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25 Greatest NFL Players Not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Yet

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Hall of Fame 560x280The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 26 finalists for their 2017 class today. While the new names on the list generally get the biggest headlines, it’s the names we see on that list year after year that we’re focused on today.

Plenty of the all-time great NFL players are already part of the Hall of Fame including Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor, Jim Thorpe, Michael Irvin, Deacon Jones, Eric Dickerson, Junior Seau, Deion Sanders, Rod Woodson, Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen, Steve Young, and Johnny Unitas. To name a few…

But then there are others that are still waiting for the call from Canton. We are talking about the players that are eligible, not the ones that are still in the 5 year waiting period like Calvin Johnson, Jared Allen, and Peyton Manning. What about the ones that are eligible and deserve to be in the Hall of Fame but just haven’t been named yet?

Here are the best NFL stars that have not earned the right to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Some of these will no doubt make it this year.

25. Morten Anderson, K

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  • Seasons (Years): 25 (1982-2007)
  • Teams: New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings
  • Games: 382
  • Field Goal %: 79.7%
  • Field Goals Made: 565 (50 yds or more – 40)
  • Scoring: 565 FGM
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 6
    • Pro Bowls – 7
    • PFW Golden Toe – 2
    • Owns 13 NFL Records
    • New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame

24. Phil Simms, QB

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  • Seasons (Years): 14 (1979-1993)
  • Teams: New York Giants
  • Games Started: 159
  • Record: 95-64
  • QB Rating: 78.5
  • Completion %: 55.4%
  • Passing Yards: 33,462
  • Touchdowns: 199
  • Interceptions: 157
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XXI & XXV Champion
    • Super Bowl XXI MVP
    • 1st Team All-Pro 1986
    • Pro Bowls – 2
    • NFL MVP 1986
    • New York Giants retired his No.11 Jersey
    • New York Giants Ring of Honor

23. Zach Thomas, LB

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  • Seasons (Years): 13 (1996-2008)
  • Teams: Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys
  • Games Started: 182
  • Tackles: 1,727
  • Sacks: 20.5
  • Interceptions: 17
  • Forced Fumbles: 16
  • Fumble Recoveries: 8
  • Touchdowns: 4
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 7 (1st Team – 5)
    • Pro Bowls – 7
    • NFL Alumni LB of the Year – 2

22. Priest Holmes, RB

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  • Seasons (Years): 10 (1997-2007)
  • Teams: Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Games Started: 82
  • Rushing Yards: 8,172
  • Receptions: 339
  • Total Yards: 11,134
  • Touchdowns: 94
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XXXV Champion
    • All-Pro – 3
    • Pro Bowls – 3
    • 2002 NFL Offensive POY
    • Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame

21. Deron Cherry, FS

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  • Seasons (Years): 11 (1981-1991)
  • Teams: Kansas City Chiefs
  • Games Started: 124
  • Sacks: 3.5
  • Interceptions: 50
  • Fumble Recoveries: 14
  • Touchdowns: 1
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 5
    • Pro Bowls – 6
    • NFL 101 AFC Defensive POY

20. Jamal Lewis, RB

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  • Seasons (Years): 9 (2000-2009)
  • Teams: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns
  • Games Started: 126
  • Rushing Yards: 10,607
  • Receptions: 221
  • Total Yards: 12,486
  • Touchdowns: 62
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XXXV Champion
    • 1st Team All-Pro 2003
    • Pro Bowl 2003
    • 2003 NFL Alumni RB of the Year, AFC POY, NFL Offensive POY
    • Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor

19. Simeon Rice, DE

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  • Seasons (Years): 12 (1996-2007)
  • Teams: Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts
  • Games Started: 161
  • Tackles: 471
  • Sacks: 122
  • Interceptions: 5
  • Forced Fumbles: 28
  • Fumble Recoveries: 8
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XXXVII Champion
    • All-Pro – 4
    • Pro Bowls – 3
    • 1996 AP NFL Defensive ROY, PFWA Defensive ROY, 2002 NFL Alumni DL of the Year

18. Alan Faneca, OG

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  • Seasons (Years): 13 (1998-2010)
  • Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals
  • Games Started: 201
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XL Champion
    • All-Pro – 8 (1st Team – 6)
    • Pro Bowls – 9
    • NFL Alumni OL of the Year – 2
    • Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team

17. Sam Mills, LB

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  • Seasons (Years): 12 (1986-1997)
  • Teams: New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers
  • Games Started: 173
  • Tackles: 1,265
  • Sacks: 20.5
  • Interceptions: 11
  • Forced Fumbles: 22
  • Fumble Recoveries: 23
  • Touchdowns: 4
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 4
    • Pro Bowls – 5
    • Carolina Panthers No.51 Retired
    • Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

16. Terrell Davis, RB

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  • Seasons (Years): 7 (1995-2001)
  • Teams: Denver Broncos
  • Games Started: 77
  • Rushing Yards: 7,607
  • Receptions: 169
  • Total Yards: 8,887
  • Touchdowns: 65
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XXXII & XXXIII Champion
    • Super Bowl XXII MVP
    • All-Pro – 3
    • Pro Bowls – 3
    • NFL Offensive POY – 2
    • 1998 NFL MVP, 1996 AFC POY
    • Denver Broncos 50th Anniversary Team

