What do the top four quarterbacks among the "Top 100 Players of 2011" all have in common? They all have won Super Bowl rings.
But it got me wondering. Who is the best active quarterback in the NFL without a Super Bowl ring? The Sergio Garcia of the NFL, if you will.
And without further ado ...
6. Donovan McNabb
McNabb really has nobody to blame but himself for not winning the Super Bowl. He squandered all of those great Eagles defenses with his inability to get the Eagles past some suspect teams in the NFC Championship Game. And when he did finally make it to the Super Bowl, he spent the most crucial drive of his career lagging. Some might call it puking.
5. Josh Freeman
When you look at the young guns of NFL quarterbacks who are starting to take over the league –- Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford -– it becomes pretty clear that Freeman is the best of the bunch so far. Freeman's 2010 season was simply amazing, as he threw only six interceptions. Six! Freeman has already cracked my top-10 list of best quarterbacks in the NFL, and if I was starting a franchise today, he would be one of my top picks.
4. Matt Hasselbeck
Mentioning Hasselbeck on a list like this cannot be done without pointing out that some people feel the Seahawks were robbed in Super Bowl XL. Wherever you fall on that subject –- and my boss Dave Dameshek has made his feelings known on the Dave Dameshek Football Program -- we can agree that Hasselbeck has been one of the best quarterbacks to not get that elusive ring. And if the dirt sheets are to be believed, Hasselbeck is probably going to have to accomplish that with some other team other than the Seahawks.
3. Carson Palmer
The perceived bad calls haunt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks. The image of Kimo von Oelhoffen will forever haunt Palmer and the Bengals. And like Hasselbeck, if Palmer is going to ever get his ring, it appears that he is going to have to do it with another team -- although Bengals owner Mike Brown has said that he won't trade Palmer.
2. Michael Vick
When Vick led the Falcons to an upset at Green Bay in the 2001 playoffs, it seemed like he was destined for a number of runs to the Super Bowl. We are all obviously well versed in the ups and downs of his life following that game. But since becoming the Eagles' quarterback, he quickly reestablished himself as one of the league's best at the position again. The only thing missing now is the ring.
1. Philip Rivers
It's almost fitting that Rivers plays in San Diego –- the NFL home of Dan Fouts -- and challenged Dan Marino's single-season passing record, with Fouts and Marino being the two best quarterbacks ever without a Super Bowl ring. The growing fear is that Rivers might not get closer than he was in 2007. And Rivers might not get another chance as long as Norv Turner is the head coach in San Diego.