Every sport has its legends. The NFL, one of the most famous and beloved disciplines in the US, is no different! Over the years, we’ve had the chance to witness unforgettable games and spectacular performances by some of the real GOATs. This exciting, lucrative sport attracts millions of viewers every year and fills up football stadiums to the last seat.
There wouldn’t be so much hype about NFL without some of the biggest names in the game. After all, it’s their incredible performances that make this sport so entertaining. So, as you’re getting ready to watch NFL live online and can’t wait to see the next Super bowl, let’s take a look at the top 8 NFL players of all time.
1. Jerry Rice – Wide Receiver
Jerry Rice spent 20 seasons in the NFL – a record beaten only recently by Tom Brady. He spent 16 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and proceeded to win 3 Super Bowls. Rice was also a 13-times Pro Bowl selectee and held the title of the All-Pro 12 times. Due to his phenomenal skills, Rice holds over 100 NFL records and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 – his first year of eligibility.
2. Tom Brady – Quarterback
Many sports journalists, commentators, and his fellow players consider Brady the best quarterback in the history of the NFL. He spent 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, made 9 Super Bowl appearances, and won 6 Super Bowl titles. He holds many major quarterback records, including career touchdowns (661), regular-season touchdown passes (581), and combined passing yards (91,452). He’s also a 14-time Pro Bowl selectee (tied with Peyton Manning). Brady is the oldest player to be named Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP.
3. Jim Brown – Fullback
Even though Brown played only nine seasons in the NFL, he’s considered to be one of the greatest players and running backs of all time. He received the AP NPL Most Valuable Player title 3 times and led the league in rushing yards 8 times. When he retired, he left an impressive legacy, breaking m any records at the time. His career hasn’t stopped there – later on, he became a sports analyst and an actor.
4. Walter Payton – Running Back
With a height of 5 feet 10 inches and over 200 pounds of weight, his nickname “Sweetness” was probably the least obvious. For 13 seasons, he was a running back for Chicago Bears. He broke many records for carriers, yards for scrimmage, all-purpose yards, and many others. Payton was selected nine times for Pro Bowl, won Super Bowl XX with Chicago Bears, and won the NP NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 1977.
5. Deion Sanders – Cornerback
Deion “Primetime” Sanders is the only person to make an appearance in both Superbowl and World Series in the same week. Within seven days, he hit the NFL touchdown (he scored it in 6 different ways!) and the MLB home run. He also boasts 2 Superbowl titles.
6. Peyton Manning – Quarterback
Considered to be one of the best quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning played in the NFL for 18 seasons, 14 of which he spent with the Indianapolis Colts. He won 2 Super Bowls, 5 AP MVP awards and made 14 Pro Bowl appearances. His records include single-season passing yards (5,477 in 2013), single-season passing touchdowns (55 in 2013), and 4,000-yard passing seasons (14).
7. Dick Butkus – Linebacker
Butkus is considered one of the most intimidating linebackers in the history of the NFL. He went to 8 Pro Bowls and received 5 All-Pro titles. He’s famous for his fumble recoveries and over 20 interceptions. Butkus also won 2 NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. Due to his spectacular performance, he often makes the cut in the top lists.
8. Johnny Unitas – Quarterback
We finish our list with one of the true OGs of the NFL – Johnny “The Golden Arm” Unitas. He set many records as a quarterback and the NFL’s MVP, most notably in 1957, 1959, and two times in 1964. For the majority of his career, he played for the Baltimore Colts. People still cultivate his legacy; the best senior quarterback players in college football have been receiving the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
The Bottom Line
The history of NFL is full of exciting performances and charismatic players. Their skills and game style proved their excellence and resulted in countless unforgettable matches. Many of these prominent figures are well-known both in the field and outside of it, be it through their charity work, personal life, or business endeavors.
Obviously, there are many more memorable NFL players who didn’t make the cut this time. That doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of praise – if we were to mention every deserving player, our list would be much longer. Now you’re probably waiting for the next game of the season – let’s hope you’ll soon be able to see one live!