American Football Players

American football is the most popular sport in the United States, and the players of this game are accorded celebrity status in the football crazy country! American football is one of the many types of football that is played between two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The game has its origins in the sport of rugby football. Walter Camp, a legendary player of the game is said to be the “Father of American Football” as he set forth the rules for the modern version of the game as we know it today. Despite all the glamour attached to the image of football, becoming a professional football player takes a lot of hard work, and of course, good luck. Football is a sport that demands a high degree of athleticism, coordination, strength and stamina, and thus football players have to maintain their mental and physical health at the highest levels.

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

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 1 Tom Brady

Tom Brady
34
Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: August 3, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Mateo, California, United States

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.

 2 Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers
17
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: December 2, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chico, California, United States

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.

 3 Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning
16
Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: March 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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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 4 Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski
27
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: May 14, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amherst, New York, United States

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.

 5 Drew Brees

Drew Brees
14
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: January 15, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States

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.

 6 Brett Favre

Brett Favre
14
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: October 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gulfport, Mississippi, United States

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.

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 7 Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders
8
Famous As: American Football player, Baseball Player
Birthdate: August 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fort Myers, Florida, United States

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.

 

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 8 Randy Moss

Randy Moss
12
Birthdate: February 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rand, West Virginia
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.”
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 9 Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw
14
Famous As: Former NFL Star & TV Analyst
Birthdate: September 2, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shreveport
Drafted by Pittsburgh Steelers in 1970, Terry Bradshaw went on to become a dominant NFL quarterback and led the Steelers to four Super Bowl championships. His career halted after an injury, but Bradshaw soon established himself as a prominent television football analyst for Fox NFL Sunday. Later, he ventured into acting, writing and music.

 10 Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan
7
Famous As: American Football Player, Television Presenter
Birthdate: November 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

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.

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 11 Joe Montana

Joe Montana
7
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: June 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States
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.

 12 Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice
9
Famous As: Former NFL Star
Birthdate: October 13, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Starkville

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.

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 13 Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis
6
Famous As: American Footballer
Birthdate: May 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bartow, Florida

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.

 14 Walter Payton

Walter Payton
8
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: July 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Columbia, Mississippi
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. 
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 15 Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald
12
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: August 31, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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.

 16 Jim Brown

Jim Brown
9
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: February 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St. Simons, Georgia, United States
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 17 Troy Aikman

Troy Aikman
12
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: November 21, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: West Covina, California, United States

 18 Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens
9
Famous As: American Footballer
Birthdate: December 7, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Alexander City

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.

 19 Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe
6
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lincoln County, Oklahoma, United States
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.

 20 O. J. Simpson

O. J. Simpson
15
Famous As: Former American Football Player
Birthdate: July 9, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
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.
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 21 Dan Marino

Dan Marino
7
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: September 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Quarterback Dan Marino had a successful stint with the Miami Dolphins, leading them to 10 playoffs and the Super Bowl XIX. However, he never won a title. Named to Pro Bowl nine times, he was also the 1984 NFL MVP and part of the 2019 NFL 100 All-Time Team.

 22 Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders
5
Famous As: American football running back
Birthdate: July 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wichita

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.

 23 Emmitt Smith

Emmitt Smith
4
Famous As: NFL Star
Birthdate: May 15, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pensacola

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.

 24 Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor
6
Famous As: Actor, American football player
Birthdate: February 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Williamsburg

 25 Steve Young

Steve Young
6
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: October 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

 26 Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson
6
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: October 7, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fremont, Ohio, United States
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 27 Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson
18
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: March 21, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Palestine, Texas, United States

Adrian Peterson is an American football player. Widely regarded as one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League (NFL), Peterson became the third-fastest player in NFL history to reach 10,000 rushing yards in 2013. He is currently playing for the Detroit Lions.

 28 John Elway

John Elway
10
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: June 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Angeles, Washington, United States
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 29 LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson
6
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: June 23, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rosebud, Texas, United States

 30 Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu
7
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: April 19, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Garden Grove, California, USA
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 31 Reggie White

Reggie White
5
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: December 19, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Died: December 26, 2004

 32 Patrick Mahomes II

Patrick Mahomes II
12
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: September 17, 1995
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tyler, Texas, United States
NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, son of former MLB player Pat Mahomes, led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl win in 2019. He also became the second African-American quarterback to win the Super Bowl MVP award. His $503 million contract extension was the most expensive in sporting history.
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 33 Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson
21
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: November 29, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

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.

 34 Cam Newton

Cam Newton
21
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: May 11, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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.

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 35 Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr.
14
Famous As: American Football Wide Receiver
Birthdate: November 5, 1992
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

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.

 36 JJ Watt

JJ Watt
8
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: March 22, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Waukesha, Wisconsin

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.

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 37 Eli Manning

Eli Manning
16
Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: January 3, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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.

 38 Tony Romo

Tony Romo
7
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: April 1, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States

Tony Romo is a former American football player. Romo played as a quarterback and represented the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League for 14 seasons. After his retirement, which was caused mainly by a back injury, Tony Romo became the lead color analyst for CBS Sports' NFL telecasts.

 39 Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch
6
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: April 22, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
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.

 40 Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger
11
Famous As: American Football Quarterback
Birthdate: March 2, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lima, Ohio, United States

Known to his fans as the “Big Ben,” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had captained his high-school basketball, baseball, and football teams. The multitalented 2004 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year stunned everyone when he became the youngest starting quarterback to score a Super Bowl victory in 2006.

 41 Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow
7
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: December 10, 1996
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ames, Iowa, United States

 42 Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick
17
Famous As: American football coach
Birthdate: April 16, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

 43 Michael Vick

Michael Vick
14
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: June 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia, United States

Michael Vick is a former American football player who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons during which he represented successful teams like the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Jets. Michael Vick is also known for his philanthropic efforts; he has established a couple of nonprofit organizations namely The Vick Foundation and Michael Vick Foundation.  

 44 Ed Reed

Ed Reed
4
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: September 11, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Rose, Louisiana, United States

 45 Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson
13
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: January 7, 1997
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pompano Beach, Florida, United States

Lamar Jackson is an American football player who currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. In 2018, he became the youngest football quarterback to start a playoff game and helped his team win the AFC North division title. In 2019, Lamar Jackson became only the fourth African-American quarterback to win the prestigious Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award.

 46 Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson
8
Famous As: American Football Player, Baseball Player
Birthdate: November 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bessemer, Alabama, United States

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.

 47 Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns
4
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: May 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida, United States

The current WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, is one of the most popular WWE superstars of the current generation. After battling leukemia for 11 years, Reigns announced that he would take an indefinite break to receive treatment. He made a comeback in 2019 and went on to reestablish his position as a popular champion.

 48 Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald
9
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: May 23, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

 49 Tony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez
5
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: February 27, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Torrance, California, United States

 50 Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman
7
Famous As: American Football Player
Birthdate: November 6, 1976
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fremont, California
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.

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