Three first-timers among 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class

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Voters broke a logjam at cornerback, and began working on the glut of offensive linemen, as three first-time eligible finalists were voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez, safety Ed Reed, and cornerback Champ Bailey made it through in their first year, and were joined in the class by cornerback Ty Law and center Kevin Mawae.

Mawae and Law were in their third year of eligibility.

They were joined by a pair of contributor nominees (Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Cowboys scout Gil Brandt), along with one seniors nominee (Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson).

Without a truly controversial nominee (such as Paul Tagliabue or Terrell Owens), the meeting moved at a quicker pace than recent years, lasting seven hours, 50 minutes.

While sometimes players at the same position can cancel each other out, it didn’t become an either-or decision on Law and Bailey. Mawae was able to push through a crowded field of blockers, as tackle Tony Boselli and guards Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson were in the final 10, along with safety Steve Atwater and running back Edgerrin James.

Those eliminated in the first cut from 15 to 10 were coaches Don Coryell and Tom Flores, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, defensive end Richard Seymour, and safety John Lynch.

The offensive linemen, James, and Atwater stand a decent chance next year, as the group of first-time eligible players isn’t as strong as years past. Safety Troy Polamalu leads the list, along with wide receiver Reggie Wayne and linebacker Patrick Willis. A deeper group is coming up in 2021, when Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, and Calvin Johnson will be eligible.

94 responses to “Three first-timers among 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class

  1. Don Coryell belongs in the hall of fame… many offenses are designed with plays from his playbook to this day. Hall of average strikes again…

  2. amurdora says:

    Patrick Willis needs inducted.
    ————————————————–
    For what? Getting his arm broken the first time he tried to hit Marshawn Lynch?

  3. So you have a guy in Issac Bruce that year after year continues to be snubbed. The guy have the 5th most receiving yards in NFL history. 7 of the top 10 on the list are either in the HOF already or going in this year(Gonzalez), the other 2 aren’t eligible to make it yet with Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Smith. He have the 12th most receiving touchdowns in NFL history and the 13th most catches. The Pro Football HOF voting process is a complete joke!

  4. chazthespaz says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:17 pm
    Champ in?? But how can this be? Pats Nation swore that Law was a lock.

    ____

    They both got in. Did you read the article?

  5. all worthy additions..but seriously, why do we waste time/spots with boselli & edgerrin james?..part of being good is staying on the field…this isnt the hall of woulda-been or hall of potential.

  6. I understand how skill position players can be argued over. Lots of people can make lots of different, usually valid, points about why one player should or should not get in. But I cannot for the life of me understand why Don Coryell cannot get in the Hall.

  7. commentawaitingdeletion says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:40 pm
    tylawspick6 says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:34 pm
    Law>>Bailey
    ——————————-

    Law = Bailey
    They are virtually the same player.

    0 0 Rate This

    ———————

    somewhat, except for the rings and big play playoff work from Law

    also, law was immediately great unlike bailey off to a bumpy start with the skins

    if bailey was 1stt ballot, law also should have been

    anti-pats bias reaches far and wide

  8. seahawkboymike says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:21 pm
    What a joke that Jimmy Johnson and Flores aren’t in the Hall and Dungy is. A joke.

    ———-

    Why would Flores be in? He is 97-87 in 12 seasons with 5 winning seasons out of 12. Who do you recommend next….Jeff Fisher?

  9. tylawspick6 says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Law>>Bailey.

    ——
    Bailey = 12 pro bowls
    Law = 5 pro bowls

    5<<12

  10. tylawspick6 says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    if bailey was 1stt ballot, law also should have been

    anti-pats bias reaches far and wide
    ————————————————

    Ironically Bailey’s candidacy probably helped Law’s. Can’t make a case for either one without solidifying the case for the other. Glad the logjam at DB didn’t keep them both out, they belong.

  11. I have ZERO respect for the HoF and recent inductees because NONE would have the stats without Don Coryell’s offensive innovations.
    How can Gonzalez be inducted when he benefits from Coryell’s concepts?
    This is a crime.

