At last, a new NFL season is upon us! Players, both old and new, will be competing not only for starting jobs but also a chance at postseason glory. Work hard enough, win enough games, and one will find himself hoisting the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champion.
For the younger players, winning it all would be a stellar start to their careers. But what about the long-time veterans that made their presences felt for years, building up illustrious resumes, and NOT having been crowned as champions once? Finally capturing that elusive ring would solidify their consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Here are a few current players who are only one Super Bowl win away from punching their tickets to immortality in Canton, Ohio.
Current Players A Super Bowl Away From Canton
Trent Williams: San Francisco 49ers
The football world got to know the tenacious Oklahoma Sooner during his ten-year run with the then-Washington Redskins. The fourth overall pick of the 2010 draft quickly molded into one of the premier offensive tackles in the game. With seven Pro Bowl nods and one All-Pro selection, Trent Williams was the shining beacon on an otherwise lackluster Redskins squad.
But things went south near the turn of the decade. In 2019, Williams had surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his head. It was first diagnosed in 2013, but the Washington medical staff said it was not serious at that time. Williams fought tooth and nail to get back in the game after the procedure, and he succeeded. But after a failed physical and continuous mishandling of the situation, Williams moved on from his longtime home and became a San Francisco 49er in 2020.
Williams would go on to receive three more Pro Bowl selections, and two more All-Pro nods in San Francisco. As the 49ers seek their sixth Lombardi Trophy in franchise history, the 10-time Pro-Bowl blind side blocker sets his sights on his first.
Cameron Jordan: New Orleans Saints
You’d think that after twelve years under the bright lights, most players would lose at least a little bit of pep in their step. But Saints defensive end, Cameron Jordan, is not most players.
The 34-year-old has established himself as the cornerstone of the New Orleans’ front seven, racking up 115.5 career sacks and forcing 15 fumbles (recovering 10 of them). Even after playing 192 games in the NFL, Jordan has shown next to zero signs of slowing down. Determined to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to the team that drafted him, the eight-time Pro Bowler signed a two-year extension with the New Orleans Saints, good through the 2025 season.
Winning it all will be easier said than done, however, as the rest of the Saints team still have loose bolts to tighten. Among other things, New Orleans will be working in their new signal caller, Derek Carr, and hopefully get their potent offensive squad off the ground. If the Saints can get everyone on the same page and pull off a comeback season, a place in the Super Bowl will be well within their reach.
Davante Adams: Las Vegas Raiders
Davante Adams may not be as up in age as the previous entries on our list. But the impact he has made on the current NFL cannot be understated. He has turned into arguably the most productive wide receiver right now, even after signing onto a new team just last year.
Over his first nine seasons in the pros, Adams has tallied almost 10,000 receiving yards and almost 90 receiving touchdowns. Yes, being on the same team as Aaron Rodgers for eight of those seasons has helped #17 exponentially. But his first season with the Las Vegas Raiders showed that he could still produce at an elite level without having a Hall-of-Fame quarterback throwing to him. In this outing, the six-time Pro Bowl wideout cashed in over 1,500 receiving yards and led the entire league in receiving touchdowns (14).
But in a manner similar to the Saints with Cameron Jordan, the Raiders now have to match Adams’ desire to win it all and take the necessary steps to do so. As new quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo continues to build chemistry with his new teammates, Adams will have to help spearhead the offensive attack and get Las Vegas into the playoff conversation. The Raiders do have Adams around for four more seasons (including this one), so they better capitalize on the time they have with him around.
Zach Martin / Tyron Smith: Dallas Cowboys
As much vitriol the Dallas Cowboys have gotten over the decades, no one can deny the fact that Dallas knows how to craft amazing offensive linemen. From Forrest Gregg and Rayfield Wright in the 70s, to Larry Allen in the 90s and 2000s, Cowboys offensive lines are a cut above most franchises.
That legacy continues with offensive tackle, Tyron Smith, and right guard, Zach Martin. During the mid-2010s, the Dallas Cowboys took the football world by storm with the arrival of two players in particular: running back, Ezekiel Elliott, and quarterback, Dak Prescott. Both players continued to dominate through the remainder of the 2010s. But they definitely couldn’t have done so without Tyron Smith and Zach Martin handling business upfront.
Smith and Martin each have eight Pro Bowl nods and multiple All-Pro selections in their respective resumes. The production from the skill players these two have protected are testaments of their dependability. Nevertheless, their time in the NFL is still finite, and the window of opportunity for Dallas to end their Super Bowl drought continues to shrink. The Cowboys offense better start clicking and reward their two Hall-of-Fame caliber blockers with a Super Bowl ring that has evaded them for so long.
Check back next week as we spotlight more players with Hall-of-Fame-worthy resumes who are missing a Super Bowl ring.