15. Torry Holt, WR

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  • Seasons (Years): 11 (1999-2009)
  • Teams: St.Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Games Started: 158
  • Receptions: 920
  • Receiving Yards: 13,382
  • Touchdowns: 74
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XXXIV Champion
    • 1st Team All-Pro 2003
    • 2nd Team All-Pro 2006
    • Pro Bowls – 7

14. Kurt Warner, QB

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  • Seasons (Years): 12 (1998-2009)
  • Teams: St.Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals
  • Games Started: 116
  • Record: 67-49
  • QB Rating: 93.7
  • Completion %: 65.5
  • Passing Yards: 32,344
  • Touchdowns: 208
  • Interceptions: 128
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XXXIV Champion
    • Super Bowl XXXIV MVP
    • All-Pro – 2
    • Pro Bowls – 4
    • NFL MVP – 2
    • 2008 Walter Payton Man of the Year
    • Bert Bell Award
    • Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor

13. Roger Craig, RB

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  • Seasons (Years): 11 (1983-1993)
  • Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Raiders, Minnesota Vikings
  • Games Started: 133
  • Rushing Yards: 8,189
  • Receptions: 566
  • Total Yards: 13,100
  • Touchdowns: 73
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XIX, XXIII, & XXIV Champion
    • 1st Team All-Pro 1988
    • 2nd Team All-Pro 1985
    • Pro Bowls – 4
    • 1988 NFL Offensive POY, NFC POY, NFL MVP
    • San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame

12. Edgerrin James, RB

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  • Seasons (Years): 11 (1999-2009)
  • Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks
  • Games Started: 135
  • Rushing Yards: 12,246
  • Receptions: 433
  • Total Yards: 15,610
  • Touchdowns: 91
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 3 (1st Team – 1)
    • Pro Bowls – 4
    • 1999 NFL Offensive ROY
    • Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor

11. Jason Taylor, DE

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  • Seasons (Years): 15 (1997-2011)
  • Teams: Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, New York Jets
  • Games Started: 199
  • Tackles: 775
  • Sacks: 139.5
  • Interceptions: 8
  • Forced Fumbles: 46
  • Fumble Recoveries: 29
  • Touchdowns: 9
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 4 (1st Team – 3)
    • Pro Bowls – 6
    • AFC Defensive POY – 2
    • NFL Alumni DL POY – 2
    • 2006 AP NFL Defensive POY, 2006 PFWA Defensive POY, 2007 Walter Payton Man of the Year, 2000 NFL Alumni Pass Rusher of the Year
    • Miami Dolphins Honor Roll
    • NFL All-Time Leader in Fumble Returns for TD with 6

10. Lester Hayes, DB

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  • Seasons (Years): 10 (1977-1986)
  • Teams: Oakland Raiders
  • Games Started: 134
  • Interceptions: 39
  • Fumble Recoveries: 7
  • Touchdowns: 5
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl XV & XXVIII Champion
    • All-Pro – 6 (1st Team – 1)
    • Pro Bowls – 5
    • NFL Defensive POY 1980

The Raiders were once a feared defensive team that consistently put out incredible NFL studs on the defensive side of the ball. Lester Hayes was another one on a long list of Oakland Raiders that caused chaos for opposing offenses.

9. Randall Cunningham, QB

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  • Seasons (Years): 16 (1985-2001)
  • Teams: Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens
  • Games Started: 135
  • Record: 82-52-1
  • QB Rating: 81.5
  • Completion %: 56.6
  • Passing Yards: 29,979
  • Touchdowns: 207
  • Interceptions: 134
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 4 (1st Team – 2)
    • Pro Bowls – 4
    • MVP – 2
    • Bert Bell Award – 3
    • 1992 NFL Comeback POY, 1990 UPI NFC POY
    • Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame

He doesn’t have a Super Bowl, he never got close. But he was a playmaker behind center that turned the Philadelphia Eagles into a playoff contender, year after year. He just needed a defense and those Eagles teams would have easily made a Super Bowl or two.

8. Brian Dawkins, DB

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  • Seasons (Years): 16 (1996-2011)
  • Teams: Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos
  • Games Started: 221
  • Tackles: 1,131
  • Sacks: 26
  • Interceptions: 37
  • Forced Fumbles: 36
  • Fumble Recoveries: 19
  • Touchdowns: 3
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 6 (1st Team – 4)
    • Pro Bowls – 9
    • Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary Team, No.20 Jersey Retired

Speaking of former star Eagle players, Brian Dawkins is a legend in Philly. The man played almost his entire career for the Eagles and ran a defense that was one of the NFL’s best, every single year. It is a shame he never won a Super Bowl. If anyone deserved one, it was Mr.Dawkins.