  12. Kevin Marwae, a center, is selected to be enshrined in Canton before a left tackle who was selected as an all decade player after only 6 years of play.??
    That’s a travesty, an all pro who played and dominated several Canton members is passed over for a center??
    Tony Boselli was one of the best offensive linemen to ever play left tackle, and this group of writers decided to select a center over a shutdown tackle?
    What’s the criteria? What’s the standard? How can a guy who’s been called the prototype for the position not be selected over a center? Ask anyone who’s putting a team together, and the first guy might be a QB, but the 2nd guy would be the guy who protects his blind side!
    This charade they call a closed door selection process is obviously an exercise in cajoling each other into choosing which presenter is the better salesman, than anything to do the ability of the players reviewed.
    The whole process is a joke, and should be totally revamped if they want legitimacy to be a hallmark of this shrine.
    It’ll be a cold day in Hell before I’d spend any money to visit the HOF.

  13. could they please switch coryell to builders then he can finally get in. He is sadly going to keep get passed over for players. It is a joke jerry jones is in coryell is not.

  14. seahawkboymike says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:21 pm
    What a joke that Jimmy Johnson and Flores aren’t in the Hall and Dungy is. A joke.
    ———————————————————————————–
    I agree. I think Flores will get in the next year or two. Jimmy Johnson seems to be being blackballed for some reason.

  15. WTx – Don “Air” Coryell innovated the game. He absolutely deserves the HoF. What is wrong with these ppl? Missed another call again.

  16. Kevin Mawae was the dirtiest player in the league, and everyone knew it. As a Pats fan, I thought TLaw was a great player. I would not have voted for him for HOF. CBailey, I would have.

  17. This push for first year inductees I find rather disappointing.

    Champ gets in on his first attempt while Mel Blount and Mike Haynes had to wait.
    Ed Reed get in on his first attempt while Ronnie Lott had to wait.
    Something is wrong with this.

  18. seahawkboymike says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:22 pm
    amurdora says:

    Patrick Willis needs inducted.
    ————————————————–
    For what? Getting his arm broken the first time he tried to hit Marshawn Lynch?

    Once again showing your lack of football knowledge. Willis’ body of work is more than enough to get into Canton, 5 time All Pro, 7 time Pro Bowl.
    A career cut short by injury unfortunately. I will say at least your consistent with your SF trolling.

  19. Bruce and Atwater not going in is just insane. Way to go voters adding fuel to the fire of favoritism over greatness. Anybody in doubt YouTube Atwater and Bruce.

  20. SWFLPC.INC says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Why would Flores be in? He is 97-87 in 12 seasons with 5 winning seasons out of 12. Who do you recommend next….Jeff Fisher?
    ————————————————————————————————————

    Flores is one of two individuals that has a Super Bowl ring as a player, assistant coach, and head coach. Mike Ditka is the other. He was the first Wild Card head coach to win a Super Bowl. He was the first minority head coach in the league. Finally, he led the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Raiders to the Super Bowl victories. He deserves to be in.

  21. Tom Flores first Super Bowl victory was over the heavily favored Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles had the great Ron Jawaorski at QB and the Raiders had a washed up bust in Jim Plunkett.

  22. think the 6-10 have a good chance of getting in next year. Unless people think people think polamalu was better then Atwater . I don’t. they may also decide not to have three linemen drop one. Instead one of the coaches or bruce gets in. willis and wayne are hall of famers but not first year guys. seniors two of ken Anderson ,drew pearson and randy grandishar. builders coryell.

  23. chazthespaz says:

    February 2, 2019 at 6:17 pm
    Champ in?? But how can this be? Pats Nation swore that Law was a lock.
    _______________

    chazthespaz says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Oopps. Congrats to Law as well.

    __________________

    Exhibit 1 for why PFT’s comment section should have a user delete button. Poor chaz.

