Greatest player in the NFL, can anyone catch him?

Jerry Rice was just voted the greatest football player of all time by a blue-ribbon panel on the NFL Network.  He had a stellar 20 year career as a receiver, but is there any current receiver that can catch him?

Greatest football player everYou won’t get too many arguments when it comes to claiming Jerry Rice is the greatest football player in the NFL ever.  He holds just about every receiving record available, and played longer than just about any other player ever.  He had 22,895 receiving yards, 1,549 receptions, and 197 touchdowns.  But, are there players that have an opportunity to break the receiving records of the greatest of all time? 

Ever since the early 80’s, passing has become more and more prevelant in the NFL, and receivers are becoming the stars of the league.  Because of this, I do believe in this era, there are some receivers that may be able to catch the great Jerry Rice.

The first player that tops the list is Randy Moss.  He came into the league in 1998, and currently has 948 receptions for 14,778 yards and 153 touchdowns.  Larry Fitzgerald came into the league in 2004, and already has 7,577 yards on 565 receptions.  He currently has 63 touchdowns.  Andre Johnson is third on the list, with 630 receptions for 8,583 yards and 45 touchdowns.  He came into the NFL in 2003.  Let’s see what each of these careers would look like at the end of 20 years, if they are able to continue at their current pace:    

Receiver Receptions Yards Touchdowns         
Jerry Rice 1,549 22,895 197
Randy Moss 1,517 23,645 245
Larry Fitzgerald 1,738 23,314 194
Andre Johnson 1,680 22,888 120

They key for any of these receivers to break the receiving records of Jerry Rice is longevity.  No receiver played longer than Jerry Rice in the history of the NFL.  There have been only 17 total receivers who have played over 15 years in the NFL.  Only one player, other than Jerry Rice, played over 17 years, and that was Charlie Joyner who was a receiver in the NFL for 18 years. 

If any of these players can last as long as Jerry Rice, and end up breaking his records, will that place them at the top of the list as being the greatest NFL player of all time?

~ by Troy Erickson Realtor on November 9, 2010.

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