Ranking 30 ring-less 30-something stars by their Hall of Fame chances

The greatest individual accomplishment in pro football is linked heavily to the greatest team accomplishment the sport has to offer. You want to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Canton? It'll help if you have a Super Bowl victory on your résumé.

Of the 170 Super Bowl-era players who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, 87 of them have won Super Bowls. Soon, Super Bowl winners Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Kurt Warner, Brett Favre and Ray Lewis, among others, will join them.

And eventually, active champs like Peyton and Eli Manning , Tom Brady , Drew Brees , Ben Roethlisberger , Aaron Rodgers , Darrelle Revis , Charles Woodson , Terrell Suggs , Dwight Freeney , Reggie Wayne , Adam Vinatieri , Vince Wilfork and Troy Polamalu will/should get in.

But what about those who are getting up there in age and haven't won a ring? It's too early to assess relatively young guys like J.J. Watt , Calvin Johnson , Andrew Luck , Von Miller , Ndamukong Suh , Dez Bryant , Jimmy Graham , Justin Houston , Matt Ryan , LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles (all of whom are in their 20s), but here's a breakdown of the Hall of Fame chances for 30 non-champions over the age of 30:

1. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Hall of Fame odds: Shoo-in He's a three-time first-team All-Pro with the second-highest single-season rushing yards total in NFL history and is one of 29 backs with over 10,000 yards.

Championship odds: Slim

This could change if Peterson gets traded, which remains a possibility, but the Vikings -- who have won 12 games the last two years -- are still in rebuilding mode.

2. Larry Fitzgerald , WR, Arizona Cardinals

Hall of Fame odds: Shoo-in Despite playing for bad teams more often than not, he ranks 12th all time with 89 touchdown catches and he should easily retire as part of the exclusive 1,000-catch club. He's also been to more Pro Bowls (eight) than any active receiver.

Championship odds: Toss-up

If Carson Palmer can stay healthy, the Cardinals are good enough to make a run. We're talking about one of the best teams in football from the first half of the 2014 season. Plus, Fitzgeralnd is only 31 and could be a trade candidate.

Larry Fitzgerald looks like a lock for Canton, with or without a ring.  (USATSI)
Larry Fitzgerald looks like a lock for Canton, with or without a ring. (USATSI)

3. Andre Johnson , WR, Indianapolis Colts

Hall of Fame odds: Very strong

He's been an All-Pro twice, which is once more than Fitzgerald, and is also a seven-time Pro Bowler. Plus, he's 180 yards and a touchdown away from ranking in the top 10 all time in catches, yards and touchdowns.

Championship odds: Toss-up

He's 33 and appears to be fading fast, but the Colts should be contenders the next few years.

4. Antonio Gates , TE, San Diego Chargers

Hall of Fame odds: Very strong

He's an eight-time Pro Bowler and a three-time first-team All-Pro who ranks in the top five among all-time tight ends when it comes to catches, yards and touchdowns.

Championship odds: Slim

He's 34 and the Chargers haven't had a double-digit-win season since 2009.

5. Joe Thomas , OT, Cleveland Browns

Hall of Fame odds: Very strong

He's a five-time first-team All-Pro. Only one other active offensive lineman has received that honor more than twice. And he only just turned 30. Only 12 players have been named first-team All-Pros more than that this early in their careers, and all of them are in the Hall of Fame.

Championship odds: Strong

Might not happen in Cleveland, but you'd have to imagine he'll get a shot somewhere in the next five to 10 years.

6. Jason Witten , TE, Dallas Cowboys

Hall of Fame odds: Strong

He leads all active tight ends in catches and yards, but has only 57 touchdowns. His numbers compare well with current HOF tight ends, but there's only eight of them. And with guys like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham coming on, Witten could at least have a long wait ahead of him.

Championship odds: Toss-up

The Cowboys have the ability to make a run but the defense is still weak and their quarterback is getting old.

7. DeMarcus Ware , DE, Denver Broncos

Hall of Fame odds: Strong

He's an eight-time Pro Bowler and a four-time All-Pro with two seasons with 19 or more sacks under his belt. After a bounce-back campaign in Denver, the 32-year-old might have enough gas left in the tank to make a run into the top 10 on the all-time sack list.

Championship odds: Toss-up

He's got at least couple years left and the Broncos are a perennial Super Bowl contender.

8. Jared Allen , DE, Chicago Bears

Hall of Fame odds: Strong

He's a four-time first-team All-Pro with a 22-sack season and the ninth-highest career sack total in NFL history. Plus, he's only 32 and should add to that last total.

Championship odds: Slim

His sack totals have dropped three years in a row and Chicago isn't a major contender.