  24. Yes, a player with 65 interceptions and 18 fumble recoveries should be in the HOF. Too bad those are Ken Riley’s stats. Ty Law only had 53 and 5 and Champ Bailey only had 52 and 6. The Hall of Fame is purely a popularity contest and has no credibility.

  25. Air Coryell should be in. He revolutionized the passing game.

    Next year, I have to believe Troy Polamalu is an absolute lock. He single-handedly turned games around. The Steelers defense hasn’t been the same since then. I put him in the class of Ronnie Lott and others who were unbelievably disruptive to the opposing offense. I didn’t really like the guy at first but on game day he was just one of those guys that made plays when they needed it. He was fun to watch.

  26. denverscott says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:53 pm
    tylawspick6 says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Law>>Bailey.

    ——
    Bailey = 12 pro bowls
    Law = 5 pro bowls

    5<<12

    ______________________

    Good Lord, you poor thing. THAT is your argument? Pro Bowl is nothing more than a popularity contest.

  27. Nice Ken Riley reference. Overshadowed by Lemar Parrish (and maybe Tommy Casanova). Heck of a secondary. 1976 had Coy Bacon with the 22 or 26 sacks in 14 and gave up a passer eating of 47.7 for the year. A bit of dead ball era, I know.

  28. pbdisciple says:
    February 2, 2019 at 8:52 pm
    Nice Ken Riley reference. Overshadowed by Lemar Parrish (and maybe Tommy Casanova). Heck of a secondary. 1976 had Coy Bacon with the 22 or 26 sacks in 14 and gave up a passer eating of 47.7 for the year. A bit of dead ball era, I know.

    ————————————————————————
    If you traded Ken Riley from the Bengals with Mel Blount for the Steelers, Riley would be in and Blount wouldn’t. Same with Isaac Curtis and Lynn Swann. Riley and Curtis played at the same time as Blount and Swann and have much better stats, but because they weren’t on the stacked Steelers that won Super Bowls, they didn’t get in. There have been tons of cornerbacks and receivers not near as good as Riley and Curtis that have got in the HOF since. The Bengals have had a lot of HOF worthy players, but they don’t get in because they haven’t won a Super Bowl and they play in a small market. If the HOF voters were real football historians, they would fix it.

  29. It is inexplicable that Don Coryell is not in the HOF.

    Do these idiot voters think that he was Italian and was a Don?

  30. What the hell is ur problem with Dungy being in over Johnson?
    Old Jimmy was pretty ordinary with the Dolphins.
    Not as easy without a supremely talented roster is it?

  31. Even though John Lynch didn’t get in, why is he even being considered over Darren Woodson ? Sorry, don’t see how Lynch could be better than Woodson. Woodson won multiple Super Bowls.

  32. ravensbob says:
    February 2, 2019 at 7:09 pm
    Reed needs a statue at Camden Yards. Maybe we can take down the felons statue to make room for it
    —-
    Which one of the Orioles are a felon and why would they put a Raven statue in Oriole territory?

  33. pbdisciple says:
    February 2, 2019 at 8:52 pm
    Nice Ken Riley reference. Overshadowed by Lemar Parrish (and maybe Tommy Casanova). Heck of a secondary. 1976 had Coy Bacon with the 22 or 26 sacks in 14 and gave up a passer eating of 47.7 for the year. A bit of dead ball era, I know.

    4 0 Rate This

    ——————

    I am in my early 40s and I know who he is as a Pats fan. He shouldbe in.

    It makes me sick to see certain players over-promoted and others under-promoted.

  34. tylawspick6 says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:49 pm
    anti-pats bias reaches far and wide
    ==============================

    Speaking of bias, with your username and reputation for being the biggest Pats homer, you’re the last one to accuse others of bias.

  35. kobesnotmike23 says:
    February 2, 2019 at 9:54 pm
    There was nothing on the football field that ty law did better than Roland Champ Bailey.
    ——————————————

    Win rings

  36. ravensbob says:
    February 2, 2019 at 7:09 pm
    Reed needs a statue at Camden Yards. Maybe we can take down the felons statue to make room for it
    —-
    Which one of the Orioles are a felon and why would they put a Raven statue in Oriole territory?

