One year after he was ranked as the league's #1 player by his peers, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has slid three spots to number four on this years NFL Top 100 list.
The slide, by all accounts, comes as a disappointing surprise. After a 36 touchdown, 4 interception, 3,900 yard MVP season in 2010, Brady arguably had an even better 2011 campaign. Not only did Brady lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl, but he threw for 39 touchdowns, 5,235 yards, and had a career best 8.6 yards per attempt.
So who are the players Brady ranks lower than, you ask? Let me give you the full top 10:
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Drew Brees
3. Calvin Johnson
4. Tom Brady
5. Darrelle Revis
6. DeMarcus Ware
7. Larry Fitzgerald
8. Adrian Peterson
9. Halota Ngata
10. Patrick Willis
More thoughts on Brady's ranking after the jump!
Look, I can understand how Aaron Rodgers unseated Brady for the number one spot on the list. After all, he had a top three or four historic season for a quarterback of all-time. But to place Brady below Drew Brees? And especially, to place Brady below a wide receiver, even one as good as Calvin Johnson? Count me as skeptical.
It's not as if four is a bad ranking, the question to me is: why the drop? Did Drew Brees and Calvin Johnson really do anything to prove to be better players than Brady in 2011? Brady will be 35 in August, sure. But I still don't believe that's any reason to drop Brady on the list. After all, he has yet to show any signs of regressing.
In the end, this is just a list. If Brady goes on to win a Super Bowl this season, I highly doubt anyone will be talking about Brady's #4 ranking. But seeing Brady slide to number four, you can't help but wonder if Brady is respected to the level he should be by NFL peers.