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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.