Canton Bound? 17 Elite Patriots Who Could Be Heading To The Hall

June 27, 2022
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Getting into Canton as a Pro Football Hall of Famer is probably the highest honor for any player. There have been tens of thousands of players, coaches, and executives that have been involved in the NFL but just 362 of them have made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Six players are primarily known as Patriots currently in Canton, and several more will be on the way.

Canton Locks

Two Hall of Famers right there!

Tom Brady

Five years after he officially retires, he will go into Canton without debate as the holder of virtually every career passing record for the regular season and the playoffs.

He is the NFL record-holder in: Wins, Pro Bowls, Starts, Super Bowl MVPs, Starts, Touchdown Passes, Passing Yards, Completions, Passing Attempts, Three-Touchdown Games, Four-Touchdown Games, Playoff Appearances, Playoff Games, Playoff Wins, Super Bowl Wins, Super Bowl Appearances, Playoff Passing Yards, Playoff Passing Touchdowns, Playoff Completions, Playoff Game-Winning Drives, and Playoff Fourth Quarter Comebacks.

Rob Gronkowski

Gronk is one of if not the most excellent tight end(s) in NFL history. He became the first Tight End to ever lead the league in receiving touchdowns with 17 in 2011. He was also an outstanding blocker which should add to his first-ballot credentials.

He is the NFL record holder for Tight Ends in Playoff Receiving Yards, Playoff Receiving Touchdowns, Super Bowl Catches, Super Bowl Receiving Yards, Average Receiving Yards Per Game, Average Yards Per Target, and Touchdowns Per Game.

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history who won six Super Bowl titles as a head coach (along with two as a defensive coordinator). Now he i sHeading into his 23rd season as Patriots coach.

His NFL records include Most Postseason Wins, Most Super Bowl Wins, Most Conference Championships, Most Division Titles, Most Postseason Games Coached, Most Consecutive Division Titles, and Most Ten-Win Seasons.

Robert Kraft

Kraft is one of the greatests owner in NFL History. He turned a Patriots franchise that was one of the worst in the NFL to the very best with six Super Bowl wins and ten Conference Championships as owner. He paid for all of Gillette Stadium (which is extremely rare in the NFL).

Adam Vinatieri

He is no where near as much of a slam dunk as the other four (due to his position), but he will be heading to Canton as the greatest clutch kicker and one of the greatest kickers in NFL history. He won four Super Bowls in total, two of which were on his field goals on the last play, and he made field goals to tie and win the Tuck Rule Game.

NFL records include: Field Goals Made, Field Goals Attempted, Points, Games Played (combined between regular and post-season), 100-point seasons, Overtime Field Goals, Playoff Field Goals Made, Playoff Field Goals Attempted, and Playoff Points.

Possible Inductees

Logan Mankins

He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and made either the First or Second Team All-Pro in six different seasons (although only once on the First Team).

Hall of Fame Chances 12%

Underappreciated due to offensive linemen not having counting stats, he did not have the enormous amount of accolades needed to overcome that. He only played eleven seasons and never won a Super Bowl (played from 2005-13 in New England before going to Tampa).

Stanley Morgan

Stanley Morgan has a very good case for Canton.

He played 13 of his 14 NFL seasons in New England, made four Pro Bowls, two All-Pro Second Teams became just the seventh receiver to reach 10,000 receiving yards, led the league in yards per reception three times, and receiving touchdowns in 1979.

Hall of Fame Chances: 5%

A combination of; the increased proliferation of the passing game, only making four Pro Bowls, never being a First-Team All-Pro, and never winning a Super Bowl which likely means he will never be inducted.

Julian Edelman

He made three Pro Bowls, won three Super Bowls, won the Super Bowl LIII MVP award, is second all-time (behind only Jerry Rice) in postseason receptions and postseason receiving yards.

Hall of Fame Chances: 10%

His postseason stats give him a shot, but his struggles with injuries (missed about two of every seven possible games in his career) mean he only has 6,822 regular-season receiving yards and 36 regular-season touchdowns. As a result, he likely needs to come out of retirement (as he hinted at this offseason) and plays at least three more healthy seasons.

Gino Cappelletti

An original Patriot who led the AFL in scoring five times, field goals made three times, was a five-time AFL All-Star and the 1964 AFL MVP. He also had 4,589 receiving yards and 42 touchdowns.

