Top NFL Players Who Didn’t Win A Super Bowl

Mike - June 21, 2019

Top NFL Players Who Didn’t Win A Super Bowl

Mike - June 21, 2019

MLB Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears:

The once-dominant Urlacher ruled the middle of the field for a long time in Chicago. Drafted with a top 10 pick in the 2000 NFL draft, Urlacher played 13 seasons with the Bears. He had 1,353 total tackles, 22 interceptions, and 12 forced fumbles. He was a Pro Bowl invitee eight times and a four-time First-team All-Pro. He even won NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.

Unlike his Monsters of the Midway brethren, he could not win a Super Bowl.

CB Aeneas Williams, Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals/St. Louis Rams:

Williams was truly one of the best defensive backs to ever play pro football. He scored an unbelievable 12 defensive touchdowns including 9 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries for scores. He had a total of 55 career interceptions, recovering 23 fumbles. Williams was also a four-time All-Pro.

Williams only played on a playoff team once in his early career with the Arizona Cardinals. He made the playoffs three times in his four years with the Rams. During the 2001 NFC Divisional Round against the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre, Williams returned two interceptions for touchdowns and recovered a fumble. The Rams lost Super Bowl XXVI to the New England Patriots in his only appearance in the title game.

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

CB Champ Bailey, Washington Redskins/Denver Broncos:

Bailey joins Aeneas Williams as another one of the finest defensive backs to ever play football – and who never won the Super Bowl. Drafted in the Top 10 in 1999, Bailey learned much from Hall of Fame Redskins Deion Sanders and Darrell Green. He was eventually traded to Denver before the 2004 season in exchange for a second-round draft pick and running back Clinton Portis.

Over his Hall of Fame career, Bailey was named to an awesome 12 Pro Bowls and had three First-team All-Pro selections with four Second-team All-Pro selections. He will be enshrined in the Hall this summer. The fact Bailey never won a Super Bowl is a brutal circumstance.

WR Steve Largent, Seattle Seahawks:

Jerry Rice justifiably gets the credit for being the best wide receiver in NFL history, and he should. And while Largent may not be up there, he’s certainly one of the greatest of all-time. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl recipient and also made First-team All-Pro three times in his career.

Largent played all 14 of his seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, showing incredible longevity. He ended his career with 819 catches for 13,089 yards and 100 touchdowns. The former Tulsa star was sent to the Hall of Fame in 1995 as soon as he was eligible. Thanks to the fact he played for the lackluster Seahawks, he never won a Lombardi Trophy despite his endless personal milestones.

Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

QB Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills:

A legitimately deserving Hall of Fame quarterback, Kelly was the tried and true leader of the unreal Bills squads in the 90s that lost a remarkable four straight Super Bowls. Drafted in the historic quarterback class of 1983, Kelly first played for the Houston Gamblers in the USFL before finally making his way to the Bills, who kept his rights.

He was extremely doubtful about playing in the extremely cold winters of Upstate New York, as he played college football at the warm, tropical Miami. But Kelly eventually rewarded the Bills’ patience with 2,874 completions for 35,467 yards, and 237 touchdowns as he played every year of his 11-year career with the Bills. More importantly was his four-year streak of Super Bowl appearances. He and his teams lost some vicious Super Bowl games those years, and Kelly earned every ounce of his 2002 Hall of Fame induction.

LB Junior Seau, San Diego Chargers/Miami Dolphins/New England Patriots:

Seau was one of the best linebackers to ever play pro football. He was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection and eight-time First-team All-Pro. He made an amazing 1,846 total tackles in his career with 18 fumble recoveries and 18 interceptions.

He was never able to climb the hurdle of winning the Super Bowl, however. The typhoon made it to two of them. The first was early in his career when San Diego lost to the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl XXIX following the 1994 season. He then played for the New England Patriots during their undefeated regular season run of 2007, only to see them lose to the New York Giants. A tough, selfless player who often put winning above his health, Seau devastatingly committed suicide in 2012. His passing was thought to be prompted by CTE.

