*Michael Strahan, Andre Reed, Walter Jones, Derrick Brooks, Aeneas Williams, Claude Humphrey and Ray Guy are your new Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees.
Announced Saturday at “NFL Honors” held at Radio City Music Hall, the seven all-time greats are headed for enshrinement in Canton.
Strahan was surprisingly not chosen for the Hall of Fame last season in his first year of eligibility, but he didn’t have to wait long. The 2001 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Strahan was also on the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 2000s. He had a memorable sack of Tom Brady of Super Bowl XLII.
Reed, whose career ended in 2000, had to patiently wait for enshrinement. He led the AFC in receiving in 1989 and joined Jerry Rice as one of just two players to record 13 separate 50-catch seasons.
Derrick Brooks joins an exclusive club of players enshrined in their first year of eligibility. He was the rock of the great Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense of the 2000’s, with his leadership and intelligence helping to define the weakside linebacker position in the Tampa 2 defense. Brooks was a prototype.
Aeneas Williams was the class’s biggest pleasant surprise. The longtime Arizona Cardinals defensive back was versatile, tough and had a knack for playmaking. He led the league in interceptions twice and was a first-team All Pro selection four times. We did not expect him to make it, but the cornerback/safety’s toughness and longevity were rewarded.
Guy is the first punter to ever make the Hall of Fame. He was annually a contentious debate among Hall of Fame voters. Longtime Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis is smiling down somewhere.
Humphrey won the 1968 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award and made eight different All-NFL or All-Pro teams. He played the prime of his career in Atlanta with the Falcons.
The chosen seven will start a seven-month process that will end in enshrinement in Canton over the summer.