What our peers think of us typically means considerably more than what general population thinks of us. By that measure, the Bears should feel very respected by their NFL mates.
The NFL Network surveys players each year for their votes on top player, and the Bears have earned some gestures of respect from those peers, although the balloting results are more than a little head-scratching in some cases. That happens every year of course, as in Tim Tebow making the list in 2012, and Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. The point is the debate and the website/TV viewership.
Anyway, Matt Forte came in at No. 91. The debate there is how many three-down backs are better than Forte, who quietly has snuck in behind all but a very, very few backs in a league supposedly devaluing running backs.
Forte took to his Twitter account to cast his vote on the vote:
#91 out of 100 pfffff— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) May 11, 2014
Cornerback Tim Jennings, No. 69 in 2013, still made the list at No. 74. Jared Allen ranked at No. 68, with one pundit pointing to Allen’s supposed lack of free-agent market value as evidence that he’s not as good as that ranking. (In fact, Allen took less from Chicago than he was offered by two other teams).
More Bears will make the Top 100. Cutler and Marshall will be in the upcoming final 60 to be unveiled, and Lance Briggs has been a regular although he missed a significant stretch of 2013. Kyle Long earned enough peer support to achieve Pro Bowl alternate status and is the one other member of very good offense with a reasonable shot at inclusion.