    ____

    Ravensbob is a dope… Be a fan or don’t be a fan

  37. All great players. Not sure why people feel the need to whine so much when their favorites don’t get in. Everyone on the list are deserving. No need to overreact.

  38. Another owner makes the Hall while Flores still cant get in.
    I like Gonzalez but feel only Reed, Lewis and Tomlinson should have been first ballot votes over the last three years.
    Nice to see four defensive backs, including the great Johnny Robinson, get voted in.

  39. Defensive backs in the modern NFL have twice as many opportunities to make interceptions as they did in past generations and the same goes with sacks. Ken Riley’s 65 interceptions in the 70s would equal what today? The HOF voters are too focused on big market and Super Bowl winning teams.

  40. Reed often covered up for sweet Ray on that defense. Without him and his ability create key turnovers, play in the box and cover sideline to sideline, there are chips in Bmore. Hats off to the best or one of the best to do it at the safety position.

  41. Thanks to you, Dennis Carson, as well as others, regarding your commentary about Ken Riley. As big a football fan as I am, in my mid-50’s, I’m ashamed to admit I forgot about Mr. Riley…and Lord forgive me that I did. Dennis, all your points regarding Mr. Riley are spot on. I remember numerous games his key play would shut down opposing receivers, or change the game or both. He, like his teammate Isaac Curtis, would dominate my Browns over and over again. As I wrote, I’m ashamed to admit I forgot about him, and I have to admit that your point about playing for a small-market, not glamorous team like the Bengals probably played a role in it. He was every bit as good as Mel Blount and deserves to be in. Thanks for the reminder and re-education regarding Mr. Riley.

  42. You know why Ty Law had a lot of big plays? Guys weren’t afraid to throw at him. Watch some tape of the Colts against Law’s teams vs. Champ’s. The thing you’ll notice is the respect given to Champ – nobody threw on him after the middle of his career. The guy was great in run support, never out of position, and great off the field. 12 All pros (not pro bowls) is the most all time for a DB for a reason.

  43. People are arguing about Dungy being in the hall. That always brings me back to Peyton vs TB12. The few Peyton over Brady lovers always say, well Brady had Belichick and blah, blah, blah. Well Peyton had a HOF coach in Dungy, HOF WR in Harrison, likely HOF’ers in Wayne and Edge (They shouldnt be) and as much as they love the very above-average, theyll probably put Dallas Clark in too.

  44. The “very good” category of players who are on great teams get an undeserved boost for the HOF.

  45. tedmurph says:
    February 2, 2019 at 7:37 pm
    Kevin Mawae was the dirtiest player in the league, and everyone knew it. As a Pats fan, I thought TLaw was a great player. I would not have voted for him for HOF. CBailey, I would have.

    —————–

    You’re not a Pats fan. If you were, you’d be aware that Ty Law led the NFL in interceptions 2x and Bailey led the NFL just once. This despite the fact QB’s threw at Bailey much more while avoiding Law for a bigger chunk of his career.

    Champ Bailey went to more Pro Bowls and had more passes defensed but Ty Law had better overall stats. Law registered more Ints, for WAY more return yards in 10 fewer games when you factor in the playoffs. It was the playoffs that sets Law apart – he came up big in the biggest games.

    Bailey – 215 reg season games, 52 Ints, 464 yds, 4 TDs AND 2 Ints in 11 playoff games

    Law – 203 reg season games, 53 ints, 828 yds, 7 TDs AND 6 Ints with one returned for a TD in 13 playoff games

  46. pmontague92 says:
    February 3, 2019 at 8:14 am
    You know why Ty Law had a lot of big plays? Guys weren’t afraid to throw at him. Watch some tape of the Colts against Law’s teams vs. Champ’s. The thing you’ll notice is the respect given to Champ – nobody threw on him after the middle of his career. The guy was great in run support, never out of position, and great off the field. 12 All pros (not pro bowls) is the most all time for a DB for a reason.
    ———————

    Not really. Bailey was thrown at more than Law earlier in his career. Law was a shutdown corner out of the gate.

