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Prestigious rosters

Posted by Doug on May 22, 2007

For some reason, I find it intriguing when two players who had good long careers end up on the same team, with one of them near the end of his career, and one at the start: Ricky Watters and Ahman Green on the 1998 Seahawks, Joe Horn and Andre Rison on the 1997 Chiefs, Walter Payton and Neal Anderson on the late 80s Bears, Tony Martin joining Marks Clayton and Duper on the early 90s Dolphins. Did you remember that James Lofton and Jerome Bettis were teammates? How about Art Monk and Ricky Watters? Me neither. In most cases, the two players weren't productive at the same time, but no matter. The point is that it's a lot of career production at the same place at the same time.

So I went hunting for the teams with most total (eventual) career production on the roster. Since I didn't want the list to consist simply of Jerry Rice's, Emmitt Smith's, and Dan Marino's teams, I decided to weight the production of the top producers less heavily and thus find the teams with the deepest stables of solid producers.

For example, look at the 1995 Broncos. They had six receivers who finished their careers with more than 5000 receiving yards: Vance Johnson, Anthony Miller, Rod Smith, Ed McCaffrey, Mike Pritchard, and Shannon Sharpe. The 1977 Redskins had four running backs --- John Riggins, Calvin Hill, Mike Thomas, and Jim Kiick --- with more than 6000 career yards from scrimmage each.

The 1982 Vikings had a whole lot of guys who were good players at one point in their careers: Tommy Kramer at quarterback, Tony Galbreath, Ted Brown, Darrin Nelson, Rickey Young at running back, Harold Jackson, Ahmad Rashad, and Sammy White at receiver, Steve Jordan at tight end. Not many Hall of Famers there, but that's nine skill position players who had more than 4000 yards in their careers. And that doesn't even count a respectable wide out in Leo Lewis and a tight end, Joe Senser, who had a 1000-yard season.

Before the 1983 season, the Vikings lost Harold Jackson and Ahmad Rashad, but picked up Archie Manning, Wade Wilson, and Dave Casper. This makes the 1983 Vikings, according to the arbitrary system I cooked up, the most prestigious skill-position roster in post-merger NFL history. Here are the top several, with players listed vaguely in order of prestigiousness. Mouse over the names for career totals.

1983 Minnesota Vikings
Archie Manning, Tommy Kramer, Tony Galbreath, Ted Brown, Darrin Nelson, Rickey Young, Wade Wilson, Sammy White, Steve Jordan, Dave Casper, Sam McCullum, Leo Lewis, Mike Jones, Steve Dils

1991 Minnesota Vikings
Cris Carter, Herschel Walker, Rich Gannon, Terry Allen, Anthony Carter, Darrin Nelson, Jake Reed, Wade Wilson, Steve Jordan, Hassan Jones, Alfred Anderson, Leo Lewis, Rick Fenney, Terry Obee

1987 San Francisco 49ers
Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Joe Montana, Roger Craig, Joe Cribbs, Dwight Clark, John Taylor, Russ Francis, Brent Jones, Tom Rathman, Mike Wilson, Harry Sydney, Bob Gagliano, Ken Margerum

1974 Oakland Raiders
Ken Stabler, George Blanda, Fred Biletnikoff, Cliff Branch, Mark VanEeghen, Daryle Lamonica, Dave Casper, Marv Hubbard, Charlie Smith, Pete Banaszak, Clarence Davis, Frank Pitts, Mike Siani, Morris Bradshaw

1993 Miami Dolphins
Dan Marino, Irving Fryar, Steve Deberg, Tony Martin, Keith Byars, Terry Kirby, Scott Mitchell, Keith Jackson, O.J. McDuffie, Mark Ingram, Bernie Parmalee, Mark Higgs, Fred Banks, James Saxon

1983 San Diego Chargers
Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, James Brooks, Wes Chandler, Chuck Muncie, Kellen Winslow, Sherman Smith, Roger Carr, Earnest Jackson, John Cappelletti, Pete Holohan, Eric Sievers, Bobby Duckworth, Jim Jodat

1982 Minnesota Vikings
Harold Jackson, Tommy Kramer, Tony Galbreath, Ted Brown, Darrin Nelson, Rickey Young, Ahmad Rashad, Sammy White, Steve Jordan, Sam McCullum, Leo Lewis, Steve Dils, Joe Senser, Terry LeCount

1992 San Francisco 49ers
Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Joe Montana, Ricky Watters, John Taylor, Brent Jones, Tom Rathman, Amp Lee, Mike Sherrard, Steve Bono, Marc Logan, Jamie Williams, Dexter Carter, Odessa Turner

