The 10 Best Players to Never Win a Super Bowl LVII
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Not every good NFL player can finish his career as an Olympic champion. Here’s a look at a few of the best players to never win a Super Bowl.

This list includes the 10 most famous players not to walk to the Super Bowl victory. No active players are listed on this list for evident reasons (because there’s a good possibility that it will occur). Also, you won’t find any legends like Brian Urlacher and Randy Moss in this list.

10 best players to never win a Super Bowl

1. Brian Urlacher

  • Accomplishments: An eight-time Pro Bowl selection,first-team All-Pro honors five times.
  • Team(s): The Chicago Bears.
  • Position: linebacker.
  • Total 2022 pay: $18 million.
  • Career stats:41.5 sacks, 90 passes defended, 12 forced fumbles.
  • Super Bowl appearances: 1

Brian Urlacher has established himself as one of the most legendary linebackers donning the Chicago Bears uniform. Urlacher will also be regarded as the second-best Bears linebacker. He has not won the Super Bowl unless he comes back next year and clinches an elusive title.

He’s also a seven-time Pro Bowler and has been named a First-Team All-Pro four times.

Urlacher is another football player near the conclusion of an outstanding career. It will almost definitely make it into the Hall of Fame, which might be an excellent alternative to never winning the Super Bowl.

2. Randy Moss

  • Accomplishments:15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns.
  • Team(s): Minnesota Vikings.
  • Position: Wide receiver.
  • Total 2022 pay: $2,500,000.
  • Career stats:15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns.
  • Super Bowl appearances: 2

Although he may not be the best receiver in history, he’s still good enough to be included in the rankings of best players never to win the Super Bowl.

Moss has established himself as possibly the most effective deep-threat option in the NFL in the past. In 2007, he broke his own NFL record for the most receiving touchdowns in one season. He currently ranks fourth for all-time touchdowns, trailing only Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Moss was given a chance to win a championship in his final season with the league. After a brief break, Moss returned to play for the 49ers in 2012. They made it to play in the Super Bowl, where the Ravens defeated them. This was another close loss of three points for Moss and his team.

Moss scored an interception in the two playoff games. However, Minnesota Vikings was beaten by a shocker at the NFC Championship Game. They’re among the most successful teams not to be victorious in this year’s Super Bowl.

3. Barry Sanders

  • Accomplishments: 10x Pro Bowl selection, 10x All-Pro selection, 1997 MVP.
  • Team(s): Detroit Lions.
  • Position: Running back.
  • Career stats: 15,269 rushing yards, 352 receptions, 109 touchdowns.
  • Total 2022 pay: $33,759,500.
  • Super Bowl appearances: Zero.

Sanders was abruptly dismissed from the sport following his 10th year (1999) at the peak of his fame and only two years away from running for 2,053 yards. He is the sole running back in the history of football who rushed for 1,000 yards during his first ten seasons as per The Pro Football Hall Of Fame’s official website. He has also been our choice as the best player to never win the Super Bowl.

Sanders could have offered himself, along with the terrible Lions, an opportunity to win the title If he’d stayed in the game, which could turn out to be the biggest disappointing thing of all.

Sanders may also have finished with the NFL’s all-time rushing leader; however, he didn’t have the desire to capture Walter Payton (16,726 yards) or challenge the current leader, Emmitt Smith (18,355) the way his peers did throughout the whole decade of the 90s.

Sanders did participate in one NFC Championship in 1991, which was won by the Washington Redskins. But he could never return due to the team he was playing with.

The career of the former star ended abruptly when he took the unexpected decision to retire a few days after his 31st birthday. Sanders performed more than enough to qualify for a first-time Hall of Fame entry.

4. Dan Marino

  • Accomplishments: 9x Pro Bowl selection, 8x All-Pro selection, 1984 NFL MVP
  • Team(s): Miami Dolphins
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total 2022 pay: $51,510,000
  • Career stats: 61,361 passing yards, 420 touchdowns, 86.4 quarterback rating
  • Super Bowl appearances: 1 (1985)

With his impressive list of personal achievements, it’s awe-inspiring that Marino did not win an award in the Super Bowl. One of his awards was the 1982 NFL Rookie of the Year and 1984 MVP and nine Pro Bowls and three First-Team All-Pro distinctions and of course the Hall of Fame induction.

In the 1984-1985 seasons, Marino passed for 5,084 yards which remains a record. For a long time, Marino was the record-holder for quarterbacks’ career passing; however, Brett Favre recently shattered these records. Another record he holds is games with more than 400 yards passing 13. He was a deadly combination of rapid release and precise precision.

There’s no doubt Dan Marino is one of the most outstanding quarterbacks ever. However, everyone will remember Marino for being one of the best players ever to win a Super Bowl.

5. Fran Tarkenton

  • Accomplishments: 9x Pro Bowl selection, 1975 NFL MVP, 3x All-Pro selection
  • Team(s): Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total 2022 pay: $300 Million
  • Career stats: 47,003 passing yards, 342 touchdowns, 80.4 quarterback rating
  • Super Bowl appearances: 3 (1974, 1975, 1977)

Fran Tarkenton is one of the top QBs in the franchise’s history. The career of Fran Tarkenton was noteworthy because he played for Minnesota from 1961 until 1966. He then took off for five years in Minnesota’s Giants and seven years in Minnesota.

He played for the Vikings through three Super Bowls LVII over the period. But unfortunately, each was a tough loss and played poorly. However, that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a record-setting career of 47,000 yards, 342 touchdowns, and 47,000.

