Which NFL players BELONG in the HOF even if they NEVER play another game?

A simple exercise: whose ticket is already punched, in your opinion? Assume that current players are being forced to retire due to some mundane (but still career-ending) injury. (So, no one gets the sympathy vote for their tragic death.)

We’re including players who are currently active OR who have retired, but are not yet eligible for the Hall. Anyone who’s already been considered at least once isn’t in the poll. And remember, this about *should *and not would, though I’m curious to hear where you think those two are different.

Manning, Brady, Brees for sure. Aaron Rodgers probably. Adrian Petersen probably. Favre for sure. Randy Moss probably. Ray Lewis for sure.

There are many others, but those came to my mind first.


I forgot Randy Moss! Well, anyone who thinks he’s NOT a Hall of Famer should speak up, otherwise I think it goes without saying.
Pro Football Reference’s active leaders in Approximate Value, for reference.

Also forgot Brian Urlacher. :smack:

Counting Moss and Urlacher, I voted for 39 players/coaches, with some very close calls left out.

I have to give props to Bruce and Holt. They were both amazing recievers who put up consistant 1000+ seasons and they did on the same team at the same time while playing with a HOF RB in Marshall Faulk, so it is not like the Greatest Show on Turf was a pass only offense.

Warner is a bit more of a question mark as he had 6 non-consecutive HOF worthy years with the Rams and Cards that bookmark 2002-2006 which were not HOF worthy.

Without checking VarlosZ’slink yet, we’re missing Ed Reed, Vince Wilfork, Reggie Wayne, and Tony Gonzales. Jason Witten’s got a decent shot.

Adam Vinatieri is almost a lock to join Stenerud as HOF placekickers. 4 rings, too many big moments. There may be better kickers still ignored, but he’s the most celebrated.

Let me know if you want me to add those names so future voters can pick them, VarlosZ.

Yes, please, that would be great. Thanks!

ETA: Missing Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher, not the names in Enginerd’s post, that is.

:smack: I didn’t even see that it was a poll! None of the guys I named were missing - sorry Varlos.

My friend and I were wondering if Devin Hester has a shot at the hall for being the most dangerous return man in NFL history but then it went into a debate of who’s better… Josh Cribbs or Hester?

No prob.

I’m a little perplexed by some of the early returns. I *assume *that some folks are just skimming the poll. Or are there actually people who think that Ray Lewis and Tony Gonzales – both of whom are arguably the greatest ever at their positions – don’t belong in the Hall of Fame? Champ Bailey, by acclamation the best CB of his era, is getting 37.5%. Lots of other weird numbers up there so far.

I thought about including Hester in the poll, but decided he ultimately had no shot with the growing backlog of qualified candidates, and the list was really damn long already.

Looking at these names (to say nothing of the all the excellent players who aren’t in the poll but are still waiting there turns), I think the HoF better go back to 6-man classes instead of 5.

My votes come with the proviso that I haven’t the faintest idea which OL and DLs merit induction.

Offensive linemen are very tough: unless you do your own scouting of the position and you really know what to look for, you’re largely going off of reputation. By that measure I think Walter Jones and Orlando Pace are locks, since they got a ton of press as the best linemen of their generation (along with Jonathan Ogden).

At least for the defensive linemen you have some stats, especially with pass-rushers.

I also see that I’m the only one who voted for Eli Manning, 2-time super bowl MVP and most intercepted QB of the 2013 season. TWO-TIME WINNER! I mean, if Bradshaw is in, Eli is in too, right?

Likewise, particularly on the offensive line.

Bradshaw has 4 rings. Eli will probably get in with 3-4 more above average seasons, but right now I would leave him out.

I voted for Eli and Big Ben mostly because of the 2 rings for each. Here’s a list of QBs who have won 2 or more Super Bowls:
Eli Manning
Ben Roethlisberger
Tom Brady

Jim Plunkett
Bart Starr
Bob Griese
Roger Staubach
John Elway
Troy Aikman
Terry Bradshaw
Joe Montana

With the exception of Jim Plunkett, every previous QB who’s won 2 Super Bowls has been inducted into the HOF.

Having watched basically every game Ty Law played for the Pats as well as probably 60+ Champ Bailey games (I lived in Baltimore while he was in DC, so the DC-team was on TV every Sunday, and of course Denver hasn’t been hurting for national exposure the last decade), I will go to my deathbed decades from now arguing that Law was better. That said, I probably should have just voted for both of them, and honestly Ronde Barber has a better argument than I’d have initially thought. It turns out that extended runs of success for CBs are actually really rare.

Ray Lewis I could see someone not voting for character reasons; not saying I agree, but it’s out there. Tony Gonzalez, though, might be the biggest no-brainer on this list after the first two QBs.