The NFL announced the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2022 live during Thursday night's highly-watched NFL Honors ceremony in which Aaron Rodgers captured this year's MVP award, Joe Burrow won Comeback Player of the Year and Mike Vrabel was named Coach of the Year. This year's Hall of Fame class is one of the smaller ones in recent memory and contains eight bonafide legends. The eight members of the 2022 class include Tony Boselli, Cliff Branch, Leroy Butler, Art McNally, Sam Mills, Richard Seymour, Dick Vermeil, and Bryant Young. As per usual, the revealing of the class led to heated discussions about which playmakers that were denied entry into the class qualified as snubs. Every year, deserving players are analyzed and passed over as they're forced to continue to wait patiently for their legendary moment. We've identified three legends who were snubbed on Thursday.
DEVIN HESTERDevin Hester is bar-none the greatest kick and punt returner to ever grace an NFL field. Watching Hester operate in the prime of his career was an electric and dynamic experience. Hester was truly a unique talent throughout his historic 11-year playing career. Hester was the type of player and returner that forced defenses to hold their breath every single time he touched the football. He possessed a rare ability to reach the end zone on any given snap. Special teams coaches demanded their kickers and punters to avoid Hester at all costs. Hester holds every meaningful kick and punt return record in existence. Hester recorded 14 touchdowns via punt returns and 20 non-offensive scores total (14 punts, five kickoffs, and one missed field goal returned for a touchdown), both of which are all-time records. His 19 combined punt and kick return touchdowns are the most in NFL history. Hester holds every special teams record for the Chicago Bears and signed a one-day contract with the Bears in December of 2017 and enjoyed a retirement press conference at the legendary Halas Hall. Need I say more? There will truly never be another Hester.
DEMARCUS WAREDeMarcus Ware was in his first year of eligibility and his omission qualifies as rather shocking. Ware was a terrifying pass rusher that racked up an astounding 138.5 career sacks in 12 career seasons, an accomplishment that places him in the top 10 on the all-time sacks leaderboard. Ware's incredible career reached its historic peak throughout the 2008 season when the former Troy standout recorded a 20-sack season as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Throughout an astonishing nine-year run with the Cowboys, Ware established himself as the Cowboys' all-time record holder in various statistical categories, including sacks (117), forced fumbles (32), tackles for loss (117), and quarterback hits (185). Ware then played his next three seasons with the Denver Broncos while capturing a Super Bowl title as a member of Denver's legendary 2015 team alongside Peyton Manning. Ware recorded two sacks in Denver's Super Bowl 50 triumph over the Carolina Panthers, a feat that placed an appropriate bow on his Hall of Fame-worthy career. Ware is one of the greatest pass rushers to ever suit up, and his career should have been properly recognized and appreciated with a first-ballot entry into Canton.
ANQUAN BOLDINAnquan Boldin was lighting the league on fire as a rookie receiver before it became an annual occurrence. Boldin exploded onto the scene from the very beginning by recording an astounding 217 receiving yards in his first career game. Boldin immediately established himself as one of the more dominant receivers and continued to do so throughout his illustrious 14-year career. Boldin secured a record-breaking 101 receptions in his debut season (2003). The long-lasting record was just broken by Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle (104) in 2021. Boldin's impressive record stood tall for nearly two decades before Waddle came along, which is extremely impressive given the nature of today's pass-happy game. It's a fact that perhaps best captures Boldin's dominant run. A three-time Pro Bowler, Boldin deservingly earned a Super Bowl title as a member of the Baltimore Ravens in his 10th season. Boldin helped his Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII by opening the scoring via a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Flacco. Boldin led all Ravens receivers with six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. A seven-time 1,000-yard receiver, Boldin made a profound impact that is felt today. His efforts should have been appropriately honored on Thursday.
- Aug 12, 2022
- Aug 12, 2022