• G'day Jeremy Go-Dawgs, Thank you for your question. I don't who the greatest American football player is but the greatest athlete who played American football was Jim Thorpe. According to Wikipedia, "Considered one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon, played American football collegiately and professionally, and also played professional baseball and basketball." Thorpe is a member of the Pro players Hall of Fame and was the first president of the NFL ((first known as American Professional Football Association). Thorpe was ranked by AP as the greatest athlete for the first half of the twentieth century. I have attached sources for your reference. Regards Wikipedia Jim Thorpe Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Jim Thorpe
  • Jim Brown - running back Cleveland Browns.
  • I disagree. I say Herschel Walker, finished in the top 3 of the heisman race the whole time he was in college. broke several records. and is still to this day the only pro football player ever to be traded for 11 other players. here is what Wiki say about him. [edit] High school career (1975-1979) Walker played for Johnson County High School Trojans in Wrightsville, Georgia from 1975-1979. He started out in Middle School Football and the B-Team. In 1979, he rushed for 3,167 yards, helping the Trojans to their only state championship[1]. He was awarded the first Dial Award for the national high-school scholar-athlete of the year in 1979. [edit] College (1980-1982) In college football, he played running back for the University of Georgia, where he was an All-American and won the 1982 Heisman Trophy. Walker's freshman season in 1980 is widely regarded as one of the best seasons ever by a first-year player, setting the NCAA freshman rushing record and finishing third in the Heisman Trophy voting[2]. His college career is also widely considered to have been one of the best in American college football history, having been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999[3], and winning the 1982 Heisman Trophy. In the formation of USFL, he saw an opportunity to do something then forbidden by NFL rules, namely, to turn professional after the end of his junior season rather than wait for his collegiate class to graduate (four years after the high-school graduation of his peer group). He also sought to choose where he would play professionally, as he felt he could make considerable money from product endorsements; as he was quoted on one occasion: "I don't know if I would want to play in the NFL unless it was for the two New York teams or the Dallas Cowboys." (As it turned out, however, Walker attracted only one major advertising deal, in a joint promotion by McDonald's and athletic-shoe manufacturer adidas; in the ad, Walker's line was, "First the Big Mac meal—then the adidas deal," referring to discount coupons on adidas merchandise that accompanied the purchase of a Big Mac at McDonald's). He was chosen as the third best college football player of all time on December 1, 2007. [edit] USFL (1983-1985) With endorsement considerations in mind, Walker signed with the New Jersey Generals in 1983, owned by Oklahoma oilman J. Walter Duncan, who after the 1983 season sold the team to real-estate mogul Donald Trump. In order to circumvent the league-mandated $1.8-million salary cap, Walker signed a personal services contract with Duncan (later compensated by Trump) to the protest of no one, as the other owners appreciated Walker's name value to the league. Similar arrangements were made later when other big-name college stars signed with the league. Although this move was challenged in court, Walker and the USFL prevailed, and Walker began play with the Generals. He went on to win the USFL rushing title in 1983 and 1985 and in the latter year also gaining over 4,000 yards in total offense. He holds the pro football record for single-season rushing yards with 2,411 yards in 1985, averaging 5.50 yards per attempt in 18 games. In his USFL career, Walker had 5,562 yards rushing in 1,143 carries, averaging 4.87 yards per carry, during his three seasons with the Generals. In 1983, he rushed for 1,812 yards in 18 games. In his second pro season, his rushing yardage dropped to 1,339, but he caught passes for more than 800 yards giving him over 2,100 yards in total offense[4]. [edit] NFL (1986-1997) The NFL's Cowboys, suspecting that the USFL was not going to last, acquired Walker's NFL rights by selecting him in the fifth round of the 1985 draft. When the USFL in fact succumbed after its technically successful, but financially fruitless antitrust suit against the NFL in 1986, Walker went to play for the Cowboys, eventually establishing himself as a premier NFL running back with two consecutive Pro-Bowl seasons (1987 and 1988). Main article: Herschel Walker Trade In 1989, at the height of his NFL career, the Cowboys traded him to the Minnesota Vikings for a total of five players (LB Jesse Solomon, DB Issiac Holt, RB Darrin Nelson, LB David Howard, DE Alex Stewart) and six draft picks (which led to Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, and Darren Woodson). This was judged to be one of the turning points in the rise of the Cowboys to the top echelon of the NFL. Walker's trade was widely perceived as an