Edward DeBartolo Jr.
• 1977-2000 49ers
Contributor. Purchased 49ers in 1977. Known as "players' owner," led franchise to unprecedented winning during tenure. In 1979, hired Bill Walsh as coach, drafted quarterback Joe Montana and created atmosphere conducive to winning. He infused roster with talent that resulted in an amazing string of winning seasons: averaged 13 wins per season, including playoffs, during 1981-98 (not including strike-shortened 1982 season). During DeBartolo's ownership team claimed 13 division titles, made 16 playoff appearances, advanced to NFC title game 10 times, and was first franchise to win five Super Bowls. Franchise posted best winning percentage in NFL in both the decades of the 1980s and 1990s.
• 1996-2001 Bucs; 2002-08 Colts
Took over Bucs team in 1996 that had 12 double-digit loss seasons in previous 13 years. By his second season, team finished 10-6 and earned a playoff berth. In 1999, Bucs posted 11-5 record and clinched franchise's first division title since 1981. Bucs made four trips to playoffs in his six seasons in Tampa Bay. Colts advanced to playoffs each season during his seven-year tenure. Indianapolis won 10 games his first year, 12 or more every season after. First African-American head coach to win Super Bowl (2006 vs. Bears). Overall record, including playoffs, is 148-79-0.
• 1991 Falcons; 1992-2007 Packers; 2008 Jets; 2009-2010 Vikings; 20 seasons, 302 games
First-year eligible. Drafted second round by Falcons. Traded to Green Bay after rookie season in which he had four pass attempts. Instantly became free-wheeling passer with Packers and threw more than 500 passes in 16 seasons. Threw for 3,000 yards in all but his first and last season. Had 4,000-yard season six times. Retired as NFL's all-time leading passer with 6,300 completions, 10,169 attempts, 71,838 yards and 508 TDs. Threw four or more TD passes in then-record 23 games. Established playoff records for attempts (791), completions (481), yards (5,855) and consecutive games with a TD pass (20). Led NFL in TD passes four times including three straight seasons (1995-97). First-team All-Pro three straight seasons. Selected to 11 Pro Bowls. Voted league MVP three straight times, first player to win three. Threw pair of TD passes, added rushing TD to lead Packers to Super Bowl 31 victory. Member of NFL's All-Decade Team of 1990s.
• Linebacker/defensive end
• 1985-1992 L.A. Rams; 1993-95 Steelers; 1996, 1998-99 Panthers; 1997 49ers; 15 seasons, 228 games
Drafted in fifth round (113th overall). Drafted as linebacker and played at that position for majority of career. Saw action at defensive end, mostly during his tenure with Rams. Had back-to-back seasons with career-best 16½ sacks, 1988-89. Double-digit sacks totals 10 seasons, tied for second all-time at retirement. 160 career sacks and led his team in sacks 11 times. Five Pro Bowls, first-team All-Pro with Rams (1989), Steelers (1994) and Panthers (1996). NFL sacks titles in 1994 and 1996. NFL's All-Decade team of 1990s.
• 1996-2008 Colts; 13 seasons, 190 games
First-round draft pick (19th player overall). Three touchdowns in game nine times. Eight straight years with 1,000-plus yards receiving, 10 or more TDs. Shattered NFL single-season reception record with 143 catches in 2002. Finished career with 1,102 receptions, 14,580 yards and 128 TDs. Finished second to Jerry Rice in league history in career receptions, most consecutive games with reception (190), and most career 100-yard games (59). In 158 games together with Peyton Manning, duo connected on 953 passes for 12,766 yards and 112 TDs, the most completions, yards and touchdowns by a tandem in NFL history. Eight Pro Bowls. All-Pro six times. NFL's All-Decade Team of 2000s.
• 1997-2008 Rams; 2009 Bears; 13 seasons, 169 games
First-year eligible. Drafted first overall, first offensive lineman selected No. 1 overall since 1968. Mainstay on Rams' offensive line, he started all 16 games seven times during 13-season career. Blocked for three consecutive NFL MVPs (QB Kurt Warner, 1999, 2001, and RB Marshall Faulk in 2000). Anchored line that threw for more gross yards than any other team during his 12 seasons with team (50,770). Also blocked for seven 1,000-yard rushers. Seven-time Pro Bowl selection. Five-time All-Pro selection. In 2000, anchored offensive line that helped offense produce most passing yards in NFL history. In 2001, capped off regular season by leading team to Super Bowl appearance.
• 1970-79 Oakland Raiders; 1980-81 Houston Oilers; 1982-84 Saints; 15 seasons, 184 games
Senior nominee. Left-handed passer known for exciting style. Drafted in second round in 1968. Joined team in 1970 and guided Oakland to winning records in each of his nine seasons as starter, including five straight division crowns. Traded to Houston and led Oilers to 11-5 mark, 1980. Compiled .661 winning percentage. Totaled 27,938 yards and 194 touchdowns. Career completion percentage (59.85) ranked second all-time at retirement. Led Raiders to AFC title game each season from 1973-77. First quarterback since AFL-NFL merger to lead team to five consecutive conference championship games. Guided Raiders to victory over Steelers in '76 AFC title game, then win over Vikings in Super Bowl. All-Pro and 1974 NFL MVP. Voted to four Pro Bowls. Selected to NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1970s.
• 1952-55 Lions; 1956-58 Redskins; seven seasons, 73 games
Senior nominee. Selected in second round (19th overall) of 1951 draft. Anchor of dominant Lions team of that era. Suffered knee injury while preparing to play in the College All-Star Game before joining Lions. Injury sidelined him for entire 1951 season. Took field following year, quickly established himself as team leader. Lions advanced to NFL title game in first three seasons Stanfel played. Won back-to-back world titles 1952-53. Teammates recognized his outstanding play, choosing him team's MVP in 1953 championship season. While still at top of his game, retired at age 31 to pursue coaching career. Earned first-team All-Pro honors in five of seven seasons, including all three years with Redskins. Voted to four Pro Bowls. Chosen for NFL's All-Decade Team of 1950s.