Is Albert Breer right?
With former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman retiring from the NFL earlier this week, many people started to say that he deserves to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sports Illustrated NFL writer Albert Breer has come out and stated in a recent mailbag article why former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning as well as Edelman both aren’t worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Both guys, to me, wouldn’t sniff the Hall of Fame based on regular-season production, and I’m not sure there was a point in either’s career when you could say, That guy is top five at his position. And on balance, I believe in most cases that being elite at your position for an extended period, more than just a point in time, is the prereq for getting in.
Breer then went on ask if what both Manning and Edelman achieved in the postseason is enough for them to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Does that outweigh never having been better than, say, the seventh- or eighth-best players at their respective positions? And if it doesn’t, and stats are applied to fight the case, what about fellow big-stage stars like Joe Namath and Lynn Swann?
Full disclosure: I tend to put weight on big-stage performances and the sort of toughness, both mental and physical, that Manning and Edelman showed. For me, it goes back to the purpose of playing these games for a player, which is to help your team … win the game and, ultimately, win championships. But I still don’t think I’d enshrine either in Canton, in part because I think it should be hard to get in.
I think Breer makes some valid points. But, could the Patriots have won many of the games they did without Edelman? I would imagine that they would have figured a way out because when quarterback Tom Brady was under center head coach Bill Belichick always figured out how to win games.
Whereas, would the Giants have defeated the Patriots in two Super Bowls and have gone on the playoffs runs they did without Manning? Probably not because we all know that the quarterback position is the most important in football.
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