Harry Carson. Frank Gifford. Rosey Brown. Lawrence Taylor. Just a few names of New York Giants players that will stand the test of time. If you ask pretty much any Giants fan, they will know these names.
Who on this current team, if anyone, has a chance to join their brothers in blue and be enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame?
The list of players with a real chance right now is short, but for most of these guys, they are just a small step away from greatness.
Jason Pierre-Paul was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Giants selected him based on the idea that his potential was through the roof. They didn't expect much contribution from him early, but an injury to Mathias Kiwanuka forced their hand.
JPP responded with a very good second half of the season, and the improvement he showed lends me to believe he's on the verge of greatness.
The guy is an athletic freak. He's 6'5'', 270 lbs and runs a 4.7 40-yard dash, not to mention he can do a standing backflip.
He reminds me a lot of Justin Tuck, but has the potential to be a much better pass rusher. JPP played some defensive tackle in college, and learning behind two of the better pass rushers in the league will only help his chances of becoming a house hold name.
Five percent chance
While he has shown flashes of brilliance, he is just in his second year; anything can happen.
Hakeem Nicks is on the verge of becoming one of the elite wide receivers in the NFL. He already showed incredible improvement from his rookie to sophomore year, and this offseason has been his first chance to really work on his game.
The previous two offseasons, he was recovering from injuries. This year, he's apparently been working on getting bigger and stronger than he already is so he can dominate corners at the line of scrimmage.
He would have made the Pro Bowl if he didn't miss those three games due to injury last season.
I truly believe Nicks could be headed to Canton, but it's a little early to put a stamp on that claim.
15 percent chance.
As much as I've defended Eli Manning on this website and other forums, he's got little chance of making the Hall of Fame unless he cuts down on the turnovers for the rest of his career. He can't have 25 interception seasons and expect to make it.
The Giants have a very good quarterback and should consider themselves lucky, but the issue with his Hall of Fame status is that he's never been considered a top five QB in his era, which is something the voters will look at and point to as a reason to keep him out.
However, his longevity could give him the stats to get in.
He is only 30 years old, leaving me to believe he can keep up the level of play he is at right now for probably another six years, and then play even longer than that but not at the same level.
If he played for six more years at his current level, he would end up with 44,249 yards and 306 touchdowns if you average his first six seasons as a full time starter in the league.
However, many believe he turned a corner after the 2007 playoff run. So if you take his last three seasons, average them and put them over a six year period from now on, he would have 45,168 yards and 314 touchdowns.
Those numbers alone would place him eighth and fourth among all-time quarterbacks. However, I must again point to how many great QBs there are in the league right now that could supplant his numbers.
Drew Brees and Tom Brady will likely pass for more than 314 TDs when they are done since they are already ahead of him and only one and three years older, respectively. You could also make the case that Aaron Rogers would eventually pass him if he remains healthy. His averages would put him at almost 50,000 yards and 345 touchdowns by the time he's 36.
So that leaves four players (including Peyton) with potential Hall of Fame careers around the same time Eli was playing. It doesn't exactly bode well.
That said, there is still a chance, especially if he finds a way to get this team another ring.
20 percent chance.
Justin Tuck is one of the best defensive ends in the NFL right now. If he is able to stay healthy, he can go down as one of the better defensive ends ever.
He has had a history of injuries, but he's been able to play through them so far. He is only 28 years old and can play at an elite level for at least other five or six years. If he does that, he'll easily hit the 100 sack mark, especially playing alongside Osi Umenyiora and JPP.
Getting 100 would put him right at 25th all time, and he could get even more the longer he plays past his prime.
35 percent chance.
Osi Umenyiora is one of the most feared pass rushers in the entire NFL. He ability to not only get to the quarterback, but to do so and put the ball on the ground is what makes him so deadly.
Last year, Osi forced 10 fumbles on his sacks.
He's on pace to get around 110 sacks or even more. He's only 29 and is in his prime. He claims to be 100 percent healthy now after playing through injuries the past two seasons. The fact that he's not been fully healthy is scary.
35 percent chance
Chris Snee has made the Pro Bowl roster three straight times for the Giants and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. He's only 29 years old and could potentially make five or six more Pro Bowls.
It will be hard to keep an eight or nine time Pro Bowler out of the Hall of Fame. Snee is one of the best guards in the league and has a chance to be one of the best, if not the best, Giants offensive linemen ever.
80 percent chance.
When Tiki Barber announced he was coming out of retirement, he officially placed himself back on the Giants roster. Though we are in a lockout, so the Giants could not actually release him yet, although they intend to.
But for the sake of argument, I'd like to make his case for the Hall of Fame.
Assuming he plays another season or two with some team, he only needs 551 yards to pass the 11,000 rushing yards plateau.
Every running back with 11,000 yards or more has made the Hall of Fame.
However, even if he doesn't gain another yard, there are things Barber did that were simply amazing. He is one of only three backs in the history of the NFL to have over 10,000 yards rushing and 5,000 yards receiving, joining Hall of Famers Marcus Allen and Marshall Faulk.
He also joins those two as the only three RBs to have over 2,100 carries and over 575 receptions.
He and Marshall Faulk are the only RB to have over 2,000 yards from scrimmage four times.
He is only one of three RB to have three 200 yard games in a single season.
He was the first player to have more than 1,800 yards and 500 receiving yards in a single season.
He also holds the record for consecutive games leading his team in rushing, starting from the 2002 season all the way until 2006, an 80 game stretch.
His Giants team records include: career and season rushing attempts, career, season and game rushing yards, career rushing TDs and most 1,000 yard seasons.
There are others, but too many to list.
He was an amazing talent. If you don't believe so, then you're letting your opinion of the man after football affect your judgement.
He certainly is not a popular guy in New York and was even booed at the Ring of Honor ceremony, but he was a great player and should be recognized for it.
90 percent chance.