It's probably the thought of many veteran players who can see the end of their careers coming: "Boy, it'd be nice to win just one Super Bowl so that I never wind up on a list of the greatest players to never win a Super Bowl."
Think of the 2014 Seahawks adding Kevin Williams or the 2016 Patriots signing Chris Long. Notable vets constantly sign with contenders in the hope that they can get the experience of winning a Super Bowl -- checking that one key box off of the list -- before they are forced into retirement by their bodies and the teams that prefer younger, cheaper talent. This year, veteran linebacker David Harris signed with the Patriots, guard Jahri Evans signed with the Packers and receiver Brandon Marshall went from the Jets to the Giants.
All want a chance at a ring. Here are 20 players who are regularly reminded that they never won a ring, followed by 10 current players (30 years old or above) trying to earn their first.
20. Warren Moon, QB
A Hall of Fame QB without a ring is rare, but Moon is among those in the club because he played for so long and changed many preconceived notions about quarterbacks.
19. Junior Seau, LB
The late legend played the last four seasons of his career with the Patriots, but that was during the period of time when New England didn't win a Super Bowl but did blow an 18-0 record.
18. Tony Gonzalez, TE
There are surprisingly a lot of all-time great tight ends on lists like this one. Gonzalez didn't even take part in a playoff win until 2012, when he was 36 years old. And he came up oh-so-short of the Super Bowl in his final season with Atlanta.
17. Derrick Thomas, LB
The Kansas City great sadly died in 2000 while still an active player. The closest he came to the Super Bowl was when the Chiefs reached the AFC Championship Game in 1993 but got blown out by the Bills.
16. Terrell Owens, WR
Not in the Hall of Fame (yet), Owens annoyed a lot of fans, reporters, opponents and teammates, but he also nearly willed the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship in 2004. That's as close as he'd ever come.
15. Anthony Munoz, OT
It almost feels like a lost fact to history, but the Bengals went to the Super Bowl twice with Munoz -- arguably the greatest offensive lineman ever. They didn't win either of them, obviously, but that's not on Munoz.
14. Earl Campbell, RB
Nearly 10,000 rushing yards, 74 TDs over his career with the Oilers (and later the Saints), this Hall of Famer had a short stint of dominance, but he made it count.
13. Randy Moss, WR
There was maybe never a more exciting player to watch than Moss in the "SportsCenter" era of football, when highlights reigned supreme. He, along with Seau, lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Moss finished with just five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets.
12. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB
From 2001-08, Tomlinson averaged 1,945 yards from scrimmage 18 touchdowns. Averaged. In 2010, he went to the Jets to try to win a Super Bowl, which sounds ridiculous now, but they actually nearly made it that season.
11. Alan Page, DT
Page played for 15 seasons and was perhaps the most dominant player from 1969-75, helping the Vikings reach the Super Bowl four times. But they lost them all, and that's unfortunately something that Page -- the 1971 NFL MVP -- will also be remembered for.
10. Chris Doleman, DE
The eight-time Pro Bowl-slash-Hall of Famer had 10 trips to the postseason, with three different teams, but he never reached the Super Bowl.
9. Barry Sanders, RB
Sanders is perhaps the player who is most synonymous with football in the 1990s, and we are all well aware that the Lions have basically had no postseason success. Ever. Not before, after or during Sanders' tenure, despite how incredible he was.
8. Dick Butkus, LB
I think it's widely assumed that the Bears must have been good during Butkus' tenure, but they actually made zero postseason trips during his nine-season, Hall of Fame career.
7. Deacon Jones, DE
After 14 seasons and five All-Pro nods, Jones went 0-3 in the postseason over his career.
6. Cris Carter, WR
Carter played in 14 playoff games, including a postseason win in every season from 1997-2000, but he could never lead his team to the game that mattered the most.
5. Eric Dickerson, RB
Dickerson led the NFL in rushing four times from 1983-88, but his teams consistently fell shy in the postseason.
4. Merlin Olsen, DT
Olsen managed to make the Pro Bowl 14 times, only missing out once in his career, which was his final season with the Rams at age 36 in 1976. That season, the Rams went to the NFC Championship Game but fell to the Vikings, who, in addition to Page, had legendary players like Fran Tarkenton and Carl Eller, who also retired without rings.
3. Jim Kelly, QB
Kelly was not as good as the next man on this list, but he still had three more "win one more and you've got a ring" scenarios than the other guy had.
2. Dan Marino, QB
I'm just saying, what if there was one list like this where Marino didn't rank first?
1. Bruce Smith, DE
Instead of picking on Kelly, why not highlight Smith, who played from 1985 to 2003, eight more seasons than his quarterback. He also could have won a ring from any of those four Bills Super Bowl losses, but the Hall of Fame defensive end never finished one out. He played in 20 postseason games, in which he had 14 1/2 sacks total.
