AFC North: Franchise players

Cleveland Browns: Franchise player

August, 18, 2008
8/18/08
1:14
PM ET
 
 AP Photo
 Jim Brown finished his career with 12,312 yards and 106 touchdowns rushing.
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Readers' pick: Jim Brown, RB

Well, that was easy.

Jim Brown, arguably the greatest player of all time, was overwhelmingly voted the greatest player in Cleveland Browns history by fans.

Brown only played for nine seasons. But he was so dominant during his time in the league that we may never see his combination of speed, size, power, elusiveness and intelligence ever again.

There's not much more to analyze here. If anything, we would be interested to hear from those who feel there's been a better football player in Cleveland than Brown. Quarterback Otto Graham finished a distant second.

Otherwise, let's move on to the next team.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

 
 Focus On Sport/Getty Images
 Terry Bradshaw is a two-time Super Bowl MVP.

Readers' pick: Terry Bradshaw, QB

Terry Bradshaw certainly is the greatest quarterback in Pittsburgh Steelers history.

But the "Blonde Bomber" is not the greatest overall player in the franchise's history.

The top four players -- Bradshaw, defensive lineman Joe Greene, linebacker Jack Lambert and running back Franco Harris -- are solid choices by Steelers fans. But the ordering is off.

Bradshaw was a winner in every sense of the word, and he was at his best in big games. But Bradshaw's career numbers are not as overwhelming as one would think.

Bradshaw only completed 51.9 percent of his passes in 14 seasons. He had five years of 20 interceptions or more, including his rookie year when Bradshaw threw six touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

Overall Bradshaw has just two more touchdowns (212) during his career than interceptions (210). There were many seasons when Bradshaw was merely an average -- and at times below average -- quarterback.

Green, Lambert and Harris played at a higher level for more seasons than Bradshaw, and that trio deserved much higher consideration.

The glamour position of quarterback often gets most of the credit for winning championships, and this particular voting reeks of a popularity contest.

 
 George Gojkovich/Getty Images
 Anthony Munoz, an 11-time Pro Bowler, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Readers' pick: Anthony Munoz, T

Good choice, Cincinnati Bengals fans.

Offensive tackle Anthony Munoz clearly is the greatest player in franchise history.

Munoz was the runaway winner. Most of the remaining votes went to Boomer Esiason and Ken Anderson, who were second and third, respectively.

What stood out most was receiver Chad Johnson coming in fourth. For all of his antics, he gets a lot of respect for his abilities from Bengals fans.

More than one out of 10 feel Johnson is the greatest player ever to put on a Bengals uniform, and his production gives him a case. Johnson, 30, already is the team's all-time leading receiver in yards (8,365) and receptions (559), and he's not done yet.

Baltimore Ravens: Franchise player

August, 18, 2008
8/18/08
1:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

 
 James Lang/US Presswire
 Matt Stover has been the Ravens' kicker all 12 years they've been in the league.

Readers' pick: Matt Stover, K

Come on Baltimore Ravens fans.

You're kidding, right?

Linebacker Ray Lewis or offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden are not the greatest players in Baltimore's franchise history?

And kicker Matt Stover is?

Usually, the AFC North version of the Blog Network applauds creativity. We try things outside of the box all the time in this space, and everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions. We're family here.

But this is just silly, Baltimore fans. Let's call a spade a spade.

The Ravens have only been in existence a dozen years. Other fans had to vote on players with more than 40-50 years of team history throughout several different eras.

Was it that hard to get this particular voting process correct?

Ravens fans couldn't go wrong with either Lewis or Ogden -- two first-ballot Hall of Famers -- as the franchise's greatest player. That would be a tremendous debate.

But the choice of Stover was simply wide left. Far left.

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