Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was named the #1 player in the NFL by his peers in the 2016 NFL Top 100 rankings, ahead of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“Well, it’s an unbelievable accolade in itself, that’s getting your peers’ respect,” Newton said on the NFL Network. “For me having so much respect, and me being fans of so many guys in this league, for them to vote me number one means a lot.”
Brady finished in 2nd place and remains the only player to rank inside the top four in each list since its conception in 2011; for context, no other player has ranked inside the top 10 of every list.
Newton acknowledged the quality of players around the league when asked who he would have ranked number one on his personal list.
“Brady,” Newton said with a smile. “Or J.J. [Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt]- you know I actually played against him this year,” Newton added. “Or even AB [Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown]. You know the list goes on. Julio [Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones] is special. Luke’s Luke [Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly].”
“I think that’s what makes football so cool is just that it may not be a unanimous number one ever, because when you go in different regions, certain people may feel a certain type of way and I’m cool with that.”
Of course, Brady has been the only unanimous MVP in NFL history, back in 2010 when he led the league with 36 touchdowns and a silly four interceptions, so perhaps unanimous agreement can happen.
It’s always nice to see a player give respect to their peers and Brady is held in high regard by those he faces against on Sunday.