10 Active NFL Players Who Are Hall Of Famers


With the news that Calvin Johnson is strongly leaning towards retirement, we decided to look at which current NFL players should make the Hall of Fame if they don’t play another down.

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

Tom Brady is the greatest winner to ever play the position and should go down as the best quarterback of all time.  Although he’s been tremendous in the twilight of his career, if and when he decides to hang them up he’ll be a no questions asked, first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

Manning is by far the greatest regular season quarterback of all time and he’s had an amazing career, win or lose on Sunday.  Some believe he is the best ever and that’s certainly debatable, but his Hall of Fame candidacy isn’t.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

The man that sprouted this discussion with his alleged retirement is the greatest wide receiver of his generation.  “Megatron” is/was the most athletic receiver since Randy Moss and he made the end zone fade closer to an 80 percent certainty rather than 50/50.

Joe Thomas, OT, Cleveland Browns

Joe Thomas has been the best left tackle in football, seemingly from his rookie season on.  He’s never played in a playoff game and unfortunately isn’t likely to unless he’s traded away from the Browns.  Thomas has the respect of his NFL peers and he’s a tremendous citizen off the field.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Big Ben has a pair of Super Bowl titles to go along with every Steelers passing record.  He’s been excellent for his entire 12-year career and he can hang it up and get the mustard blazer.

Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets

Darrelle Revis has been the best cornerback of his generation and coined the nickname “Revis Island.”  He began his career with the Jets and went on sabbaticals in Tampa Bay and New England, where he won a Super Bowl title in 2015.  Revis has done enough where he could retire and still make the Hall of Fame.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

“All Day” would be a cinch first-ballot Hall of Famer if not for his suspension during the 2014 season for child abuse.  Still, he’s the best running back of his generation and would be able to get into Canton if he didn’t run for another yard.

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

There has been six 5,000 yard passing seasons in NFL history and Drew Brees has four of them.  That should be enough.  Brees has added a Super Bowl title and MVP to his resume and has resurrected a franchise left for dead.  If he isn’t a Hall of Famer, who is?

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

If Megatron is the greatest receiver of this generation, Larry Fitzgerald is next.  His play on the field has been spectacular as he is the best player in Cardinals history and he’s one of the classiest guys in NFL history.

Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Steve Smith flirted with retirement but vowed to be back to the Ravens in 2016.  He is a player who has simply got the most out of his athletic ability and has played at a high level for his entire career as a starter.  Smith has never played with an elite quarterback (Cam Newton wasn’t as great in the beginning of his career) and he’s still put up Hall of Fame numbers.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.