A poll of more than 320 NFL players found that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was the most respected player in the league.
ESPN asked the players, “If you had to start a team with one player, whom would it be?” and “Which player do you respect the most?”
Manning was the leading vote-getter as first pick to start a team, with 62 votes (19 percent). Andrew Luck, who replaced Manning in Indianapolis, received 56 votes, and Tom Brady was third with 41 votes.
Eighty-six players (27 percent) chose Manning as the player they most respect. Brady and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tied for second with 24 votes each.
“I don’t know about all of the votes, or how it was done, but I certainly appreciate those players … feeling that way,” Manning said. “I think team success is the No. 1 thing, and that’s about the time you put in, the work you put in as a team to reach goals, to execute, to put yourselves in position. I guess I’ve always felt like individual things are nice and you’re thankful, but the success of your team, that’s what is at the heart of everything.