The Hall of Fame debate is quickly getting out of hand after Matthew Stafford won the Super Bowl. Buccaneers CB and future Hall of Famer Richard Sherman has the right idea.
The Hall of Fame is a sacred space in football. Putting anyone and everyone in completely dilutes the honor associated with one of the most distinguished group of athletes across any major sport. The Buccaneers don’t have a ton of history on this front, but the past few years have changed this.
Richard Sherman was one of several future Hall of Fame locks that joined the Bucs during the Tom Brady era. From numerous All-Pro selections to a Super Bowl ring, there is little that Sherman hasn’t accomplished from an achievements or stats perspective.
However, stats and rings aren’t the only determinants, and Sherman brought this up on Twitter and on his podcast in a recent debate regarding Matthew Stafford’s Hall of Fame eligibility.
No one can deny Stafford’s stats and ring. However, those alone can’t be the only determinants. Sherman correctly harps on the point that is often left out of the Hall of Fame conversation; were they the best at their position during their era?
For Stafford that answer is no. In fact, Stafford has struggled to make a top-five case at any point of his career. FOX Sports Radio Tweeted out a rebuttal to Sherman’s arguments that Stafford should be an All-Pro to make it in, but this only built Sherman’s case even more.
The Tweet talked about the other quarterbacks that were All-Pros that kept Stafford off the list. Huh?
“How is Stafford going to crack that list” as a question acknowledges that Stafford is not as good as his counterparts in the current era. And don’t even get us started on the “if he played in another era argument.” He didn’t. It doesn’t matter. You are compared to your peers on the field when you played.
No one is saying that Stafford isn’t a good quarterback, but there are few arguments anywhere that he is one of the best, which should be a clear prerequisite for making it into the Hall.
Good but not great is lowering the bar for the award. Stats can’t be the basis because they will always go up as quarterbacks play longer and seasons add games.
Matthew Stafford is a good quarterback and still has plenty of time to build a legitimate Hall of Fame case, but unlike Richard Sherman, he isn’t there just yet if he retired today.
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