Top 30 NFL players not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Ranking the 30 best NFL players who have not made their way into Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals / George Gojkovich/GettyImages
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29. LB Bill Bergey

In the days of professional football when basically every team base defense was a 4-3-4, middle linebacker was the unit’s glamour position. That position is well-represented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. From Sam Huff and Ray Nitschke to Joe Schmidt, Willie Lanier, and Jack Lambert. There’s the amazing quartet of Chicago Bears in Bill George, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, and Brian Urlacher.

Bill Bergey is one of three middle linebackers on this list of 30 players. A second-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1969, he started all 14 games for Paul Brown’s second-year team. He earned AFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and was named to the Pro Bowl.

Bergey spent five seasons in Cincinnati and missed only two games. He was part of playoff teams in 1970 and ’73. To make a long story short, he was dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1974. He spent the final seven seasons of his NFL career in the City of Brotherly Love and adjusted to life in the 3-4. The 12-year pro earned four more Pro Bowl invitations and was named All-Pro in 1974 and ’75.

As it turned out, Bergey’s last appearance came in Super Bowl XV, a 27-10 loss to the wild card Oakland Raiders. He finished his impressive career with countless tackles, 27 interceptions, 21 fumble recoveries and was credited with 18.5 sacks.