The NFL has many big names in the news every day. Much of the time, we all hear way too much of a few different names, such as, Brett Favre, Ocho Cinco, and T.O. So who are these big names that often get too much attention? Also, who are the people that are not getting enough, that might possibly deserve it? I will put my two cents in as to who I think is the most overrated and underrated players in the NFL.
I will start off with the person who has dethroned Terrell Owens as the most attention deprived player in the NFL, Chad Johnson. His antics have entertained, and also annoyed much of the NFL’s fans for many years. Now it is just getting to be absolutely ridiculous. It was decent before when he was actually contributing to his team, but now with lows in every category of the statistics, it is just getting to be old news, and no one wants to hear about him anymore. The Bengals should just get rid of him and let someone else have to deal with him.
Next off, we have Larry Johnson. He had two very good years, demanded for a new contract, and has fallen off the face of the earth. His stats are basically half of what they were in his two good years, and he is still in the media complaining about his carries, even when he is not doing much with them. He still has a few solid games here and there, but for the most part, he is looking washed up.
Ryan Grant of the Green Bay Packers is looking like he is a one hit wonder. After helping the Packers get to the playoffs last year, he got a nice contract in the offseason and has not looked like the same running back from last season. He has failed to reach the end zone throughout the first five games, and has not helped take the load off of first year starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I expect him to bounce back and be solid this year, but overall, he is an overrated running back in the NFL.
On to a few underrated players, I will start out with the Kansas City Chief’s Tony Gonzalez. He has quietly surpassed Shannon Sharpe as the career yards for a tight end. This might be due to the Chiefs being awful almost every year, but he still contributes to the offense in both receiving and blocking aspects of the game. Although he is not as flashy as other tight ends such as Antonio Gates, he still shows up and plays for his team year in and year out.
I will throw in one defensive player that does not get the credit he deserves, London Fletcher, of the Washington Redskins. He is entering his 11th season in the NFL, and has played in every game so far in his career. That is consistency that has been overlooked by the media. He is the leader of his defense and played nearly every defensive snap last season. His production continues to be among the best in the league and any team would be happy to have him on their team.
Kurt Warner is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL right now. Earlier in his career, he enjoyed quite a bit of success with the St. Louis Rams. At age 37, the old quarterback is not getting the respect he deserves as he has his Arizona Cardinals at the top of the NFC West and is producing good numbers throughout the first few games of the season. One should note that he did not even know he was going to be the starter coming into this season as he was competing with Matt Leinart for the job. Warner has come out posting good numbers and getting a few wins in the process.
One of the top quarterbacks in the NFL that gets overlooked by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. He is one of the most accurate passers in the whole NFL and posts great numbers with Marques Colston and a whole lot of below average receivers. It helps that he has the multipurpose Reggie Bush at his side, but his precision and ability to get rid of the ball and not take sacks makes him a very good quarterback in the NFL. The game is often put in his hands as the Saint’s defense is subpar and puts them behind a lot.
I will finish off with a good receiver that is looking to post career numbers this year. That receiver is Jerricho Cotchery. Last year, he had to put up with different quarterbacks that decided they were terrible and forced the Jets to look elsewhere. Even with that problem, he caught 82 passes for over 1100 yards. So, in comes Brett Favre, Cotchery already has caught more touchdowns than he did last year and he has only played four games. He looks to keep putting up good numbers and he should be placed in the upper tier of receivers in the NFL.
As the season progresses, we can expect to keep hearing the big name players gaining the attention of the fans in the wrong ways, as they strive for higher status. However, we should also look in the background, to those players performing and not making a big deal about it, because they are the ones that often deserve the credit, for not making a big deal out of everything and keeping their mouths shut and playing the game of football.