For position players, making the first team of an all-decade team virtually guaranteed entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Only six first-team players off the previous all-decade teams are not in the Hall of Fame, excluding specialists and those yet to become eligible, according to Rick Gosselin of Talk of Fame Network. (Tom Brady, Dwight Freeney and Charles Woodson have not become eligible yet.)
Sixty-five second-team all-decade position players are not in the Hall of Fame.
This year, though, the team was changed to one team, not broken down into first team and second team. The NFL, which oversaw the voting process using Hall of Fame selectors, had no comment.
The NFL always has listed the first and second teams together — not differentiating between them — in its Record & Fact Book. (It’s also the way the NFL listed the previous all-decade teams in its news release Monday.) The Pro Football Hall of Fame, though, breaks down the first 10 all-decade teams by first and second team on its website.
For instance, the all-decade team of the 2000s had 27 players on the first team. Tom Brady was the only quarterback. The same number of players made up the second team, including Peyton Manning at quarterback.
The all-decade team of the 2010s has 53 first-teamers and no second team. Drew Brees wasn’t one of the two quarterbacks on the all-decade team, while eight defensive backs and eight specialists did make it. (Brees’ former teammate, Darren Sproles, made the all-decade team at two positions.)
So all-decade no longer means what it once did: A foot in the door of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In fact, it seems likely that several players on the 2010s all-decade team will never even make the list of 15 finalists.