Top 10 NFL Players That Need a Ring
I don’t usually write sports commentary on this blog, but since this is my blog and I’m a huge NFL fan…read it anyway.
This is dedicated to the veterans in the NFL that have been playing at a high level for many years, but haven’t gotten that Superbowl ring (yet). Some of these aren’t my favorite players…some even playing on hated teams. You still have to show respect for the punishment they have endured mentally and physically without payoff. A couple of these guys have even gotten to the dance…only to go home without a parade. Not having a Superbowl ring could even keep a couple of these guys out of the Hall of Fame when their time comes…
10. Donovan McNabb/Matt Hasselbeck — Both of these guys have come away from the Superbowl empty-handed. McNabb is the Eagles’ all-time leader in career wins, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns. But his career has gone off the deep end with him losing his starting job in both Washington and now Minnesota – Maybe he can get a “Mark Brunell Ring” as a backup. Hasselbeck owns pretty much every Seattle passing record, he wanted to finish his career as a Seahawk…but now is keeping the Titans afloat. Unless something crazy happens, I don’t see him getting back to the big game.
9. Casey Wiegmann – Linemen never get much credit, and this center has been an ironman for 16 seasons. Not bad for being undrafted out of Iowa. He was selected to the probowl while playing for the Denver Broncos, but now that he’s back playing for the Kansas City Chiefs – I don’t hope he gets his chance at a ring. Just saying.
8. Chad OchoCinco – The receiver formally known as Johnson, a Bengal, a probowler, etc… He’s a hall-of-fame social networking player and one of the most entertaining people to take the field (seriously, watch one of his “Sound FX” segments). He’s got all the important receiving records for the Bengals. He’s the last of the “Big Three Headache Receivers” still playing, Randy Moss retired without a championship and Terrell Owens is unemployed without a ring. Though he’s not playing at a high level, its possible Ocho Cinco could get his ring while hanging on to his position with the New England Patriots.
7. Jason Taylor – The 2006 NFL Defensive player of the year has been desperate to get a ring. He’s played his heart out with Miami, who couldn’t even win one with Marino in the 80’s. He took a paycheck to switch to the Redskins, then brought his talents back to south beach, then came so close with the Jets (reaching the AFC Championship), and now he’s back with a struggling Miami team. Poor Guy.
6. Takeo Spikes – This guy belongs in the hall of fame when guys like Ray Lewis and James Harrison get called. It’s not his fault he was stuck with the Bengals, but he still was the heart and soul of that defense. He finally got to the probowl when he went to an equally bad Buffalo Bills team. He tried to go to a “winner” with the Eagles, but couldn’t help them after a late-season injury. He then lined up with a great defense although disappointing team in the 49ers. And now, after 14 seasons, he’s trying to lead the San Diego Chargers defense. (That whole organization should be on this list – the city of San Diego has gone the longest without a professional championship)
5. Brian Dawkins – He’s a member of the “All-2000’s Team” and an 8 time probowler. He was with McNabb in Philadelphia when they went to 4 consecutive NFC championship games, advancing only once to lose in the Superbowl. He made it to one more NFC championship game before joining the Denver Broncos. When he’s not injured, he still plays at a high level after 16 seasons.
4. Champ Bailey – The other aging veteran in the Broncos secondary. After 13 seasons, Champ is still one of the top 5 cornerbacks in the league. He’s gone to 10 Probowls (a record) first with the Washington Redskins, then he and Clinton Portis (another great player without a ring) switched teams. While he and Dawkins should make the hall, I don’t see them getting rings without some serious Tim Tebow magic…
3. Jason Hanson – Now, there are quite a few good kickers that have been in the league for a long time without a championship. But Jason has to get the most sympathy. He’s spent all 20 of this seasons with the Detroit Lions. The very same Lions that went 0-16. The same Lions that fell short in the playoffs in the 90’s. He’s also pretty good, obviously being the Lions all-time scoring leader, and a 4 time probowler. Hopefully he sticks around long enough with this emerging Detroit team.
2. Ladanian Tomlinson – 6 time all-pro, 2 time league rushing leader, numerous records, and a league MVP on his belt. While he’s always been on competitive teams, he’s only ever gotten to the AFC Championship with the Jets. During his peak years with the San Diego Chargers, he was easily the best runningback in the league. He’s also just a good guy with very little controversy and lots of community service work – in 2006, he shared the Walter Peyton “Man of the Year” award with former teammate Drew Brees. The Jets are still a solid team, so he does have a chance to finish up his career on top.
1. Tony Gonzalez – At this time he holds 10 NFL records and 5 Kansas City Chief’s records. As an 11-time probowler, he’s thought of as possibly the best tight end to ever play the game. But while guys like Shannon Sharpe, Todd Christensen, and Mike Ditka have their rings, I’m guessing Tony doesn’t want to share the same sentence with Kellen Winslow when they talk about great tight ends without superbowl wins. When the Chiefs were heading south, no one blamed him for jumping to the Atlanta Falcons to try to get that elusive trophy. If you’re going to be the best ever tight end…then you’re going to need a big shiny ring. He’s still playing at a very high level on a quality team, but time is catching up.
-Steven Jackson – Too young to make the list, but really…runningbacks don’t have a very long shelf life, and he’s been stuck on a terrible Rams team for 8 years. (And he thought he got drafted to the greatest-show-on-turf)
-Brian Urlacher/Julius Peppers/Lance Briggs — All 3 guys have been to the Superbowl, but all walked away empty handed…these 3 are too talented for that.
-Michael Vick – He was supposed to change the game. If nothing else, he’s been interesting.
-Aaron Kampman – He’s been a great pass rusher, he left the Green Bay Packers one season too soon.
-Ricky Williams – the greatest “What if” of the last decade. He should have as many rings as the number of head coaches that were fired because of him.