Tom Brady the NFL’s 9th-best quarterback?

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NBC Sports NFL analyst and former quarterback Chris Simms lists “1 yr as Patriots assistant” on his Twitter page bio, but apparently that season working in the personnel department in New England did anything but give him a greater appreciation for Tom Brady.

In his work for NBC and Pro Football Talk, Simms is in the midst of ranking the NFL’s top 40 quarterbacks and he created plenty of furor this week when he slotted Brady at No. 9 overall, one spot ahead of fellow future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.

The soon-to-be-42-year-old Brady collected his sixth Super Bowl ring last winter following a year in which his passing numbers were admittedly down from his usual high standards, including those from a 2017 season in which he took home NFL MVP honors.

Still, it’s hard to argue there are eight quarterbacks that are better than Brady at this point and last year’s statistical drop-off certainly has to take into account the limited contributions from Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman’s four-game suspension and upheaval at the wide receiver position that necessitated the desperate trade for Josh Gordon, who neither opened nor closed the season as part of the Patriots passing mix.

Plenty took offense of Simms' click-bait-worthy Brady ranking, most notably Hall of Fame quarterback and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner. Warner expressed his disbelief on Twitter – “Are u kidding me???” – a response to which Simms took offense. A social media debate between the two took off.

Simply bc when u put Brady and Brees 9 & 10 it just takes all credibility from list... no way to defend that except by making stuff up: the system, great coaches & players, blah blah blah!!

— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) June 21, 2019

.@kurt13warner yo Kurt always respect ur opinion. This is my list. I work very hard on it. And yes at this point of these two legends career I think they are 9 and 10. The system makes them more than they make the system at this point. It’s not about clicks

— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) June 20, 2019

Pro Football Talk notes that those quarterbacks still in the mix for the top eight spots in Simms’ list include Chiefs MVP Patrick Mahomes, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Indy’s Andrew Luck, Seattle’s Russell Wilson and, maybe most egregiously, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.

These types of lists are obviously designed to get clicks, grab listeners and create discussion. In that way, Simms has done his job.

But in terms of actually ranking the best QBs in the game? With Brady at No. 9? In that regard Simms’ analysis is less impressive than his own NFL playing career.