Slowly but surely, the greatest safety to grace the gridiron is on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Earlier today, the Hall announced their 15 modern-era finalists, which included the Baltimore Ravens legend, Ed Reed.
Reed is not the only safety in the finalist group as he joins Steve Atwater, Johnny Robinson* and John Lynch as a finalist. All the players Reed joins have waited multiple years for their bronze bust; this is Atwater’s second nomination, Lynch’s sixth and Robinson’s seventh. This could become an interesting discussion topic for the members as all four are deserving of getting in, but will they make one, two, three, or all four safeties wait another year as they may find others more deserving?
Similar to the class of 2018, there appeared to be a log-jam at the same position a Ravens’ nominee was a part of. In the end, the Members accepted Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile** all into the same class. Three linebackers all in the same year. Will they do the same with safeties in 2019?
A bit of background as to why this could be difficult to see multiple safeties enter in 2019:
Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s By-Laws stipulate that between four and eight new members will be selected each year. No more than five Modern-Era Finalists can be elected in a given year. . . — PFHOF
*Johnny Robinson is considered a Senior Finalist, therefore, if nominated, he would not count against the limit of five Modern-Era enshrinement’s.
**Robert Brazile was a Senior Finalist, meaning he did not count against the limit of five Modern-Era enshrinement’s.
Last year, the Hall of Fame members enshrined five Modern-Era players, two Senior Finalists and one Contributor. With only five Modern-Era players allowed in, there are going to be odd-men out. Other names up for enshrinement include, Champ Bailey, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Law and Isaac Bruce. Whittling this list down to five is going to leave quite a few names to sit in purgatory and fan-bases frustrated. Hopefully, for Charm City’s sake, it won’t be Reed waiting another year for the gold jacket.