We are always witnessing great feats on the gridiron each week in every passing NFL season. Some players are ingrained into our memories with more prevalence than others. Some get there through publicity. Some get there through an unknown kinship. There are several reasons for liking the players we seem to like a bit more than others. Some of the players we like may even get a all into the Hall Of Fame.
Here is a list of some current great players on NFL teams (I lifted off the antiquated rosters on FOX) whom I feel will get some Hall Of Fame debate upon their retirement.
*Note : I left MANY young guys off just due to the unknown.
Ben Roethlisberger : Too early to call, but he has already made 2 Super Bowls. At his current pace, he may even make it to the heights of Terry Bradshaw as far as all time franchise greats.
Hines Ward : Hines certainly is a Steeler Legend. A complete player. Just not a Canton worthy player.
Troy Palamalu : He still has a ways to go, but he could be the best Steelers Safety ever when done. That says something considering Donnie Shell and Jack Butler roamed the Steelers secondary. If I were to predict, I'd say no. There are too many greats, like Johnny Robinson, still waiting on their call.
Kurt Warner : He has had a few great years. 3 Super Bowls (so far) as well. Still, with his late start and many mediocre years in the mix, I can't see it. I know his has nice numbers as far as QB rating, but that list is topped by QB's enjoying the 5 yard chuck rule and rule changes making it easier to be an NFL QB.
Edgerrin James : Though the numbers are excellent, he was never a dominant RB who had 11 guys keying on him every down. Can't see it.
Larry Fitzgerald : Yeah, it is way too early to predict if he will stay healthy and productive. Still, with his size and leaping ability, he has a good shot at his current pace. It helps he has today's rules, but his abilities could translate into the old rules too.
Ray Lewis : He already has his bust made. The waiting period is semantics. Possibly a first ballot guy. At least he is in my book.
Ed Reed : The guy makes big plays. He isn't a tackling machine, but he always seems to be around the ball. His being on a great D helps him, and he might make it in if he keeps scoring touchdowns the next few years. Though there are other excellent Safeties still not in Canton, Ed might get in.
Derrick Mason : This self made man was an excellent return specialist before he was an excellent receiver. Still, he reminds me of guys like Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Troy Brown, Rick Upchurch, and more. I can't see him going in. "White Shoes" and Troy Brown would go in ahead of him if I were voting.
Haloti Ngata : I like this guy, though it will take a very long time before we know if he is worthy. A rare specimen who can take on 3 blockers at NT or cover a TE against the pass. A long shot, mainly because voters now are so fixated on sack totals.
Terrell Owens : Say what you want about his personality on and off the field, the raw numbers are too great to ignore. It might take him a long wait, but he will get in. It just will be when voters put away personal reasons, and that may take a decade.
Jason Witten : The numbers are very good for him, and he isn't a poor blocker. I can't see how he won't get inducted if he keeps up his current pace for at least 6 more years.
DeMarcus Ware : He is a 1 trick pony. Rush the passer and that is it. He isn't solid versus the run, and lesser than that versus the pass. I can't see him going in, unless he breaks the bogus sack record (Deacon Jones is the real sack king). Think Derrick Thomas when it comes to Ware...minus the run support.
Zach Thomas : A nice guy who will get a few votes due to his personality. If guys like Randy Gradishar aren't in, then how could he get in? No way is what I say.
Champ Bailey : I think this guy is worthy, even if his numbers aren't spectacular. I equate him to Mike Haynes. A guy who never was tested much because he was so solid. Still, there are many great CB's not inducted yet.
Jay Cutler : I know the kid has at least a decade to go for us to even talk about him seriously. Still, one has to be impressed by his start thus far.
Brandon Marshall : Just like Cutler, it will take a decade to decide. Still, with the way the game is geared to passing, he could end up rewriting Broncos record books and having a chance.
Jason Elam : The guy has numbers that are truly amazing. He has benefited from kicking in the thin air of Denver, and now the dome in Atlanta. Still, it is feasible to see him inducted some day. Assuming the voters start recognizing special teams. So far they have not, and only Jan Stenarud is in Canton.
Donovan McNabb : He may be the greatest QB in Eagles history. He certainly is all over their record books, and is a proven winner. The ridiculous knock of no rings might work against him, but he is not close to retiring in my opinion. Of all the QB's in the NFL right now, he is there with Favre, Brady, and Peyton Manning as guys I think deserve entry.
Tre` Thomas : Very under rated by those who don't really follow the trenches. Solid in all aspects. He'll get in the Eagles Ring Of Honor, just not in Canton. Too many superior guys still await the call.
Brian Westbrook : He has good numbers, and is tougher than nails. Still, I cannot see him going in. He isn't in the franchises all time backfield in my opinion.