QB Warren Moon, Houston Oilers/Several Other Teams:

Moon is an underrated gunslinger who put up gaudy numbers. He ended his 17-year NFL career with 3,988 completions for 49,325 yards, 291 touchdowns, and 233 interceptions. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and First-team All-Pro in 1990, also taking home the NFL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 1990.

But for all his successes, he didn’t win the Super Bowl. His best chance was probably after the 1992 and 1993 seasons. But in 1992, he lost in “The Comeback” game to the Bills and then in 1993 to Joe Montana and Kansas City.

Mike Powell /Allsport

RB Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams/Indianapolis Colts:

Dickerson is one of the best running backs in NFL history. He holds the single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards. He was also the fastest player to 10,000 yards in NFL history.

However, he never won the Super Bowl in any of his campaigns despite his prowess. Dickerson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts after slightly over four years with Los Angeles. He had almost three solid seasons in Indianapolis before the wheels fell off. Dickerson saw injuries, suspensions, and decline sap his play. He ended his career with 2,996 carries for 13,259 yards and 90 touchdowns. Dickerson was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, a five-time First-team All-Pro, and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1986.

QB Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings/New York Giants:

Tarkenton is an all-time great quarterback whose lack of a Super Bowl win was not for lack of trying. He made it to three Super Bowl appearances with the Vikings, losing to the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Oakland Raiders.

Tarkenton was credited for singlehandedly creating the scrambling style that several current quarterbacks use to keep defenses guessing. The passing/running style he used was incredibly innovative at the time as it was ahead of the learning curve. He ended his career with 47,0003 passing yards for 342 touchdowns and 266 interceptions while rushing for 3,674 yards and 32 more scores. Few quarterbacks came closer to winning a Super Bowl than Tarkenton.


RB Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers:

All-time legend Campbell didn’t have the longest career because of his punishing style, so he could have potentially won a Super Bowl if his run lasted a few more seasons. He ran the ball 2,187 times for 9,407 yards and 74 touchdowns in his eight-season career.

The runaway freight train was the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1979. The Heisman Trophy winner was also a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a three-time First-team All-Pro, and even a three-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He led the lead the NFL in rushing yards in three of his eight seasons and in rushing touchdowns twice. About the only accomplishment Campbell didn’t have in his brief, explosive run was a Super Bowl.

OLB Derrick Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs:

Another great who could have had more chances to win the Super Bowl, but this time for a different reason than the aforementioned Earl Campbell. This frightening sack machine was one of the most effective defensive players to ever step onto the NFL field. He was drafted with the fourth pick of the 1989 NFL draft and Kansas City never regretted it for a second.

He racked up 126.5 sacks in 11 years with the Chiefs. He also made nine Pro Bowls, was chosen a First-team All-Prop three times, and has the single-game record for sacks with seven. Sadly, Thomas died in 2000 after suffering serious injuries in a car crash.

TE Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs/Atlanta Falcons:

Gonzalez is arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history. You could argue that the recently retired Rob Gronkowski deserves the honor, and Antonio Gates has more touchdowns. Shannon Sharpe and Kellen Winslow Sr. probably deserve to be thrown in there somewhere. But if you surveyed a section of the public, Gonzalez’ name would probably be the top name on the list more often than not.

He was an unreal 14-time Pro Bowl selection, making First-team All-Pro six times. Gonzalez ended his career with 1,325 catches for 15,127 yards and 111 touchdowns. It’s a travesty he never won a Super Bowl. His best chance was after the Chiefs’ magical 2003 season, but a Divisional Round loss to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts due in part to a phantom pass interference penalty on a Gonzalez touchdown ended that dream.

LB Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears:

Like Tony Gonzalez on the slide before him, Butkus is arguably the best at his position in NFL history, so the fact he never won a Super Bowl is equally as bad as Gonzalez not winning it. He only played nine seasons, but Butkus was voted to the Pro Bowl in eight of those and selected First-team All-Pro in six of them.

