Which Active Patriots Have a Shot at the Hall of Fame?
FOXBOROUGH – It has been a week since the Pro Football Hall of Fame officially inducted former New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law into the immortality of the sport. Law made it clear in his speech that his enshrinement was a nod to every player on those early-2000s Patriots teams who helped build the dynasty to end all football dynasties. Players like Deion Branch, Troy Brown, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, and Willie McGinnest are all Patriots greats, but they will never really have a true shot at the Hall of Fame. That is why Law made it clear that he could not have done what he did without his teammates.
The mid-years of the dynasty are also peppered with great players like Wes Welker, Jerod Mayo, and Vince Wilfork, who may not have the best chance at the Hall, either. The recently retired Rob Gronkowski will almost certainly be inducted.
But even though not all these former players will not end up being Hall of Famers, there might be a chance for some Patriots on the active roster to make it into the Hall.
For one, there has been a lot of debate surrounding Julian Edelman’s chances at the Hall. His numbers as a wide receiver do not even compare to members of Canton, Ohio like Randy Moss and Jerry Rice. However, Edelman is one of the greatest post-season receivers to ever play. He definitely deserves a spot in the story of football history, but there might not necessarily be a bust in Edelman’s future. My homer attitude says yes, but my practicality says no.
I also used to think that Adam Vinatieri and Stephen Gostkowski had a good shot each at the Hall. But Gostkowski has stumbled in recent years and with the rarity of kickers making it in, he probably does not have a good chance anymore. Vinatieri is a transcendent kicker, however, and one of the best at his position all-time. He deserves a spot if he ever retires.
Additionally, two members of the Patriots secondary have a chance. Stephon Gilmore is a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro. He has experienced multiple seasons as the best at his position and has recorded 18 interceptions and 320 total tackles in 97 career games. Devin McCourty has been a two-time Pro Bowler, as well, and has also been a second team All-Pro three times. In nine seasons with the Patriots, he has posted 714 tackles and 21 interceptions. If they can keep up their production for a couple more years, they will have a good shot at the Hall.
Oh, yeah, and the Patriots quarterback might have a chance at the Hall, too.