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ESPN votes Aaron Rodgers as player most deserving of top contract

The Packers quarterback has the top deal, and according to one poll that shouldn't change.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL, contract size is dictated by leverage, not necessarily by play on the field. That's why those like Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens briefly held the title as highest-paid player in the NFL. However, sometimes the top contract does go to the top player, or at least that's how a new poll conducted by ESPN of its NFL Nation writers sees it. 19 of the voters in the poll tabbed Aaron Rodgers as the player most deserving of the biggest contract.

The poll came out of comments made by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who reportedly seeks to become the highest-paid player in the league with his next contract. Other signal callers such as Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers have received massive extensions this year, and Manning hopes to become the next. Still, Rodgers' deal pays him more on average despite signing his deal over years ago.

As one might expect, those casting their vote for Rodgers referenced the value of the quarterback position and his MVP performance from a season ago. However, Rodgers' age (31) and presumed remaining career also factored favorably into the assessment.

The only other players to receive more than one vote were Tom Brady (five) and Andrew Luck (four). As quarterbacks, they command considerable value. Brady comes off a Super Bowl-winning season while Luck has yet to turn 26 and is considered the next great player at the position.

The full voting results are available below:

  • Aaron Rodgers - 19
  • Tom Brady - 5
  • Andrew Luck - 4
  • J.J. Watt - 1
  • Russell Wilson - 1
  • Eli Manning - 1
  • Peyton Manning - 1
Jason B. Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as an NFL writer for SB Nation and Sports on Earth. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.