Famous American Football Players

Find out more about the greatest American Football Players, including Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, O. J. Simpson, Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Football Players

 1 Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: May 14, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

Widely regarded as the greatest tight end of all time, Rob Gronkowski is also considered one of the best American football players of his generation. Also one of the most popular players, thanks to his larger-than-life personality, Rob Gronkowski has set many National Football League (NFL) records as a tight end.

 2 Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning
4
Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: March 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

American football quarterback Peyton Manning played 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four with the Denver Broncos, winning a Super Bowl with each, thus becoming the only person to achieve the feat. Also known as “The Sheriff,” the talented player has NFL records for passing yards and touchdowns.

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 3 Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers
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Famous As: American football quarterback
Birthdate: December 2, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Aaron Rodgers, who has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the history of the National Football League (NFL), is regarded by many as one of the greatest football quarterbacks ever. Also known for his humanitarian and charitable efforts, Aaron Rodgers is an ardent supporter of the MACC Fund, which is a fund-raising organization.

 4 Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick
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Famous As: Sports coach
Birthdate: April 16, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 5 Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders
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Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: August 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

American football player Deion Sanders is considered one of the strongest pass defenders of the game. He was an electrifying athlete and played in the National Football League for 14 seasons. He played for teams like Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens. He is now a coach and a sports analyst. He’s also a rapper.

 

 6 Drew Brees

Drew Brees
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: January 15, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

After 5 years with the San Diego Chargers, NFL quarterback Drew Brees joined the New Orleans Saints. In 2010, he was the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and the co-chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Drew is considered one of the best passers in NFL.

 7 Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr.
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Famous As: American Football Wide Receiver
Birthdate: November 5, 1992
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Odell Beckham Jr. is an American football player who plays in the National Football League (NFL). With several NFL records under his belt, Beckham Jr. is widely regarded as one of the most popular and productive players of all time. His one-handed touchdown catch in a Sunday Night Football game is considered the greatest catch ever made in NFL history.

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 8 Michael Vick

Michael Vick
5
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: June 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 9 Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson
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Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: January 7, 1997
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

 10 Brett Favre

Brett Favre
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Birthdate: October 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Brett Favre is a former American football player who spent the majority of his National Football League career with the Green Bay Packers. Apart from being a retired player with several achievements and records under his belt, Favre is also a philanthropist; in 1996, he set up the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation, which has donated over $2 million to charities.

 11 Randy Moss

Randy Moss
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Birthdate: February 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
NFL wide receiver Randy Moss set a record for the highest number of receiving touchdowns in a season. The Minnesota Vikings player became the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1998 and retired after playing with the San Francisco 49ers. He gave rise to the term “getting mossed.”

 12 Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield
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Famous As: American football Player
Birthdate: April 14, 1995
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 13 JJ Watt

JJ Watt
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: March 22, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

JJ Watt is an American football player who currently plays defensive end for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He also plays defensive tackle in some situations. Sports Illustrated named him its Sportsperson of the Year in 2017. He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive ends in NFL history. Besides sports, he co-hosts the Fox game show, Ultimate Tag.

 14 Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson
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Famous As: Former Baseball & Football Player
Birthdate: November 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Former professional baseball and football player Bo Jackson has the distinction of being the only professional athlete in history to be named an All-Star in both the sports. Considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, he pursued his other interests following his retirement from sports in the 1990s. He has acted in a few TV shows, playing minor characters.

 15 Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan
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Famous As: American Football Player, Television Presenter
Birthdate: November 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

Michael Strahan is a journalist, television personality, and former professional American football player. Strahan helped the New York Giants, where he spent his entire 15-year National Football League (NFL) career, win the Super Bowl XLII. After retiring from football, Michael Strahan co-hosted the talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan, for which he received a couple of Daytime Emmy Awards.

 16 Cam Newton

Cam Newton
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: May 11, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

American football quarterback for New England Patriots, Cam Newton shot to fame when he led Auburn Tigers to the 2010 BCS National Championship, won the Heisman Trophy and was selected by Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL draft. In the subsequent nine seasons with the Panthers, he emerged as star player and even bagged NFL’s top player spot in 2016.

 17 Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: November 29, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

American footballer, Russell Wilson, plays for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League and is considered one of the best players ever. In NFL history, he is one of two quarterbacks with a career passer rating over 100. In October 2020, he was inducted in an exclusive group, the Madden 99 club of the popular ‘Madden 21’ video game.

 18 Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: March 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 19 Tom Brady

Tom Brady
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Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: August 3, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

A record six-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady is regarded by many as the greatest quarterback ever. At the age of 41, he became the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl in NFL history. Thanks to his good looks, he has also appeared in some television programs and commercial campaigns.

 20 Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens
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Famous As: American Footballer
Birthdate: December 7, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Terrell Owens is a former American football player who played for popular teams like San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL) in a career spanning 16 years. Considered one of the greatest American footballers of his generation, Terrell Owens was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

 21 Joe Montana

Joe Montana
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: June 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Former NFL quarterback Joe Montana, nicknamed Joe Cool, mostly played for the San Francisco 49ers, winning four Super Bowls with them. ESPN’s 25th Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century, Montana was the first player to be Super Bowl MVP thrice and was part of the Pro Bowl eight times.

 22 Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: April 22, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Football running back Marshawn Lynch, also known as Beast Mode, initially played for UCB and was then drafted by the Buffalo Bills. He was then traded to the Seattle Seahawks, with whom he won Super Bowl XLVIII. He retired twice, only to get back to playing both the times.

