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Monday, January 23, 2012
NFL Any Era: Your thoughts?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

We've got a fun project to help keep us busy in the week before the week before the Super Bowl. It's called the NFL Any Era Team, and it's rolling out today with the first four players on the list.

What is the Any Era Team, you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked. ESPN got a panel of 20 Hall of Fame players, plus our Hall of Fame NFL writer, John Clayton, to vote on which current players they believed could have played in any NFL era. As Greg Garber writes:
Today, instant gratification has left us softer as a society. Still, among the league's 1,800 players, there are a few genuine, grizzled throwbacks. Like those vintage jerseys, they are anachronisms, reminders of a time when the game was brutal and pure and demanded an old-world fortitude.

We're rolling them out in reverse order, so the four you can see today are Nos. 20, 19, 18 and 17. There are no NFC East players among those four, and I'm not telling you how many there are among the top 16. What I want from this post is your thoughts -- your discussion on which current NFC East players could have played in any prior era. When I tweeted about this earlier, a lot of people wrote back "Eli Manning," and I'll buy that because the list is about toughness and few players are showing more toughness right now than Manning is. Eli's brother is No. 20 on the list, as you can see, but again -- I'm not telling you whether Eli made it or not.

We'll keep you posted on this as the week goes along, and I'm sure it'll generate plenty of debate. Meantime, have some fun with it, will ya?