Saturday afternoon the NFL announced its 2012 Hall of Fame class. Former Saints offensive tackle Willie Roaf was chosen among the group of six which also included Saints advisor Cortez Kennedy, Jack Butler, Curtis Martin, Chris Doleman and Dermontti Dawson.
Willie Roaf becomes the second Saints player to be voted into Canton, joining linebacker Ricky Jackson. Roaf played 13 seasons in the NFL and was voted to 11 Pro Bowls. Roaf finished his career with the Kansas City Chiefs and made up a great offensive line in Kansas City before retiring in 2005.
But it is likely Roaf, who played 131 games for the Saints, will go into Canton as a member of the Saints.
Assuming that is correct, the Saints can project three Hall of Famers to be inducted into Canton over a course of 15-plus years—I'm counting Drew Brees as a shoo-in right now.
If Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks continue to play at an elite level, they too could join Roaf, Jackson and Brees in Canton one day. And second-year tight end Jimmy Graham is beginning to make football fanatics believe he too can join the elusive club some time in the future.
The Roaf induction is sweet for a New Orleans Saints franchise that had no player awarded Hall of Fame honors prior to 2010.
Aeneas Williams, from New Orleans, was up for induction but failed to make the final cut. As such, the former Ram and Cardinal will have many more opportunities to be voted in by the media.
Notable omissions from this class are former New York Giants, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells, Charles Haley (winner of five Super Bowls between the San Francisco 49ers and Cowboys) and Cris Carter, the second best receiver of all time using many metrics.
All six players will be inducted in early August in Canton, Ohio.