The 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class is dripping with modern era game-changers.
Three first-time-eligible players — Champ Bailey, Tony Gonzalez and Ed Reed — were inducted into The Pro Football Hall of Fame. The other modern-era finalists who made it into Cantonn are center Kevin Mawae and lockdown corner Ty Law. Contributors Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt, as well as Seniors finalist Johnny Robinson were also selected for enshrinement.
The group of eight will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.
Class, grace, longevity and consisistency connect these Hall of Famers together. All of the modern-era candidates would probably rank among the Top 10 all-time at their respective positions. A few are in contention for GOAT status. They were huge locker room influences, champions and generational talents who epitomized everything that is positive about the NFL.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) February 2, 2019
In this age of boisterous and big-mouthed defensive backs,the silent assassin let his play do all of the talking. Bailey was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection, three-time first-team All-Pro and an All-Decade pick for, the 2000s, recording 52 interceptions.
Tony Gonzalez is the greatest tight end to ever play. The 14-time Pro Bowl selection, finished among the league’s top 10 in receptions five times and trails only Jerry Rice in career receptions with 1,325.
Words can’t even describe this feeling! Thank you @NFL and @ProFootballHOF for this incredible honor. HUGE shoutout to my amazing family, my friends, @Chiefs , @AtlantaFalcons, and all my fans for all the love and support! We’re all going in this together! WE CANTON BOUND BABY!!! pic.twitter.com/vJl6rHItzX
— Tony Gonzalez (@TonyGonzalez88) February 3, 2019
The talented Gonzalez attended University of California Berkeley where he played football and basketball. In the NFL, his athleticism elevated him to another level. The towering tight end made goal post dunking a hobby. His reliability made him the standard at the position. Gonzalez’ 15,127 career receiving yards make him the only tight end in the league’s top 20 in that category
Pick-Six machine Ed Reed, one of the many iconic football products from The University of Miami, a breeding ground for future Hall of Famers in the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000’s, had an illustrious NFL career.
The iconic safety turned 40 years in September and is not far removed from his days as a game-wrecking, play-making pillar of the vaunted Ravens defense. Reed played 11 of his 12 years with the Baltimore Ravens before retiring in 2015.
The eight time All-Pro safety led the NFL in interceptions three times, had an NFL record 1,590 interception return yards, nine career postseason interceptions (tied for an NFL record), and nine Pro-Bowl selections.
New England Patriots, 1995-2004; New York Jets, 2005, 2008; Kansas City Chiefs, 2006-2007; Denver Broncos, 2009
The longevity of Law’s career and his ability to perform at his best in the playoffs elevates him to a status among the game’s all-time great players. As a 31-year-old he had a league-high 10 picks in 2005.
Law was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time Super Bowl winner and consistent driving force as a building block of the New England Patriots Dynasty.
— NFL (@NFL) February 2, 2019
Law collected 53 picks in his career, which places him right outside the Top 20 all-time in that category, but his six interceptions in 13 career career postseason games exemplified his ballhawking excellence in the most pressure-filled moments.
including three in the Patriots’ run to close out the 2003 season with a Lombardi trophy. He finished with 53 career interceptions, including a league-leading 10 in 2005 as a 31-year-old.
His two shining moments are his pick-six against Kurt Warner in Super Bowl XXXVI and when he intercepted Peyton Manning three times in a 2003 AFC Championship Game.
Seattle Seahawks, 1994-1997; New York Jets, 1998-2005; Tennessee Titans, 2006-2009
I remember Mawae when he played for the Jets. He was the center point of a potent offensive line that helped Bill Parcells get the Jets to a conference championship in 98. Gang Green made the playoffs four times with Parcells and Herman Edwards with Mawae leading the offense and the locker room.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) February 1, 2019
The proof is in the pudding for the eight-time Pro Bowler. He blocked for five different running backs who combined for 13 1,000-yard rushing seasons over his 16 years in the NFL.