1997 Kansas City Chiefs
Marcus Allen, Rich Gannon, Andre Rison, Tony Gonzalez, Joe Horn, Brett Perriman, Elvis Grbac, Kimble Anders, Billy Joe Tolliver, Greg Hill, Tony Richardson, Donnell Bennett, Derrick Walker, Kevin Lockett

1998 Seattle Seahawks
Warren Moon, Ricky Watters, Ahman Green, Joey Galloway, Jon Kitna, Brian Blades, Mike Pritchard, James McKnight, Steve Broussard, John Friesz, Bobby Shaw, Christian Fauria, Mack Strong, Itula Mili

1995 Denver Broncos
John Elway, Rod Smith, Shannon Sharpe, Anthony Miller, Terrell Davis, Ed McCaffrey, Vance Johnson, Mike Pritchard, Rod Bernstine, Hugh Millen, Aaron Craver, Glyn Milburn, Byron Chamberlain, Dwayne Carswell

1990 Washington Redskins
Art Monk, Earnest Byner, Gary Clark, Gerald Riggs, James Wilder, Ricky Sanders, Mark Rypien, Stan Humphries, Brian Mitchell, Kelvin Bryant, Don Warren, Walter Stanley, Jeff Rutledge, Reggie Dupard

1997 Washington Redskins
Henry Ellard, Terry Allen, Trent Green, Stephen Davis, Jeff Hostetler, Gus Frerotte, Michael Westbrook, Brian Mitchell, James Thrash, Alvin Harper, Leslie Shepherd, Albert Connell, Marc Logan, Jamie Asher

2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tim Brown, Charlie Garner, Brad Johnson, Joey Galloway, Michael Pittman, Mike Alstott, Brian Griese, Ken Dilger, Joe Jurevicius, Rickey Dudley, Jamel White, Dave Moore, Michael Clayton, Chris Simms

1990 San Francisco 49ers
Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Joe Montana, Roger Craig, John Taylor, Wesley Walls, Brent Jones, Tom Rathman, Mike Sherrard, Mike Wilson, Jamie Williams, Dexter Carter, Harry Sydney, Keith Henderson

1974 Los Angeles Rams
John Hadl, Harold Jackson, Ron Jaworski, Lawrence McCutcheon, Jack Snow, Les Josephson, Lance Rentzel, Cullen Bryant, John Cappelletti, Jim Bertelsen, James Harris, Tony Baker, Bob Klein, Pat Curran

1975 Oakland Raiders
Ken Stabler, George Blanda, Fred Biletnikoff, Cliff Branch, Mark VanEeghen, Dave Casper, Marv Hubbard, Pete Banaszak, Clarence Davis, Jess Phillips, Mike Siani, Ted Kwalick, Morris Bradshaw, Louis Carter

1999 Minnesota Vikings
Randall Cunningham, Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Daunte Culpepper, Jeff George, Robert Smith, Jake Reed, Leroy Hoard, Moe Williams, Andrew Glover, Jim Kleinsasser, Carlester Crumpler, Matthew Hatchette, Andrew Jordan

1984 San Diego Chargers
Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, Wes Chandler, Chuck Muncie, Pete Johnson, Kellen Winslow, Earnest Jackson, Wayne Morris, Pete Holohan, Lionel James, Eric Sievers, Buford McGee, Bobby Duckworth, Ed Luther

2000 Washington Redskins
Andre Reed, Irving Fryar, Brad Johnson, Stephen Davis, Jeff George, Larry Centers, Adrian Murrell, Michael Westbrook, James Thrash, Albert Connell, Stephen Alexander, Skip Hicks, Mike Sellers, Zeron Flemister

1989 San Francisco 49ers
Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Joe Montana, Roger Craig, John Taylor, Wesley Walls, Brent Jones, Tom Rathman, Steve Bono, Mike Wilson, Jamie Williams, Harry Sydney, Keith Henderson, Terry Greer

1978 Dallas Cowboys
Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Tony Hill, Drew Pearson, Jackie Smith, Danny White, Preston Pearson, Robert Newhouse, Billy Joe Dupree, Butch Johnson, Golden Richards, Scott Laidlaw, Doug Dennison, Jay Saldi

1980 Houston Oilers
Earl Campbell, Ken Stabler, Ken Burrough, Rob Carpenter, Rich Caster, Dave Casper, Mike Renfro, Billy Johnson, Boobie Clark, Ronnie Coleman, Tim Smith, Mike Barber, Jeff Groth, Tim Wilson

1989 Buffalo Bills
Thurman Thomas, James Lofton, Andre Reed, Jim Kelly, Ronnie Harmon, Kenneth Davis, Chris Burkett, Larry Kinnebrew, Pete Metzelaars, Don Beebe, Frank Reich, Keith McKeller, Jamie Mueller, Steve Tasker

