Over at Fivetooltool.com, they have put out a list of the most overrated NFL players of all-time. Here is the list in full, feel free to comment if you think there are any missing.
Notes… Overrated doesn’t mean bad. It just means that the meed’ja can’t speak to any of your flaws, and that you’ve never taken abuse for your failings, while being praised for your successes. If you rolled this team out on the field, you’d win nearly every game, rating or no.
It’s also not a moral failing on the part of the player. In your career, you’d be thrilled to be overrated; it would mean that you’d be getting paid large for what you did, and wouldn’t have to worry about getting canned — heck, you’d probably get headhunted away for more cash from someone else.
It’s also harder, in my opinion, to be overrated in tough media markets. There’s any number of writers ready to take down anyone with a pedigree; unless you’ve got some kind of meed’ja mojo working, you’re going to get bloodied up a bit.
Finally, you really need to have played in the last 20 to 30 years, and probably less, to be exceptionally overrated. For all I know, Bobby Layne really was more like Bobby Hoying — but the world, um, doesn’t care about NFL history before the Super Bowl, as witnessed by the fact that no one talks about my 3-time champion Eagles.
Finally, no list is perfect, and I’m sure that everyone’s own choices will differ. Please be assured that your list will differ, and it will also be wrong.
Having said all that… let’s get to it!
10. Mike Alstott. Fullbacks block, score in short yardage, and generally go about their business of quiet obsolescence. Since Alstott was a good interview, broke some tackles, and scored a lot (71 TDs for his career, the Buc team record) he wound up being an 6-time Pro Bowl pick… and at least 3 of those were on name alone.
9. Randy Moss. Normally, I’m not one to put too much stock into playoff performance; it’s a small sample size, and all you need to do is have one good game to be known as Clutch Forever. But with Moss, we’ve got years of El Foldo performances, including last season’s complete disappearance from the Patriots — and we’ve got his complete quit job, along with the rest of his Vikings teammates, against the immortal Kerry Collins Giants. When your biggest playoff performance involves pantomime mooning, that’s not good… and we’re not even getting into the off-field nonsense.
8. DeAngelo Hall. Shutdown corners are wonderful, except when they aren’t. Hall’s numbers from a stat geek standpoint really aren’t worth his standing, especially now that the Raiders have paid a fortune for his services. You also have to love his, um, leadership when things started to go downhill in Atlanta last year. And if he was really good, why does Steve Smith utterly own him? (And OK, perhaps Hall really isn’t noteworthy enough to be a top 10 selection, so consider him a placeholder for your favorite overrated corner.)
7. Zach Thomas. There’s nothing quite like the old-school undersized gritty white linebacker with a long career for media mouth jobs. Thomas makes a lot of tackles, but most of them are downfield, and he’s got to be held responsible on some level for the terrible performance of this team in the past few years. There’s not much here here, and I’d be surprised if the new regime in Miami keeps him on for too much longer.
6. Terry Bradshaw. Let’s see, you’ve got the dominant defensive team of the era. You’ve got a relentlessly durable star RB, and a top-notch fullback. Your WRs are the definitive possession and speed guys of their era, so you are more or less surrounded by Hall of Famers. So just how amazing is four rings, especially when the team more or less carried you to at least half of those? (Again, I’m not saying that the player is bad. Bradshaw had arm strength, durability, some mobility and more than a few clutch moments. But there have been 100 other NFL QBs you could say that about.)
5. Jeremy Shockey. The Alstott of tight ends, only much more mouthy and injury-prone. He’s also very good at making drive-stopping drops. There are people who think the Giants are better off without Shockey, and note that the Super Bowl run only happened with him on the shelf, which gave Kevin Boss a chance to shine. Those people would be right.
4. William Perry. A situational defensive tackle who couldn’t stay in enough shape to play significant downs. A media phenomenon, and an inspiration to fat guys and nickname generators. But in terms of actual utility to a team, the Fridge is more or less ordinary… and the fact that he ended his career with a Super Bowl touchdown, while Sweetness Payton didn’t? Mike Ditka sucks.
3. This slot could be held by Ray Lewis, but that might make him angry. And we’re not going to do that, are we?
Besides, there is no way that a mic’ed up clubhouse performer who believes that spasmodic dance routines are part and parcel of real leadership, for a team that completely fell apart… well, he couldn’t possibly be, well, a big ol’ media whore, could he?
2. Joe Namath. Hardcore health issues. No mobility. In his signature career win in Super Bowl III, it was more the Jets defense and running game that led the way. The defining media /sports star of his league, and a relatively short career with mediocre completion percentages and high pick numbers.
When you watch film of him, he’s got the goods — fast release, tight spirals, the look of a winner. And perhaps he should be given a break for playing with a lot of bad teams and offensive lines. But really, if SB III doesn’t happen, no one remembers him.
1. Brett Favre. Like there could be any other choice? Take away his single Super Bowl win, he’d have had the Dan Marino career, but with a lot more media hate for the Vicodin abuse, the Javon Walker twerpishness, the multiple playoff-ending interceptions, the Strahan hook slide hand job…
Considered but not listed: Howie Long, Reggie Bush, Frank Gifford, Brian Urlacher, Warren Sapp, Dan Dierdorf, Terrell Owens, Vince Young