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NFL Defensive Players Poll Reveals Most Underrated and Overrated Quarterbacks

The Athletic conducted a poll with 85 defensive players across the NFL to determine their opinions on a series of questions regarding quarterbacks.

One question they asked players was who the most underrated quarterback in the NFL was, and Carolina Panthers' signal-caller Cam Newton took the cake, winning 14 percent of the votes. Philip Rivers (11 percent), and Alex Smith (eight percent), also garnered plenty of votes.

The poll also asked the players on who they think the most overrated quarterback is, and Minnesota Vikings' $84 million man Kirk Cousins took the top spot at 13 percent. He was followed by Eli Manning of the New York Giants, who earned 10 percent of the votes.

Newton is a three-time Pro Bowler who took home the 2015 NFL MVP award, after guiding the Panthers to a 15-1 season. They reached Super Bowl 50, but ultimately fell to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24-10. Newton has guided the Panthers to four postseason trips in his career.

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Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On top of that, Newton owns the record for most career rushing touchdowns with 58, and he's compiled a whopping 4,808 yards on the ground throughout his eight-year career. He's the game's best dual-threat quarterback and has led Carolina to a series of playoff runs, so it's no surprise Newton earns the nod as the most underrated signal-caller.

As for Cousins, he was one of the biggest disappointments of the 2018 season. The Vikings gave him $84 million guaranteed in hopes that Cousins would lead them to a Super Bowl championship, but he was largely ineffective, and Minny wound up missing the playoffs altogether.

Cousins only tossed 30 touchdowns for the first time in his career this season, and the 30-year-old lost the only playoff game that he started back in 2015. Given that hefty contract, it's hard to disagree with Cousins' peers calling him the most overrated.

What This Means

It's always interesting to get some insight from the players. Though Newton isn't usually regarded as one of the game's elite quarterbacks, the peers have made it clear where he stands in their eyes. As for Cousins, he'll get the chance to justify that big contract in 2019.

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