2016 2015 2014
Jaylon Smith
Three years after a devastating knee injury threatened his career, Jaylon Smith has turned into a game-changer on the field. But what the Cowboys linebacker really wants now is to become a life-changer off of it.
Davante Adams
A tough upbringing has given Davante Adams a "true edge" the Packers hope their star receiver never loses. And the team's chances of a championship, under the guidance of a new coach, just might depend on it.
Eddie Jackson
The South Florida streets where he grew up nearly swallowed him, but Eddie Jackson emerged stronger than ever. Now, he and his Chicago Bears teammates find themselves on the verge of even bigger things.
Gil Brandt
The players Gil Brandt discovered in three decades with the Cowboys, including one who wrote him letters from prison 35 years ago, have long considered him a Hall of Fame friend.
Jared Goff
Jared Goff's football career has been a roller-coaster ride, but the 24-year-old Rams quarterback offsets all highs and lows with an unwavering chill.
McCourty Twins
Identical twin brothers Devin and Jason McCourty have reached the NFL's pinnacle game the same way they have done everything else since birth -- together.
Michael Thomas
There are many ways to describe him, but maybe it's time to just call Saints All-Pro Michael Thomas the best wide receiver in football.
Joe Namath
Fifty years after coming through on his Super Bowl III guarantee, Joe Namath still knows how to command -- and deflect -- the attention that comes with being a cultural icon.
Bobby Wagner
The Legion of Boom has all but disbanded, but thanks to the play and leadership of middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, Seattle's defense has hardly missed a beat.
The G.O.A.T.
The most clutch kicker in NFL history is about to become its all-time leading scorer, but 45-year-old Adam Vinatieri isn't ready to call it quits just yet. Canton can wait.
With injuries seemingly behind him, soft-spoken Keenan Allen is out to punish opposing defensive backs and establish himself as the game's top wide receiver.
Hopelessy Devoted
Marc Sessler, a long-time suffering Browns fan, takes you on an odyssey of obsession, pain, hope and clarity with the team he has lived and died with for the past 32 years.
How a childhood experience in a homeless shelter led Calais Campbell to Jacksonville and fueled his desire to bring home a championship to the Jaguars.
The Big Gamble
The Kansas City Chiefs placed a sizable bet on Patrick Mahomes, a quarterback who knows a thing or two about taking chances, and it's already showing signs of a big payoff.
The Vikings opened the vault for quarterback Kirk Cousins, pushing all their chips in on a hand the entire city of Minneapolis expects to deliver a Super Bowl championship.
How a personal connection with Robert F. Kennedy -- and an up-front view of a harrowing moment in history -- awakened an NFL star's social conscience.
Five NFL players and one lifelong coach traveled to Europe to show America's service members that they are appreciated -- and Marc Sessler was there.
Less than three years ago, Stedman Bailey almost died in a hail of gunfire. He talks to Jeffri Chadiha about why he’s bound and determined to play in the NFL again.
James Harrison has made a career of proving people wrong. From undrafted afterthought to Defensive Player of the Year, the Steelers castoff is now silencing his skeptics as a Patriot.
Frank Gore
Breakout Pro Bowler -- and Minnesota native -- Adam Thielen is living a dream, fully embodying this plucky Vikings squad aiming to wrap up the season in fairy-tale fashion.
Sean McVay
The jaw-dropping youth of the Rams’ newest sideline savior is just one of the things that makes Sean McVay different from your average head coach.
Frank Gore
Thirteen seasons, 3,000-plus carries and 13,000-plus yards into his NFL career, what keeps Frank Gore grinding?
Sean Taylor
Ten years after a shocking tragedy, friends, teammates, coaches and opponents share memories of a player and person whose impact still resonates today.
Stanford Connection
Years before John Lynch made Solomon Thomas the first draft choice of his GM career, the future 49ers exec and high-profile prospect met in a college classroom.
Atlanta Flacons
How does Atlanta overcome the biggest collapse in Super Bowl history? These resilient Falcons get by with a little help from their Navy SEAL friends.
Derek Carr
How did the worried kid brother of an embattled NFL QB become the clean-living, swearing-averse leader of the Oakland Raiders? Michael Silver digs deep on Derek Carr.
Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck's known as a true scholar of the game, but the cerebral quarterback's literary interests go far beyond the playbook. From historical fiction to children's books, the Colts star shares his love of reading with the world.