Brian Dawkins : Just like Tre` Thomas, Dawkins will go in the Eagles Ring Of Honor, but I can't put him in Canton with that long line of superior Safeties ahead of him still awaiting the call.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Ladanlian Tomlinson : LT, to me, is Lawrence Taylor. Still, this LT has a legitimate chance of going in. He needs to rebound and have 2 more good years to make it, in my opinion, but the numbers he has put up so far has him in the discussion.
Phillip Rivers : The guy gets a bad rep, but he is tough and a leader. The Chargers got the better QB in the draft day trade in my opinion. If he can get the Bolts a ring or 2, he might be in the discussion.
Antonio Gates : He has been battling injuries the last 2 years, so it isn't looking good. Sill, when he is right, he is tip notch. If he can stay healthy, he might challenge Kellen Winslow Sr. for the franchise records for TE's. If he does, he may have a shot.
Shawn Merriman : He will be coming back from a significant injury, but if he gain regain his form : lights out for NFL QB's! The guy is solid against the run and pass rush. If he is in the right system, and stays healthy, then he might have a chance.
Jamal Williams : Multiple All Pros. Solid as a brick wall versus the run. Probably the best NT in the NFL the last several years. Curley Culp is the greatest NT in NFL history and is still not inducted, so I can't see Jamal getting in.
Andre Johnson : This guy is easily the best player in Houston Texans history thus far. If he can stay healthy, his blend of size, strength, and speed will have him with gaudy numbers that could get him inducted.
Mario Williams : Charley Casserly was 100% right in picking Mario over Reggie Bush and Vince Young (how is he not an NFL GM right now?). Mario has a long way to go, but he is certainly a force already.
Adrian Peterson : AP is on his way. Let us see if he can get about 10,000 more rushing yards before he can be in the discussion.
Darren Sharper : The man certainly has had a great career. He will probably go into the Packers Hall Of Fame, but not into Canton.
Jared Allen : Big money yes, but the guy is a sack artist. Playing on turf next to the Williams' will help him too. If he can keep producing for at least a decade more, who knows?
Steve Hutchinson : The guy is a great blocker. He may be the best blocker in the NFL right now. If he keeps it going a few more years, he will get votes.
Antoine Winfield : A very solid CB. He won't get the love he deserves come his time, but his career is worth noting.
Kevin Williams : He is solid, but if Jim Marshall isn't in...he won't be probably. I know = bad logic. Jim deserves entry.
Joey Porter : I think he might get A vote, bit not induction ever.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Tony Gonzalez : He is already in. The only thing awaiting him is the ceremony.
Brian Waters : The guy is very under rated, but he isn't even one of the best Chief Guards ever. Can't see it.
T.J. Houshmanzadeh : He got going later in his career, so it is highly doubtful.
Carson Palmer : IF he can stay healthy and get the Bengals a trophy, he might get some votes. Highly unlikely.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Derrick Brooks : I think he has the credits to get in, yet I look at Chris Hanburger and Robert Brazile (superior OLB's) still waiting and can't see Derrick in ahead of them. Yet, Andre Tippett did, despite not being as good as those 2.
Ronde Barber : I do not see it, even though he might be the best Buc CB ever.
Warrick Dunn : A CLASSY man, with fantastic stats. Still, Canton is not always a popularity contest. Warrick doesn't make it in my mind.
Joey Galloway : He had the talent to be one of the best, but he rarely stayed healthy for long stretches. No way.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Drew Brees : If Drew has about 4-5 more years akin to this past season, he should get notice. Winning a ring as well makes him almost a shoo in. Anything is possible.
Jeremy Shockey : He was a media darling, and it helped him get a bit more love than he deserved. I don't see him ever getting inducted into anything, except maybe at the U.
Aaron Glenn : The man had a very solid career. A great time with the Jets, but not worthy.
Mark Brunell : The best QB in Jaguars history so far. No way does he go in though.
Steve Smith : He is amazing. His being a dual threat in special teams and offense will help his case. If he can keep on his current level for a few more years, I can see him getting quite a few votes one day.
Julius Peppers : The guy seemed on his way until he lulled for a few seasons. He got back into the groove last year, but now wants out of Carolina. If he doesn't maintain the pace he was on, it will be tough to see him get votes. Yet, all you have to do is see Fred Dean and realize anything can happen at the DE position. I can think of 7-10 DE's better than Dean still not inducted.
Peyton Manning : I have often said Archie was better. Switch them. Put Archie in these modern rules, and put Peyton on the 'Aints. Ain't happening. Peyton is going in. Believe that!