Hall of Fame Chances: 5%

He is a very promising candidate but has been passed over too many times (including the 100th-anniversary selections, which specifically wanted to correct past oversights, but he was not among them. His recent death could convince the voters to induct him as a Senior Candidate.

Rodney Harrison

Being on a list with only Ray Lewis joining him could send Rodney Harrison to Canton

Stanley won two Super Bowls, made over 1,200 tackles (seven 100 tackle seasons), 40 TFLs, and is one of only two players (Ray Lewis is the other) who have 30 sacks and 30 interceptions in their careers.

Hall of Fame Chances: 40%

He only made two Pro Bowls and two All-Pro First Team but being on a list with just him and first-ballot Hall of Famer Ray Lewis should give him a shot in the future (especially when more of the Patriots dynasty is discussed for enshrinement).

Willie McGinest

McGinest is the all-time leader in postseason sacks (with 16) and 86 regular-season sacks, had five picks return two of those for touchdowns, and made 804 tackles.

Hall of Fame Chances: 5%

Only making two Pro Bowls and playing all or part of his career before stats like TFLs, passes defended, forced fumbles and QB hits were counted severely hurt his Hall of Fame chances. His main shot is his outstanding postseason resume.

Matthew Slater

Not many players manage to spend 13 years playing special teams, and only Steve Tasker has made any Hall of Fame case before Slater, but Slater has made ten Pro Bowls, is a two-time First-Team All-Pro, and won three Super Bowls in his 13-year career so far.

Hall of Fame Chances: 60%

This will take a while if it happens, as Steve Tasker was first eligible in 2003 and still has not made the HOF. Though Tasker only made seven Pro Bowls (but was a five-time First-Team All-Pro). Slater has made it ten times, and every ten-time Pro Bowler eligible has made it to Canton.

Devin McCourty

He is a three-time Super Bowl champion and a three-time Second-Team All-Pro, has 31 interceptions, four total touchdowns, 900 tackles, and 102 passes defended.

Hall of Fame Chances 5%

He has only made two Pro Bowls and has never been a First-Team All-Pro, but if he can manage to make a couple more and an All-Pro First-Team, he has a slim chance.

Tedy Bruschi

He won three Super Bowls, made the All-Pro Second Team twice, and won the Comeback Player of the Year in 2005 after coming back from a stroke. Had 30.5 sacks, 1074 tackles, twelve interceptions, and four interception return touchdowns.

Hall of Fame Chances: 10%

He only made one Pro Bowl and was never a First-Team All-Pro, but his solid stat line, his inspirational story and his career as an ESPN Analyst could help his case.

Wes Welker

Welker finished with Five 110-catch seasons (NFL record), had five 1000-yard seasons, made five Pro Bowls, was twice a First-Team All-Pro and twice a Second-Team All-Pro.

Hall of Fame Chances: 15%

He has the cache of having five 110-catch seasons but only made five Pro Bowls and only two First-Team All-Pro nods while failing to get to 10,000 receiving yards.

Asante Samuel

Won two Super Bowls, 51 interceptions, defended 164 passes, led the league in picks twice, led the league in passes defended twice, made four Pro Bowls, was a First-Team All-Pro and a Second-Team All-Pro

Hall of Fame Chances: 65%

He has reputable numbers and a good pedigree but did not have a considerable amount of accolades. However, his place as a part of the Patriots dynasty and leading the league in picks twice could help him get in.

Falling Short

John Morris– Could be a fringe candidate but is short on the accolades and played over 50 years ago.

Bruce Armstrong– Did not have the vast amount of accolades needed for an O-Lineman.

Bob Dee– Relatively short career and not a vast amount of accolades.

Matt Light– He just didn’t have enough accolades for an O-Lineman.

Drew Bledsoe– Both his stats and legacy have been overshadowed.

Raymond Clayborn– Not enough stats or accolades.

Stephen Gostkowski– Just didn’t have enough elite moments for a kicker.

Special Case

Mike Vrabel (20% chance)- Not a Hall of Fame player but could get to Canton if he keeps going strong as a head coach (possibly succeeding Belichick and doing well could help his case too). He has a 41-24 record in four seasons with two AFC South titles and a Coach of the Year Award.

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