In the history of professional football, only three teams have more Hall of Famers than the Green Bay Packers (Rams, Washington, and Bears have more). This year, the Packers could reestablish themselves as the team with the second most Hall of Fame players if LeRoy Butler and Charles Woodson are elected. Both players have been named finalists this year. For LeRoy Butler, this is his second straight year of being named a finalist. For years, Packers’ fans and pundits have called for his election. Woodson, on the other hand, is named a finalist in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.
LeRoy Butler’s Case for the Hall of Fame
The fact that LeRoy Butler is not in the Hall of Fame yet is a crime against the sport of football. For years, Butler was snubbed by voters in favor of players who may or may not have deserved to get in before him. Perhaps a second-straight year on the ballot as a finalist will be enough to finally enshrine Butler in Canton where he belongs.
LeRoy Butler was drafted in the second round (48th overall) of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He made an immediate impact on the team, forcing four turnovers (three interceptions and one forced fumble) as a rookie. Butler would go on to have one of the best careers of any Packers’ defensive player. He finished his 12-year career with 38 interceptions, 20.5 sacks, four All-Pro Teams, and a Super Bowl championship. He is also the inventor of the iconic Lambeau Leap touchdown celebration.
Butler’s best season was the 1996 season, which was the same year that Packers won Super Bowl XXXI. That year, Butler registered five interception, 6.5 sacks, and recovered two fumbles. In addition, Butler sacked Patriots’ quarterback Drew Bledsoe in the Super Bowl. He made his second All-Pro team that year, the first of three straight All-Pro years. After his retirement, he was named to the NFL’s All-90s Team.
Charles Woodson’s Case for the Hall of Fame
Charles Woodson played an unprecedented 18 seasons in the NFL. He spent 11 years with the Raiders and seven with the Green Bay Packers. Throughout his long career, he made eight Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams. He made four Pro Bowls with each of his teams, and two All-Pro’s with each as well. However, it can be argued that his best seasons came with the Green Bay Packers. For this reason, there is some speculation that he will enter the Hall of Fame as a Packer, despite spending more time with the Raiders.
Woodson signed with the Packers as a free agent ahead of the 2006 season. After a few disappointing seasons in Oakland, he made an immediate impact in Green Bay by recording a then career-high eight interceptions. Additionally, Woodson had three forced fumbles. Charles Woodson went on to have a stand-out career with the Packers. In seven seasons, Woods recorded 38 interceptions, nine touchdowns, and 15 forced fumbles. For his career, his totals are 65 interceptions, 11 touchdowns, and 33 forced fumbles.
Woodson’s best season for his entire 18-year career came in 2009. That year, Woodson led the NFL with nine interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns. In addition, Woodson recorded four forced fumbles and two sacks. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year Award that year. The following season, in 2010, Woodson helped lead the Packers to victory in Super Bowl XLV.