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It's really hard to pick just one. In the NFL right now, I think it has to be Brett Favre. When Favre retires, it will probably be Brady, unless Manning can get another SB trophy to back up the hype and the endorsements with even MORE hardware.
All time, some guys who are definitely on the list of possibles:
It is very hard to have one defining icon in football because careers are so short in comparison to other sports. Baseball players can play 25 years, hockey easily 20, and basketball 20 in many cases. Football players cannot start their careers until 20 at best, and in many cases, it's 22 or 23. Playing 12 years becomes a long career in the NFL. You don't see many non-kicker/punters playing more than 15.