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State Your Case


Billy Howton wasn’t just a star receiver. He broke Don Hutson’s career league records, holding NFL marks for catches and yards receiving when he retired. So why isn’t he in the Hall?

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John Lynch brought attitude both in coverage and run support. He played 15 seasons and amassed 1,051 tackles, including three 100-tackle seasons. He was voted to nine Pro Bowls. The only safety in history who ever went to more was Hall of Famer Ken Houston with 12.

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Former Rams’ quarterback Kurt Warner is this close to reaching the Hall of Fame. But how come there are no Rams’ receivers in the conversation for Canton? Well, there’s one now, with Isaac Bruce one of 15 finalists — along with Warner — for the Class of 2017.

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Jason Taylor faces long odds against first ballot Hall of Fame selection.

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The strength of the Jones candidacy is what he did outside of his own building — his impact on the marketing of the NFL. He single-handedly altered the NFL’s financial dynamic and changed the way the league does business. When Jones talks money, the NFL listens.

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Former Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward is a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, with the finalists announced Tuesday evening. Ward should be one of them, and not because he produced big numbers but because he was a complete player.

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Everyone knows LaDainian Tomlinson belongs in the Hall of Fame but is he a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

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In eight of his 16 seasons, Kevin Mawae offenses finished in the Top 5 in rushing. Mawae blocked for 13 1,000-yard rushing seasons by five different backs.

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Former guard Alan Faneca is a Hall-of-Fame semifinalist, and if there is a certainty it is that he will get to Canton sooner rather than later.

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Clay Matthews made more tackles than all but two linebackers in NFL history and started more games than anyone who ever played his position. Does that make him Hall of Fame worthy?

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Karl Mecklenburg was the defensive equivalent of a Swiss army knife. A multi-purpose defensive tool, he played anywhere and everywhere, from season to season, often from game to game.

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Brian Dawkins is one of 26 semifinalists for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, and he is more than qualified for admission. But there’s a problem, and it’s not necessarily the competition as much as it is the position he played.

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Dennis Harrah was a six-time Pro Bowler and the anchor of one of the best offensive lines of the 1980s. So what’s he got to do to open a pathway to the Hall of Fame?

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The Philadelphia Eagles made Bill Bergey the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL in 1976 with a four-year, $1 million contract. This in an era of Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham and the Steel Curtain.

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There is only one member of the NFL’s 75th anniversary team not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and that’s Billy “White Shoes” Johnson. Yet that team was voted on by the same board that insists on keeping him out.

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