With a storied franchise comes great players and history.
The Miami Dolphins are a perfect example of such.
From Don Shula to Dan Marino to Zach Thomas, Dolphin players have been some of the best to ever step on the gridiron.
In 1972, Miami became the first and the only perfect football team in the history of the National Football League.
It's a tough task to try and name the 10 greatest Miami Dolphins, but I tried my best.
Taken into account was each player's tenure with the team, his loyalty, his statistics, and lasting legacy.
Dan Marino's go-to receivers Mark Clayton and Mark Duper formed a power trio that made passing en vogue during the 1980s.
Clayton played for the Dolphins from 1983-1992. He holds Dolphin records for career pass receptions and touchdowns, as well as receiving yards in a single season.
At one point in time, the Marino-Clayton tandem was the most prolific in NFL history.
"Super Duper" played 11 seasons with the Dolphins from 1982-1992 and was a three-time Pro Bowler. He caught 511 receptions for 8,869 yards and 59 touchdowns during his career.
In 2003, Clayton entered the Miami Dolphins Ring of Honor, along with Duper.
During Marino's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, Clayton ran through the crowd and caught a pass from the quarterback, who had thrown from the stage.
In just five seasons with the Dolphins, Paul Warfield made quite the impression during Miami's drives to the Super Bowl in the 1970s.
For most of the wide receiver's tenure, the 'Phins ran an offense which stressed running the ball.
That's what makes his story even more remarkable.
Could you imagine him catching footballs from Dan Marino in the 1980s?
Even though he only caught 29 passes during the 1973 NFL season, 11 of those receptions were touchdowns.
He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, one for each season with Miami.
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983, he was ranked number 60 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
The biggest surprise came when Warfield, with teammates Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick, left the Dolphins for the Toronto Northmen of the World Football League.
There's no standout running game without a great offensive line.
Offensive guard Larry Little was a main reason why Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris, and Jim Kiick were so successful in the 1970s.
From 1969-1980, he was a five-time Pro Bowl selection.
In 1999, he was ranked No. 79 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
Over the last decade, no defensive lineman has been as dominant as Jason Taylor.
Although he now plays for the rival New York Jets, something that dropped him on the list, Taylor's best years were with the 'Phins.
A six-time Pro Bowler, he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 for his 13.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions (both of which were returned for touchdowns).
On his career, Taylor holds the NFL record for fumble returns for touchdowns (6).
His eight interceptions as a defensive end are incredible.
At 6'6'', Taylor competed on a season of "Dancing With the Stars."
He is the brother-in-law of former longtime teammate Zach Thomas.
He also created the Jason Taylor Foundation.
No. 99 will surely be retired in due time, and Taylor will easily be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
A Dolphin his entire career (1967-1980), Bob Griese led Miami to three consecutive Super Bowl appearances.
An AFL All-Star in his first two seasons, Griese became a six-time Pro Bowler.
Griese was named the Most Valuable Player in the NFL in 1971, receiving the Jim Thorpe trophy, but the Dolphins lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl.
The following year, which was the perfect season, Griese actually missed most of it with a broken leg and dislocated ankle.
He came back during the playoffs and led Miami to a Super Bowl victory.
His legacy was that of the "Thinking Man's Quarterback."
The Miami Dolphins had the highest winning percentage in all professional sports in the 1970s and Griese was the starting quarterback through the decade, except during instances of a few injuries.
He finished his career with 25,092 yards and 192 touchdowns. Griese also rushed for 994 yards and seven scores.
His son Brian actually played one season for the Dolphins in 2003.
Leadership is key for any winning team, and Nick Buoniconti was that for the Miami Dolphins from 1969-1976.
He was the Dolphins' Most Valuable Player three times (1969, 1970, 1973) and recorded a then-team record 162 tackles (91 unassisted) in 1973.
The defense he commanded was nicknamed the "No-Name Defense" because of its lack of star players. It played more as a cohesive unit.
Twice he made the NFL Pro Bowl, and six times was named an AFL All-Star.
In 1991, he was enshrined in the Dolphins Honor Roll at then-Joe Robbie Stadium.
Like Don Shula, he has become the most outspoken member of the 1972 team.
Rumors state that he leads a champagne toast every year after the last remaining undefeated team loses for the first time.
He was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
After his son Marc suffered a paralyzing injury in the 1980s, he has become the public face of the group that founded the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, now one of the world's leading neurological research centers.
The ultimate overachiever, Zach Thomas was the undersized linebacker out of Texas drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft.
At 5-11, 242 pounds, Thomas signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract to remain with the Dolphins in 1999. It actually made him the Dolphins' highest-paid player, over even Dan Marino.
A seven-time Pro Bowler, Thomas was one of only three players to record 100 or more tackles in his first 10 NFL seasons.
In 2006, he tied for the third-most Pro Bowl appearances in club history and it was the most selections among all defensive players in Dolphins history.
Although he had two brief stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs, Thomas signed a ceremonious one-day contract with the Miami Dolphins on May 20 and officially announced his retirement.
A true blue collar player, Larry Csonka was arguably the Dolphins' best rusher of all time.
He spent eight seasons with Miami, and was known for playing through a broken nose and other injuries.
His hard-nosed play remains that of legend.
Csonka was a five-time Pro Bowler who helped the Dolphins set an NFL record in 1972 with 2,960 rushing yards. He was named Super Bowl VIII MVP.
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, Csonka's No. 39 was retired by the organization in 2002.
Since his retirement, Csonka has seemingly been untraceable, living in Anchorage, Alaska, far removed from sunny Florida.
Every kid in Miami grew up with the No. 13 aqua jersey, including yours truly.
Dan Marino, who might be most known as the best quarterback to never win a Super Bowl, holds and held numerous NFL passing records.
As a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Marino's best season came in just his second year in the league.
He broke six NFL full-season passing records, including touchdown passes (48) and yards (5,084).
Less than a year into retirement (2000), his jersey was retired. He was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2005.
Some pop culture appearances involve a part in "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and Hootie and the Blowfish's "Only Wanna Be With You" music video.
As fans drive to Sun Life Stadium, they cruise along Dan Marino Boulevard.
Whenever the year 1972 is mentioned, Don Shula is usually the first person named.
In just his third season with the team, Shula and the Miami Dolphins went a perfect 14-0 for the organization's first championship. He was the coach of the legendary franchise from 1970-1995.
Shula remains the winningest coach in NFL history with 347 victories. In his 32-year career, he had just two losing seasons.
According to reports, Shula and his former team usually meet during the NFL season and toast when the remaining perfect team finally loses.
A four-time NFL Coach of the Year, he led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1982.
His imprint on the South Florida community is evident: There's the Don Shula Expressway and the Shula Bowl where Florida Atlantic and Florida International compete in football.
This past winter a statue was resurrected in his honor outside of Sun Life Stadium.
Nick Saban lasted just two years in Miami as the Dolphins head coach.
His combined record was 15-17, with a 6-10 second season that was his first losing campaign in his career.
But, more importantly, it was the way Saban left the organization and took the job with the Alabama Crimson Tide that will go down in folklore.
Saban was repeatedly questioned by the media about the Alabama job, and he repeatedly denied the rumors in his weekly press conferences.
"I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."