Every year the NFL enjoys having a player or two that it can rely on to be in the spotlight and really carry the image of the league. The last few generations it has been a player at the quarterback position to fulfill this roll. Brett Farve and Troy Aikman were leaders from previous eras. Now after the recent retirement of Peyton Manning, the NFL will be looking for the next man up to be the face of the NFL. But who could it be? Who in the league has the charisma, look, and longevity to pull this off?
Let’s look at the starting QBs throughout the league and see who we have to pick from. One attribute to look at, and maybe the most important aspect, will be the age. If the NFL selects an older player, they won’t be around for long. Then the NFL would have to start all over, and who wants to do that? So the 35 and older group is out. Plus, who’s in that category anyway? Tom Brady, the main heel of the NFL and thorn in the side of Rodger Goodell. Yeah right, that would work. Drew Brees, the old saint who has a handful of years left as the star. Carson Palmer, the rejuvenated old guy who’s one tackle away from a broken hip. Tony Romo? He’s the running joke of the NFL, there is no way anyone could take him seriously if he is pushed to the front.
Ok, so let’s look at the 30-35 group. These guys are coming out of their prime but are still solid candidates to fill the position on a short term basis. Eli Manning is on the outside looking in just by being a Manning. Not sure if we could handle another one, but plausible. Philip Rivers definitely has the charisma part down and he’s the sound bite king. Ben Roethlisberger, not so much. His history is questionable to be leading anything but the Steelers offense at this point. Leaving Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers as the leader in the clubhouse as a guy who could be, well The Guy.
However, what happens if Aaron Rodgers’ career becomes so discombobulated that a successor needs to be had? We will turn our attention to the under 30 guys. Players who are just beginning to show major promise and have longevity in this league that we love. Individuals like Russell Wilson (the quiet spoken pretty boy with a soft heart) already has a Super Bowl win in his short career as well as Pro Bowl appearances to boot. His downside: he has Tim Tebow type beliefs and that could be an issue to the NFL powers. Andy Dalton (The Ginger Dynamo) comes to mind as another young gun with mad skills that the NFL could begin to groom to become their poster boy. Regular season stats are out of this world, as in a modern day Dan Marino. His downfall: can’t win in the playoffs, at all. He is one of five QBs to take his team to the playoffs in his first 4 years in the league and unfortunately hasn’t one a game yet. It’s hard to win outside of the NFL if he can’t win on the big stage in it. Cam Newton? Rookie of the year, 3 time Pro Bowler, NFL MVP, and the master of the Dab. Not a bad resume. He has a young following and a solid career to date that he could lead the charge into the future. Lastly, Andrew Luck would be a great name to throw into the hat for future man of the NFL. Why? Hes just a nice guy. Like, uber nice. Defensive players have made comments on how nice he is after big hits or good plays. Luck has been recorded in game multiple times telling defenders “Great hit” after sacks and a sundry of other plays. It’s hard to hate a nice guy, and the NFL should keep an eye on him. Whoever the NFL decides to go with, they have plenty of good options on the table. Lots of players are ready to step up and take the reigns, it’s up to the NFL to push the right guy at the right time, to be the new face of the NFL.
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