Every year, ESPN takes a confidential poll of the National Football League’s various players and asks them all kinds of things. The news outlet then publishes its findings, turning them into the annual iteration of what it calls “NFL Nation Confidential.” One of the questions players have been asked year in and year out is “Which player do you respect the most?”
We have their answers from the 2014 survey, and while six of them are the usual suspects who could make a strong case at appearing in the next iteration of this list — typically released in January — we’re going to go all the way out on a very short limb and say that one of these things is not like the other, and that one of these things won’t belong here next year.
On last year’s list, in a tie for second place as the most respected player in the NFL by other NFL players, was Adrian Peterson. That might change for reasons that have everything to do with his recent suspension and the fallout from it. All Day will almost certainly be in the league next season — he’s too talented to keep out forever — but he’ll never be a shining beacon for quiet, hardworking athletes like he was prior to this September. Here, then, are the other six vote earners, with at least one more who won’t make next year’s list.