 23 Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: November 6, 1976
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: April 22, 2004

Pat Tillman was an American football player who represented the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. Tillman's decision to join the US Army after the September 11, 2001 attacks proved to be costly as he died in Afghanistan as a result of friendly fire. He became the first football player since Bob Kalsu to be killed in combat.

 24 Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: October 5, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 25 Sean Taylor

Sean Taylor
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: April 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: November 27, 2007

 26 Jim Brown

Jim Brown
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Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: February 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 27 Eli Manning

Eli Manning
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Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: January 3, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

NFL quarterback Eli Manning, brother of Peyton Manning, is one of only five players to have won multiple Super Bowl MVP honors. He initially played for the University of Mississippi and eventually led the New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories. He is known for his match-winning Helmet Catch.

 28 Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice
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Famous As: Former NFL Star
Birthdate: October 13, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Jerry Rice is a former American footballer. He played primarily for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. Thanks to his several records and accomplishments, Rice is considered one of the greatest players and the greatest wide receiver in the history of NFL. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked him second on its Football's 100 Greatest Players list.

 29 Nick Saban

Nick Saban
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: October 31, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 30 Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis
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Famous As: American Footballer
Birthdate: May 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

Ray Lewis is a former American football player who spent his entire 17-year career with the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). Widely regarded as one of the greatest middle linebackers in the history of NFL, Ray Lewis helped his team win two Super Bowl championships. He is also regarded as the greatest player in Baltimore Ravens' history.

 31 Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: July 22, 1995
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Named to Pro Bowl thrice, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been the NFL rushing yards leader twice and helped the Cowboys reach the first place in the NFC. He initially played for Ohio State and became a second-team All-American.  He owns stakes in OnCore Golf Technology, Inc. 

 32 Tyreek Hill

Tyreek Hill
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: March 1, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 33 Julio Jones

Julio Jones
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: February 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

American football player Julio Jones has been an important member of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL since 2011. Renowned for his leaping and catching ability, Jones is considered one of the greatest receivers ever and the best wide receiver of the current generation. He became the fastest to reach 10,000 receiving yards in the history of NFL in 2018.

 34 John Elway

John Elway
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Famous As: Baseball player, American football player
Birthdate: June 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 35 Walter Payton

Walter Payton
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: July 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: November 1, 1999
NFL running back Walter Payton, nicknamed "Sweetness,” played for the Chicago Bears for 13 seasons, winning titles such as the Super Bowl. He was named the NFL MVP in 1977 and was a nine-time Pro Bowl. Before dying of bile duct cancer, he became an advocate for organ donations. 

 36 Shaquem Griffin

Shaquem Griffin
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: July 20, 1995
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

 37 Le’Veon Bell

Le’Veon Bell
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: February 18, 1992
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
NFL running back Le'Veon Bell currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. He has previously played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets. He is a three-time Pro Bowl and a two-time First-team All-Pro. He later experimented with music, under the pseudonym “Juice” and released an album.

 38 Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald
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Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: August 31, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was the second-best in NFL receiving yards in 2019. He has been named to First-team All-Pro and to Second-team All-Pro twice. He is a minority stake-owner of the NBA team Phoenix Suns. He also works for breast cancer awareness and underprivileged children.

 39 Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: May 22, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 40 O. J. Simpson

O. J. Simpson
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Famous As: Former American Football Player
Birthdate: July 9, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
O J Simpson created a record breaking football career with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. He pursued a successful acting career and became a football broadcaster. However, the star footballer’s life took a dark turn when he was charged with the murders of his ex-wife and her friend and was later convicted in a kidnapping and armed robbery case.

 41 DK Metcalf

DK Metcalf
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: December 14, 1997
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 42 Andy Reid

Andy Reid
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Famous As: Coaches
Birthdate: March 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 43 Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor
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Famous As: Actor, American football player
Birthdate: February 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 44 Troy Aikman

Troy Aikman
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Famous As: Television presenter, NASCAR team owner, Announcer, American football player
Birthdate: November 21, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

 45 Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe
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Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 28, 1888
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: March 28, 1953

Jim Thorpe was an American athlete who was counted among the most versatile athletes of the modern era. Jim Thorpe won two gold medals at the 1912 Olympics and became the first Native American to give the United States an Olympic gold. He also played American football, professional baseball, and basketball. He was memorialized in the 1951 film Jim Thorpe – All-American.

 46 Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll
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Famous As: Football Coach
Birthdate: September 15, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 47 Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: January 4, 1994
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

 48 Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders
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Famous As: American football running back
Birthdate: July 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

Barry Sanders is a former professional American footballer who spent all his playing years with the Detroit Lions of NFL. Widely considered one of the greatest running backs in the history of National Football League, Barry Sanders has been made an inductee to Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

 49 Emmitt Smith

Emmitt Smith
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Famous As: NFL Star
Birthdate: May 15, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

Emmitt Smith is a former American footballer who helped the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League win three Super Bowl championships between 1993 and 1996. He remains NFL's all-time leading rusher and is the only running back to win a Super Bowl. A humanitarian, Smith is credited with founding a nonprofit organization called the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities.

 50 LaVar Ball

LaVar Ball
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Famous As: Media Personality
Birthdate: October 23, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
LaVar Ball, father of basketball players Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo Ball, once played professional American football. He has appeared on the reality show Ball in the Family and owns the clothing company Big Baller Brand. He once had an infamous feud with Donald Trump over LiAngelo’s arrest in China.