"The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players" countdown is complete, and here are the top 10 greatest players in NFL history, according to the opinions of a panel that included former players, historians, scouts, team executives and writers. Check out the list, then have your say on the NFL's greatest-ever players.
Not only is Rice the career leader in every significant receiving record -- catches (1,549), receiving yards (22,895), receiving touchdowns (208) and most 1,000-yard receiving seasons (14) -- he is so far ahead of the next-nearest players on the lists that it leaves many to wonder if those marks will ever be eclipsed.
When he retired at the age of 30 and still in the prime of his playing career, Brown had re-written the record book for running backs. In nine NFL seasons, Brown led the league in rushing in all but one campaign (1962, Jim Taylor). Brown retired as the league's all-time leading rusher with 12,312 yards, a mark that stood for more than 20 years.
Montana possessed an uncanny ability to engineer comeback victories, directing his team to 31 fourth quarter come-from-behind wins. One such moment came on the game's grandest stage, the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XXIII, Montana led the San Francisco 49ers on a 92-yard touchdown drive in the closing moments to beat the Cincinnati Bengals. A winner of four Super Bowls, Montana was named MVP in three of those victories.
Payton -- who missed one contest his rookie season before playing in 186 consecutive games -- had 10 seasons with at least 1,000 yards rushing and retired as the game's all-time leading rusher, breaking Brown's record.
Unitas was famously cut by the woeful Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955, then playing for the semipro Bloomfield Rams for $6 a game before finally signing a year later with the Baltimore Colts. Soon, Unitas became famous for late-game heroics, specifically for an epic performance in the 1958 NFL Championship, a contest later dubbed "the greatest game ever played."
"The Minister of Defense" was named to an astounding 13 consecutive Pro Bowls and retired as the game's all-time leading sacker (a mark since eclipsed by Bruce Smith). In 1993, White made history as the first big-name free agent to switch teams, moving from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Green Bay Packers, with whom he finally attained ultimate glory in 1996, helping lead the Packers to their first Super Bowl triumph in 30 years.
As the only active player to appear in the top 10, Manning is making a quick assault on the NFL record book. Manning is currently No. 3 -- behind only Brett Favre and Dan Marino -- in career passing yards, completions and passing touchdowns. Manning's achievements have earned him a record four NFL MVP awards.
When Hutson -- often referred to as the NFL's first "super end" -- retired in 1945 following 11 NFL seasons, he held 18 league records, including a record for receptions (488) that was 200 more than his closest competitor. Hutson's amazing mark of 99 receiving touchdowns stood for more than 40 years before finally being broken by the Seattle Seahawks' Steve Largent in 1989. Hutson is still No. 8 all-time on the career touchdown receptions list, an amazing feat considering how much the passing game has evolved since he retired.