10. Terence Newman, CB, Vikings
Newman is no longer a flashy name, but it's incredible what he's managed to accomplish over the course of his career. Now 39, Newman still seems like one of the most reliable corners in the NFL and a great role model for the young corners in Minnesota. After nine seasons in Dallas and six in Cincinnati, the former fifth overall pick hopes that his third season with the Vikings ends in a postseason run that has no brakes; it's just hard to see how the offense has enough gas to get them there.
9. Cameron Wake, DE, Dolphins
Wake was not supposed to be here. Already 27 when he entered the league, Wake has racked up 76 sacks over the past seven seasons, tied with J.J. Watt for most in the NFL over that period of time. (To his credit, not that he needs it, Watt came in a year later and also missed most of last season.) Wake has shown no signs of slowing down, but Miami has an uphill battle to get back to the postseason.
8. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers
Jason Witten may have come first and also put on a Hall of Fame career, but Gates was the one who really changed everything for tight ends and how teams viewed them as "athletes" and not your average "workman" who did the dirty work. Consider that while Witten has more catches and yards, Gates has scored 111 touchdowns in 204 games, compared to 63 in 223 for Witten.
7. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have their rings, two each in fact, but Rivers has only nine playoff starts and a 4-5 postseason record. This despite the fact that many would argue he's the best quarterback of the three from the 2004 draft. The Chargers are 9-23 over the past two seasons, but the AFC West may be ripe for an upset given the QB concerns in Kansas City and Denver, plus a porous defense in Oakland.
6. Julius Peppers, DE/OLB, Panthers
Peppers' first brush with the Super Bowl came with the Panthers in 2003, when he was only 23, but little did any of us know that would be his closest opportunity to get a ring. After stops in Chicago and Green Bay -- including 17 career playoff games (in which he has only 6 1/2 sacks) -- Peppers is back in Carolina at age 37. They were in the Super Bowl only a year and a half ago, but the Panthers would be a surprising champion if it happened this season.
5. Frank Gore, RB, Colts
Gore came close with the 49ers in 2012, and I'm sure some people thought it would be a great chance for him to win a ring and ride off into the sunset like Jerome Bettis. Instead, five years later at age 34, he's still running better than many young bucks. Gore had 1,025 yards last season and is close to surpassing LaDainian Tomlinson for fifth all time in rushing yards. But the Colts do not look close to resembling a Super Bowl team unless they get a Herculean effort out of the already-injured Andrew Luck.
4. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
Not always the flashiest player, Witten has never scored 10 touchdowns in a season or topped 1,200 yards. He has only four career 1,000-yard seasons, which would be incredible for any tight end prior to 2000, but is now commonplace among players like Travis Kelce, Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski -- players who may not exist like we know them if not for Witten. He hasn't missed a game since George W. Bush's first term, meaning he's played in 223 of a possible 224 games in his career. Over a career with that kind of reliability, Witten has 1,089 catches, which is seventh all time, and he'll almost certainly be third all time by the middle of this season. The Cowboys went 13-3 last season but haven't even made the conference championship game since 1995, a full five years before Witten even started playing college ball at Tennessee. To get Witten to his first Super Bowl, Dallas will need a stronger performance by its defense, particularly in the secondary and pass rush.
3. Joe Thomas, LT, Browns
Not only does Thomas have the most first team All-Pro nods of any active player, but he has two more than any active player. The six-time All-Pro, 10-time Pro Bowl tackle is headed into his 11th NFL season, all with a team that during his tenure has failed to reach the playoffs even once and has finished with a losing record for nine straight years. Only once in the last nine years did the Browns have fewer than 10 losses, going 7-9 in 2014. But Thomas trudges on with Cleveland, a team that suddenly looks poised for a potential breakout in the next 2-4 years. Will Thomas, 32, still be around then?
2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Saints
After 10 seasons with the Vikings -- including a Pro Bowl nod in all seven seasons in which he played in at least 14 games -- Peterson makes his next attempt at a Super Bowl ring by playing behind Drew Brees in the most powerful offense of the past decade. Peterson has basically missed two of the past three years, so it's hard to tell how effective he's going to be this year. But the Saints don't need him to be the "Adrian Peterson" we're accustomed to nearly as much as he needs the New Orleans defense to play much better than it's accustomed to.
1. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
The 2004 draft gave us Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Vince Wilfork and Jared Allen, among many other notable players, but Fitzgerald stands out with four more Pro Bowl appearances than any other player in the class. He's third all time in career receptions, and with another 1,000-yard season, he will move into third-place all-time in career receiving yards. Even last year at 33, Fitzgerald led the league in catches with 107. He came close to winning a ring in 2008, scoring a 64-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 2:47 left, before Santonio Holmes snatched away the championship in the final minute. The Cardinals took a major step back last season at 7-8-1, but with a strong defensive performance and a healthy Carson Palmer, the could be back in the playoffs this year.
Others: Brandon Marshall, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Matt Ryan, Darren Sproles, Elvis Dumervil, Derrick Johnson, Karlos Dansby, Eric Weddle, Thomas Davis, Matt Forte, Andrew Whitworth, Jason Peters