HOF candidates who don't stack up

It would be an upset if these four players were enshrined in Canton

Updated: January 31, 2014, 3:17 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

Kevin GreeneVincent Laforet/AFP/Getty ImagesKevin Greene has the third most sacks in NFL history; is that enough to sway the committee?

This Saturday, 15 players (along with one owner and a head coach) will be finalist nominees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame voting process. A player has to have produced a very distinguished career to last until the finalist round, so all of these candidates had careers that were among the finest in league history.

But, as strong as every player's case is at this point, the unfortunate truth is that some individual achievement lists aren't as notable as others and, in some cases, might actually serve to lower the current median accomplishment bar for induction into Canton.

Using that mindset as a guide, there are four players whose résumés don't quite hold up as well as others. These players could end up being on the list of candidates who missed being inducted by the smallest possible margin but for whom acceptance would lower the bar for admission.

These four are:


Kevin Greene, linebacker/defensive end


1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams
1993-1995 Pittsburgh Steelers
1996, 1998-1999 Carolina Panthers
1997 San Francisco 49ers

Career highlights (courtesy ESPN Stats & Information): 160 sacks (third most in NFL history), led league in sacks in 1994 and 1996, 5-time Pro Bowl selection, 3-time first-team All-Pro selection, member of NFL All-Decade team of the 1990s.

One of the major issues for Greene is that, generally speaking, the Hall of Fame voters tend to avoid inducting two players from the same position in a single class. Greene's career highlights are impressive, but they pale in comparison with those of Derrick Brooks (11-time Pro Bowler, 6-time All-Pro, 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, selected to NFL's All-Decade Team of 2000s).


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