    Search “Best shutdown CB’s in NFL History” – you’ll find a good comparison. Law is ranked 4th, Bailey is ranked 6th. Law was every bit the shutdown corner Bailey was with slightly better stats almost across the board. And the playoff stats are what really set Law apart.

    Also, it’s 12 pro bowls for Bailey – NOT All Pros. He was an All Pro 3x.

    Both are deserving to be in the HOF.

  47. Troll Destroyer says:
    February 3, 2019 at 10:38 am
    tedmurph says:
    February 2, 2019 at 7:37 pm
    Kevin Mawae was the dirtiest player in the league, and everyone knew it. As a Pats fan, I thought TLaw was a great player. I would not have voted for him for HOF. CBailey, I would have.

    —————–

    You’re not a Pats fan. If you were, you’d be aware that Ty Law led the NFL in interceptions 2x and Bailey led the NFL just once. This despite the fact QB’s threw at Bailey much more while avoiding Law for a bigger chunk of his career.

    Champ Bailey went to more Pro Bowls and had more passes defensed but Ty Law had better overall stats. Law registered more Ints, for WAY more return yards in 10 fewer games when you factor in the playoffs. It was the playoffs that sets Law apart – he came up big in the biggest games.

    Bailey – 215 reg season games, 52 Ints, 464 yds, 4 TDs AND 2 Ints in 11 playoff games

    Law – 203 reg season games, 53 ints, 828 yds, 7 TDs AND 6 Ints with one returned for a TD in 13 playoff games

    ——————

    Also, Law intercepted Manning an amazing 9 times. 9 times!! More than any other player.

  48. footballpat says:
    February 2, 2019 at 10:50 pm
    kobesnotmike23 says:
    February 2, 2019 at 9:54 pm
    There was nothing on the football field that ty law did better than Roland Champ Bailey.
    ——————————————

    Win rings

    —————————–

    Right, nothing Ty Law did better than Bailey EXCEPT:

    – Intercept MORE passes – 53 for Law, 52 for Bailey
    – Return those Ints for nearly 2x as many yards – 15.6 avg for Law vs 8.9 avg for Bailey

    Law did that in 10 fewer games. Law’s playoff performances overshadowed Bailey’s.

    They were pretty close in most other categories like tackling, sacks, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, etc. Bailey had a large lead in Passes Defensed.

    If one is deserving of the HOF, then both are deserving.

  49. Both Ken Riley and Lemar Parrish of the Bengals deserve HOF consideration along with Ken Anderson and later Corey Dillon, who ran well and was a great blocker.
    In John Madden’s book, he rated Ken Riley one of the best cornerbacks ever, and he should already be in the HOF

  50. After all is said and done, Brady will end up with the most teammates and coaches in the HOF. What an amazing system.

  51. doggz109 says:
    February 2, 2019 at 6:48 pm
    Atwater screwed again. I guess the Broncos couldn’t get 3 in one year. Congrats Mr. B and Champ!
    ======
    It appears that deferred bribes/payoffs is not as effective as deferred player salary/compensation.

    Good luck in the future, Denver.

  52. I’m still taking the play and leadership of John Lynch over anyone at the safety position. Lynch is in two different team’s ‘ring of honor’, the Bucs and Broncos. He deserves to be in the HOF long before this!

  53. Atwater should have been in 10 years ago. How is it that a team that has 3 World Championships, 8 Conference Championshiops and has been consistently near the top of the league since 1977 have only 7 players in the HOF? Atwater, Gradishar, Mecklenburg to name a few are victims of a blatant anit-Broncos bias.

  54. Sypherman says:
    February 2, 2019 at 7:34 pm
    Tony Gonzalez and Champ Bailey. The two most deserving guys of this class. Glad to see them get in.
    ——————————————–
    They are both deserving, but they didn’t dominate their position the way Ed Reed did. Reed is far and away the most deserving guy in this class

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