Since the team initially took to the field in 1925, hundreds of talented football players have graced the New York Giants franchise.
The Giants have a long and deep history in the football world that sets them apart from other franchises competing in the league. From four Super Bowls to The Greatest Game Ever Played, there have been many great moments in the history of Big Blue, with even greater players.
As one of the oldest franchises in the NFL, the Giants have one of the largest contingents of honored Pro Football Hall of Famers of any other team. As a result, there’s absolutely no doubt that past and present players represent the best of the best!
There have been many players who have changed the NFL betting scene for the better. However, 5 players truly stand out.
- Lawrence Taylor, 1981-1993
Lawrence Taylor is one of those once-in-a-lifetime players who dominated the field with boundless athleticism, talent, and determination.
New York missed the playoffs between 1964 and 1980, but the arrival of Taylor in 1981 changed their fortune around. He was also named Player of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year.
However, his best season occurred in 1986. Not only was he named NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but he guided the Giants to their first-ever Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXI. He’d lead the Giants to their second win in Superbowl XXV just four years later.
Taylor was named Defensive Player of the Year three times, had ten Pro Bowl nods (1981-1990), and was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
- Eli Manning, 2004-2019
Talented quarterback Eli Manning still holds all significant Giants passing records and is currently ranked ninth in NFL history in terms of career passing yards (57,023) and tenth in touchdown passes (366).
Manning is one of the most durable and determined players in Giants’ franchise history. Throughout his 16 seasons he never once missed a game due to injury. He was also a leader both on and off the field. This is a quality that will no doubt lead him to Hall of Fame recognition in the future.
Although these are impressive numbers, Manning is better known for his late-game heroics during the Giants’ two Super Bowl victories against the New England Patriots in 2008 and 2012. He was named Super Bowl MVP in both Super Bowls.
- Michael Strahan, 1993-2007
Michael Strahan was one of the NFL’s all-time pass rushers, with his 141.5 sacks ranking 10th on an unofficial list. In 2001, he became an all-time single-season sack leader and was named Defensive Player of the Year.
As with many other Giants legends, he was a leader in the locker room and out on the field. Because of this, he became a mentor to other Giants pass rushers including Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora.
Strahan would end his career on top, retiring after winning the Super Bowl in 2008. Strahan was a huge reason for the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII success as he managed a pass rush that sacked Tom Brady five times.
Strahan was named to the Pro Bowl a total of seven times and was later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
- Phil Simms, 1979-1993
Phil Simms can be described as many things, but the words toughness, determination, and grit spring to mind. This is largely due to his hard-fought battle back from injuries sustained earlier on in his career, and his impressive leadership skills to the top of the NFL.
All in all, Simms had an excellent 15-year-long career with the New York Giants. He’s most recognized for an outstanding MVP performance in Super Bowl XXI. During this game, he completed 22 of 25 passes for a total of 268 yards and achieved three touchdowns.
As a big-game quarterback, Simms was also a crucial part of the 1990 team who went on to win Super Bowl XXV.
He was voted to the Pro Bowl twice in his career (1985 and 1993).
- Harry Carson, 1976-1988
After being selected in the fourth round of the 1976 NFL draft, Carson went on to spend his entire 13-year-long NFL career with the Giants. He became a core anchor for all defense.
Carson didn’t gain national recognition until later in his career as he typically played on not-so-great Giants teams. However, fans everywhere knew he was one of the greatest linebackers in the league.
Carson grew in popularity during 1986 when he poured a bucket of Gatorade on top of Giants’ head coach Bill Parcells’s head after every win.
Harry Carson was named to the Pro Bowl nine times throughout his NFL career and eventually became a first-team All-Pro in 1981 and 1984. He was rightfully inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
There have been many notable players in New York Giants’ history. Yet these are the top 5 players in terms of athletic ability, records, and contributions to the sport. We have no doubts that Giants’ talent (both new and old) will continue to astound fans everywhere!