5 Legendary Players in Football History

Top Football Players in History

  • Jerry Rice
  • Jim Brown
  • Tom Brady
  • Joe Montana
  • Lawrence Taylor

When it comes to sports, debating which legendary football player is the best to ever play the game seems to be a never-ending conversation. The National Football League (NFL) is undoubtedly one of the largest enterprises in the world with no shortage of passionate fans. Meaning, these type of debates will probably never come to an end.

1. Jerry Rice

In the world of wide receivers, there is very little doubt that anyone comes even close to Jerry Rice. With 197 touchdowns, more than 1,500 receptions, and almost 23,000 yards, he remains the holder of innumerable records. His career went on for more than two decades during which he competed for the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, and Seattle Seahawks. Of course, it is hard to forget that he also holds three Super Bowl rings alongside 13 Pro Bowl selections during his 20-year career. In simple terms, Jerry Rice is the gold standard according to which most other legendary football players are measured.

2. Jim Brown

Jim Brown is one of the greatest running backs to ever rush the ball. He played for the Cleveland Browns for a total of nine seasons. During that time, he was selected to be a Pro Bowl player every single year, became the Rookie of the Year, had over a 100 rushing touchdowns, and recorded north of 14,800 combined yards. In fact, he still carries the record for the most rushing yards in the history of the Cleveland Browns (1,863) and his jersey number “32” was retired. Failing to include this first-round pick as one of the greatest players ever would certainly be a mistake.

3. Tom Brady

In the history of football, there has probably never been a player with more accomplishments than Tom Brady. Even though he is still active and playing on an unbelievable level for the New England Patriots, he can already be classified as an all-time legendary football player. Being the only quarterback to ever reach five Super Bowl rings, he easily beats the competition of other quarterbacks who are presently active. He is also a holder of as many as 71 NFL records including the most division titles, most wins by a quarterback, most Super Bowl appearances, most Super Bowl MVPs and touchdown passes, and dozens of others.

4. Joe Montana

If anyone was to ever enter the same conversation as Tom Brady, it would probably have to be Joe Montana. He falls one trophy behind Brady as he won the grand total of four rings with the 49ers. With more than 40,000 yards and 273 touchdowns, he has some respectable figures that enter him in the legend circles. Additionally, he managed to accomplish all of his achievements in 15 years. Regardless, one of his most amazing accomplishments is motivating thousands of players who went on to pursue great careers.

5. Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor was a linebacker who played for the New York Giants between 1981 and 1993. During that time, he established himself as the legendary football player who may never be beaten when it comes to the defensive side. In 1986, he recorded more than 20 sacks and his career total goes up to 132. That puts him on the list of top ten sack leaders. Given that he played a linebacker further builds his case for the legendary status as he was not a defensive end nor a tackle. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1999.

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Other individuals who may definitely come up in similar conversations include Peyton Manning, Reggie White, Deion Sanders, Ray Lewis, and more. Nevertheless, the previously mentioned five legendary football players undoubtedly have enough accolades to last them a couple of lifetimes before anyone claims their spots.