With Michael Strahan's announcement that he too will be joining several high profile names in the NFL retirement line could lead one to want to build a time machine to see what the 2013 class of Canton, Ohio will have to say when they receive their jackets. In any case a list of all the potential first-ballot inductees and their credentials should be made; here it is
Brett Favre: The party started with Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre suddenly announcing his intent to stop playing football on March 4. Many say that Favre is still going out on top helping an overachieving Green Bay team tie a franchise record for wins in a regular season at 13, and also one game away from a third Super Bowl appearance. Favre was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, but was traded to Green Bay one year later. He spent the next 16 NFL seasons in a green and gold uniform.
- 17 NFL seasons (1991 w/Atl, 1992-2007 w/GB)
- Only 3-time AP NFL MVP (consecutive '95-'97)
- Career Passing Yardage Leader- 61,655
- Career Passing Attempts Leader - 8,758
- Career Completions Leader- 5,377
- Career Touchdown Passes- 442
- Most Career Wins as a Starting QB- 160
- No. 2 All-time Consecutive starts- 253 (First among QBs)
- Appeared in Super Bowls XXXI, and XXXII helping the Pack triumph over the New England Patriots in SB XXXI and losing to John Elway and the Broncos in SB XXXII
- Nine-time Pro Bowl selection
- Career INTs Thrown- 288
Warren Sapp: Not too long after Favre called it a career (one day, actually,) Favre's former divisional rival, Warren Sapp, decided to hang up his cleats as well. Sapp played most of his career in Tampa Bay, but later signed with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent before the 2004 season.
- 12 year NFL career (1995-2003 w/TB 2004-2007 w/OAK)
- 96.5 career sacks
- 573 career tackles
- Helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVII
- 4 career INTs (one returned for a TD)
- 2 receiving TDs
- Selected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls
- Drafted 12th overall in the 1995 NFL Draft
Steve McNair: The dust had just settled from the two sudden retirements of Favre and Sapp when Steve 'Air' McNair announced to the Baltimore Ravens of his intentions to retire. McNair was drafted by the Houston Oilers, who later became the Tennessee Titans, leading the Titans within a yard from forcing Overtime against the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV, but lost 23-16.
- 12 year NFL career (1995-2005 w/TEN, 2006-2007 w/BAL)
- 31,304 Career Passing Yards
- 174 Career TD Passes
- 3,590 Career Rushing Yards (Fifth among all-time QBs)
- 37 Career Rushing TDs (third among all-time QBs)
- Co-AP MVP winner for the 2003 season
- Three-time Pro Bowl selection
Michael Strahan: Then today Michael Strahan announced that QBs will have to fear other Giants pass rushers, because his blue jersey has received it's final stain. Strahan is going out as a member of the 2007 Giants team that upset the (then) 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, this past February.
- 15 NFL seasons (1993-2007 w/NY Giants)
- Single season sack record holder- 22.5 (2001)
- 141.5 career sacks (NY Giants career sack leader)
- 794 career tackles
- 4 INTs
- Recorded 2 tackles and 1 sack in the Giants 17-14 win in Super Bowl XLII
This class should be one of the best in the modern era. Good luck to all of these fine gentlemen who made the game worth watching these past 12+ years.
Those jacket makers also have their work cut out for them when trying to get sizes big enough for Strahan and Sapp. Good luck to you too jacket makers.