The Arizona Cardinals have only been the Arizona Cardinals since 1988, but that in no way means that they haven’t had their share of incredible talent grace the field. Among the greatest Arizona Cardinals you will find one current player who is a sure fire hall of fame inductee, a true American hero and others who have earned consideration.
The following list is what I would have to consider the best five players to have the redbird adorn the side of their helmets…
5. Jake Plummer – I know this is a surprising player to find on the list of all time Cardinal greats, but what he did for the organization is undeniable. It was Plummer at the helm of the team that won the first playoff game for the franchise in over 50 years. That’s enough isn’t it?
4. Roy Green – Green finds himself here in part because of his great career as an unstoppable receiver. Just for the record, his time as an “Arizona” Cardinal came during the last three years of his career, all with the Cardinals. All he did in the twilight of his career was gain over 2,500 yards and tally 18 TD’s.
3. Pat Tillman – Greatness is measured by more than mere statistics, or at least it should be as in the case of Tillman. Yes, he was an All-Pro safety too, but Tillman chose love of country and family as he gave his all to protect us all. That makes him more than worthy to be on any list of all time greats. Thanks Pat.
2. Kurt Warner – Much like Plummer, it is what Warner accomplished for the franchise that puts him firmly at number 2 on the list. Leading the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl appearance in the franchise’s history and just short of winning it all, it is the goal of every team every year to get there. Along the way he amassed over 3,400 passing yards and threw 30 TD passes.
1. Larry Fitzgerald – There isn’t enough room on the page to list all the reasons and the multitude of accomplishments this certain Canton, Ohio inductee has recorded. He is the Franchise leader in career yards, career receptions and more, Fitzgerald is the heart and soul of the Cardinals and has been for a decade. By the way, he is showing no signs of being finished yet either. Fitzgerald is certainly the best to ever put on a Cardinals uniform in addition to being one of the best receivers in NFL history.
I mentioned at the beginning that the Cardinals haven’t been shorted on their share of talented players. Guys like Palmer, Johnson and others both young and old could make an argument to be included on this list. The truth is, by the end of even this season this list could change. Isn’t that part of the joy of the game though? We never know when, where or who that moment and that player that changes history will happen.