The Green Bay Packers have 25 former players in the NFL Hall of Fame. The only team with more players in Canton is the rival Chicago Bears (26). There are certainly more Packers players deserving of election to the Hall, but have not been selected. Here we will make the cases for five former Packers players on why they should be elected to the NFL Hall of Fame.
Charles Woodson: Hall of Fame Lock
Charles Woodson is one of the best defensive backs to ever play in the NFL, much less for the Green Bay Packers. While in college, he won the 1997 Heisman Trophy. Woodson started his professional career with the Oakland Raiders, playing eight years there before signing with Green Bay. He would play seven seasons for the Packers before returning to Oakland to finish his career.
Woodson made the Pro Bowl in his first four NFL seasons with Oakland, in addition to being an All Pro Selection in 1999. After signing with the Packers, he would make four more Pro Bowls, and two more All Pro Teams. In 2009, Woodson won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. That year, he led the NFL with 9 interceptions and 3 defensive touchdowns. He would lead the league in interceptions again in 2011 (7). He was also a key player in the Packers Superbowl XLV victory, even though he exited the game early having broken his collarbone.
Woodson returned to Oakland for the final three years of his career. He made one more Pro Bowl appearance in 2015, which was his final season. Woodson ended his career with 65 interceptions, good for fifth most all time. 11 of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns, the second most all time. In addition, his 13 total non-offensive touchdowns are the fifth most all time. His 183 passes defended are the fourth most in league history.
Charles Woodson will be eligible for the Hall of Fame election this year, and he should be in on the first ballot. Brian Dawkins was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018, and Woodson’s career far outshines his.
LeRoy Butler: Hall of Fame Snub
There is no bigger travesty in the Hall of Fame politics than the fact that LeRoy Butler is not in it. LeRoy Buter played in 12 NFL seasons, all of which with the Packers. In those 12 years, he only missed 11 games, and seven of those were in his final season.
LeRoy Butler was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s. During that decade, Butler made four Pro Bowls and four All-Pro Teams. His 36 interceptions in the 1990s was the second most in the NFL during that time. He also helped the Packers to back-to-back Superbowl appearances, winning Superbowl XXXI in 1997. He also invented the most famous touchdown celebration in the NFL: the Lambeau Leap.
Butler was named a Hall of Fame finalist this past year, but was left out in the final vote. Hopefully he will make it in next year, along with Charles Woodson.
Donald Driver: Hall of Fame Hopeful
Donald Driver is one of the best feel-good stories in Packers history, if not the whole history of the NFL. Driver was drafted in the seventh round of the 1999 draft and worked his way to three Pro Bowls and a Superbowl championship.
Driver spent his entire 14-year career with the Packers. In those 14 seasons, Driver eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark seven times, which is only one less time than Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison, and many others. Those seven 1,000-yard seasons are more than Hall of Famers Harold Carmichael and James Lofton. They also match the same number of 1,000-yard seasons Michael Irvin had during his career.
Donald Driver ended his career as the Green Bay Packers all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. Given the fact that the Packers are one of the oldest franchises in the NFL, surly Driver’s achievements for the team should garner him some votes. Unfortunately, it does not appear like his deserved election to Canton will come any time soon.
Ahman Green: Hall of Fame Doubtful
Ahman Green will most likely never make the Hall of Fame, but he should. Green played 11 seasons in the NFL, eight of which were spent with the Packers. In his eight seasons, Green amassed 8,322 yards, which is the most in team history. His 9,205 rushing yards during his career is good for 38th all time, and is more than Hall of Famers Jim Taylor, Terrell Davis, Larry Csonka, and others. His six seasons of 1,000 or more rushing yards are more than Terrell Davis’s four.
Green’s 60 rushing touchdowns during his career are tied with Terrell Davis and is 10 more than Hall of Famer Paul Hornung had. In addition, Ahman Green is the Packers’ seventh leading receiver with 350 receptions.
Ahman Green is leading rusher for one of the oldest franchises in the NFL, which should garner him more respect from Hall of Fame voters than it does. During his first five seasons with the Packers, no player in the NFL had has many yards as he did. He also made four Pro Bowls during that time and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade 2nd Team for the 2000s.
Sterling Sharpe: Long Shot for the Hall
Sterling Sharpe was arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL not named Jerry Rice during his career. In his seven seasons, Sharpe played in every single game. He led the NFL in touchdowns twice, receiving yards once, and receptions three times. His career was unfortunately cut short by a neck injury at the end of the 1994 season.
Despite a shorter career, Sharpe had five seasons in which he had over 1,000 yards receiving. In addition, his 65 receiving touchdowns match the career numbers of Michael Irvin, Charlie Joiner, and Bobby Mitchell. In addition, he has more career receiving touchdowns than Hall of Famers John Stallworth, Shannon Sharpe, Dante Lavelli, and Lynn Swan (among others).
Many voters have not voted for Sterling Sharpe due to his brief career. However, Sharpe’s seven seasons match those of Terrell Davis, who also had his career cut short due to injury. Davis was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2017. Sterling Sharpe should get the same consideration.
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