season.
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke