|No. 46, 83, 80|
|Born:||September 30, 1962|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com|
Ricky Wayne Sanders (born August 30, 1962) is a former American football wide receiver who played professionally for 12 seasons from 1983 to 1994, two with the United States Football League's Houston Gamblers and ten in the National Football League (eight seasons with the Washington Redskins and two with the Atlanta Falcons). He played running back, safety, and place kicker (on kickoffs) as a three-year letterman for Belton High School in Belton, Texas and broke five records.
Sanders was a three-sport star at Belton High School. He made all-region in basketball, placed in three events in the state track meet, and won accolades as a running back. Although recruited by numerous major colleges—including Michigan, UCLA, and Texas Tech, among many others—his junior year, he did not attend any of them. A string of injuries his senior football season may have been a contributing factor.
Sanders played college football at Southwest Texas State University and played two seasons in the United States Football League for the Houston Gamblers and teamed with Jim Kelly making 101 receptions for 1,370 yards and 11 touchdowns.Sanders had been drafted by the New England Patriots in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players. New England traded his rights to the Washington Redskins. The Redskins had two talented receivers in the sure handed Art Monk and tough Gary Clark but felt they needed a legitimate deep threat, leading them to acquire the speedy Sanders. The three were the first trio of wide receivers to each surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a single season, and became known as "The Posse."
Sanders made only 14 catches in 1986, his first NFL season, but proved he was a deep threat averaging 20.4 yards per catch. His next season was better, as he snatched 34 passes from new starting quarterback Jay Schroeder. After Schroeder's eventual ouster at quarterback, his replacement, Doug Williams, loved Sanders's speed and ability to run after the catch and went to him often. This duo was effective and the Redskins fought their way through the playoffs and into the Super Bowl.
Sanders was a standout performer in Super Bowl XXII, catching nine passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns, while also returning three kickoffs for 46 yards. He set Super Bowl records for most receiving yards (193), most total yards (235), most touchdowns in one quarter (2), most receiving yards in one quarter (168), and longest touchdown reception (80 yards, tie) in Washington's 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos.Shortly after the Super Bowl win, when the Redskins visited the White House, President Ronald Reagan completed a ceremonial pass to Sanders.
Sanders had arguably his best season in 1988, as he finished fifth in the NFL on receiving yards with 1,148 and second in receiving touchdowns with 12, a Redskins record. The following season was also a good one for Sanders as he made 80 grabs for 1,138 yards, making him one of three 1,000-yard receivers on the team along with Monk and Clark. Sanders' numbers fell off slightly in 1990, to 56 catches for 727 yards.
In the 1991 season, Sanders made 45 catches for 580 yards. The Redskins defeated the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions before beating the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI. This was Sanders' second Super Bowl victory, his first having come four years prior, in Super Bowl XXII.
In June 1990, Sanders was accused of hitting a parking attendant with his car outside a Houston nightclub. He was ultimately acquitted in February 1991, but admitted that the whole ordeal weighed heavily on his mind throughout the 1990 season.Washington drafted top Heisman trophy winning receiver Desmond Howard but he could not unseat Sanders. When Gibbs retired there were coaching and quarterback changes in Washington and Sanders became a free agent after the 1993 season. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons prior to the 1994 season, and played two seasons with them in 1994 and 1995. Sanders signed with the Miami Dolphins after the 1995 season but never played a game with them.
Sanders finished his 10 NFL seasons with 483 receptions for 6,477 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also rushed for 94 yards and one touchdown, returned two punts for 12 yards, and gained 636 yards on 33 kickoff returns.
Super Bowl XXII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins and American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1987 season. The Redskins defeated the Broncos by the score of 42–10, winning their second Super Bowl. The game was played on January 31, 1988 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California, which was the first time that the Super Bowl was played there. It was the second consecutive Super Bowl loss for the Broncos, who lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl the year before 39–20.
Super Bowl XXVI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Buffalo Bills to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1991 season. The Redskins defeated the Bills by a score of 37–24, becoming the fourth team after the Pittsburgh Steelers, the now Las Vegas Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers to win three Super Bowls. The Bills became the third team, after the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos to lose back-to-back Super Bowls. The game was played on January 26, 1992, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first time the city played host to a Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XXXVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Carolina Panthers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2003 season. The Patriots defeated the Panthers by a score of 32–29. The game was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1, 2004. At the time, this was the most watched Super Bowl ever with 144.4 million viewers.
James Arthur Monk is an American former football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, New York Jets, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Monk was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Keenan Wayne McCardell is an American football coach and former wide receiver who is the wide receivers coach for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He previously served as the wide receivers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, University of Maryland, College Park and Washington Redskins.
Desmond Kevin Howard is an American former football player. Howard was known mostly as a return specialist but also played wide receiver. He is now a college football analyst for ESPN.
The National Football League playoffs for the 1991 season began on December 28, 1991. The postseason tournament concluded with the Washington Redskins defeating the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI, 37–24, on January 26, 1992, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
David Patten is a former American football wide receiver. He was signed by the Albany Firebirds as a street free agent in 1996. He played college football at Western Carolina.
Gary C. Clark is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins (1985–92), Phoenix Cardinals (1993–94), and Miami Dolphins (1995).
Joe Dan Washington Jr is a former American football running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Colts, Washington Redskins, and Atlanta Falcons.
Quintorris Lopez "Julio" Jones Jr. is an American football wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alabama, and in 2009, helped lead the Crimson Tide to an undefeated 14–0 season, including a victory in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game.
James Torrey Smith is a former American football wide receiver. He played college football at the University of Maryland and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 NFL Draft. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Carolina Panthers. Smith is a two-time Super Bowl champion, winning Super Bowl XLVII as a member of the Ravens and Super Bowl LII with the Eagles.
Andre McXavier Roberts is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at The Citadel and was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Roberts has also played for the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills.
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Michael Lynn Evans III is an American football wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). Evans played college football at Texas A&M, where he earned consensus first-team All-American honors after recording a school record of 1,394 receiving yards on 69 receptions, and was drafted by the Buccaneers in the first round with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times and was a Second Team All-Pro in 2016. Evans is the only wide receiver in NFL history to start his career with seven consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 yards. He won his first Super Bowl championship on February 7, 2021, in a 31–9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Nelson Efamehule Agholor is a Nigerian-American professional American football wide receiver for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at USC and was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. With Philadelphia, he won Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots.
Taylor James Gabriel is a former American football wide receiver who played for six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football at Abilene Christian, he signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He also played with the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears.
Robert Ford is an American football coach. He won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Houston.