7. L.C. Greenwood, DE

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  • Seasons (Years): 13 (1969-1981)
  • Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Games Started: 135
  • Fumble Recoveries: 14
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl IX, X, XIII, & XIV Champion
    • All-Pro – 2
    • Pro Bowls – 6
    • Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team

The Steel Curtain was more than just Mean Joe Greene. L.C. Greenwood was the other part of a four man group that is still the best defensive line the NFL has ever seen. The shear fact that he hasn’t made it into the Hall of Fame is more than just sad, it’s an abomination to the sport. He played before the league kept track of sacks. It has been estimated that he had around 75 career sacks. He died in 2013 but he deserves to be inducted next year.

6. Terrell Owens, WR

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  • Seasons (Years): 15 (1996-2010)
  • Teams: San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Games Started: 201
  • Receptions: 1,078
  • Receiving Yards: 15,934
  • Touchdowns: 153
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 5
    • Pro Bowls – 6

As far as talent, Terrell Owens was one of the greatest WRs to ever play the game. He had the ability to break tackles, make amazing catches, and get separation from defenders in the open field. He had his issues in the locker room and off the field but that was never anything worse than the other players in the NFL. He had a bad reputation for no reason and it tarnished his talented career. He wasn’t a cancer in the locker room, he was a very competitive superstar that wanted to win, more than anything else. Michael Jordan got away with it because he played a sport that allowed that temperament. TO deserves to hear his name called in Canton, one day soon.

5. Jim Marshall, DE

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  • Seasons (Years): 20 (1960-1979)
  • Teams: Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings
  • Games Started: 270
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Fumble Recoveries: 30
  • Touchdowns: 1
  • Awards
    • NFL Champion 1969
    • 2nd Team All-Pro – 3
    • Pro Bowls – 2
    • NFL Record – 30 Fumble Recoveries, Career
    • Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor, No.70 Jersey Retired

Jim Marshall knows what it feels like to be penalized because of the NFL’s inability to count sacks or tackles until 1982. He finished his career three years before the stat became official and because of his position, without a stat line like Jason Taylor’s, people tend to not vote for him. But go back and watch tape of his pressuring of the QB. This man had incredible techniques and pushed O-lineman off their spots to get into the backfield. He is a legend that belongs in the Hall of Fame.

4. Jerry Kramer, OG

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  • Seasons (Years): 11 (1958-1968)
  • Teams: Green Bay Packers
  • Games: 130
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl I & II Champion
    • NFL Champion – 5
    • All-Pro – 6 (1st Team – 5)
    • Pro Bowls – 3
    • NFL 50th Anniversary Team
    • Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame

Jerry Kramer is to Offensive Guards what Michael Jordan was to the NBA. He was a dominating force on the O-line and his blocking ability helped led the Packers to 5 NFL Championships and 2 Super Bowl victories. He was the man who protected Bart Starr and Jim Taylor for all those years.

3. Chuck Howley, LB

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  • Seasons (Years): 15 (1958-1973)
  • Teams: Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys
  • Games Started: 161
  • Interceptions: 25
  • Fumble Recoveries: 18
  • Touchdowns: 3
  • Awards
    • Super Bowl VI Champion
    • Super Bowl V MVP
    • All-Pro – 6 (1st Team – 5)
    • Pro Bowls – 6
    • Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor

Chuck Howley is the only NFL player to win the Super Bowl MVP from the losing side. During Super Bowl V, he had two picks and a fumble in a Cowboys 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Colts. He was also the first defensive player to earn the award. His career matched his Super Bowl performances and he remains one of the greatest LB’s of all-time.

2. Randy Moss, WR

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  • Seasons: 14 (1998-2012)
  • Teams: Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers
  • Games Started: 193
  • Receptions: 982
  • Receiving Yards: 15,292
  • Touchdowns: 156
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 4
    • Pro Bowls – 6
    • 1998 NFL Offensive ROY
    • NFL Records
      • Receiving TDs, Season – 23
      • Receiving TDs, Rookie Season – 17

People don’t like Randy Moss because he was a problem. He had an attitude, he was selfish, and most importantly, he worried about himself more than any one team he played for in his long 14-year career. But that doesn’t take away from all of the production he had in the NFL including a career where he finished with 156 touchdowns. You might not like the man, but he could ball better than 90% of the receivers to ever play in the NFL.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB

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  • Seasons (Years): 11 (2001-2011)
  • Teams: San Diego Chargers, New York Jets
  • Games Started: 155
  • Rushing Yards: 13,684
  • Receptions: 624
  • Total Yards: 18,456
  • Touchdowns: 162
  • Awards
    • All-Pro – 6 (1st Team – 3)
    • Pro Bowls – 5
    • 2006 NFL MVP, NFL Offensive POY, Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
    • San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame, 50th Anniversary Team, No.21 Jersey Retired
    • NFL Records
      • Rushing TD, Season – 28
      • Total TD, Season – 31
      • Consecutive Games w/ TD – 18

It won’t be long before LT earns himself a free trip to Canton, Ohio. This man played for 11 seasons, mostly for San Diego, and in that time, he helped Fantasy Football become as big as it is today. His unreal stat lines, every year, created a need for a new type of RB in the NFL. He was a two-way star that could kill you on the ground or in the air. He did it easily too. No one has been able to rush for more yards in less time that isn’t in the Hall of Fame already.

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