Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey dies at 77

NFL: AUG 03 Hall of Fame Game - Giants v Bills
Getty Images

Claude Humphrey, a Hall of Famer who was one of the best pass rushers in football throughout his 14-year career, has died at the age of 77.

After starring at Tennessee State, Humphrey went to the Falcons with the third overall pick in the 1968 NFL draft. He made an immediate impact and was chosen the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year that year.

Although sacks were not an official statistic while Humphrey was playing, research has shown that he had double-digit sacks in nine different seasons, the first in 1968 and the last in 1980. Only four players in NFL history have more 10-sack seasons than Humphrey: Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Kevin Greene and Julius Peppers.

Humphrey played the game with intensity, and may be best remembered for an incident in Super Bowl XV, when he was playing for the Eagles, and he responded to a roughing the passer penalty by picking up the flag and throwing it back at referee Ben Dreith.

Upon being selected to the Hall of Fame in 2014, Humphrey said, “I was aggressive, very aggressive. I tried to play the game to the point where when I walked off the field, there was nothing that I didn’t cover. I tried to play all out. I didn’t take any prisoners. I just tried to do my job.”

8 responses to “Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey dies at 77

  1. I’d like to see players today pick up a penalty flag and throw it back at the referee when the ref makes a ridiculous call.

  2. One of the all time great Falcons. Up there with Tommy Nobis, Matt Ryan, William Andrews, and Julio Jones. RIP Claude.

  3. I can remeber him playing for the Dick Vermiel Eagles he was one of the best .RIP Claude.

  4. Too bad. RIP

    An underrated player on crap Falcons clubs. Sort if like a LeRoy Selmon in style, arguably the better player.

  5. They called him “The Magpie”. He never stopped talking trash to his opponents. One of the true great characters in the NFL. Amazing player.

  6. Humphrey might not be a household name to the younger fans, but he was one of the best ever. RIP Claude.

  7. One of the few stars of the mostly bad Falcons teams of my 70’s childhood. I had his playing card. A true legend. He had too few years to enjoy his HOF status. But at least he made it in. Rest in peace, Claude.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.