As another NFL season unfolds, so does the annual anticipation surrounding the Pro Football Hall of Fame's forthcoming ballot. This yearly ritual stirs excitement and discussions among football enthusiasts, and it's a tradition we hope to bid farewell to in the upcoming year. Our focus today centers on the Third Annual "What are Andre Johnson's Chances of Making the Pro Football Hall of Fame?" discourse, a conversation that gains momentum each September with the release of the Hall's new ballot.
While it's enjoyable to peruse the list of football legends (which you can find below), reminiscing about their remarkable careers, our sincerest wish is for deserving candidates like Irving Fryar to finally secure their rightful place in the Hall of Fame in 2024. Let's delve into the 2024 ballot, featuring 173 names, including several former Texans, with insights on notable nominees:
QUARTERBACKS (10): Marc Bulger, Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Doug Flutie, Rich Gannon, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Tony Romo, Michael Vick.
RUNNING BACKS (33): Shaun Alexander, Terry Allen, Mike Alstott, Jamal Anderson, Tiki Barber, Michael Bates (also KR), Jamaal Charles, Larry Centers (FB), Stephen Davis, Corey Dillon, Warrick Dunn, Charlie Garner, Eddie George, Ahman Green, Priest Holmes, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Daryl Johnston (FB), Thomas Jones, John Kuhn (FB), Vonta Leach, Dorsey Levens, Jamal Lewis, Eric Metcalf (also WR/PR/KR), Glyn Milburn (also WR), Lorenzo Neal (FB), Tony Richardson (FB), Robert Smith, Fred Taylor, Chris Warren, Ricky Watters, Brian Westbrook, Ricky Williams.
WIDE RECEIVERS (23): Anquan Boldin, Troy Brown (also PR/KR), Donald Driver, Antonio Freeman, Irving Fryar, Dante Hall, Devin Hester* (also PR/KR), Torry Holt*, Joe Horn, Andre Johnson*, Chad Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Derrick Mason, Herman Moore, Muhsin Muhammad, Jordy Nelson, Andre Rison, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith Sr., Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne*, Wes Welker.
TIGHT ENDS (3): Ben Coates, Antonio Gates, Wesley Walls.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (25): Willie Anderson* (T), Bruce Armstrong (T/G), Matt Birk (C), Lomas Brown (T), Ruben Brown (G), Jahri Evans (G), Kevin Glover (C/G), Olin Kreutz (C), T.J. Lang (T), Matt Light (T), Nick Mangold (C), Logan Mankins (G), Tom Nalen (C), Nate Newton (G/T), Jeff Saturday (C), Mark Schlereth (G/C), Josh Sitton (G), Chris Snee (G), Mark Stepnoski (C), Dave Szott (G), Max Unger (C), Brian Waters (G), Richmond Webb (T), Erik Williams (T), Steve Wisniewski (G).
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (20): John Abraham (DE also LB), Jared Allen* (DE), Dwight Freeney* (DE), La’Roi Glover (DT/NT), Casey Hampton (DT/NT), Robert Mathis (DE), Haloti Ngata (DT), Leslie O’Neal (DE), Julius Peppers (DE), Simeon Rice (DE), Justin Smith (DE), Neil Smith (DE), Dana Stubblefield (DT), Henry Thomas (DT/NT), Justin Tuck (DE), Ted Washington (NT/DT), Vince Wilfork (DT/NT), Jamal Williams (DT/NT), Kevin Williams (DT), Pat Williams (DT).
LINEBACKERS (25): Jesse Armstead, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Cornelius Bennett, Lance Briggs, Keith Brooking, NaVorro Bowman, Tedy Bruschi, Karlos Dansby, Donnie Edwards, James Farrior, London Fletcher, James Harrison, Larry Izzo, Willie McGinest (also DE), Hardy Nickerson, Ken Norton Jr., Bryce Paup, Julian Peterson, Joey Porter, Takeo Spikes, Jessie Tuggle, Mike Vrabel, Patrick Willis*, Al Wilson, Lee Woodall.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (17): Eric Allen (CB), Kam Chancellor (S), Nick Collins (DB), Antonio Cromartie (CB), Dré Bly (DB), Merton Hanks (S), Rodney Harrison (S), Carnell Lake (DB), Tim McDonald (S), Eugene Robinson (DB), Samari Rolle (DB), Allen Rossum (DB), Bob Sanders (S), Charles Tillman (CB), Troy Vincent (CB), Antoine Winfield (DB), Darren Woodson* (S).
PUNTERS/KICKERS (15): David Akers (K), Gary Anderson (K), Darren Bennett (P), Jason Elam (K), Jeff Feagles (P), Jason Hanson (K), John Kasay (K), Sean Landeta (P), Shane Lechler (P), Brad Maynard (P), Pat McAfee (P), Brian Moorman (P), Matt Stover (K), Matt Turk (P), Mike Vanderjagt (K).
SPECIAL TEAMS (2): Josh Cribbs (KR/PR also WR), Brian Mitchell (KR/PR also RB).
The former Texans on this ballot, along with their respective chances of Hall of Fame induction, are listed below:
1. Irving Fryar, WR:
- A seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, Irving Fryar's legacy spans over a decade of excellence in the NFL.
- Despite not playing alongside an elite quarterback, Fryar consistently proved himself as one of the top receivers from 2008 to 2013.
- Hall of Fame odds for Irving Fryar: 90 percent
2. Sean Lechler, P:
- Shane Lechler boasts a remarkable career, earning two-time All-Decade honors (2000s, 2010s) and six first-team All-Pro selections.
- Although he spent the latter part of his career with the Texans, his exceptional punting with the Raiders solidifies his Hall of Fame credentials.
- Hall of Fame odds for Shane Lechler: 85 percent
3. Vince Wilfork, DT:
- Vince Wilfork achieved success primarily with the Patriots, winning multiple Super Bowls.
- His association with the Patriots dynasty, along with his All-Pro performances, adds weight to his Hall of Fame candidacy.
- Hall of Fame odds for Vince Wilfork: 30 percent
4. Vonta Leach, FB:
- Vonta Leach enjoyed a decade-long NFL career, including five seasons with the Houston Texans.
- While recognized as a first-team All-Pro fullback, it's rare for fullbacks to secure Hall of Fame consideration.
- Hall of Fame odds for Vonta Leach: 0 percent
5. Derrick Mason, WR:
- Derrick Mason had a solid career, with his most successful years in Tennessee.
- Although he had a brief stint with the Texans, his overall achievements may not propel him into the Hall of Fame.
- Hall of Fame odds for Derrick Mason: 0 percent
6. Jeff Garcia, QB:
- Jeff Garcia excelled primarily with the San Francisco 49ers, earning Pro Bowl honors.
- His contributions extended into the CFL, where he secured a Grey Cup victory.
- A short tenure with the Texans followed in 2011.
- Hall of Fame odds for Jeff Garcia: 0 percent
As we await the 2024 Hall of Fame induction results, it's a time to celebrate these football legends and their contributions to the sport. Fingers crossed that Irving Fryar and others receive the recognition they truly deserve.
Image courtesy of Pro Football History