10 Best Ever Samoan Football Players In The NFL
Wondering who the 10 best ever Samoan football players in the NFL have been? American Samoa is considered one of the greatest producers of American Football players of all time. With the island's history of warrior culture and the genetics providing size and strength, Samoan Football players can be a valuable asset. These players are often discovered through talent scouts and offered scholarships to play football in college. As of the 2010 draft, there have been 28 Samoan players in the NFL. Ranking by statistics can seem unfair to the newer Samoan football players in the NFL, so the following presents the top ten with regard to length of career:
- Junior Seau has spent 20 years in the NFL. After attending USC he played for the San Diego Chargers from 1990-2002 then the Miami Dolphins from 2003-2005, signed a one-day contract with the Chargers and retired. He later signed a contract with the New England Patriots and has played since 2006. From 1991, Junior Seau played in eight consecutive Pro-Bowls and in 2000 was named to the Pro-Football's Hall of Fame for the 1990s All-Decade team.
- Kimo von Oelhoffen played 15 years in the NFL. Following Boise State he was drafted in 1994 by the Cincinnati Bengals where he played until 1999. He then played for the Steelers (2000-2005), the Jets (2006), and the Eagles (2007). Kimo, while with the Steelers, won the Super Bowl XL.
- David Dixon spent eleven years in the NFL after attending Arizona State University. His career was primarily with the Minnesota Vikings from 1994-2004, but spent offseason or practice—only time with the Patriots, Vikings, and Cowboys from 1992-1993. He started 134 of the 152 games he played in throughout his career.
- Edwin Mulitalo spent ten years in the NFL. Mulitalo attended Brigham Young University-Idaho and the University of Arizona and began his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens in 1999 and played until 2006. He then went to the Lions from 2007-2008 before retiring. Mulitalo started 128 of the 132 games he played in during his NFL career.
- Luther Elliss, tied with Mulitalo with a ten year career, attended University of Utah and played for the Detroit Lions from 1995-2003 when he was released. He then played one season with the Broncos and retired in 2004. Elliss was selected twice to the Pro-Bowl in 1999 and 2000.
- Joe Salave'a played nine years in the NFL. Salave'a attended the University of Arizona and played for three NFL teams: Tennessee (1998-2001), [Baltimore (2003), offseason/practice only], San Diego (2003), and Washington (2004-2006). Salave'a helped bring the Redskins to their first playoff game in a decade in the 2005 season, starting 13 of the 16 season games.
- Itula Mili attended Brigham Young University and spent eight years in the NFL. He played for the Seattle Seahawks from 1998-2007. Mili had a career high of 1,743 yards.
- Marques Tuiasosopo, tied with Mili for eight years, attended the University of Washington before being drafted in 2001 by the Oakland Raiders. At Washington he set the schools quarterback record for 1,374 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns and was their first player to pass 1,000 yards in both rushing and passing. He remained with the Raiders until 2006 then signed a one year contract with the New York Jets but spent the season on injured reserve. He was resigned as a free-agent by the Raiders for 2008 then retired.
- Brandon Manumaleuna attended the University of Arizona and drafted in 2001 by the St. Louis Rams. He played there until 2005 when he was traded to the Chargers. He played with the Chargers from 2006-2009 then went to the Chicago Bears in March 2010. He holds a career 965 yards.
- Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala and Junior Ioane both played for seven years. Fuatamu-Ma'afala attended Utah for three years before the NFL. He was drafted in 1998 by the Pittsburgh Steelers and stayed until 2002. He then played for Jacksonville from 2003-2004. Fuamatu-Ma'afala has eight career touchdowns with 964 yards (career). Ioane attended Arizona State and played for Oakland from 2000-2002 and then Houston from 2003-2005. Ioane has 54 career tackles and 1.5 sacks.