Football Sports

Families in the NFL

By: Luke Boze

There are many siblings in the NFL, more than you think actually. There are in fact over 70 families in the NFL, this includes referees, players, and coaches. They all have to meet certain requirements to be on this this list.Just having had had a career in the NFL or a notable college career wasn’t enough to make the cut. This list focuses on only the best families of players, and some notable coaches.


Sterling and Shannon Sharpe– The Sharpes are one of the most well known families in the NFL. Sterling went to South Carolina University and was a star wide receiver. He became one of the only players in the team’s history to have their jersey number retired while they were still playing. He was drafted 7th overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1988 and had an immediate impact in his rookie season. Shannon was drafted in the 7th round at 192nd overall to the Denver Broncos. He played in Denver for nine years where he won two championships. After that, he played two years with the Baltimore Ravens where he won another championship, he then went back to Denver and played until he retired in 2003. Both of the brothers had great careers but only one was inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, some think that Sterling will be in eventually.

Archie, Eli, and Peyton Manning

Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning– The Mannings, there are so many things to say about the Mannings. They are perhaps the most well-known families in the NFL. Archie was nominated for two Heisman trophies, finishing third and fourth in the voting. He played 16 seasons in the NFL with three different teams. His two sons are Peyton and Eli Manning. Peyton is widely considered one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the sport. He played most of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, but finished his career with the Denver Broncos. He won two Super Bowls during his career, one with the Colts and one in his final season in the NFL with the Broncos. Eli is also one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, he is currently playing with the New York Giants. Eli has also won two Super Bowls with the Giants, and he continues to be a great quarterback. Peyton and Eli will most likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame after they are eligible.

Matthews’ family tree

Matthews– The Matthews are easily the largest football family, there are seven men from the Matthews family that span three generations. The family legacy began with Clay Matthews Sr. when he was selected in the 25th round of the 1949 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams , but he never played for them. He started his first game in 1950 with the San Francisco 49ers. After his first season he left football to join the military during the Korean War. He became a paratrooper for the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He returned after the war and played three more seasons with the 49ers before retiring for good. The Matthews continue their family’s legacy as they are into the third generation of players from their family. Clay Matthews Sr. had two sons that played in the NFL, and they both had much longer careers than their father. Clay Matthews Jr. played for 19 seasons, Mathews Jr. is fourth all time on the career tackles list. He recorded 1,561 tackles over his career and is the oldest player to record a sack at 40 years old. Clay Matthews Jr. has a brother named Bruce Matthews that played in the NFL for 18 years as an offensive lineman. He was selected for 14 Pro Bowls over his 18 year career, which is tied for most all time. Only Bruce Matthews  has been inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, but it is possible that his brother will join him. The Matthews brothers both have sons that play in the NFL. Clay Matthews Jr. is the father of Clay Matthews III, who is an all pro linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, and Casey Matthews who is currently a free agent. Bruce Matthews has three sons in the NFL, Kevin Matthews who plays for the Carolina Panthers, Jake Matthews who is a starter on the offensive line for the Atlanta Falcons, and son Mike Matthews who plays for the Cleveland Browns.

There are many other family relations in the NFL, these are just a few of the most successful and well known of them all. There are sure to be more families to enter into the NFL, and there are families that will grow and some will disappear as the players retire or become obsolete. Family relations are one of the most interesting things about NFL, people love to see family competition and it is even better when they are on the field and playing for the entertainment of their fans. Some of the greatest rivalries have developed because of tough love between family members on the field, so as long as families keep being good at football, we will have one of the greatest forms of entertainment.

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