Buffalo Bills: 30 greatest players in franchise history

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Billy Shaw, Buffalo Bills
7 Aug 1999: Billy Shaw talks to the press as he looks at a picture of himself during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. /

player. 16. . Guard. 1961-69. Billy Shaw. 5

Here’s a crazy random fact for you: Billy Shaw is the only person in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who never played in the NFL. That’s right. Be amazed.

Now there may be some of you asking, “well, how is that possible?” In case you weren’t aware, the Bills technically were a part of the AFL up until 1970, when it merged with the NFL to become what we know the league as today. Shaw’s final season with Buffalo was 1969, meaning he just missed the cut.

And yet, he is still more than deserving of a spot among the greatest athletes to ever play this great game.

Shaw was a monstrous guard who was utterly abusive along the interior. An eight-time All-Star and seven-time All-AFL selection, he also played a big part in both of Buffalo’s championship seasons prior to their joining the NFL.

Most modern Buffalo fans don’t know who Shaw is, but it’s time to familiarize yourself. It may not seem all that important knowing the name of a big-time guard from the 1960s. However, if you truly are faithful to the Bills, then you need to know who Shaw was. You’re welcome for another history lesson.