Top 10 Washington Redskins in NFL History
They've made their mark on the league by glamorizing the offensive line position. Today I rank the top 10 Washington Redskins of all time.
The Redskins have played more than 1,000 games since 1932. The team have won five NFL Championships including three Super Bowl victories. The franchise has captured 13 NFL divisional titles and six NFL conference championships. Washington is the third most valuable franchise in the NFL behind the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, and were valued at approximately $1.6 billion as of 2013.
For this list, I take into account player talent, team importance, and champion or Hall of Fame status.
10. Ken Houston
Of the safeties in the Hall of Fame, Ken Houston isn't the first one that comes to mind.
After six years with the Oilers, Houston was traded to the Washington Redskins for five veteran players in 1973. While with the Redskins, Houston went to seven straight Pro Bowls. Throughout his career he had an extraordinary ability to know where the ball was going. Houston intercepted 49 passes, recovered 21 fumbles, gained 1,498 return yards, and scored 12 touchdowns.
In all, Houston retired as a 12 time pro bowler and a member of the all decade team of the 70's and the 75th anniversary team. He was a member of the Hall of Fame class of 1986.
9. Bobby Mitchell
Mitchell went from splitting time with Jim Brown in Cleveland, to being one of the most prolific wide receivers lf the 60's.
After Cleveland head coach Paul Brown said Mitchell was gaining reputation as a fumbles, He was traded to Washington for Ernie Davis and immediately switched from tailback to flanker. During his first six seasons with the Redskins, Mitchell never caught fewer than 58 passes. When he retired, his 14,078 combined net yards was the second highest total in NFL history as a member of one of the highest scoring offenses ever. He had also scored 91 touchdowns. He amassed 7,954 yards on receptions and 2,735 yards on rushes. Mitchell also became the second player in team history to score a 99 yard touch down.
When he retired, Mitchell was a four time pro bowler and a two time receiving champion. He was inducted into Canton in 1983.
8. Sean Taylor
Sean Taylor is one of those what might have been players.
Taylor was drafted in the first round in 2004. After a tough rookie year, he had a munch improved sophomore season. By 2006, Taylor made his first Pro Bowl appearance leading the team in tackles. Defensive coordinator called him the best athlete on the team and he was voted the league's hardest hitter by the players. A crushing hit by Taylor on Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman in the Pro Bowl will be one of the most remembered plays in the games history.
In 2007, Taylor was beginning to have his best season as a pass defender intercepting a league leading five passes in the first nine games. However, on November 27, 2007 Sean Taylor died from critical injuries from a gunshot by intruders at his Miami area home. The team rallied in the light of Taylor's death and ended up making the playoffs after starting 5-6. He was voted to his second pro bowl posthumously and his Redskins teammates wore his #21 for the game.
7. Charley Taylor
Like teammate Bobby Mitchell, Charley Taylor went from productive running back to Hall of Fame wide receiver.
Taylor won rookie of the year in 1964 as a running back. Two years later, head coach Otto Graham switched him to end. The position change allowed Taylor to utilize his speed as he had better hands than most players on the team. He would play that position for the rest of his career and had a record tying seven seasons with 50 or more receptions.
He retired in 1977 as the NFL's all time leading receiver. He was an eight time pro bowler and scored 540 points in his career. Taylor was inducted in Canton in 1984.
6. Russ Grimm
Grimm is a member of one of the greatest offensive lines in NFL history.
He was a founding member of the Redskins' renowned "Hogs" offensive line of the 80s and early 90s and no one lived up to the persona better than him. During his 11 seasons as the Redskins' starting guard, Russ Grimm helped lead his team to four Super Bowl appearances and three Super Bowl victories. He is one of the few players to be a member of all three Super Bowl victories for Washington.
He retired after winning his third Super Bowl in the 1991 season. He was a four time pro bowler and made four All-Pro teams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
5. Darrell Green
One of the fastest players in league history is also one of the leagues best cornerbacks ever.
Darrell Green made a name for himself as a rookie by running down Tony Dorsett to prevent a touchdown. In 1987, Green had one of his best seasons and had great postseason performances. During the divisional playoff game against the Chicago Bears, where he returned a punt 52 yards for the game winning touchdown. Green tore rib cartilage while vaulting over a tackler during the return, but he merely grabbed his side and kept running until he scored. Then in the NFC Championship game, on a pivotal fourth-down pass play at the goalline late in the game, Green jarred the ball from Darrin Nelson to secure a Redskins 17-10 victory that enabled the team to go to Super Bowl XXII.
Green ended up playing 20 seasons and hold NFL records for most seasons with an interception and the oldest player to intercept a pass. The seven time pro bowler won two Super Bowls with Washington and was a member of the 90s all decade team. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
4. Art Monk
Probably one of the most underappreciated wide receivers to play the game.
Art Monk was the leader of "The Posse" and was the first option for quarterbacks. His career records have since been surpassed by Jerry Rice, but his name still lives in record books. He s the first player to record over 100 catches in a year, first player to have at least one touchdown in 15 straight seasons, and the first player to record over 900 career catches. The receiver was praised for his hands as well as his ability to separate from corners. Monk retired as the leagues all time leading receiver.
The four time pro bowler and three time Super Bowl champion had to wait almost 20 years before he was finally inducted in Canton in 2008. During his speech, he was given a four minute standing ovation.
3. John Riggins
"The Diesel" was one of the most powerful runners ever to play the game and got better with age.
After spending his first five years with the Jets, John Riggins sign as a free agent in Washington. During the 1982 playoffs, he had some of his most memorable performances where he gained over 400 yards in the conference payoffs. Riggins rushed for a then-Super Bowl record 166 yards on 38 carries as the Redskins beat the Miami Dolphins 27–17 in Super Bowl XVII and he was named the games MVP. His 43 yard touchdown in the game is seen as one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history. The next season, he set the NFL single season touchdown record.
Riggins retired after 1985 as a pro bowler, 10,000 yard rusher, league MVP, and two time touchdown champion. He was voted to the Hall of Fame in 1992.
2. Sonny Jurgenson
Jurgenson is one of the NFL's first gunslinger quarterbacks.
After being traded from Philadelphia, Jurgenson instantly became the play caller in Washington. He was a five time pro bowler, lets the league in touchdowns twice, and led the league in passing five times. Jurgenson helped the team become one of history's most successful passing attacks. In his final season, he won his final passing title while splitting time with Billy Kilmer. His touchdown to interception ratio was much higher than any player in that time period. His quarterback rating is the highest of any quarterback in the dead ball era.
In 1983, Jorgenson was voted into the Hall of Fame.
1. Sammy Baugh
In the eyes of many people, "Slinging" Sammy Baugh is one of the most versatile players that ever played.
Baugh played quarterback, punter, and safety during his time with Washington. He is the only man in history to throw four touchdowns and intercept four passes in the same game. This guy was Peyton Manning, Ray Guy, and Ronnie Lott rolled into a single body. Baugh was able to help the Redskins win two NFL Championships.
In his career, he still shares an NFL record for leading the league in passing six times and owns the record for most seasons leading the NFL in lowest interception ratio with five. He was one of the 17 charter members of the Hall of Fame in 1963.