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Detroit Lions Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson

Top 5 NFL players who deserved to play for better teams ft. Calvin Johnson & Tony Gonzalez

Great NFL players sometimes end up on terrible teams. NFL players don't always have the luxury of choosing the right situation for themselves. It's an unfortunate part of the game.


Some of the best NFL players of all time were held back from achieving a lot more because of the organization they were a part of. These are the five best NFL players of all time who were stuck on bad teams.

Top 5 NFL players of all time on bad teams

#5 - Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Derrick Henry scored his 11th career rushing touchdown of 50+ yards, tying former Titan @ChrisJohnson28 for the 4th-most in NFL history

The only players with more: @AdrianPeterson (16), @BarrySanders (15) and Jim Brown (12)

@Titans | #MondayNightFootball
9:14 AM · Oct 18, 2021

Adrian Peterson was one of the very best NFL players of his generation and one of the greatest running backs of all time. He is one of the elite few to rush for over 2000 yards in a single season.

Unfortunately, there were no other great NFL players on the Minnesota Vikings roster during his stint with the team. That's why they only won one playoff game in his entire time with the team, despite his dominance.

#4 - Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Sometimes I just feel a lot of hurt in my heart for Calvin Johnson.
3:13 AM · Oct 19, 2021

Calvin Johnson played for just nine seasons because of how bad the Detroit Lions were. He retired early because he was sick of losing all the time despite being the best wide receiver in the NFL at the time.

He set several records in his career and his peak was just as good as any other wide receiver in NFL history. He rightfully earned the nickname Megatron.

Top 3 NFL players of all time on bad teams


#3 - Tony Gonzalez, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Most catches in NFL history by tight ends

1325 - Tony Gonzalez
1228 - Jason Witten
955 - Antonio Gates
815 - Shannon Sharpe
742 - Greg Olsen
700 - Jimmy Graham
662 - Ozzie Newsome
642 - Travis Kelce
592 - Heath Miller
583 - Vernon Davis
582 - Rob Gronkowski
579 - Zach Ertz
4:34 AM · Oct 15, 2021

Tony Gonzalez is one of the most durable NFL players of all time. He has never missed a game in his legendary 17-year career.

He played 12 of those years with the Chiefs, who didn't win a single playoff game his entire time there. He is widely considered the greatest tight end in NFL history and has recorded better receiving numbers than most NFL players in any position.


#2 - Dan Marino, QB, Miami Dolphins

Dan Marino has the unfortunate title of being the greatest quarterback in NFL history never to win a Super Bowl. When he retired, he had just about every passing record possible.

The Dolphins didn't put a good team of NFL players around him. Marino carried the Dolphins to their success and he deserved much better than the organization gave him. They severely damaged his legacy.

#1 - Barry Sanders, RB, Detroit Lions

When Barry Sanders is trending it’s time to watch him shatter ankles

7:20 AM · Oct 19, 2021

Barry Sanders is one of the best NFL players of all time in any position. He is also the second legend on this list to retire early because of how terrible the Detroit Lions were.

When he retired, he was only 30 years old but still almost set the NFL's all-time rushing record. The Lions were only able to win a single playoff game in his entire career.

Edited by
Jay Lokegaonkar
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