Marvin Harrison : I think there are better WR's still waiting on the call, but Marvin was special. His time is almost up, so enjoy him while you can. I think he will ride Peytons coat tails in.
Reggie Wayne : He is now the Colts go to guy, but he needs to be that for many more years before you can discuss him. He is like the Jimmy Orr to Raymond Barry during the Unitas era.
Adam Vinatieri : The media loves him, and he is part of historical lore. It would be a shame if Morten and Gary Anderson don't get in ahead of Adam (or Elam), but it may happen. The NFL disrespects specialists in the Canton process.
Jeff Saturday : Solid, but I can't see it.
Albert Haynesworth : Albert would need to have at least 6 more years comparable to this last year for him to even get a thought. Tough sledding, but we will see.
Kevin Mawae : He should get votes. VERY under rated, but he reminds me of Kevin Glover. A great Center time will forget because the voters pay little attention to the trenches.
SAINT LOUIS RAMS
Torry Holt : Torry will get some votes, but there are many better WR's still waiting to get in.
Orlando Pace : He seemed a shoo-in a few years ago. Then he broke down, and hasn't recovered since. If he doesn't get back to form for 2-3 more years, I can't see him having a chance.
La'Roi Glover : A high motor guy, and pretty under rated. Think John Randle. I'd put John in ahead of him, and I don't see that happening.
Dante Hall : He had a few great years, but I can think of "White Shoes" Johnson, Mel Gray, Eric Metcalf, and Rick Upchurch as better than Dante. I'd only let "White Shoes" in out of that group.
Fred Taylor : This man got little respect most of his career. He only went to one Pro Bowl, but his numbers are in rare company as far as NFL history goes. He won't get in, but he was great!
Jamal Lewis : Jamal had one great year, and especially one game in particular. He has amazing longevity for the style of running he does, but I can't see him in.
Willie McGinest : Willie had a very good career. He made the Pro Bowl at DE and OLB. He won't get in, but he had a career worth remembering.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Tom Brady : A lock. All of his rings has him in, as well as his storied career and feats on the gridiron.
Randy Moss : Going to New England has put him back on track for induction. He has a chance of shattering many records before he retires.
Mike Vrabel : A very valuable Patriot, but not Canton material.
Rodney Harrison : Too many better Safeties await the call to consider him.
Tedy Bruschi : A great story, coming back from a stroke, but not worthy of Canton.
Junior Seau : He will be inducted, even if there are several OLB's as good as him still waiting.
Adalius Thomas : His leaving Baltimore probably derailed his chances. He is a versatile athlete, but not going to be inducted.
NEW YORK GIANTS
Eli Manning : I can't see it, but the man is young AND (key part) playing in New York City (well..New Jersey). If he can get a few more rings, who knows?
Jeff Feagles : He won't get in, but I mention him only because he holds the NFL record for most games played. A very good Punter, but was never the best. Ray Guy needs to get in for others to even have a shot.
Osi Umenyiora : He has a big hill to climb. Not only to recover from injury, but he is the guy "replacing" Strahan as the leader. I doubt he will, but he has the talent to. Stay tuned.
Nnamdi Asomugha : No one throws at him. He is the Raiders modern version of Mike Haynes. It is a long shot, but the guy is a lock down type and not bad against the run.
NEW YORK JETS
Brett Favre : A lock, even with his averaging over 27 turnovers a year for his career. A media favorite.
Alan Faneca : An excellent player, but there are far too many superior Guards in NFL history awaiting the call.
Ty Law : The man was stellar. I just can't see him ever getting in.
Chris Samuels : He needs to stay healthy, and productive, for at least 7 more years before one can say he is worth mentioning.
Clinton Portis : Clinton is winding down, and he had a nice career. Just not Canton worthy.
Shaun Alexander : He had a few incredible years, but I wouldn't vote for him.
Chris Cooley : He is certainly on pace to shatter Jerry Smith's (a CCC profilee) team records. He is still very young, so the sky is the limit. I think the man is a winner and has what it takes.
London Fletcher : He is a tackling machine, but I can't see him getting in.
Isaac Bruce : One of the best WR's in Rams history. He should get votes, but I'd put Henry Ellard in ahead of him. That ain't gonna happen either.
Brian Urlacher : The 4th best MLB in Bears history will get votes. Playing in Chicago helps. I think he has a shot, but he needs to be as excellent as he has been for at least 5 more years to deserve entry.
Olin Kreutz : A prennial All Pro, but I can't see him getting in for a few reasons. The main one is that there are many better Centers not yet enshrined.
(Teams Not Mentioned Were Because I Saw None Yet Worth Mentioning)
Opinion in the Shorts: Vol. 274
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