He also won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award twice from 1969-1970. Butkus essentially created the modern style a middle linebacker is defined by, and remarkably enough, he’s still the measuring stick for the position to this day. He always will be, so it’s shame he doesn’t have the one piece of hardware he lacks after playing for a franchise with so many of them like Chicago.

LT Anthony Munoz, Cincinnati Bengals:

At this point in our list of the greatest NFL players who never won the Super Bowl, each name is an all-time great. Munoz is no different. He played 13 seasons for the Bengals and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 11 of them, making First-team All-Pro nine times.

He played in the team’s only two Super Bowl appearances at Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XXIII. His Bengals lost to the San Francisco 49ers both times. Munoz was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

DE Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills/Washington Redskins:

Smith is an NFL legend who played 19 seasons. He owns the NFL record for sacks with an even 200. Smith maintained 13 of 19 total seasons where he secured at least 10 sacks, a particularly impressive feat considering he played in a 3-4 defensive scheme much of his career. He was voted to the Pro Bowl 11 times and also named All-Pro nine times.

He was the defensive leader of the infamous Buffalo Bills teams of the 90s that lost four Super Bowls alongside offensive teammates Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Andre Reed. You could argue he’s the best defensive player to never win a Big Game.

WR Randy Moss, Minnesota Vikings:

The controversial-but-amazingly skilled Moss is the best wide receiver to never win a Super Bowl in NFL history. He took the league by storm as a rookie with the Vikings in 1998, setting the rookie-season record for most touchdown receptions with 17. He played on some great Vikings teams early in his career. But they came one game short of the Super Bowl in 1998 and 2000, only to fall to the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants.

Later in his career, Moss achieved his crowning achievement with Tom Brady during New England’s undefeated 2007 regular season. He set the NFL single-season record for most receiving touchdowns with an unbelievable 23. The Pats made the Super Bowl but fell short to the Giants in a historic upset. Even later in his career, he almost won another Super Bowl as a part-time player on the 49ers only to fall short one last time. He finished his career with 982 receptions for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns. Moss was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, a four-time First-team All-Pro, and led the NFL in touchdowns five times.


QB Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins:

You might think Marino deserves to top our list of best all-time NFL players to never win the Super Bowl, and it would be hard to argue with that point. But he’s second. The record-setting passer took the NFL by storm like Randy Moss early in his career, winning the Rookie of the Year in 1983 and the NFL MVP in 1984. He led the Dolphins to Super Bowl XIX in his second season after passing for then-records 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns. Miami made the playoffs 10 times during his career but never had the running game or defense to win the Lombardi.

Marino was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, a three-time First-team All-Pro, a five-time NFL passing yardage leader, and a three-time NFL passing touchdowns leader. He completed 4,967 attempts for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns with 252 interceptions. He’s the best quarterback to never win a Super Bowl and it’s not really even close at all.

RB Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions:

Sanders is one of the greatest pure players in NFL history and the best all-time to have never won a Super Bowl. He’s also another instance of a player who could have potentially won a Lombardi Trophy if he kept playing, and he’s the most painful instance. The reason for that is he could have been the unquestioned greatest running back in NFL history. He was already perhaps the most exciting running back in NFL history.

Coming off video game-like numbers at Oklahoma State, Sanders made the Pro Bowl in all 10 of his seasons in the NFL, leading the league in rushing yards four times and rushing touchdowns once. He was a six-time First-team All-Pro and a four-time Second-team All-Pro. He was the NFL MVP in 1997. In 10 seasons, he finished with 15,269 rushing yards, 2,921 receiving yards, 99 rushing touchdowns, and 10 receiving touchdowns.

More importantly, he was perhaps a season away from setting the all-time record for career rushing yards in the NFL. Amid a bitter contract dispute with Detroit, Sanders retired before the 1999 season and left the entire NFL world wondering what might have been. Either way, Sanders is the best NFL player to never win the Super Bowl – and that’s quite a large shame.