exceptionally poor move considering what the Vikings had to give up in order to get him, and remains one of the most frequently vilified roster moves of the team's history. "Herschel the Turkey," a mocking "honor" given out by the Star Tribune newspaper to particularly inept or disgraceful Minnesota sports personalities, is named for him[5]. Walker performed well by most standards for several seasons with the Vikings[weasel words][citation needed]before his rights were later acquired by the Philadelphia Eagles, and, subsequently, the New York Giants. Eventually, he was re-acquired by the Cowboys. In this second stint with the Cowboys, he was used not only as a running back but as a flanker and other offensive positions as well. In addition to running and catching passes, Walker was also often used to return kickoffs throughout his career. [edit] Career overview If Walker's USFL and NFL numbers are combined, he ranks as one of the most productive professional football runners in history. Many are reluctant to do this, however, because of the disagreement as to whether the level of play of the USFL was comparable to that of the NFL. Even without taking his USFL numbers into account, his NFL stats are outstanding. In 12 NFL seasons, Walker gained 8,225 rushing yards, 4,859 receiving yards, and 5,084 kickoff-return yards. This gave him an impressive 18,168 total combined net yards, ranking him high among the NFL's top 20 all-time leaders in that category at the time of his retirement. As of 2007, 10 years after his retirement, he still ranks 8th in all-purpose yardage. He also scored 82 touchdowns (61 rushing and 21 receiving). Walker is the only player to have 10,000+ combined rushing and receiving yards and 5,000+ combined return yards(all of which were on kickoff returns). And also the only player to gain 4,000 yards three different ways: rushing, receiving, and kick off returns. He is one of six players (Jim Brown, Lenny Moore, Marcus Allen, Marshall Faulk, and Thurman Thomas) to exceed 60 TDs rushing and 20 TDs receiving. This is all the more impressive considering that he spent his first three years in another league. Even so, most football experts rank Walker's professional career as something of a disappointment. This must be due to the high, perhaps unrealistic, expectations that were placed upon him due to his college career and the scrutiny which was entailed by so much being traded for him by the Vikings. Additionally, he never played on a championship NFL team. Some observers, however, claim that Walker was at least in part a victim of the package of rules changes the NFL had adopted in the spring of 1978, which were widely assumed to discourage offenses from running (rather than passing) most of the time; in addition, the NFL teams on which Walker played seldom used the I-formation, out of which he ran so successfully throughout his career. [edit] Outside football Walker was an extremely talented all-around athlete; he has a sixth-degree black belt in tae kwon do and he nearly made the Olympic team in the sprint relay. He ran the 100 meters in 10.22, the 100 yards in 9.3. He did compete in the 1992 Winter Olympics in two-man bobsled, finishing seventh[6]. He also won back-to-back American Superstars competitions in 1987 and 1988. Walker stated in a phone interview on The Jim Rome Show on November 20, 2006 that he still performs 2,500 situps and 1,500 pushups every morning. He has been going through this same routine every morning since high school. In November 2007, Walker appeared on the HDNet show Inside MMA as a guest. He indicated that he would take part in a mixed martial arts reality show in the near future (along with Jose Canseco) and that he would have an official MMA fight at the conclusion of the show[7]. He is a born-again Christian who frequently talked about his faith during his USFL interviews. Since his retirement he has attracted little publicity, although he did make a guest appearance on The Hour of Power, hosted by noted televangelist Robert Schuller. [edit] Legacy Walker is regarded as one of the top college running backs of all time. In 1999, he was selected to Sports Illustrated's NCAA Football All-Century Team[8]. On the Fox Sports Net show Sports List, Walker was named the best college football running back of all time, beating out the likes of Ricky Williams and Barry Sanders. Walker had his jersey number "34" retired from his Alma Mater, The University of Georgia; in Walker's honor, his jersey number was retired not only in his sport of football, but in every athletic team fielded by the university. Walker was a highly popular and visible personality, even in his college days, as evidenced by the fact that both a thoroughbred and a standardbred race horse were named after him, the former while he was still in college. He also made several appearances in the sports documentary Damn Good Dog (2004) He is indeed a Damn Good Dawg
  • Joe Montana.
  • Defense Lawerence Taylor Offense to many to choose from john elway jerry rice montana if he stays healthy and on new england randy moss has potential to shatter records set by rice he is the best the nfl has seen in the recieving department if you compare stats (- oakland)

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