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


no everyone it s okay to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Even some the the ideal players in NFL history were never able to success a Super bowl — football player who had actually bonafide room of fame careers.

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

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It’s practically impossible to list every truly good player that didn’t success the large game. Instead, us picked the end eight players us still can’t believe don’t have actually a Super key championship on their resume.

Randy Moss

Depending on who you speak to, Randy Moss just can be the finest receiver of all time. He’s certainly one the the ideal receivers to ever before step on a football field — he to be a first-ballot hall of Fame selection last year.

Despite a job that includes 982 receptions, 15,292 receiving yards, and also 156 touchdowns, Moss to be unable come clinch a Lombardi trophy. That has his legendary 2007 stint for the new England Patriots. Moss captured an NFL-record 23 touchdowns because that a Patriots that took a perfect 18-0 record into the super Bowl. They ended up shedding to the brand-new York Giants 17-14.

It’s almost criminal that one of the best receivers in NFL background never acquired a Super key while playing for among the best teams in the history of the NFL.

Moss acquired one much more chance at a ring in his last season in the league. After a short retirement, Moss came earlier to play because that the 49ers in 2012. They went on come Super bowl XLVII, whereby they shed to the Ravens — an additional close three-point loss for Moss’ team.

Barry Sanders

Arguing that Barry Sanders is the ideal running earlier of every time is a lot like making the instance that Randy Moss was the ideal receiver. Neither play long sufficient to follow down major career records, however both were together freakishly unstoppable together the NFL has ever seen.

Sanders winner the Heisman Trophy in 1988 v the many absurdly dominant season the football everyone has ever before had. Climate he made NFL defenses watch silly for 10 years, earning a agree Bowl nod in every 10 seasons.

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

Sanders was a member that the only 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 ended abruptly through an unexpected retirement a pair weeks ~ his 31st birthday. Sanders did an ext than sufficient to it is in an easy very first ballot hall of fame entry, however unfortunately, us never obtained to view him win it all.

Larry Fitzgerald

In January, Larry Fitzgerald announced hell return because that a 15th NFL season v the Arizona Cardinals. One an ext year should be much more than sufficient to offer him the 2nd spot ~ above the career receptions perform (he’s only 22 behind Tony Gonzalez), but it practically definitely won’t obtain him his very first Super key ring. No unless Kliff Kingsbury is a miracle worker in his an initial NFL season.

Fitzgerald will probably end his job 0-1 in at sight Bowls. It is a shame because he played few of the most dominant postseason football of any kind of receiver in NFL history.

He perfect Super key 43 with seven receptions because that 127 yards and two touchdowns versus the Steelers. That 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 seven touchdowns.

His clutch 64-yard touchdown in the super Bowl placed the Cardinals on optimal late in the fourth quarter:

And the would’ve provided them the win if Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t answered through a touchdown happen to Santonio Holmes.

Fitzgerald will end up his career second all-time in receiving yards, likely second in receptions, and likely 6th in receiving touchdowns. But maybe the many wild stat that his career is that he’s among eight players with 10 or much more receiving touchdowns in the playoffs. He acquired there in nine games.

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

Junior Seau

Seau was the quintessential multi-purpose linebacker; a West coastline wrecking ball who had actually the intelligence, size, and athleticism come cover any type of situation in an opponent’s playbook. Regrettably for him, he was star-crossed by being drafted by the league’s most cursed franchise (non-Browns edition), the Chargers. In mountain Diego, his quarterbacks were some wretched combination of players favor Billy Joe Tolliver, man Friesz, Stan Humphries, Craig Whelihan, Jim Harbaugh, and also Ryan Leaf. The fact the franchise also made it come Super bowl 29 is a testament to Seau’s playmaking.

When his Chargers tenure concerned an end, he went to the Dolphins as a 34-year-old linebacker, let go 18 gamings in 3 seasons, and also generally looked wash up. And then, whoops, turns out that’s just a byproduct of play in Miami, came to be a valuable veteran presence, and looked prefer he’d lastly win a ring in the many Rodney Harrison-ish of ways — by escaping mountain Diego and playing for invoice Belichick.

Seau spent 4 seasons in new England, somehow best at the start of the franchise’s longest championship drought of the millennium. He observed the Pats go 18-0 in 2007 only to get upended by the Giants in that year’s super Bowl. He retirement after the 2009 season, to win zero more playoff games along the way.

His life after ~ football played out favor a roman inn tragedy, finishing with a battle against CTE and his untimely fatality in 2012, years before his household would enshrine him together a first-ballot room of Famer. Through or without a ring hell be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever take the field, however if you’re looking for worthy candidates for “best player to never ever win a at sight 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 invest the bulk of his career through a poor team. There’s nothing unique about Frank Gore’s situation — but couple of players who have actually played in ~ the level he has for as lengthy as he has actually did it with his level the 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, that weren’t particularly good when he join them.

Gore is nicknamed “The Inconvenient Truth” for a reason: 5 Pro Bowls, nine 1,000-yard rushing periods (with another three that at least 850 yards), and fourth all-time in job rushing yards. The male runs hard, in every single situation, and also just when you think he might be slowing down, hell burn you for a vast gain. Transparent his career, opposing football player have regularly referred come Gore as among the most complicated players to tackle.

It never seemed possible that Gore would certainly reach a harsh decline and climate retire. He’d merely chug along, shouldering defenders into the turf till he chose to hang up the cleats. After he continued to create at 35 year old in Miami this previous season, it is still the case.

Dan Marino

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

But nope, Marino went to the supervisor Bowl simply once in the 1984 season. The Dolphins obtained smoked 38-16 through Montana’s 49ers.

Marino had actually a prolific career, spending every 17 periods with the Dolphins and also 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 happen attempts (yep, fifth-most), perfect 4,967 of them (hey, fifth-most again). He winner 147 regular season games, which ranks ... Fif—wait, 6th all-time. Anyone ahead of him in those rankings is either a fellow Hall of Famer or will certainly be once he’s eligible.

He likewise helped make the dolphin popular, i beg your pardon seems practically 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 pro Football hall of Famers. All helped the Bills during their four-year operation as the many Sisyphean team in at sight Bowl background (though Lofton was just on those very first three runner-up teams).

It was a cruel fate for every those men. It doesn’t seem appropriate that none can insurance claim a championship. Yet let’s single out blacksmith in particular because defenders need love too — and he was among the best.

Smith’s manufacturing can’t be suitable — he is the NFL’s all-time sack leader (with 200!). His longevity is almost unparalleled, too. That played because that 19 seasons and also finally retired in ~ the age of 40. He to be such a master on the field that pass rushers after ~ him all studied his video game — and still do, a decade and also a fifty percent since his last NFL game.

It’s only fitting that among Smith’s many memorable plays come in the supervisor Bowl, the Bills’ very 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 because that a safety.

picture by Gin Ellis/Getty images That put the receipt up 12-3 in the 2nd quarter.

It would have been the most specifying play that the game, if no for a little something called large Right.

Wes Welker

No, Wes Welker probably doesn’t count as one of the best to ever do it, however looking ago it’s pretty exceptional that he was never a component of a at sight Bowl-winning team. In spite of spending 6 years with Tom Brady and two years v Peyton Manning, Welker never ever won a Super key ring.

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He did play in 3 Super Bowls, though. He was a member of the record-setting 2007 Patriots team with Randy Moss that lost to the Giants, played because that the 2011 Patriots that likewise lost to the Giants, and the 2013 Broncos team that got annihilated through the Seahawks in Super bowl XLVIII.

Eight years with arguably the height two quarterbacks of every time and no Super bowl ring to display for it. Life ain’t fair.