10 Greatest NFL Players that Never Play in a Super Bowl

There would always be those sets of spectacular NFL players who have been denied the privilege of playing, not to talk of winning their grand trophy — SUPER BOWL. Of course, this ordeal has raised the ultimate questions in the mind of fans; Who are the greatest NFL players to never play in a super bowl?

We all know, a player’s success is directly proportional to his wits, individual Stats, and the number of trophies he has won. Hence, most of the dominating NFL players could get to the height of fame they are enjoying by successfully adding many numbers of Super Bowl titles to their career achievements.

Unfortunately, there have been some talented players in the NFL who, at the start of their career, had high hopes to claim a Super Bowl ring but never did. Their shortcomings are not because they were less capable, but because they never made it to a Super Bowl match.

Hence, Sportblis presents the Top 10 NFL Players that never play in a Super Bowl game. Read on!

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The Greatest NFL Players that Never Play in a Super Bowl

10. Cris Carter:

Closet Call: 1998 NFC Championship Game.

In the wide receiver spot, few players have proved to be as qualified and excellent as Cris Carter. Interestingly, Carter starred for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Miami Dolphins in the 16 seasons he spent in the NFL but did not see Super Bowl success with any of the three franchises. On eight occasions, he was called to the Pro Bowl and led the NFL three times in receiving touchdowns.

Do you know?… In the 1998 NFC Championship Game, Cris Carter came so close to playing in the Super Bowl. However, he lost the opportunity after the Vikings lost to the Atlanta Falcons.

9. Tony Gonzalez:

10 Greatest NFL Players that Never Play in a Super Bowl

Closet Call: 2012 NFC Championship Game.

Tony Gonzalez, now a sports analyst for Fox Sports, has spent 16 NFL seasons attempting to win a Super Bowl ring. Gonzalez played for two NFL teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons, during those 16 seasons. It was a difficult career for the tight end, which saw him play in only one playoff game.

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However, Gonzalez’s success saw him called to the Pro Bowl on 14 occasions, including his Super Bowl ring snub, which tied him with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Brice Matthews for the NFL Pro Bowl’s most pick. The nearest call to the Super Bowl by Tony Gonzalez came in the 2012 season at the NFC Championship Game, where the Falcons lost to the San Francisco 49ers.

8. LaDainian Tomlinson:

Closet Call: 2010 AFC Championship Game.

The name LaDainian Tomlinson is likely to come up in every debate about the best right-back in NFL history. For 11 seasons and two NFL teams (the San Diego Chargers and the New York Jets), the former NFL right-back and three-time NFL touchdown leader played in the NFL.

In his 11-year NFL career, LaDainian Tomlinson suffered a lot during the postseasons. He continued to claim prominent honours in the NFL, such as his 2006 NFL MVP award and 2006 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award, amid his struggles. In the 2010 season AFC Title Game between the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the nearest LaDainian Tomlinson got to the Super Bowl was. As the match finished at 24-19, the Steelers defeated the Jets.

7. Eric Dickerson:

Closet Call: 1985 NFC Championship Game.

Eric Dickerson, the Pro Football Hall of Famer, was one of the NFL’s best running backs in the 1980s. He played for four NFL teams, namely; the Los Angeles Rams, the Indianapolis Colts, the Los Angeles Raiders, and the Atlanta Falcons. His exceptionality saw him win the 1983 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Subsequently, he was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year (in 1986).

The 1985 season NFC Title game, where the Los Angeles Rams locked horns against the Chicago Bears, was the nearest Eric Dickerson got to the Super Bowl. Sadly, the match finished in favour of the Wolves, who prevailed with a 24—0 score margin.

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6. O. J. Simpson:

10 Greatest NFL Players that Never Play in a Super Bowl

Closet Call: 1974 Divisional Round.

As divisive as he is, O. J. Simpson never saw the glory of the Super Bowl in his 11-season league tenure. Yes, Simpson was a prolific running back whose honours such as the 1973 NFL Offensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP awards won him spectacular antics on the field. In the 11 seasons he spent in the NFL, the 1969 NFL Draft first pick and five-time Pro Bowl selectee starred with the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately, his attempts to make it to the Super Bowl turned out to be unsuccessful.

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5. Earl Campbell:

Closet Call: 1979 AFC Championship Game.

Now shrouded in grey hair, from 1978 to the 1985 season, the man called “Tyler Rose” dominated the NFL. Campbell played with the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints during his eight-season tenure in the NFL. On three occasions, his outstanding talents won him the 1979 NFL MVP award and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. We find it fascinating that the previous NFL running back was called to the Pro Bowl five times. However, he never had the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl.

4. Gale Sayers:

10 Greatest NFL Players that Never Play in a Super Bowl

Gale Sayers’s NFL peers will testify to the challenge of tackling the halfback who starred for seven seasons in the NFL. Sadly, his seven seasons with the Chicago Bears were fraught with collisions. This ordeal restricted his ability to play for consecutive seasons. Nonetheless, Sayers had a rather good season, which might have been better had he spent more time in the league.

Do you know? … Sayers won the 1965 NFL Rookie of the Year award and the 1969 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. Also, he was called to the Pro Bowl on four different occasions. Despite Sayers’ claims to outstanding numbers, he never made it to the playoffs. The College Football Hall of Famer, after leaving the NFL, attended the managerial affairs of the Southern Illinois University and Tennessee State University varsity athletics program.

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3. Dick Butkus:

Only a few linebackers are as fierce as Dick Butkus, in the history of the NFL assault. The former NFL player was in the league for nine seasons, playing for the Chicago Bears. Hence, he made it to the Pro Bowl during all the seasons he spent in the NFL (from 1965 to 1973), excluding his last season.

Sadly, the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year never made it to the playoffs. After his nine-season tenure in the NFL, the Pro Bowl Hall of Famer took part in acting and sports commentary.

2. Deacon Jones:

Closet Call: 1969 Divisional Round.

The late Deacon Jones was a great defensive end in the NFL. Popularly known with the nickname; the Secretary of Defense Jones played in the NFL for 14 seasons. During those seasons, he starred for the Los Angeles Rams, the San Diego Chargers and the Washington Redskins. Despite playing in eight Pro Bowls and winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year on two occasions, Deacon Jones never got to play in the Super Bowl.

1. Barry Sanders:

10 Greatest NFL Players that Never Play in a Super Bowl

Closet Call: 1991 NFC Championship Game.

Barry Sanders is the best NFL player who never played in a Super Bowl game. Sanders spent his entire ten years career playing for the Detroit Lions. On two occasions, Sanders won the 1989 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

The elusiveness of Barry Sanders as a running back is still remembered years after retiring from the league. In 2007, the NFL Network crowned him as the most enigmatic runner in the league’s history. In the 1991 NFC Championship, where the Detroit Lions lost to the Washington Redskins, Barry Sanders came nearest to the Super Bowl.


There you have it; our Top 10 greatest NFL players to never play in a Super Bowl game.  Which of the American football players do you think should be on this list? Kindly share your opinion with us in the comment section below.