9. Steve Smith , WR, Baltimore Ravens

Hall of Fame odds: Strong

Two first-team All-Pro nods and he ranks in the top 20 all time in terms of receptions and yards. A big 2015 campaign could make him just the sixth receiver ever to record nine 1,000-yard seasons. Oh, and he's also had four 100-yard playoff performances.

Championship odds: Slim

Time's running out for the 35-year-old, but Baltimore's not a bad spot to be.

Steve Smith is still in the hunt for an elusive ring.  (USATSI)
Steve Smith is still in the hunt for an elusive ring. (USATSI)

10. Devin Hester , WR/KR, Atlanta Falcons

Hall of Fame odds: Toss-up

Not only does he possess an NFL-record 20 return touchdowns, but the three-time first-team All-Pro has also caught over 250 passes for over 3,000 yards, has scored 17 offensive touchdowns and also has played defense.

Championship odds: Slim

His career appears to be winding down and the Falcons aren't exactly on the doorstep.

11. Tony Romo , QB Dallas Cowboys

Hall of Fame odds: Toss-up

He has the numbers. Romo is the second highest-rated passer and has the fourth-best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history. Problem is his Cowboys have won just two playoff games with him at the helm, 

Championship odds: Toss-up

Again, the Cowboys have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, but the window is closing for the 35-year-old quarterback.

12. Kevin Williams , DT, Seattle Seahawks

Hall of Fame odds: Toss-up

Usually if you're a five-time first-team All-Pro, you've got a really good shot. In fact, Williams is one of only four active players with that many All-Pro nods.

Championship odds: Strong

He's chasing it now and is still effective at 34. Seattle will likely enter 2015 as the Vegas favorite.

13. Nick Mangold , C, New York Jets

Hall of Fame odds: Toss-up

He's been to six Pro Bowls (only 10 centers have ever been to more) and has two first-team All-Pro nods. He's only 31 and is still at the top of his game, so there's a strong chance he pulls it off regardless of team support.

Championship odds: Slim

At least that's the case with the Jets, who haven't had a winning season since 2010.

14. Mario Williams , DE, Buffalo Bills

Hall of Fame odds: Toss-up

He's been a first-team All-Pro only once and has yet to reach the 100-sack club, but he also just turned 30 and is coming off his best year yet. In fact, his sack totals have risen three seasons in a row.

Championship odds: Toss-up

The Bills continue to get better and should be able to contend for several years to come if they can gain some steadiness at quarterback. Williams has lots of gas left in the tank, but he and his team have a lot to do.

15. Jason Peters , OT, Philadelphia Eagles

Hall of Fame odds: Toss-up

Among offensive tackles, only Thomas (eight) has been to more Pro Bowls than Peters (seven). He's also got two first-team All-Pro nods and remains dominant at the age of 33. He'll have to rock out for a few more years to cement HOF chances.

Championship odds: Toss-up

The Eagles are likely to be competitive for several years to come and Peterson has some gas left in the tank.

 16. Julius Peppers , OLB, Green Bay Packers

Hall of Fame odds: Slim

He's an eight-time Pro Bowler but he's got fewer sacks and fewer first-team All-Pro nods than Jared Allen and DeMarcus Ware, both of whom are younger.

Championship odds: Toss-up

One one hand, he plays for one of the NFL's best teams. On the other hand, he's 35 and is entering his 14th season.

Julius Peppers needs to have a late finishing push if he's going to make it Canton.  (USATSI)
Julius Peppers needs to have a late finishing push if he's going to make it Canton.(USATSI)

17. Shane Lechler , P, Houston Texans

Hall of Fame odds: Slim

Now that Ray Guy is in, anything can happen. Lechler is a three-time first-team All-Pro who has the highest punting average in NFL history.

Championship odds: Hanging by a thread

He's 38 and he plays for Houston.

18. Philip Rivers , QB, San Diego Chargers

Hall of Fame odds: Slim

There's going to be too much of a backlog at quarterback for Rivers, who has never been a first-team All-Pro. Still, he's the sixth highest-rated passer in NFL history and ranks in the top 20 when it comes to yardage and touchdowns.

Championship odds: Slim

Again, the Bolts haven't had a really strong chance at winning it all in over half a decade.

19. Justin Smith , DE, San Francisco 49ers

Hall of Fame odds: Slim

He was dominant for a short time but has made only five Pro Bowls and has been a first-team All-Pro only once. Still, he deserves some extra credit for always standing out on good teams.

Championship odds: Very slim

The 49ers are going to get worse before they get better and there's talk the 35-year-old could retire soon.

20. Frank Gore , RB, Indianapolis Colts

Hall of Fame odds: Slim

He's 20th on the all-time rushing list with a solid 4.5 average, but he's never been an All-Pro. With running backs losing value, that's problematic.

