Fans of every team in the National Football League all know that one guy who, in the glorious – or less than glorious? – history of their team, stands out as the best player in team history. That’s the guy who we all look at as being synonymous with the team overall.
Sometimes, if you’re lucky to be a fan of such a team, your team has two (or more?) such players. And other lucky fans might be witnessing a guy who’s on his way to becoming the greatest player in the history of the franchise.
That’s why we created this list: to identify the best player in each NFL team’s history, who were the runner up’s to that mantle, and which current players have the best chance of eventually claiming that title for themselves.
Greatest Player: Larry Fitzgerald
There is perhaps no wide receiver in NFL history whose class and grace as a player is matched by his class and grace as a person. Few have served as a better ambassador for the game than Fitzgerald. He’s always had respect for the game and showcased tremendous amounts of dignity.
At the same time, he’s one of the best receivers in the NFL year in and year out, showing few signs of his age or even frustration as he closes out his career on a rebuilding Cardinals team. You don’t get to the top of the all-time list in receptions, yards, and touchdowns without consistency, good health, and longevity. But you also don’t get to 11 Pro Bowls without being able to play at a high level.
Runner Up: Dan Dierdorf
Offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf did make five-straight Pro Bowls during his career, but due to injuries, and the fact that his Cardinals’ teams of that era were absolutely terrible, he finished with six total Pro Bowl appearances in his 13-year career.
But because we knew Dierdorf as one third of the famous Monday Night Football trio, he got the benefit of public awareness, leading to his eventual Hall of Fame induction. However, this pick just goes to show you that there wasn’t much to choose from in Cardinals’ history.
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