Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Home NFLCarolina Panthers Antonio Gates leads strong list of first-time eligible players for 2024 Hall of Fame induction

Antonio Gates leads strong list of first-time eligible players for 2024 Hall of Fame induction

by Moxieplay

On Thursday night, the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets kicked off preseason by battling in the Hall of Fame Game. On Saturday, the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was inducted in Canton, Ohio.

The nine distinguished players who are now immortalized in NFL history are:

  • Joe Thomas: Offensive tackle, Cleveland Browns
  • Ronde Barber: Cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Don Coryell: Head coach, San Diego Chargers
  • Darrelle Revis: Cornerback, New York Jets
  • Chuck Howley: Linebacker, Dallas Cowboys
  • Joe Klecko: Defensive lineman, New York Jets
  • DeMarcus Ware: Linebacker, Dallas Cowboys
  • Ken Riley: Cornerback, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Zach Thomas: Linebacker, Miami Dolphins

Who is eligible in 2024?

With those nine players enshrined, many have already turned their attention to next year’s Hall of Fame class and who could potentially make it into what is considered one of the toughest Hall of Fames of any sport.

While there are several noteworthy players who have been eligible to make it but have fallen short up to this point, they will have stiff competition from first-time eligible players next year.

Of the ones mentioned above, Antonio Gates and Julius Peppers are the only ones who seem like no-doubters to make it, potentially in their first year of eligibility.

Gates is the all-time leader in touchdowns among tight ends (116) and is third in both receptions (955) and receiving yards (11,841). Peppers ranks fifth in NFL history with 159.5 sacks and made nine Pro Bowls.

Tough cases to make

Brandon Marshall has a real shot to eventually make it in, as he’s 23rd in all-time receiving yards among wide receivers. The same goes for Haloti Ngata, who was a dominant force at defensive tackle and made five Pro Bowls.

The other two are unique, tough cases. Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry, both Kansas City Chiefs products, were standout players at their positions but didn’t have the longevity most Hall of Famers do – although it was mostly due to circumstances out of their control.

Berry tore his ACL in Week 1 of the 2011 season after he had made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. He then had his 2014 season ravaged by a high ankle sprain and a bout with cancer. He came back and was a first-team All-Pro in both 2015 and 2016, before more injuries cut his career short in 2018. He has a chance, but it will take a lot of convincing for voters.

As for Charles, many will be championing for him to make it in even though injuries capped his overall resume. His 5.4 career yards per carry is the best number in NFL history, but he’s only 59th in total rushing yards. His impressive 2,593 yards as a receiver need to be taken into account, too.

Charles was arguably a top five effective and efficient running back all-time, but with only five years at the top of his game, voters may hold it against him.

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