by John Unrein
The Pro Football Hall of Fame located in Canton, Ohio first opened in 1963. It houses 346 enshrined members as of 2020. To be eligible to be nominated into the National Football League’s Hall of Fame, a player must have been retired five years.
Per the National Football League, fans may nominate and player, coach or contributor by simply writing via letter or email to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Selection Committee is then polled three times by mail (once in March, once in September, and once in October) to eventually narrow the list to 25 semifinalists. In November, the committee then selects 15 finalists by mail balloting.
The 2021 Modern-Era Player Finalists include the following:
Jared Allen, Defensive End
Peyton Manning, Quarterback
Ronde Barber, Defensive Back
Clay Matthews, Linebacker
Tony Boselli, Offensive Tackle
Sam Mills, Linebacker
LeRoy Butler, Safety
Richard Seymour, Defensive Line
Alan Faneca, Offensive Guard
Zach Thomas, Linebacker
Torry Holt, Wide Receiver
Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver
Calvin Johnson, Wide Receiver
Charles Woodson, Defensive Back
John Lynch, Safety
The Selection Committee meets on “Selection Saturday,” the day before each Super Bowl game to elect a new class. To be elected, a finalist must receive at least 80 percent support from the Board, with at least four, but no more than eight candidates being selected annually, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The 48 person committee consists of one media representative from each pro football city—with two from New York and Los Angeles, as those cities each have two teams in the National Football League. There are 16 at-large selectors, who are active members of the media or persons intricately involved in professional football, including one representative of the Pro Football Writers of America. Terez Paylor from Yahoo Sports, for example, is the committee representative for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jamaal Charles formally announced his retirement from professional football in 2019 after a stellar 11 year career. Charles received the final ceremonial handoff of his career in suit and tie from Patrick Mahomes at the Chiefs practice facility on May 1st, 2019. Charles first year of eligibility to be inducted will be 2024.
The following are the Top 5 reasons why running back Jamaal Charles belongs in Pro Football’s Hall of Fame.
1. Charles outplayed being selected in the 3rd Round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Five times over the 1,000 yard rushing mark and 7,563 total rushing yards by Charles would be evidence of being underrated coming out of the University of Texas.
2. Charles is 4th all-time in NFL yards per carry average. That is elite company. 1st- Michael Vick: 7.0, 2nd- Randall Cunningham: 6.4, 3rd- Marion Motley: 5.7, 4th- Jamaal Charles: 5.4, 5th- Jim Brown: 5.2.
3. Few had the burst of speed displayed by Charles accepting handoffs and running outside zone plays. The 5’ 11” and 199 pound Charles also displayed toughness in his career carrying the football 190 times or more in a season five times during his career.
4. Twenty career receiving touchdowns and 2,593 receiving yards underscore the hands and receiving ability displayed by Charles during his career. Further underscoring the point is the 27 times Charles caught the football for a 20+ yards. This was for a Chiefs franchise that averaged 7.5 regular season wins from 2008-2016 while Charles played at times without the strongest supporting cast around him.
5. Charles came back from numerous knee injuries during his career to perform at a high level. September 2011 witnessed Charles have knee surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee. That would be followed by surgery in 2015 to repair the ACL in Charles right knee. 2016 continued to see Charles have arthroscopic surgery on both knees. The toll of these injuries would limit the play of Charles in his final two seasons in 2017 and 2018 with the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively.