By Charles McDonald, buy it Hardy, Christian D'Andrea, Adam Stites, and also James Brady jan 29, 2019, 1:00pm EST


no everyone gets to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Also some that the best players in NFL history were never able to win a Super bowl — players who had bonafide hall of call careers.

Greatness doesn’t guarantee a Super key ring, or in some situations even a opportunity at a ring. Terrell Owens, Tony Gonzalez, LaDainian Tomlinson, Cris Carter, Eric Dickerson, Tony Gonzalez — the number of titans who have come up empty-handed goes on and also on.

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It’s almost impossible to list every truly good player that didn’t success the big game. Instead, us picked out eight players us still can’t think don’t have actually a Super key championship on your resume.

Randy Moss

Depending on that you speak to, Randy Moss just can be the best receiver of all time. He’s definitely one of the ideal receivers to ever before step top top a football ar — he was a first-ballot hall of Fame selection last year.

Despite a career that has 982 receptions, 15,292 receiving yards, and 156 touchdowns, Moss was unable to clinch a Lombardi trophy. That contains his legendary 2007 stint for the new England Patriots. Moss recorded an NFL-record 23 touchdowns because that a Patriots the took a perfect 18-0 record right into the supervisor Bowl. They ended up shedding to the new York Giants 17-14.

It’s practically criminal that one of the ideal receivers in NFL history never acquired a Super bowl while playing for among the finest teams in the history of the NFL.

Moss got one an ext chance in ~ a ring in his last season in the league. After ~ a brief retirement, Moss came ago to play for the 49ers in 2012. They went on come Super key XLVII, wherein they lost to the Ravens — one more close three-point loss because that Moss’ team.

Barry Sanders

Arguing that Barry Sanders is the finest running ago of every time is a lot prefer making the situation that Randy Moss was the best receiver. Neither play long enough to chase down major career records, yet both were as freakishly unstoppable as the NFL has ever before seen.

Sanders winner the Heisman Trophy in 1988 v the many absurdly dominant season of football everyone has ever before had. Then he do NFL defenses look at silly for 10 years, earning a pro Bowl nod in all 10 seasons.

He average 99.8 rushing yards every game, 5.0 yards per carry, and is among only 3 players to ever before eclipse 15,000 yards. What the never gained was a trip to the Super key — something no Lions team has ever done.

Sanders to be a member that the just Lions team to play in the NFC Championship in the Super bowl era. Detroit shed that game, 41-10, come Washington in January 1992.

His career finished abruptly through an unanticipated retirement a pair weeks after ~ his 31st birthday. Sanders did more than sufficient to it is in an easy first ballot room of reputation entry, however unfortunately, we never acquired to check out him victory it all.

Larry Fitzgerald

In January, Larry Fitzgerald announced hell return for a 15th NFL season with the Arizona Cardinals. One much more year must be much more than sufficient to give him the second spot on the career receptions perform (he’s just 22 behind Tony Gonzalez), however it nearly definitely won’t gain him his very first Super bowl ring. Not unless Kliff Kingsbury is a miracle worker in his very first NFL season.

Fitzgerald will probably finish his job 0-1 in super Bowls. That’s a shame since he played several of the most dominant postseason football of any kind of receiver in NFL history.

He finished Super key 43 with 7 receptions because that 127 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers. The was after ~ he had actually 152 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the NFC Championship, and also 166 yards and also a touchdown in the Divisional Round. In 4 games that postseason, he had 30 records for 546 yards and also seven touchdowns.

His clutch 64-yard touchdown in the supervisor Bowl put the Cardinals on peak late in the fourth quarter:

And it would’ve provided them the victory if Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t answered v a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes.

Fitzgerald will finish his career second all-time in receiving yards, likely 2nd in receptions, and also likely sixth in receiving touchdowns. But maybe the many wild stat that his career is the he’s one of eight players v 10 or an ext receiving touchdowns in the playoffs. He gained there in nine games.

That should’ve acquired Fitzgerald the Super key ring he deserves. Unfortunately, the Cardinals couldn’t piece things along with enough consistency to give him that chance.

Junior Seau

Seau to be the quintessential multipurpose linebacker; a West coastline wrecking round who had the intelligence, size, and athleticism come cover any situation in one opponent’s playbook. Unfortunately for him, he was star-crossed by gift drafted by the league’s most cursed franchise (non-Browns edition), the Chargers. In mountain Diego, his quarterbacks were some wretched combination of players choose Billy Joe Tolliver, man Friesz, Stan Humphries, Craig Whelihan, Jim Harbaugh, and also Ryan Leaf. The fact the franchise even made it to Super key 29 is a testimony to Seau’s playmaking.

When his Chargers tenure concerned an end, he checked out the Dolphins as a 34-year-old linebacker, let go 18 gamings in three seasons, and also generally looked washed up. And also then, whoops, transforms out that’s just a byproduct of playing in Miami, ended up being a an important veteran presence, and also looked like he’d ultimately win a ring in the most Rodney Harrison-ish of ways — by escaping san Diego and also playing for bill Belichick.

Seau spent four seasons in brand-new England, somehow right at the begin of the franchise’s longest championship drought of the millennium. He saw the Pats walk 18-0 in 2007 only to gain upended through the Giants in that year’s at sight Bowl. He retired after the 2009 season, to win zero an ext playoff games along the way.

His life ~ football play out favor a roman inn tragedy, finishing with a battle against CTE and his untimely fatality in 2012, years before his family would enshrine him as a first-ballot hall of Famer. With or without a ring he’ll be remembered as among the biggest players to ever take the field, but if you’re trying to find worthy candidates for “best player to never ever win a super Bowl,” Seau’s 20-year career, 1,846 tackles, and 10 All-Pro awards absolutely puts that in the running.

Frank Gore

It’s not rare for an elite player to spend the bulk of his career with a negative team. Yes nothing unique about Frank Gore’s situation — but few players who have played at the level he has actually for as lengthy as he has did it with his level that dedication, job-related ethic, and also satisfaction. Gore hardly ever complained when the 49ers to be a disastrous team, and he didn’t complain once he joined the on-the-cusp Colts, that then collapsed, or the Dolphins, who weren’t particularly good when he join them.

Gore is nicknamed “The Inconvenient Truth” because that a reason: 5 Pro Bowls, ripe 1,000-yard rushing seasons (with an additional three that at the very least 850 yards), and also fourth all-time in job rushing yards. The man runs hard, in every single situation, and just once you think he might be slowly down, he’ll burn you because that a huge gain. Transparent his career, opposing players have frequently referred come Gore as among the most daunting players come tackle.

It never seemed feasible that Gore would reach a harsh decline and climate retire. He’d just chug along, shouldering defenders into the turf until he decided to cave up the cleats. After he continued to develop at 35 year old in Miami this previous season, that’s still the case.

Dan Marino

Doesn’t the seem like Dan Marino has actually a Super bowl ring? stop say it’s weekly trivia night and you need to name as plenty of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks together you can in one minute so that your team, Tony Romo to know the Question before It’s Asked, deserve to beat those nerds at the following table through a name choose Trivial quest of Happiness. You’re listing Tom Brady, the Manning brothers, trojan Aikman, Joe Montana ... Probably Dan Marino slips in there. Since it sound right.

But nope, Marino checked out the at sight Bowl just once in the 1984 season. The Dolphins gained smoked 38-16 by Montana’s 49ers.

Marino had actually a prolific career, spending every 17 periods with the Dolphins and getting inducted right into the hall of fame on the an initial ballot. He threw for 61,361 yards in his job (fifth-most in NFL history), 420 touchdowns (also fifth-most), and also 8,358 pass attempts (yep, fifth-most), perfect 4,967 of castle (hey, fifth-most again). He won 147 continuous season games, which ranking ... Fif—wait, sixth all-time. Everyone ahead of that in those rankings is either a other Hall the Famer or will certainly be when he’s eligible.

He likewise helped make the dolphin popular, i beg your pardon seems virtually impossible nowadays.

Pretty much EVERY room of Famer ~ above the Bills teams that lost 4 straight super Bowls — however especially Bruce Smith

Jim Kelly. Thurman Thomas. James Lofton. Bruce Smith. Andre Reed. Coach Marv Levy. All agree Football hall of Famers. All assisted the Bills during their four-year run as the many Sisyphean team in supervisor Bowl background (though Lofton was only on those first three runner-up teams).

It was a cruel fate for all those men. It no seem best that none of them can claim a championship. But let’s solitary out smith in certain because defenders require love also — and he was among the best.

Smith’s production can’t be matched — he’s the NFL’s all-time sack leader (with 200!). His longevity is practically unparalleled, too. The played for 19 seasons and finally retired at the period of 40. He was such a understand on the ar that happen rushers ~ him every studied his game — and still do, a decade and also a half since his last NFL game.

It’s just fitting that one of Smith’s most memorable plays came in the super Bowl, the Bills’ first — and closest — loss. In Super key XXV, smith bulldozed with the Giants offensive line in the blink of an eye to take down quarterback Jeff Hostetler for a safety.

picture by Gin Ellis/Getty images That put the bills up 12-3 in the second quarter.

It would have actually been the most specifying play of the game, if not for a small something called large Right.

Wes Welker

No, Wes Welker most likely doesn’t counting as one of the finest to ever before do it, however looking back it’s pretty impressive that that was never ever a component of a supervisor Bowl-winning team. Regardless of spending 6 years v Tom Brady and also two years v Peyton Manning, Welker never won a Super bowl ring.

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He go play in 3 Super Bowls, though. He to be a member of the record-setting 2007 Patriots team v Randy Moss that lost to the Giants, played because that the 2011 Patriots that additionally lost come the Giants, and the 2013 Broncos team that gained annihilated by the Seahawks in Super key XLVIII.

Eight years v arguably the height two quarterbacks of every time and also no Super key ring to show for it. Life ain’t fair.