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Devonta Freeman on Matt Ryan's Top 100 spot: 'It ain't real'

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MIAMI -- Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman spoke up for quarterback Matt Ryan in discussing the NFL Network's recent segment of the league's Top 100, as voted by the players.

Ryan, coming off an MVP season, was revealed at No. 10 on the final night. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who defeated Ryan and the Falcons in the Super Bowl, earned the top spot. Von Miller, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Khalil Mack, Aaron Rodgers, Ezekiel Elliott, Odell Beckham Jr. and Le'Veon Bell, in that order, ranked ahead of Ryan.

"You know, that ain't no facts," Freeman told ESPN, regarding Ryan being ranked No. 10. "That ain't no facts to that. It's all about 'he say, she say.' I might like [you], so I'm going to say I like you over such and such. You know guys got their own opinions and feel some type of way about guys. But, you know, it ain't real."

Ryan led the league with a passer rating of 117.1. His 9.3 yards per pass attempt were the most since Kurt Warner averaged 9.9 in 2000, according to Pro Football Reference. Ryan completed 373 of 534 passes for 4,944 yards with 38 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. Ryan also surpassed 4,000 passing yards for the sixth consecutive season.

"Look at his numbers," Freeman said. "I'm a numbers guy. I don't care about all that politics and 'he say, she say' stuff. Who's the MVP of the league? How is he No. 10 if it was real? How is he No. 10?"

Freeman was asked if he believes, in general, Ryan gets the respect he deserves from around the league.

"I respect Matt, so I give Matt the respect he deserves," Freeman said. "I feel like our team do. I feel like our organization do. And that's all that matters, because it's us against anybody. It's the Atlanta Falcons versus anybody. As long as everybody on the team respects Matt and the coaches respect Matt, and the owner of the organization and all that, that's all that matters. Everything else is just clutter and talk."

Ryan is one of five nominees for Best NFL Player at the ESPYS, hosted by Peyton Manning (8 p.m. ET Wednesday, ABC).

Freeman was ranked 41st on the Top 100, right behind teammate Vic Beasley Jr. At No. 3 on the list, Jones was voted the league's top receiver.