Top 10 NFL Players of the Decade

December 09, 2009 | Tom Clayton


With the decade coming to an end and the fact I love list I have decided I would do a list of the Top 10 players in each major pro sport over the next three weeks.  I have taken into account only the players stats from the 2000 season up until today. 


Today I will begin with my list of the Top 10 NFL players of the last ten years.  I am a person who believes that leading a team to victories can trump big numbers…so here we go.


1.      Tom Brady

The quintessential winner of the decade Tom Brady is the modern day equivalent of Joe Montana.  Brady has led the Patriots to NFL dynasty status with three Super Bowl titles while putting up incredible numbers.


30,084 yards   219-96 TD/Int   2602-4111 Comp/Attempts   63.3% Comp.   6 Rush TD


94-29 Regular Season Record   14-3 Playoff Record


3 X Super Bowl Champion

2 X Super Bowl MVP


4 X Pro Bowl


2.      Peyton Manning

While Tom Brady is the winner of the decade no quarterback has even come close to putting up the pure passing numbers of Peyton Manning.  Manning is well on pace to break almost every passing record in the books and has been the best regular season quarterback by a mile.  Peyton and the Colts have only missed the playoffs once this decade and have been the most consistent regular season team in the NFL.


41,439 yards   306-133 TD/Int   3504-5312 Comp/Attempts   65.9% Comp.   15 Rush TD


113-47 Regular Season Record   7-5 Playoff Record


1 X Super Bowl Champion

1 X Super Bowl MVP

8 X Pro Bowl



3. Ray Lewis

The best leader of our generation Ray is also the greatest defensive player of the decade.  In the end Ray may go down as the greatest linebacker of all time and will be viewed as one of the most intimidating, intense football players of all time. 


1,010 Tackles   22.5 Sacks   21 INT   12 Forced Fumbles   2 Def. TD


1 X Super Bowl Champion

1 X Super Bowl MVP

2 X NFL Defensive Player of the Year

7 X Pro Bowl


4. LaDainian Tomlinson

L.T. has been the best running back of the decade and the most valuable non-quarterback on the offensive side of the ball.  In an era of showboating and end zone dances L.T. is a throw back player that shows up and does his job.  On top of being an electrifying player L.T. has only missed three games in the decade at a position that may be the most brutal in the league.


2,825carries   12,321Rush Yards   135TD    521reception   3,867 Receiving Yards   15TD



5 X Pro Bowl


5. Randy Moss

Without question Randy Moss is the most physically gifted player of our generation.  If you were creating the perfect wide receiver you would end up with Moss who is the perfect combination of size, speed, and hands.  If you could take away Moss’ two years in the football abyss that is Oakland he may have been even higher on this list.  Other than those two years Moss has been the model of consistency with six 1,000 yard-10 touchdown seasons.


762 Receptions   11,533 Yards   116 TD


4 X Pro Bowl


6. Tony Gonzalez

While every player on this list will be a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer, no player stands a top his position like Tony Gonzalez.  When all is said and done Gonzo will lead all tight ends in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns and will have cemented him self  as the greatest tight end of all time.  Gonzo is also one of the most durable players of the decade only missing one game in the last ten years.


817 receptions   9840 yards   66TD


9 X Pro Bowl


7. Michael Strahan

The only retired player on the list Michael Strahan went out on top as a Super Bowl champion.  Strahan was the most feared pass rusher of the decade and broke the single season sack record with 22.5 in 2001.



1 X Super Bowl Champion

1 X NFL Defensive Player of the Year

4 X Pro Bowl


8. Ben Roethlisberger

The youngest player on the list “Big Ben” has already led the Steelers to two Super Bowl titles in his first six seasons.  Ben won’t put up eye popping stats but he is a born leader that thrives under pressure and has a knack for the big play on the big stage.


18,119 Yards   120-80 TD/INT   1444-2273Atts/Comp.   63.5% Comp.   12 Rush TD


57-25 Regular Season Record   8-2 Playoff Record


2 X Super Bowl Champion

1 X Pro Bowl


9. Ed Reed

The quintessential ball hawk of the decade, Reed has a nose for the big play no other player perhaps in the history of the league.  Reed patrols centerfield like Willie Mays and comes up with big plays when the Ravens need them most.  Reed has been criticized for freelancing too much but his big play ability offset the negatives of his vigilantly defensive style.


453 Tackles   46 INT   5 Sacks   9 Forced Fumbles   6 Def TD


1 X NFL Defensive Player of the Year

5 X Pro Bowl


10. Champ Bailey

In an era where the NFL has adjusted its rules to favor the offense Champ Bailey has remained the premier corner in the NFL.  Bailey is a true shutdown corner that uses his amazing physical gifts with a football IQ that is second to none.  Bailey comes to play every week matching up one on one against the opposition’s best receiver and almost always winning the battle.


608 Tackles   39INT   1Sack   6 Forced Fumbles   3 Defensive Touchdowns


8 X Pro Bowl