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NFL 2010s All-Decade Team: Tom Brady, Aaron Donald headliners

The NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have announced the 52 players and two head coaches selected to the 2010s All-Decade Team. Tom Brady, 42 and starting over with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was one of just eight players unanimously voted to the squad. (For the full list of honorees, check out the bottom of this file.) Tampa might be unfamiliar to Brady, but the honor is not. Not surprisingly, Brady was also a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team.

Peyton Manning was the other quarterback joining Brady on the 2000s team. For the 2010s, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 48-member selection committee chose Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. Brady and Rodgers led their respective teams to the top win-loss records of the decade, including the postseason, and both teams won Super Bowls in the decade -- Rodgers in the 2010 season and Brady in '14, '16 and '18.

Left off the list, which allowed just two quarterbacks: Drew Brees, who set the career record for pass completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns and completion percentage in the 2010s. His omission is the most glaring of the list, and likely came because, despite Brees' own outstanding play, the Saints' lone Super Bowl championship came in the previous decade (2009) and New Orleans missed the playoffs four times during the 2010s.

The other unanimous picks represent a who's who of the biggest NFL stars of the last 10 years -- and a pretty good preview of who'll headline future Hall of Fame classes: defensive tackle Aaron Donald, linebacker Von Miller, running back Adrian Peterson, offensive tackle Joe Thomas, kicker Justin Tucker, defensive end J.J. Watt and offensive guard Marshal Yanda.

The best news of all for fans: The majority of players on the All-Decade Team are still active heading into the 2020 season.

Donald is one of 12 players who played primarily in the NFC West during the decade, making that division the most well-represented. That shouldn't be a surprise. The NFC West has sent a team to five of the last eight Super Bowls. The Arizona Cardinals had four players on the list (Calais Campbell, Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, Chandler Jones) and the San Francisco 49ers had three (Frank Gore, Joe Staley, Patrick Willis). The Seahawks, who went to the Super Bowl in the 2013 and '14 campaigns, are the most-represented NFC West team, with five members, including three from the "Legion of Boom" defense: Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Marshawn Lynch and coach Pete Carroll.

Carroll, who led the Seahawks to eight playoff berths and one championship in the decade, is one of two coaches on the team. The other is, of course, Bill Belichick, whose Patriots went to the playoffs every year of the 2010s, and advanced to five Super Bowls, winning three times, including once over the Seahawks. Belichick is one of just two coaches in NFL history to be on two All-Decade Teams. The other is former Steelers coach Chuck Noll, a four-time Super Bowl winner who was on the 1970s and 1980s All-Decade Teams.

Together, Belichick and Brady dominated the NFL for 20 years, and they are two of the five people on the 2010s team who also were on the 2000s team. Devin Hester, Shane Lechler and Julius Peppers are the others. For all of their dominance, the Patriots developed a reputation of featuring players who were perfect for their roles and, other than Brady, only occasionally boasting the league's best talents at their respective positions. Not quite.

Eight guys on the list played for the Patriots, the most of any team, although their tenures stretched from lifetime -- Rob Gronkowski, who was named to the NFL's All-Time Team last year -- to eyeblink, in the case of Antonio Brown, who played one game for the Patriots before being released. Brown made this 2010s team because of his stellar play with the Steelers. The other players with Patriots ties on the list: Stephen Gostkowski (who had the unenviable task of replacing Adam Vinatieri, a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team), Cordarrelle Patterson (who played 15 regular-season games with the Patriots during the decade), Darrelle Revis (16 games), Logan Mankins (50) and Chandler Jones (55).

After Brady's signing with the Bucs and Gostkowski's release this offseason, only Belichick remains from the greatest dynasty the modern NFL has seen.

The team that has a chance to be the next dynasty -- the Kansas City Chiefs -- placed six players on the roster, second only to the Patriots: Eric Berry, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Tyrann Mathieu, LeSean McCoy and Revis.

And one player earned a singular -- actually dual -- honor. Darren Sproles was selected to the team at two positions -- punt returner and offensive flex player, which is someone who fills multiple offensive roles -- becoming just the fourth player in history to be named to an All-Decade Team at multiple positions. The others are Mel Gray (kick returner and punt returner in the 1990s), Dante Hall (kick returner and punt returner in the 2000s) and Deion Sanders (cornerback and punt returner in the 1990s).


* -- denotes a unanimous selection


QB Tom Brady*
QB Aaron Rodgers
RB Frank Gore
RB Marshawn Lynch
RB LeSean McCoy
RB Adrian Peterson*
WR Antonio Brown
WR Larry Fitzgerald
WR Calvin Johnson
WR Julio Jones
FLEX Darren Sproles
TE Rob Gronkowski
TE Travis Kelce
OT Jason Peters
OT Tyron Smith
OT Joe Staley
OT Joe Thomas*
OG Jahri Evans
OG Logan Mankins
OG Zack Martin
OG Marshal Yanda*
C Alex Mack
C Maurkice Pouncey


DE Calais Campbell
DE Cameron Jordan
DE Julius Peppers
DE J.J. Watt*
DT Geno Atkins
DT Fletcher Cox
DT Aaron Donald*
DT Ndamukong Suh
LB Chandler Jones
LB Luke Kuechly
LB Khalil Mack
LB Von Miller*
LB Bobby Wagner
LB Patrick Willis
CB Patrick Peterson
CB Darrelle Revis
CB Richard Sherman
S Eric Berry
S Earl Thomas
S Eric Weddle
DB Chris Harris Jr.
DB Tyrann Mathieu


P Johnny Hekker
P Shane Lechler
K Stephen Gostkowski
K Justin Tucker*
PR Tyreek Hill
PR Darren Sproles
KR Devin Hester
KR Cordarrelle Patterson


Bill Belichick
Pete Carroll

Follow Judy Battista on Twitter @JudyBattista.

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