While he didn’t achieve that win, at the very least, Tarkenton contributed to helping the Vikings experience their first taste of Super Bowl LVII a few times.

6. Warren Moon

  • Accomplishments: 9x Pro Bowl selection, 2x NFL passing yards leader, 3x All-Pro selection
  • Team(s): Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total 2022 pay: $10 million
  • Career stats: 49,325 passing yards, 80.9 quarterback rating, 291 touchdowns
  • Super Bowl appearances: Zero

Warren Moon is also among the best players who never win a Super Bowl. In the year 1978 NFL Draft, Moon proved that the man was a champion, winning many Grey Cup titles with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL.

Despite spending nearly two years in the NFL following his time in Canada, he could not play in any Super Bowl, much less win one in one of four clubs.

He did manage to put up impressive numbers with them, throwing over 4,000 yards on four occasions throughout his career and completing around 300 or more passes over an entire season on six occasions. He also ended his career with the top spot in the league for wins for a quarterback but was unsuccessful in securing a Super Bowl LVII ring.

7. Bruce Smith

  • Accomplishments: 11x Pro Bowl selection, NFL all-time sack leader, 11x All-Pro selection
  • Team(s): Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins
  • Position: Defensive end
  • Total 2022 pay: $47 million
  • Career stats: 200 sacks, 15 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions
  • Super Bowl appearances: 4 (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994)

Bruce Smith is the best defensive player to never win a Super Bowl.

The Hall of Famer picked an NFL record of 200 sacks during his career of 19 years. Smith was also a part of the All-Pro first team eight times.

The fourth season he played in the league gave him his first appearance in a Super Bowl. Smith has won his second consecutive AFC Defensive Player of the Year Award, and the Bills ended the season with 12-4 overall.

Smith scored two sacks during Smith’s sacks in the AFC Championship Game, but the Bills were defeated 21-10. The year 1990 was when Smith enjoyed the best year of his career.

8. Wes Welker

  • Accomplishments: Three 110-reception seasons, first with five 100-reception seasons
  • Team(s): Houston Texans
  • Position: Wide receivers
  • Total 2022 pay: $24,525,000
  • Career stats:15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns
  • Super Bowl appearances: 2

Wes Welker might not count in the top ten greatest to do it, but when you look back, it’s quite amazing that he wasn’t an integral part of the Super Bowl-winning team. Despite spending the last six seasons with Tom Brady and two years with Peyton Manning, Welker was among the best players to never win a Super Bowl ring.

He was a part of three Super Bowls LVII and a world-record-setting 2007 Patriots team that included Randy Moss. He played for the 2011 Patriots, who the Giants also defeated, and also for in 2013, he was on the Denver Broncos team that the Seahawks destroyed in the Super Bowl.

Eight years of arguably the best two quarterbacks in history and not a Super Bowl ring to show for it.

9. Eric Dickerson

  • Accomplishments: 6x Pro Bowl selection, 5x All-Pro selection, 105 rushing yards in a single season
  • Team(s): Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Raiders, Atlanta Falcons
  • Position: Running back
  • Total 2022 pay: $10 million
  • Career stats: 13,259 rushing yards, 96 touchdowns, 281 receptions
  • Super Bowl appearances: Zero

After a stellar career at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Eric Dickerson was an easy selection in the draft of 1983 of the Rams. Famous for his glasses (due to vision impairment), Dickerson led the league in rushing for four seasons and was a six-time Pro Bowler. He still holds the single-season record for rushing.

Over the course of eleven years, the nearest that the Los Angeles Rams were to winning or getting to the Super Bowl was losing the 1986 NFC championship game to the Bears. Dickerson got traded to the Colts, and he was a good player. But he did not have to win the playoffs. Although he was a clear Hall of Fame choice, Dickerson was never able to win a Super Bowl title which he earned.

However, his one Super Bowl LVII appearance was crushed by Joe Montana and the 49ers. Eric Dickerson had a successful career in broadcasting post-game; however, Eric Dickerson is top of the best players ever to win a Super Bowl.

10. Jim Kelly

  • Accomplishments: 4x Pro Bowl selection, 3x All-Pro selection, Only quarterback ever to lead his team to four straight Super Bowl
  • Team(s): Buffalo Bills
  • Position:  Quarterback
  • Total 2022 pay: $3,108,333
  • Career stats: 35,467 passing yards, 237 touchdowns, 84.4 quarterback rating
  • Super Bowl appearances: 4 (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994)

Imagine having four consecutive Super Bowls and not having won any of them. This happened to Jim Kelly, who helped transform the Buffalo Bills into a powerhouse of four consecutive AFC championships between 1991 and 1994.

But the Bills were beaten each time, which seemed to be hurting. Kelly was a fun person and a great QB. Therefore it’s a shame that he’s remembered as the man who had one of the greatest “coming to short” storylines ever happening to the NFL.

Final Thought

Since the first Super Bowl was played in 1967, some outstanding footballers have been regularly recognized as All-Pro and ended up in the Hall of Fame. But unfortunately, they never made it to a team that won the Super Bowl.

It’s almost impossible to name the top players that didn’t play in the game of a lifetime. Instead, we chose ten players that we can’t believe don’t have the distinction of a Super Bowl LVII championship on their list of accomplishments.

From your perspective, who are the best players never to win a Super Bowl?

Read Also: Super Bowl Ring

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.