Giant of Jacksonville
As the first coach in franchise history, Tom Coughlin swiftly made Jacksonville a contender. Two decades later, the 70-year-old has returned to the downtrodden Jaguars with a different job title, but the same grizzled mindset.
Marquette King
Marquette King -- who likens himself to a "free-range chicken" -- knows his eccentric personality isn't for everyone. To his detractors, the Raiders punter's message is simple: "Go about your business."
Mother's Day
Ndamukong Suh is feared on the field -- but his mother remembers a "cuddly," LEGO-obsessed kid. The moms of Suh, Jason and Travis Kelce and Brandon Marshall tell all to Marc Sessler.
A King's Rise
After going through intense personal tragedy and being largely ignored as a college recruit, Desmond King has climbed to the brink of NFL success. Jeffri Chadiha chronicles his journey.
The Conversation
Colin Kaepernick's decision to protest the national anthem this past season ignited a new conversation about race in our society. Jeffri Chadiha explores the intersection between sports and activism.
Marty B Show
As one of the NFL's most unique personalities, Martellus Bennett wouldn't seem to fit "The Patriot Way." But clearly when it comes to this TE, conventional thinking need not apply. Judy Battista reports.
Center of Attention
Alex Mack is no ordinary center. Michael Silver digs deep on the anchor of the Atlanta Falcons' prolific offense -- someone quarterback Matt Ryan praises for taking "so much off my plate."
Russell Wilson's Greatest Test
Russell Wilson has already won it all once -- but now, in his fifth consecutive trip to the playoffs, he's carrying a heavier load than ever. Jeffri Chadiha talks to the Seattle Seahawks star.
Sabbatical Year
Firings make headlines -- but what comes after the pink slip? Mike Pettine, Eric Mangini and others talk to Marc Sessler about the anxiety, peace, joy and terror of stepping away from the game.
Calling The Game
What does Mike Tirico think about chemistry in the booth? Why doesn't Joe Buck watch film? How does Tracy Wolfson chase news on the sideline? Dive into an up-close view of life broadcasting football.
How did John Schneider go from cold-calling Ron Wolf to winning a Super Bowl in Seattle? Michael Silver dives deep on what it took for the Seahawks general manager to thrive in a job unlike any other.
Offensive Lines
Building a road-grading offensive line can be a sure-fire path to NFL success -- so why aren't more teams doing it? Judy Battista investigates a crucial (if overlooked) position group in crisis.
Rams Reboot
The Rams are fighting to finish above .500 -- and they've handed the reins to rookie QB Jared Goff. So why is Jeff Fisher so secure? Steve Wyche eyes a crucial juncture for Los Angeles' new/old franchise.
Queen of Buffalo
How did Kim Pegula become a guiding light for the Bills and a powerful force for Buffalo? Michael Silver documents her surreal path from an orphanage to NFL owners' meetings.
Dome Patrol
After decades of despair, a historically dominant linebacker corps changed everything for the New Orleans Saints. Alex Gelhar profiles the four men who turned around an entire NFL franchise.
Oakland's Own
Oakland is more than just Marcus Peters' hometown -- it's what shaped him into one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL. Jeffri Chadiha digs deep on the roots of a gritty, tough player.
Earning His Stripes
How has Vontaze Burfict been able to maximize his potential under Marvin Lewis? Jeffri Chadiha digs deep into the unique father-son bond between a volatile player and his patient coach.
The Belichick Letters
In 1992, a college student looking for direction reached out to the unproven coach of the Browns. To the student's astonishment, Bill Belichick answered. Marc Sessler recounts a life-altering exchange.
The Progression of Jameis Winston
Year 2 has been rough on QBs taken first overall – the last 10 have gone 58-62 combined in their second swing through the league. Jameis Winston, already 1-0, discusses his growth with Judy Battista.
Mr. Norman Goes To Washington
As the NFL’s highest-paid defensive back, Josh Norman’s current reality is a far cry from where he started. And as the All-Pro tells Jeffri Chadiha, he’s never going back.
An Education In Quarterbacking
It's the most important position in football -- and the most enigmatic. Michael Silver talks to players, coaches and executives about a nearly impossible job: quarterbacking an NFL team in 2016.
The First 33 Weeks
What made Hue Jackson hesitant to take the Browns job? How did he win over veterans who have seen a string of coaches fail in Cleveland? Michael Silver has an in-depth look at a culture change in progress.
Everything's Bigger In Texas
Brock Osweiler is taking a leap and stepping out on his own -- into a spotlight that comes with high stakes, huge expectations and more than a little heat. Jeffri Chadiha spotlights the Texans' new starting quarterback.
