Brady, Manning rank 1-2
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Posted Jun 27, 2009

Few NFL players have been more brilliant over the past decade than former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning. In fact, the folks at could think of only one.

By virtue of four Super Bowl appearances, three victories and two Super Bowl MVP trophies, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is ranked No. 1 among's “Top 25 Players of the Decade.”

The list was compiled by a group of ESPN's pro football writers and is currently posted at the website under the heading "The Best of the Best."

Manning is ranked second on the list, with the following explanation provided by ESPN pro football analyst Paul Kuharsky, who previously covered the Tennessee Titans for The Tennessean:

“The three-time MVP made eight Pro Bowls, was first-team All-Pro four times and won a Super Bowl this decade. Widely regarded as the league's most irreplaceable player.”

Manning finished up at UT in 1997. After some growing pains with the Indianapolis Colts in 1998 and '99, he hit his stride this decade, proving to be one of the premier passers of all time.

Rounding out's top five were San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Walter Jones and Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor.

Manning is one of four former Southeastern Conference players to make the top 25. Also pegged were former Georgia defensive back Champ Bailey (Redskins and Broncos) at No. 6, former Alabama running back Shaun Alexander (Seattle Seahawks) at No. 18 and former Georgia defensive lineman Richard Seymour (New England Patriots) at No. 20.

Related Stories
Harbach Blog...The 2009 SEC Preview
 -by  Jun 29, 2009
Western Kentucky defense
 -by  Jul 6, 2009
Florida offense
 -by  Jul 8, 2009

Get the 2014 Recruiting Yearbook and a full year of Rocky Top Magazine with an Annual Total Access Pass.
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Tennessee
[View My HotList]