7 Most Respected Players in the NFL

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Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24736216@N07/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24736216@N07/

In ESPN’s NFL Nation Confidential survey, which tallied the votes of more than 320 players, one of the questions asked was “Which player do you respect the most?” Since the players were answering about their peers (and also confidentially), the results appeared to be unbiased and not favoring teammates. While another question asked, “If you had to start a team with one player, whom would it be?” the former generated quite the discussion because it takes into account so much more than just athletic ability.

Whom you would choose to start a team with is relatively simple: Who are the best players? But whom National Football League players respect the most, though likely involving ability, also takes into account the things their peers do off the field and how they carry themselves. The most respected players aren’t the ones who yell at teammates, argue with coaches on the sideline, or blow up during press conferences – they’re the players who keep their nose to the grindstone, continually play well, are well-spoken, and are considered good teammates. As voted by their peers, here’s a list of the seven most respected players in the NFL — starting from the top.

1. Peyton Manning

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/denverjeffrey/7955629330/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/denverjeffrey/7955629330/

Coming in with 26.8 percent of the votes, Peyton Manning took first place in a landslide. The 15-year veteran quarterback has been a staple for so many years in the league that it would be difficult to see somebody else as No. 1 on this list. This selection comes after Manning was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year last season, a journey that featured a comeback performance in which he overcame multiple neck surgeries from injuries that seemed more than likely to either end his career or severely limit it.

Whether he’s appearing on Saturday Night Live, playing various roles in TV commercials, or promoting his many charities (all alongside his impressive ability on the field), Manning is one of the NFL’s best representatives. And he is looking to cap off one of the best offensive seasons ever by a quarterback – 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns – with a Super Bowl victory. He’s well spoken, well liked, a fan favorite, and dominant at what he does. How could his peers not vote him as the most respected player in the league?

Note: Manning’s photograph has been updated.

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