After counting down for more than a month, the NFL finally unveiled the No. 1 player on its top-100 list this week and in a mild surprise, the honor went to Tom Brady.
The reason it was surprising to see him ranked as the best player in the NFL this year is because he’s been nowhere near the top of the list in recent years. In 2021, Brady was ranked as the third best quarterback — and seventh-best player overall — in the NFL, behind Patrick Mahomes (voted top player in 2021) and Aaron Rodgers (voted third-best player). For 2022, Brady jumped them both with Rodgers once again ranked third, but Mahomes falling all the way to eighth.
Brady was voted as the seventh best player last year even though he had just led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win. In July 2020, Brady was ranked as the 14th best player while coming off his final season with the Patriots.
After being named the top ranked player this year, Brady reacted by sending out one giant “Thank you” on Twitter.
The unique thing about the NFL’s top-100 list is that it’s voted on by the players, so apparently, there were a lot of players who came away impressed with Brady’s 2021 season even though the Buccaneers ended up losing in the divisional round of the playoffs. In 2021, the 45-year-old threw for a career-high 5,316 yards along with 43 touchdown passes, which was the second-highest total of his 22-year career.
CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco released his own list of the top-100 players this year and he had Donald on top. As for Brady, he was behind three other quarterbacks on Prisco’s list (Rodgers, Mahomes, Josh Allen). If you want to check out Prisco’s entire list, be sure to click here.
If you want to see the NFL’s full list, you can check it out below.