Before Madden and fantasy football took hold, where did gridiron obsessives turn for true-to-life strategic action? Marc Sessler explores the history and lasting appeal of Strat-O-Matic football.
In His Footsteps
In honor of Father's Day, Judy Battista talks to Dan Rooney, Virginia McCaskey and John Mara about the profound influence of their iconic dads, Art Rooney, George Halas and Wellington Mara.
Curtain Call
The 2015 season was supposed to be Steve Smith's swan song. Then his Achilles exploded -- and the undersized receiver with an oversized chip on his shoulder couldn't go out like that. Judy Battista reports.
The Ascent
One year ago, Noah Spence's football future was on the ropes, jeopardized by addiction. Now he's on the verge of realizing a dream. Spence tells Jeffri Chadiha about fighting his way to redemption.
Recruiting Revolution
How did Ohio State get ahead of the recruiting curve -- and help shift the NFL prospect paradigm? Albert Breer goes inside a program that takes the task of prepping future pros seriously.
The Manning, The Myth, The Legend
From his first game in 1998 to winning Super Bowl 50 in his last, Peyton Manning was the one to watch. The quarterback had a legendary career while always being in the spotlight, Judy Battista writes.
Marching Forward
Fifty years after his mother shook Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s hand, Michael Johnson shook President Obama's. The Bengals DE tells Jeffri Chadiha why he advocates for the people of his hometown.
Pass Crushers
The Broncos' secondary has been suffocating opponents like no other. Can the unit reach Legion of Boom status on Super Bowl Sunday? Michael Silver talks to Denver's No Fly Zone.
Tahe Men In The Middle
Mike Singletary, Wilber Marshall and Otis Wilson. Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly? Jeffri Chadiha finds the linebacking heartbeat of Ron Rivera's Carolina Panthers.
Super Bowl City: Bay Area
A forward thinker. A team that stood tall. A master of his craft. With Super Bowl 50 shining a spotlight on the Bay Area, NFL Media presents four stories of locals ahead of their time.
Tale of the Tapes
Hostages. High stakes. Rising tensions. In the middle of one of the biggest international stories of the last 40 years, one young reporter is determined to bring the Super Bowl to Americans in crisis.
One moment a player can accomplish the unthinkable -- and in the next, allow arrogance to stymie his success. Jeffri Chadiha explores the allure and aggravation that accompanies supreme confidence.
The Tale of Two Cities
The rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers was about more than wins and losses. Michael Silver chronicles a decades-long clash involving legendary names and unforgettable moments.
Jersey Guys
Before the New York Giants could become one of the more successful franchises in recent history, they had to reinvent themselves -- in New Jersey. Judy Battista spotlights the men who made it happen.
The Interim
Five years ago, Dan Campbell wasn't sure he wanted to coach. Now he's leading the Dolphins with a style that one player says makes him want to "run through anything" for him. Jeff Darlington digs deep.
Who is Dan Quinn?
When Dan Quinn took over the Falcons, Pete Carroll told him to be himself -- and that, Judy Battista writes, means leaning on a style that blends Bill Belichick with Tupac.
Birds of Prey
Off to a slow start this season, Chip Kelly's catching flak from the passionate Eagles fan base. Conor Orr compares the coach to another free-thinking outsider who eventually won over Philadelphia.
The Unbelievable Life of J.J. Watt
What does it mean to be J.J. Watt? Going to bed early. Filming commercials. Hobnobbing with celebrities. And obsessively pursuing football excellence. Michael Silver gets personal with the Texans' star.
The Man Behind The Curtain
Five years after reaching a personal and professional nadir, Ben Roethlisberger has crafted a successful and peaceful renaissance. Judy Battista retraces the path that got him there.
After the Storm
Ten years ago, New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Michael Silver leads an NFL Media retrospective on the storm and its aftermath in the city that the Saints call home.
Lost and Found
The 2014 season ended in dire fashion for the Packers, but the agony of defeat paled in comparison to the devastating news that rocked Mike McCarthy. Michael Silver tells a story of grief and growth.
Luv ya Blue
The late-'70s Oilers didn't win a Lombardi Trophy, but they did create a hysteria never seen before -- or since. Chris Wesseling chronicles the story of Bum Phillips, Earl Campbell and Houston gone wild.
Fire and Ice
The Bills haven't reached the playoffs since 1999. Rex Ryan hasn't had a winning season since 2010. Can the confident coach ignite a new era of success in Buffalo? Kimberly Jones reports.
