In an NFL Insider piece, ESPN's Mike Sando digs deep into ranking every starting NFL quarterback.
There are four tiers in total, and the top tier consists of five quarterbacks. A familiar face is one of four quarterbacks tied for first in the rankings, as the New England Patriots' Tom Brady received a 1.04 rating from a poll of 26 league insiders (general managers, coaches, personnel men, etc.), a rating matched by Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.
Just one out of the 26 voters gave Brady a vote lower than "1" (the highest score on the 1-5 scale), representing a league-wide perception of how he is viewed.
One offensive assistant shared this sentiment with Sando, "Brady might be the best because he does it with the least every year, just about. To me, there is no falloff with that guy. If he played with what Rodgers and Peyton and Brees have played with, it would not even be close."
Quarterback rankings are always a unique conversation starter, as was witnessed earlier this offseason when Pro Football Focus did not include Brady among the five best in the game.
There's not a right or wrong answer when it comes to where a player deserves to be on a pecking order, especially with substantial development and change from one year to the next.
If we had to cast our own ballot, we'd agree that Brady is among one of the elite talents at the position, if not the best in the game. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has routinely said there's no other quarterback he'd rather have on his team than the soon-to-be 37 year old, a sentiment that isn't likely to change soon.