Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Thursday, January 16, 2014
NFLN survey/franchise player: Dolphins

By James Walker

ESPN.com surveyed more than 300 NFL players this season, and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was the top choice for a player to start a franchise with, according to ESPN.com’s player surveys.

It is a well-deserved honor for Manning. He's still going strong after 16 years and has the Broncos one game away this year from the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium. Manning's numbers were off the charts in 2013. He threw for 5,477 yards and had 55 touchdown passes.

But what I found most interesting about these results is how year-to-year NFL players think.

Manning is 37. He is close to retirement, perhaps within a couple of years. Yet more NFL players -- not thinking long-term -- would take Manning as their quarterback for a year or two over someone like Andrew Luck, who could lead a team for the next dozen years.

Even players know the NFL stands for "Not For Long."