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The Arizona Cardinals were the first ever NFL franchise in 1920. They have had quite a rich history. They are the oldest NFL franchise, and they serve as the first team I will be giving my top 5 all-time players list for. The Cardinals have 11 Pro Football Hall of Fame members that have played for them for five or more years, which for my list, five years is the minimum a player must have been a part of there their team (there may be some exceptions to this rule). The Cardinals have won two NFL championships, but they have never won a Super Bowl. However, they have had some amazing talents in their history.
- Larry Fitzgerald, WR, (2004-Present)
The easy number one. Larry has done so much for this team and the community of Phoenix. From leading the team to their first Super Bowl appearance to always doing charity work. He was drafted by the Cardinals in 2004 and since then, he has been the primary receiver for this team. In 2008, the Cardinals went to their first and only Super Bowl. Fitz was a man on a mission during this playoff run. He had 30 receptions, 546 yards and seven touchdowns. Had the Cardinals pulled off a super bowl victory over the Steelers, he easily would have been the MVP. In the Super Bowl, he put up 7 catches for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has put up 17,083 yards on 1,378 receptions with 120 touchdowns. Fitz also made the NFL 100 All-Time team.
2. Larry Wilson, Safety, (1960-1972)
Back to Back Larry’s. The Cardinals have had some amazing DB’s, but Wilson is at the top. Drafted by the Cardinals in 1960, Wilson was one the greatest safeties of his era. Wilson made a total of 8 Pro-Bowls. He finished his career with 52 interceptions; ranking 26th all time. He had five straight All-Pro selections from 1966-1970. He was the only other Cardinal who made the NFL 100 All-Time team. Wilson was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.
3. Aeneas Williams, CB, (1991-2000)
Staying on the defensive side, coming in at number three is Aeneas Williams. Williams was an all-time great to play the corner position. Drafted by the Cardinals in 1991, Williams played 10 seasons with the Cardinals, and finished with 46 interceptions, which is second most in Cardinals history just behind Wilson. While playing for the Cardinals, he was a six time Pro Bowler, two time All-Pro and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
4. Dick (Night Train) Lane, CB, (1954-1959)
“Night Train” Lane was one of the hardest hitters of all time. Well known for his clothesline tackles, which were legal in this era. He joined the then, Chicago Cardinals in 1954 after two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. In his first season, he had put up 10 interceptions, which is the third-most in a season by a Cardinal. He finished his career in Detroit with the Lions. In his time with the Cardinals, he had 30 interceptions with 628 return yards. He was a four-time Pro Bowler with the Cardinals and a 7-time All-Pro selection. He was also a member of the NFL 100 team. He would be higher on this list, but he is mostly remembered for his time spent in Detroit.
5. Pat Tillman, Safety, (1998-2001)
Now, I know he did not play five seasons or more with the Cardinals, but that is because after the 9/11 attacks, Pat Tillman decided to stop playing football and join the military. He was later killed in combat in 2004. In the years he did play, he played very well. In the 2000 season, he posted a whopping 155 tackles. He does not have the accolades or numbers the others had, but he would have had a great career. Instead, he decide to serve his country. For that he will forever be known as a hero in the sports world.