Championship odds: Slim

There's hope in Indy, but as a soon-to-be-32-year-old back, he's running out of time.

21. Joe Staley , OT, San Francisco 49ers

Hall of Fame odds: Slim

After a slow start to his career, he's been a Pro Bowler in four consecutive seasons. He's only 30 and should have plenty of standout seasons ahead of him, but he'll need several All-Pro nods to have a chance.

Championship odds: Slim

The 49ers are taking a giant step backwards, which doesn't bode well for a man signed through 2019.

22. Michael Vick , QB, free agent

Hall of Fame odds: Very slim

Vick has never been an All-Pro and hasn't been able to hold starting jobs with the Eagles or Jets, and now he can't find employment. Not good when you're about to turn 35. But he's also rushed for more yards than any quarterback in NFL history by a wide margin.

Championship odds: Hanging by a thread

In fact, it's tough to see him earning another starting job at this point.

23. Steven Jackson , RB, free agent

Hall of Fame odds: Very slim

If Jackson were to make the Hall of Fame cut, he'd be the first player in history to do so despite earning fewer than four Pro Bowl nods and zero first-team All-Pro appearances. He and Gore are probably destined to be remembered as great players, not legends. They'll be lumped in with Fred Taylor, Corey Dillon and Tiki Barber.

Championship odds: Hanging by a thread

He's running out of gas and can't find a job right now. He might be done.

24. Brandon Marshall , WR, New York Jets

Hall of Fame odds: Very slim

He's got just the one first-team All-Pro nod and numbers that have been sinking since 2012. Now he's on his fourth team in 10 seasons. None of it bodes well.

Championship odds: Slim

Because he just turned 31, time is still somewhat on Marshall's side. But the Jets aren't about to get him a ring.

25. John Abraham , OLB, Arizona Cardinals

Hall of Fame odds: Very slim

He's 10th on the all-time sack list but has been a first-team All-Pro just twice in 15 years.

Championship odds: Very slim

He turns 37 this offseason and is running out of time.

26. Roddy White , WR, Atlanta Falcons

Hall of Fame odds: Hanging by a thread

Just four Pro Bowls and one first-team All-Pro nod, and he ranks outside the top 25 all time in all of the major receiving categories.

Championship odds: Very slim

He's 33 now and hasn't been the same for a couple years, and he's playing on a team that has won just 10 games the last two seasons.

27. Wes Welker , WR, free agent

Hall of Fame odds: Hanging by a thread

Just three Pro Bowls and a lone All-Pro nod just won't be enough, especially without a championship. Exactly 84 receivers have caught more touchdown passes than Welker.

Championship odds: Hanging by a thread

It's weird to think he hasn't won one. But now he's about to turn 34, has injury issues and can't find a team to sign him.

28. Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Hall of Fame odds: Hanging by a thread

Palmer's got a higher career passer rating than Brett Favre as well as a bunch of current Hall of Fame quarterbacks, but he's been to just two Pro Bowls and has never been an All-Pro. At 35, Palmer would have to pull some Warren Moon-type stuff out of his hat in order to make a run into HOF territory.

Championship odds: Slim

He's older but quarterback shelf lives are long and the Cards were contenders with him under center last season.

29. Lance Briggs , LB, free agent

Hall of Fame odds: Hanging by a thread

Only one All-Pro nod but seven Pro Bowl appearances in 12 seasons. He'd have to experience a late-career boom.

Championship odds: Hanging by a thread

He'll turn 35 this year and has experienced injury problems the last two seasons, which might explain why he still doesn't have a home for the 2015 campaign. Not looking good.

30. Jay Cutler , QB, Chicago Bears

Hall of Fame odds: Almost nonexistent

Cutler also has numbers that compare well with Hall of Famers from previous generations, but there'll be too much of a backlog with this current group, almost regardless of what the 31-year-old does between now and the end of his career. He's only been to a single Pro Bowl.

Championship odds: Very slim

We're including Cutler because he's a very talented quarterback and he's still relatively young, but it's hard to see him winning anything in Chicago.

The clock is ticking... 

Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL since 2007. You can also read his work at Bleacher Report, Awful Announcing and This Given Sunday. In order to sound more professional, he wrote this blurb in the third person. Follow him on Twitter. Or don't. It's entirely your choice.

Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL since 2007. You can also read his work at Bleacher Report, Awful Announcing and This Given Sunday. In order to sound more professional, he wrote this blurb in the third person. Follow him on Twitter. Or don't. It's entirely your choice.

Will Adrian Peterson get a ring before retirement comes calling?  (USATSI)
Will Adrian Peterson get a ring before retirement comes calling? (USATSI)
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