The League

Peter Schaffer
NFL Agent

Peter Schaffer

Agent and professor of sports law

Top 10, Not Top 5


When you look at some of the greatest of all times you have to look at the following immortals:

Terry Bradshaw - He was never the prettiest but all he did was win Super Bowl after Super Bowl.

Otto Graham - He led the Browns to 10 straight title games and had four AAFC and three NFL championships.

Dan Marino - He put up great numbers but never could win the big game.

Joe Namath - He pulled off the biggest upset in NFL history which changed the face of the league when the Jets (as he promised) defeated the Colts in Super Bowl III. Plus any quarterback whose famous tag line was "I like my women blond and my Johnny Walker Red can't be all bad.

Bart Starr - He was somewhat overshadowed by the Vince Lombardi mystique and the legendary and hall of fame talent around him, but with his even hand made the Packers click and played his best in big games;

Tom Brady - He is Mr. Clutch, has won three Super Bowls and even dated super models and actresses.

John Elway - He was Mr. Clutch and finally at the end of his career won two Super Bowls. (It does beg the question though, if you're such a great quarterback then why is your team so often behind going into the 4th quarter?)

Johnny Unitas - The first great quarterback of all time who won the greatest game ever played and seemed oblivious to pressure.

Peyton Manning - He is the standard bearer for consistency in the modern generation who has now won the big game.

Joe Montana - He won games big and small with equal ease.

And then the great Slinging Sammy Baugh - Who single handedly invented the forward pass.

That leaves us with BRETT FAVRE. He holds NFL passing records for TDs, yards, completions and interceptions. He is a Seven-time All-Pro and three-time NFL MVP who led the Packers to consecutive Super Bowls in 1996, when they beat the Patriots, and 1997, when they lost to the Broncos. He has also starred in a hit movie ("There's Something About Mary") as well as numerous commercials. His star is clearly tainted and tarnished by the complete bungling of his exit from Green Bay in 2007. All in all this leaves Mr. Favre in the list of top 10 quarterbacks of all time but no where near the likes of Baugh, Unitas, Namath, Manning, and Elway whose on the field accomplishments and successes were complimented by their off the field exploits and demeanor.

By Peter Schaffer  |  February 12, 2009; 9:04 AM ET  | Category:  New York Jets , Peter Schaffer Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Good argument for all those quarterbacks. Except for Joe Nameth. He has terrible stats and does not even belong in the Hall of Fame. The only reason he is in is that he garuanteed victory in the first big upset of the AFL over the NFL, and that he played in New York and had a lot of commercial appeal. He was not even the biggest reason they won that game. There are plenty of other quarterbacks in NFL history that have won Super Bowls with better career stats that will never have a chance to go into the Hall of Fame.

Posted by: hailtotheskinsalways | February 12, 2009 11:28 AM

Over 300 career interceptions and lots of bad game-deciding throws over the course of his career...both of which are conveniently dismissed by Favre apologists. I'd put him in the Top 10 All-Time, that's about it.

Posted by: costarj33 | February 12, 2009 12:18 PM

Not sure why you would rank Joe Montana behind the likes or Dan Marino, Elway, Bradshaw, Namath, Manning. I guess you are a steelers' fan. Montana has the rings. Even in KC where he had no except an old Marcus Allen, he carried them as far as he could.

I would rate Farve higher than Marino. Just because the numbers are better and he has a ring. I just don't rate Marino so high. Having never seen some of those QB's play, Farve was one of my favorites to watch as well as to have in fantasy leagues. I agree he isn't close to being in the top 5 QB's of all time. Maybe around the top 10 or just outside it.

Posted by: al_kohaulic | February 12, 2009 12:32 PM

Namath does not belong in this discussion period. Elway is and continues to be overrated - the question posed (why so often behind in the 4th) is an excellent question that should make him arguable for this list (along with the if he was Mr. Clutch, why does he have those ugly SB losses). Manning is very good but not great. He is perfect for the system he is in and the team he is on but ask yourself this - would Arizona have made the SB with him as QB this year? I say no. Who would I include? Farve, Staubach, and maybe Jurgensen/Fouts/Young.

Posted by: amaranthpa | February 12, 2009 12:45 PM

Bottom line...whether or not you like a guy or not, it should have nothing to do with the Hall. Ty Cobb was hated but made it because he did it on the field. Barry Bonds cheated, therefore he has no shot, as did Mark Mcgwire & various others. I'm sure many dislike Favre & his "Me First" tactics. But, he did it on the field, fairly & should be strongly considered. Put that in your Washington Post article Mr. Fancy Pants!!!

Posted by: JimBeam2 | February 12, 2009 1:15 PM

Not the greatest QB ever, but could have been if he would have maintained the discipline he had when Holmgren was his coach. He sort of regressed a little when Mike went to Seattle. But, Brett never had receivers and running backs to compare with what Bradshaw and Montana had. No way. With the exception of Sterling Sharp, who was a legitimately great talent, Favre had to MAKE the other guys great.

Posted by: allknowingguy | February 12, 2009 5:00 PM

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