Marquee Man
In the span of 12 games, Odell Beckham Jr. went from being an injury-hampered rookie to a bona fide star. Kimberly Jones delves into the Giants receiver's electrifying rise -- and previews what's to come.
Family Business
Like many sons, Browns coach Mike Pettine gets plenty of advice from his father. Unlike many fathers, Mike Pettine Sr. is a coaching legend. Aditi Kinkhabwala captures a unique relationship.
Ohio River Offense
The Cincinnati Bengals are a franchise without an identity, much less a golden age. If not for a few twists of fate, the banks of the Ohio River would be commonly viewed as offensive football's fertile crescent.
Draft City Chicago
For the first time in 51 years, the NFL draft returns to the Windy City. Take a ride on the "L" and dive into Chicago's rich football history with NFL Media's interactive tour.
Hodges Doctrine
With an Ivy League pedigree and a presidential presence, Zack Hodges isn't your typical prospect. The resilient pass rusher could become the highest-drafted Harvard man ever. Conor Orr reports.
Hound and the Fury
Danny Shelton lost a brother in harrowing fashion -- and almost lost his mind at Washington. Michael Silver explains how an irascible force of nature transformed into a refined top-15 prospect.
History of Scouting
Phony 40-yard dashes. Draft picks' names plucked out of magazines. A prospect selected on the strength of a rival's facetious report. Conor Orr digs deep into the wild history of modern scouting.
Island of One
Darrelle Revis has a reputation for erasing top receivers -- and maximizing his earnings as mercenary in high demand. Judy Battista examines how long Revis Island might remain a part of New England.
Super Bowl City: Phoenix
Sweeping desert vistas. Blazing gridiron action. Get ready for Super Bowl XLIX with NFL Media's interactive tour of football in the Valley of the Sun.
Sack Artists
Growing up in Texas, Von Miller idolized DeMarcus Ware. Now the young star credits the veteran with getting his career back on track. Jeff Darlington chronicles Denver's partners in pressure.
Toast of Titletown
Aaron Rodgers has established himself as an iconic Green Bay Packer, but his path to superstardom has not been paved in gold. Michael Silver chronicles No. 12's rise from laughingstock to legend.
Rising Up
NFL Media's Gil Brandt, Kurt Warner, Brian Billick and Willie McGinest provide four first-person accounts of QB disarray begetting championship celebration.
Five Faces of Romo
Tony Romo has been many things to many people. NFL Media takes a comprehensive look at five distinct sides of the polarizing Cowboys quarterback.
Cardinal Rule
Less than three years ago, Bruce Arians was quasi-retired. Now his Arizona Cardinals own the NFL's top record. Michael Silver chronicles the rise of a head coach dripping in "Tony Soprano swag."
The Trade
A quarter century after it went down, the Herschel Walker trade remains the biggest in NFL history. NFL Media takes an expansive, in-depth look at a move with impossibly complex consequences.
Bond of Brothers
On the field, Roddy White and Julio Jones comprise a dynamic duo. Off it, they're inseparable friends. Jeff Darlington chronicles a unique companionship -- one that proved vital in the face of tragedy.
Next Great QB
An elite signal caller can instantly change the fortunes of a franchise -- but finding one is often far easier said than done. Albert Breer takes you inside the search for the next great quarterback.
Backup quarterback: It's a thankless, anonymous job, but someone has to do it. Judy Battista delves into the hopes and motivations of the men who make a living standing by.
Clean Slate
Blake Bortles burst onto the scene after years in the shadows. Garrett Gilbert rebuilt his future after an epic fall from grace. Albert Breer and Judy Battista detail the paths of two unique QB prospects.
Scout's Glossary
Do you have an eye for evaluation? What football phrase describes the quarterbacking style of Detroit Lions passer Matthew Stafford? Put your knowledge to the test in NFL.com's Scouting Terms Quiz.
Combine Stories
What's it like to have your future decided by a 40-yard dash? How do GMs find the stars of tomorrow? NFL Media digs deep to get an up-close-and-very-personal view of the NFL Scouting Combine.
Super Bowl City: New York
The great American game and the great American city have long been inextricably linked. This interactive experience takes you through New York and New Jersey to the Big Game at MetLife Stadium, with several stops along the way.
Oral History: Varsity Blues
Fifteen years after the release of "Varsity Blues," the cast and crew sit down with NFL Media to tell the story about how one of the most iconic sports movies was made.