Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez and Champ Bailey Among Top Finalists for Hall of Fame
By Chris Malumphy
The 2019 NFL Hall of Fame selections will be announced on the eve of Super Bowl LIII. There are 15 modern era finalists, two contributors and a senior nominee waiting to learn whether they will be enshrined. While each of the 18 candidates has his backers and can make a good case for enshrinement, only four to eight new members will be selected.
The modern era nominees include seven offensive and six defensive stalwarts as well as two head coaches. No quarterbacks are under consideration, although one individual who played the position for over a decade may get in for his success as a coach.
The offensive players include running back Edgerrin James, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, tight end Tony Gonzalez, tackle Tony Boselli, guards Steve Hutchinson and Alan Faneca and center Kevin Mawae.
Modern era defensive finalists include one interior lineman and five defensive backs: defensive tackle Richard Seymour, cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Ty Law, and safeties Steve Atwater, Ed Reed and John Lynch. The coaches are Don Coryell and Tom Flores. The senior nominee finalist also comes from the defensive backfield: Johnny Robinson.
The finalists as contributors are Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Dallas Cowboy personnel evaluation guru Gil Brandt.
Though tough to predict, it would be difficult to imagine a Hall of Fame that did not ultimately include Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez and Champ Bailey. Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt are also probable shoe-ins. That leaves some mighty fine talent left for less than a handful of other potential spots this year. In a league which now sports 32 franchises and 53-man rosters many fan favorites with substantial contributions to the game over many years will remain destined to be looking in from the outside of the Hall. It is quite a shame, and perhaps the Hall of Fame should consider establishing another, slightly lower, level of accolade to help preserve the memories and contributions of the numerous others who have shaped America's favorite professional sport. Unless that happens numerous contributors, including many standouts who played somewhat "invisible" positions will never receiver their proper due.
|2019 NFL Hall of Fame Nominees|
|Modern Era Finalists|
|RB||Edgerrin James||1999||Colts||1||4||4||Miami (FL)|
|G||Alan Faneca||1998||Steelers||1||26||26||Louisiana State|
|C||Kevin Mawae||1994||Seahawks||2||7||36||Louisiana State|
|DB||Ed Reed||2002||Ravens||1||24||24||Miami (FL)|
|DB||Johnny Robinson||1960||NFL Lions|