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Giants’ Eli Manning voted one of NFL’s most overrated quarterbacks

It’s hard to imagine a situation in which New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who is one of the most consistently criticized players over the last decade, would be considered overrated, but during six weeks of league-wide polling, that’s the conclusion drawn by The Athletic.

A total of 85 defensive players from 25 teams were asked which quarterbacks were the most overrated and which were the most underrated, and the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins came up on the wrong end of the voting.

Although Cousins was dubbed the most overrated quarterback in the NFL, Eli Manning wasn’t far behind.

4. Who is the most overrated quarterback?
Top answer: Kirk Cousins 13%
Runner up: Eli Manning 10%

Also receiving multiple votes: Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston, Sam Bradford

Note: There were 14 “no comments” to this question.

Our view: There was little consensus here, though our big takeaway is that if it were up to defensive players around the league, Kirk Cousins would not have been given a fully guaranteed contract.

Total number of votes, not including “no comments”: 63

Notable quote: “Most quarterbacks are overrated. People think they’re great if they win even if there are a lot of other factors.”

The names that popped up next to Manning certainly do shed some light on the interesting thinking of NFL defenders. Although there was no vote count, Manning appears to be in good company alongside Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford.

But the poll did not stop there.

The defenders were also asked whether Colin Kaepernick belonged in the NFL, and 95 percent said yes. Only two said no, and one gave a “no comment.” And while Blake Bortles was the top vote-getter for whom Kaepernick should replace, Manning also received some votes in that poll.

8. If you could replace one NFL quarterback with Colin Kaepernick, whom would you pick?
Top answer: Blake Bortles 20%
Runner up: Nathan Peterman 18%

Also receiving multiple votes: Eli Manning, Josh Allen, Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Josh Rosen. Multiple players also voted for the collective quarterback rosters in Washington and Buffalo.

Note: Plenty of players and teams got at least a single vote here, including for some backups, like Chad Henne of the Chiefs and C.J. Beathard of the 49ers. One player responded by saying he “couldn’t list them all,” and another voted for “25 percent of the league.” Three players specifically noted that if Kaepernick were to be signed to a roster “he’d be a backup.”

Total number of votes, not including “no comments”: 74

Our view: The varied responses here, combined with the near consensus to the previous question, make it clear that the league’s defensive players believe there is a place in the NFL for Kaepernick. As one player told us, “[Expletive], any team that carries three quarterbacks for sure, the third guy on that roster. And a majority of the teams with two quarterbacks, he should be the backup. And some places he should be the starter.”

In November 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL alleging that NFL owners have colluded against him because of his activism and refusal to stand for the national anthem over his perceived injustices across the country. He has not played since the 2016 season.

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