#nfl | The Athletic’s pursuit of the best players in football history – The Athletic

How do you determine the best of the best?

That’s a question we’ve debated here at The Athletic in recent months as we’ve endeavored to build the NFL 100. It’s our attempt to crown the 100 best players in the history of the NFL, from its inception in 1920 until now.

We were inspired by our friend Joe Posnanski’s efforts last year to author a similar project, the Baseball 100. Posnanski said of his massive project: “This is a nutty thing to do.”

Well, this was a nutty thing to do in the football world, too. There’s a reason they don’t rank the players at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, right? It’s too hard. Once you earn that gold jacket, you’re part of the club. There’s no pecking order. Also, football has changed drastically since 1920.




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