NFLN survey/franchise player: Jets

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
10:00
AM ET
Our NFL Nation network of team reporters polled 320 players across the league -- 10 from each team -- to produce a confidential survey that covered eight probing questions/hot topics. Next up ...

Question: If you had to start a team with one player, whom would it be?

Winner: Peyton Manning, quarterback, Denver Broncos

Our take: This was close. Manning edged his Indianapolis Colts successor, Andrew Luck -- 62 votes (19 percent) to 56. A total of 37 players received votes, with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (41 votes) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (40) finishing third and fourth.

Manning received tremendous support from the Jets' locker room, winning the votes of nine players. Brady garnered one vote, and that tells you everything you need to know about the Jets-Patriots rivalry and the perception of Brady within the Jets' organization. As I polled the players, it didn't take long to realize their respect for Manning is second to none. Most of the Manning votes were quick and emphatic.

The Jets have engaged in several heated run-ins with Brady over the years, which probably explains their feelings toward him. Frankly, they don't love his on-field demeanor, which Antonio Cromartie famously articulated during an expletive-laced rant about Brady to a reporter in 2010.

In case you're wondering (honestly, why would you?), no player on the Jets received a nod from the 320 voters.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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