The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 was announced this evening, and though no Colts players made it (none were even finalists), here’s the newest members of the Hall of Fame: LaDainian Tomlinson, Kurt Warner, Terrell Davis, Jason Taylor, Morten Anderson, Jerry Jones, and Kenny Easley.
Tomlinson was a lock to get in this year in his first year of eligibility, while it’s also no surprise that Warner made it. The others, however, have generated quite a bit of debate. The most debate was about who didn’t make it, as Terrell Owens was snubbed again. There’s no question that Owens is deserving of the Hall of Fame, but we also have to consider the precedent the Hall of Fame voters already set: wide receivers are going to need to wait to get in. We saw that happen with Marvin Harrison, who was snubbed in favor of lesser wideouts. The same thing has happened to Owens, so while he does deserve it, it’s also the standard that the voters already set, whether right or wrong. Plus, there’s the inescapable factor of Owens’ antics off-the-field in hurting some of his teams that voters must wrestle with, too.
Jason Taylor also got in his first year of eligibility, which is also quite interesting. He’s seventh in career sacks, but he also didn’t seem to be a first-ballot guy either. And then with Morten Anderson, he’s a deserving recipient, but the question of course becomes whether he’s more deserving than Owens. That’s the problem with only five modern day guys making it in per year, as there are far more than five deserving guys each year. What it does mean, however, is that there’s now another kicker in the Hall of Fame even before Adam Vinatieri is done playing.
Jones was elected as a contributor, while Easley was elected as a senior candidate. Those are in addition to the five modern era candidates that made it. Interestingly, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue did not make the cut despite being a contributor candidate, making him the first guy to not get in under that category.