The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a senior sub-committee charged with resurrecting the candidacies of players who may have slipped through the cracks. Players have 25-year windows of eligibility for Canton before they are moved into the senior pool. The senior committee was created in 1972 and has brought forth 56 candidates, 43 of whom have been elected to the Hall of Fame. Seattle safety Kenny Easley was the sole senior candidate for the Class of 2017 and will be inducted in August.
The senior committee will meet at the end of August and this time will offer up two nominees for the Class of 2018. There are 26 established NFL franchises, and every one of them believes it has 2-3 players who have been unfairly overlooked by the Hall-of-Fame selection process. That’s a pool of about 75 worthy candidates.
So who is the most deserving senior nominee for the Class of 2018? That’s the subject of this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll. Here are your options:
Ken Anderson, QB, Cincinnati. NFL MVP in 1981 and a four-time NFL passing champion. The first quarterback in NFL history to complete 70 percent of his passes in a single season in 1982. Anderson was voted to four Pro Bowls and took the Bengals to one Super Bowl in his 16-year career.
Robert Brazile, OLB, Houston. NFL all-decade selection for the 1970s. Brazile played only 10 seasons but went to the Pro Bowl in seven of them and was a first-team All-Pro in five of them, helping reinvent the outside linebacker position in the 1970s with his pass rush skills. Nicknamed “Dr. Doom.”
Alex Karras, DT, Detroit. NFL all-decade selection for the 1960s. A three-time first-team All-Pro and two-time second teamer in his 12-year career. Collected 97 ½ career sacks and went to four Pro Bowls. But he was suspended for the 1963 season for gambling. Paul Hornung also was suspended for gambling that season but has since been enshrined in Canton.
Joe Klecko, DL, NY Jets. The only defensive player in NFL history voted to the Pro Bowl at three different positions – end, tackle and nose tackle. A member of the New York Sack Exchange, Klecko collected 77 ½ career sacks and went to four Pro Bowls in his 12 seasons.
Jerry Kramer, G, Green Bay. Chosen by the Hall-of-Fame selection committee as the greatest guard in the NFL’s first 50 seasons. An NFL all-decade selection for the 1960s. Kramer also doubled as Green Bay’s placekicker in 1962-63, scoring 177 career points. He helped the Packers win five championships and played in three Pro Bowls.
Jim Marshall, DE, Minnesota. Shares the NFL record with Hall-of-Famer Jason Taylor with 29 career fumble recoveries. Marshall played 20 seasons and more games than any defensive linemen in NFL history (282). He played in four Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls.
Andy Russell, OLB, Pittsburgh. Russell played 12 seasons and spent the final 10 of them as defensive captain before retiring after the 1976 season. He was twice voted team MVP, went to seven Pro Bowls and started on the franchise’s first two Super Bowl champions.
Johnny Robinson, S, Kansas City. NFL all-decade selection for the 1960s. The third overall pick of the 1960 NFL draft, Robinson opted to sign with the rival AFL and went on to intercept 57 passes, 12th most of all time. Robinson went to seven Pro Bowls and helped the Chiefs win three championships.