Jets receiver Brandon Marshall is pushing back against the idea that Tom Brady has secured his place as the best player in NFL history.
Marshall said that despite Brady’s Patriots winning Super Bowl LI, giving him his fifth Super Bowl ring and fourth Super Bowl MVP award, he doesn’t consider Brady the best.
“He’s not the best player ever,” Marshall told NJ Advance Media. “No.”
Marshall said Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards and has also played some special teams and some offense, is a better all-around football player.
“We get caught up in that whole discussion, that when a quarterback is playing really well, he’s probably the best in the business, and we think he’s the best player,” Marshall said. “And that’s not true. When I think about player, I think about a guy that I can put at corner, safety, defensive end, a guy that I can put back on punt return, chase down kicks. That, to me, is the best player. J.J. Watt, that can play defensive end, tight end, put him at tackle, make him lose some weight and he can probably play linebacker and safety. That’s the best player.”
Who would Marshall call the best ever?
“Man, that’s tough,” Marshall said. “I would put J.J. Watt in that discussion. I would put Reggie White in that discussion. I would put Deion [Sanders] in that discussion. I would put Jerry Rice in that discussion.”
Marshall may be biased in favor of versatile players because he himself was a versatile player who played both safety and wide receiver in college at UCF. But in today’s NFL, quarterback is so much more important than any other position that it’s hard to make the case for a player at any other position being the best player. A non-quarterback like Jim Brown may top the list of the best players in football history, but in today’s NFL the best player and the best quarterback are the same.