9 NFL Players With the Most Catches in History

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Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson gained yet another accolade Sunday when he became the second fastest player in NFL history to reach 900 career receptions. Johnson went into Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots with 892 catches under his belt, but the football star reached his career milestone by the fourth quarter, following a 15-yard catch. Now, the Texan drafted in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft has officially recorded 900 career receptions in just 150 games, representing the second fastest player to do so, with Marvin Harrison taking the No. 1 spot. Harrison reached 900 catches in 149 days, maintaining his lead on Johnson by only four quarters.

Though the Texans ended up falling to the Patriots 34-31 on Sunday, Johnson still had good things to say about his record-breaking play following the game, via HoustonTexans.com, ”It’s big. You play this game and have a childhood dream of just make it to the NFL. I never came into the NFL saying that I wanted to have 900 catches. I just said that I wanted to be a good football player. It’s humbling. It just shows that the work you put into the game is paying off.”

Now, Johnson, 32,  joins the company of the League’s greats who also make the list of NFL Career Receptions Leaders. The wide receiver currently sits at the No. 15 position, behind stars like Jerry Rice and Terry Gonzalez who boast receptions totaling 1300 and higher, but Johnson still has time to make his way up the list and maybe even break more records. Here are the 9 top NFL leaders who currently hold the record for most career receptions, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.

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9. Hines Ward

Kicking off the list at No. 9 is a Pittsburgh Steelers favorite, Hines Ward. After spending 14 seasons as a Steeler, Ward retired in 2012 with a total of 1,000 receptions. The wide receiver attended the University of Georgia before being drafted by the Steelers in the 3rd round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He remained in the Steel City from 1998 to 2011, caught the ball for 85 career touchdowns, and rushed for one. He walked away from the game with two Super Bowl rings, and was named Super Bowl MVP in 2005. Ward is a 4-time Pro Bowler.

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8. Reggie Wayne

Reggie Wayne takes the No. 8 spot on the list with his 1,006 catches and counting, as he still plays with the Indianapolis Colts, the same team which drafted him in the 1st round of the 2001 NFL draft. After attending the University of Miami, Wayne has played 13 seasons with the Colts, including the one we are still in the thick of today, and there, he has caught for 80 touchdowns, rushing for zero. At age 35, the Colts player is a 6-time Pro Bowler and 1-time First-Team All Pro.

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7. Isaac Bruce

This next player officially hung up his jersey in 2009, but not before registering an impressive 1,024 receptions in his 16 years on the field. Isaac Bruce went to the University of Memphis and was then drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2nd round of the 1994 NFL Draft. The wide receiver spent one year as a Los Angeles Ram before becoming a St. Louis one for the rest of his 15 seasons. Throughout his career, Bruce scored 91 touchdowns and was a 4-time Pro Bowler.

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6. Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens comes in No. 6 on the career receptions list, and it’s all thanks to the 1,078 catches he made from 1996-2010. T.O. played for a total of 5 teams during his 14-year career, and he started as a San Francisco 49er, packed his bag after eight seasons for Philadelphia, spent two seasons with the Eagles, headed over to Dallas for three, transplanted to Buffalo for one, and rounded out his duties as a NFL player in Cincinnati in 2010.

Though a controversial player, T.O.’s stats speak for themselves, and not only did he receive for 153 touchdowns during his career, he also rushed for three. The man is a 6-time Pro Bowler and 5-time First-Team All-Pro.

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5. Tim Brown

T.O. has nothing on Tim Brown though, because Brown sees Owens’s 1,078 receptions raises him 16, to 1,094. After retiring in 2004, Brown walked away from the game with 101 touchdowns and the status of a 9-time Pro Bowler. The wide receiver attended Notre Dame and was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988. He remained in the Golden State until he spent his final season as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer before calling it quits. Brown was a Hall of Fame finalist in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

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4. Cris Carter

One player who already boasts Hall-of-Fame status is Cris Carter, recording 1,101 receptions in his 15 years as an NFL athlete. Carter attended the Ohio State University before being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1987. The wide receiver remained an Eagle for three seasons before shipping out of Philly and becoming a Minnesota Viking — the team with which he’d go on to total 110 touchdowns. Carter spent his last season as a Miami Dolphin and score one touchdown in his final year. He is an 8-time Pro Bowler and 2-time First-Team All-Pro. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013, after being a finalist in the 5 proceeding years.

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3. Marvin Harrison

Claiming the coveted top 3 distinction is Marvin Harrison, beating Carter by one one reception. Harrison finished out his career with 1,102 receptions, and also beat the aforementioned Johnson as the player who totaled 900 receptions in the fastest time. Harrison retired in 2008 as a Indianapolis Colt after spending 13 seasons with the very team that drafted him in 1996. He scored 128 touchdowns in Indianapolis and is an 8-time Pro Bowler and 3-time First-Team All-Pro. He attended Syracuse University.

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2. Tony Gonzalez

Next up is Tony Gonzalez, setting himself apart from Harrison with his 202 reception lead. Gonzalez currently has 1,304 receptions, and hasn’t hung up his jersey yet, still playing for the Atlanta Falcons in his 5th season with the team. The tight end attended University of California and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1997. He spent 12 seasons with the Chiefs, racking in 76 touchdowns, and then became a Falcon in 2009, so far registering 32 touchdowns in Atlanta. Gonzalez is a 13-time Pro Bowler and 6-time First Team All-Pro.

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1. Jerry Rice

No. 1 is Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, the NFL star who still has 245 receptions on his closest competitor, Gonzalez. The iconic wide receiver hung up his jersey in 2004 after racking in 1,549 receptions split between the Seattle Seahawks, the Oakland Raiders, and the San Francisco 49ers. During his time on the field, Rice caught 197 touchdowns and rushed for 10. He started his career as a 49er after being drafted by San Francisco in 1985, but became a Raider in 2001 after spending 16 years with its crosstown rival. Rice spent 3 seasons as a Raider before joining the Seahawks halfway through 2004.  He officially retired as a 49er in 2006 and is a 13-time Pro Bowler and 10-time First-Team All-Pro. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

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