Throughout the long and storied history of professional men’s football, countless stars have graced the field and showcased their incredible talents. That being said, there is an upper level of players who have reached the top – true legends of the NFL who were universally loved and received superstar levels of fame.
This article will explore just four of the NFL’s most famous, though this list is certainly not exhaustive. Whether you’re a football gambler who closely follows NFL betting lines or a casual fan who just likes to watch the highlights, knowing who’s who is vital if you want to stay up-to-date.
Brett Favre spent two decades as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He first cut his teeth at college level, playing in his home state for the University of Southern Mississippi. During this time, he led their team to numerous wins and set numerous personal records for the school.
His fantastic form at the college level resulted in him being drafted in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft, picked up by the Atlanta Falcons. After just one season in Georgia, however, he was traded to the Green Bay Packers, becoming one of the team’s most iconic players, leading them to two Super Bowls, picking up the win in 1996.
Despite being drafted in 1991, Favre didn’t retire from the professional game until 2010, by which time he was a three-time MVP, an 11-time Pro Bowl inclusion, and also inducted into the Hall of Fame. Known for his incredible strength, throwing ability and leadership, Favre is rightfully one of the game’s greats.
Aaron Rodgers is a California native known for being one of the most skilled quarterbacks of his generation, playing football in his home state at the University of California before being picked up by the Green Bay Packers in the 2005 NFL Draft as the 24th overall pick.
Acting as the understudy to the aforementioned Brett Favre, Rodgers had the perfect role model to work under as he entered the professional game, getting plenty of practice and learning from the best. In 2008, however, he earned his shot as the Packers’ starting quarterback, and he never looked back.
As a highly skilled athlete and a stunning anchor for the team, Rodgers led the Packers to several playoffs and a Super Bowl win in 2010 after almost two decades in Wisconsin, Rodgers is still doing his thing, cementing his place in the history of the Packers and the NFL as a whole.
Players and fans alike have almost unanimous admiration for Jerry Rice and what he did for the NFL, inspiring a generation of enthusiasts that know from first-hand or passed-on knowledge just how good he was. Born in Mississippi, Rice is seen as the best wide receiver ever to play the game, excelling at college at Valley State University and as an all-action professional.
Known as “World” because of his ability to catch anything and everything thrown his way, he set the NFL alight, as a first-round pick in the 1985 NFL Draft. He spent two decades in the NFL, spending much of this time with the San Francisco 49ers, though he also played for the Oakland Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks.
As a three-time Super Bowl winner, Rice is one of the game’s most decorated, also a 13-time Pro Bowl and 10-time All-Pro inclusion. His work ethic, running ability and unrivaled catching made him a true icon of the game, as shown by his Hall of Fame inclusion in 2010. You might have a tough time if you’re looking for somebody who isn’t a Jerry Rice fan.
Our oldest inclusion, but also one of our most deserving, Jim Brown is a legendary running back and among the finest to ever play in the NFL, despite his relatively short nine-year career. Born in Georgia and attending college at Syracuse, Brown was an all-star athlete, excelling in numerous sports, including basketball, track and lacrosse.
Brown was a first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 1957 NFL draft, playing for the Browns for the entirety of his relatively short career. Despite this short career, Brown was a three-time MVP, an eight-time Pro Bowl inclusion and a three-time All-Pro inclusion. As a result, he was included in the Hall of Fame in 1971.
So many amazing players have played in the NFL over the years, gracing the field with some incredible performances that have left countless spectators and commentators in absolute awe. It’s not easy to reach the top, but these guys look the part and have trophy cabinets to show for their hard work.
Whether they’re modern legends of the game like Aaron Rodgers or a classic showstopper like Jim Brown, countless players in each generation have had fans sitting on the edges of their seats. Saying who was the best is impossible, but here we’ve detailed just a handful of those we are lucky enough to have seen play.
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