The process of placing the greatest safety in NFL history into the Pro Football Hall of Fame continues as former Ed Reed becomes a semi-finalist for Canton, Ohio.
The first formality occurred in September when the voters nominated him for the Hall of Fame. This is now the second step of getting Reed fitted for a gold jacket.
Also joining Ed Reed as first-year eligible players: Champ Bailey and Tony Gonzalez. I’m confident all three make the cut as all three of these players were revolutionary in the NFL. Bailey produced one of, if not the greatest season ever by a cornerback while Gonzalez is heralded as the greatest tight end in NFL history.
There are multiple safeties in this years class and I expect them to scrutinize based upon Reed’s name joining the list.
The voters have nominated Steve Atwater for the eighth time. Ronde Barber is also on the list, though he was a hybrid corner/safety with his time in Tampa Bay. This is Barber’s second semifinalist nomination. Former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler is also a semifinalist for the second time.
It will be interesting to see if the voters finally places Atwater into the Hall or if Reed’s name being on the short list knocks him out. This may also keep Butler and Barber from stepping onto the podium and receiving their bronze bust, too.
Either way, Reed won’t be the name missing the cut in 2018. He’s the greatest safety in NFL history and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.