Is Tom Brady an elite quarterback?
If you ask the general NFL fan, they will say yes, absolutely. Is he the best? Now that is where it gets tricky.
In my opinion, he is still the best signal caller in the game. Sure, he doesn’t have the arm talent of Aaron Rodgers, he doesn’t have the youth of Russell Wilson, or the numbers of Peyton Manning. But if I get one guy to win me a football game, I am going with Brady. However that is not how every fan will feel. Obviously team bias always comes into play when talking about something like this, but Brady is generally not thought of as the best by the average fan.
Recently ESPN came out with a survey conducted by Mike Sando, as he attempted to figure out who was the best in the league. Sando asked 26 league insiders to grade each starting quarterback, where they would then be broken into tiers.
And guess who came out on top? Tom Brady.
For such a good player, Brady certainly takes a ton of heat from the fans, and the media. Whether it is about his declining numbers, limited athletic skills, “help” from the refs, or even his lifestyle, everybody wants a piece of the ‘Golden Boy’. But it is good to see that the people that matter in the NFL, the people that run the teams, acknowledge Brady’s legendary skill-set.
An article published by Sam Monson earlier this offseason started up a big debate regarding Brady, and his status as an elite quarterback. Sando addressed this in his study:
I was deep into this project when ESPN Insider published Sam Monson’s piece highlighting Brady’s diminished production while under pressure. Monson questioned Brady’s status as one of the top five QBs. Still, none of the people I spoke with thought Brady had slipped to a significant degree. Twenty-five of the 26 voters put him in the first tier.
I am not trying to disrespect the other elite signal callers in the game. I have a ton of respect for Manning, Rodgers, and Brees. All three of those guys are terrific players, and deserve to be at the top of the list. But they are simply not Brady.
Last year, he took a team ravaged by injury all the way to the AFC Championship game, and came very close to advancing on to the Super Bowl. This was a team that didn’t have a fraction of the talent that Peyton’s did, yet they both ended up in the same spot. Show me the next time Manning takes a team of that caliber to the AFC Championship game, and then we can re-evaluate this debate.