1972 Dallas Cowboys
Lance Alworth, Craig Morton, Roger Staubach, Calvin Hill, Bob Hayes, Mike Ditka, Robert Newhouse, Walt Garrison, Dan Reeves, Billy Truax, Jean Fugett, Ron Sellers, Billy Parks, Mike Montgomery

1987 Chicago Bears
Walter Payton, Jim Harbaugh, Neal Anderson, Jim McMahon, Willie Gault, Doug Flutie, Mike Tomczak, Matt Suhey, Dennis McKinnon, Emery Moorehead, Dennis Gentry, Ron Morris, Thomas Sanders, Calvin Thomas

1992 Cleveland Browns
James Brooks, Keenan McCardell, Bernie Kosar, Eric Metcalf, Kevin Mack, Leroy Hoard, Mike Tomczak, Michael Jackson, Mark Bavaro, Pete Holohan, Tommy Vardell, Brian Kinchen, Jamie Holland, Lawyer Tillman

1994 Minnesota Vikings
Warren Moon, Cris Carter, Terry Allen, Brad Johnson, Robert Smith, Jake Reed, Steve Jordan, Qadry Ismail, Amp Lee, Scottie Graham, Sean Salisbury, Charles Evans, Adrian Cooper, Eric Guliford

1994 Miami Dolphins
Dan Marino, Irving Fryar, Keith Byars, Bernie Kosar, Terry Kirby, Keith Jackson, O.J. McDuffie, Mark Ingram, Bernie Parmalee, Cleveland Gary, Mark Higgs, Aaron Craver, Irving Spikes, James Saxon

1992 New York Giants
Ottis Anderson, Phil Simms, Rodney Hampton, Ed McCaffrey, Jeff Hostetler, Chris Calloway, David Meggett, Dave Brown, Mark Ingram, Kent Graham, Lewis Tillman, Stephen Baker, Howard Cross, Aaron Pierce

1994 Cleveland Browns
Vinny Testaverde, Earnest Byner, Keenan McCardell, Mark Carrier, Eric Metcalf, Derrick Alexander, Leroy Hoard, Mark Rypien, Michael Jackson, Tommy Vardell, Brian Kinchen, Frank Hartley, Rico Smith, Walter Reeves

1995 Philadelphia Eagles
Randall Cunningham, Ricky Watters, Art Monk, Charlie Garner, Rodney Peete, Fred Barnett, Jay Fiedler, Kelvin Martin, Calvin Williams, Ed West, Kevin Turner, James Saxon, Chris Jones, Reggie Johnson

1982 St. Louis Cardinals
Ottis Anderson, Jim Hart, Roy Green, Neil Lomax, Pat Tilley, Mel Gray, Stump Mitchell, Earl Ferrell, Wayne Morris, Willard Harrell, Doug Marsh, Ricky Thompson, Dave Stief, Mike Shumann

2001 Oakland Raiders
Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Rich Gannon, Charlie Garner, Rodney Peete, Terry Kirby, Tyrone Wheatley, James Jett, Jerry Porter, Zack Crockett, David Dunn, Jon Ritchie, Randy Jordan, Bobby Hoying

1979 Dallas Cowboys
Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Tony Hill, Drew Pearson, Danny White, Preston Pearson, Robert Newhouse, Ron Springs, Doug Cosbie, Billy Joe Dupree, Butch Johnson, Scott Laidlaw, Jay Saldi, Larry Brinson

1998 Minnesota Vikings
Randall Cunningham, Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Brad Johnson, Robert Smith, Jake Reed, Leroy Hoard, Jay Fiedler, Moe Williams, Andrew Glover, Obafemi Ayanbadejo, Charles Evans, Matthew Hatchette, David Palmer

1997 Seattle Seahawks
Warren Moon, Joey Galloway, Chris Warren, Jon Kitna, Brian Blades, Lamar Smith, Mike Pritchard, James McKnight, Steve Broussard, John Friesz, Christian Fauria, Mack Strong, Daryl Hobbs, Carlester Crumpler

The least prestigious team of all time, not counting the 2006 49ers who will surely look more prestigious soon, was the 1973 Bears:

1973 Chicago Bears
Carl Garrett, Bobby Douglass, George Farmer, Earl Thomas, Gary Huff, Jim Harrison, Craig Cotton, Cecil Turner, Roger Lawson, Joe Moore, Tom Reynolds, Ike Hill, Bob Parsons, Gary Kosins

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 at 5:08 am and is filed under General, History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.