The NFL has a history dating back to 1920. Throughout the years, we have witnessed some of the most remarkable athletes showcase the intensity of football on the field. Different playing styles have emerged across various eras.
Presently, the passing game reigns supreme in the NFL, but in the past, championships were often won through defensive prowess and a run-first offense. We have seen a wide range of players with diverse skill sets, including strong-armed quarterbacks, accurate passers, elusive runners, towering receivers, and agile slot receivers. With such a variety of skills, playing styles, and levels of athleticism, skill, and coaching, it becomes challenging to determine the greatest player of all time, especially considering the multitude of positions in the game.
There are valid arguments for players like Tom Brady, Barry Sanders, Lawrence Taylor, and Jerry Rice, each excelling in their own right and deserving consideration as the best player for various reasons, and in today’s article, we’re highlighting some of the best to ever step on the gridiron.
Years Active: 2000-2022
Brady’s claim to the title of the NFL’s greatest player is difficult to determine precisely. He solidified his position in the debate when he led the Patriots to a comeback victory against Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX. Brady then elevated himself to the category of “arguably the greatest” after orchestrating the most remarkable comeback in Super Bowl history against Atlanta. His last two championships, especially his final one with the Buccaneers at 43, established his legacy as the unparalleled champion and player in the sport’s history.
Few ‘greatest of all time’ lists won’t position Brady at the top. Alongside the expertise of Bill Belichick, the Patriots ushered in non-MA, NH, and RI residents as fans, especially because of their impressive regular season win/loss records that assisted sports bettors with many ATS successes.
In the aftermath of Brady’s departure, bettors have displayed a certain hesitance in supporting the Patriots. However, this doesn’t erase the multitude of achievements that have firmly solidified his position as the GOAT, underscored by an incredible seven Super Bowl rings.
The unwavering fan base’s passionate support, coupled with the alluring prospect of leveraging BetMGM bonus codes, could potentially fuel an even more fervent desire for betting action. The convergence of fan loyalty and the allure of strategic wagering presents an intriguing landscape that keen bettors are likely to capitalize on.
Years Active: 1985-2004
Rice is an undeniable fixture on the NFL’s esteemed list of all-time top players. His extensive collection of NFL records is truly remarkable. A three-time Super Bowl victor with the 49ers, Rice made history at the age of 40 by securing his eighth career Super Bowl touchdown while playing for the Raiders.
His career total of 22,895 receiving yards surpasses the second-ranked wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, by an impressive margin of 5,000 yards. Notably, in 1987, Rice achieved the extraordinary feat of catching 22 touchdowns in just 12 games, a record that remained unbroken for two decades.
Years Active: 1957-1965
It is challenging to measure the extent of Brown’s dominance over his nine seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He belongs to an elite group of extraordinary athletes who outshone their competitors. This group includes Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Wilt Chamberlain, Cheryl Miller, Serena Williams, Jesse Owens, and Michael Phelps.
Brown achieved the NFL rushing title eight times and led the Browns to their most recent league championship in 1964. His average of 104.3 yards per game throughout his career still stands as the highest in NFL history.
Years Active: 1975-1987
The greatness of “Sweetness” is unparalleled, to the extent that there is a valid argument to be made regarding his status as the greatest NFL running back of all time. Undoubtedly, he is the greatest running back since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
Being the epitome of fearlessness, Payton fearlessly confronted eight-man defenses regularly, even when playing for lackluster Bears teams. Later in his career, when the Bears became a formidable force, Payton’s leadership propelled them to a championship victory after accumulating over 2,000 all-purpose yards for the Super Bowl XX champions. In addition to his exceptional running skills, Payton excelled as a blocker, receiver, and overall football player.
Years Active: 1998-2015
Brady possesses a greater number of championships, while Manning has forged his own distinctive legacy, which encompasses an impressive five league MVP awards, along with the distinction of being the inaugural starting quarterback to secure Super Bowl victories with two separate teams. Similar to Palmer’s influential role in golf, Manning has excelled on the field and served as a notable ambassador for the NFL, both during his active playing career and in his retirement.
Years Active: 1981-1993
Taylor had an exceptional rookie year, earning recognition as the Defensive Rookie of the Year and being named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Remarkably, just five years later, Taylor won the league MVP award and played a pivotal role in leading the Giants to their first-ever Super Bowl victory.
Taylor’s aggressive approach to pass rushing completely transformed the game, elevating the left tackle position to one of utmost significance in the league.