Pro Football Hall of Fame 2019: Complete List of NFL Inductees to Canton
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced eight inductees for the class of 2019 on Saturday night.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law, New York Jets center Kevin Mawae, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt and Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson were all selected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, by a 48-member selection committee.
Each new inductee will be enshrined during a ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.
Here is a closer look at the inductees and what they accomplished over the course of their football careers en route to being recognized as some of the greatest performers and contributors in the history of the sport.
After a 17-year NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, Tony Gonzalez was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
The 1997 first-round pick out of Cal is arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history.
Gonzalez was named to the Pro Bowl an amazing 14 times during his career, and he was selected to the All-Pro First Team on six occasions.
After spending the first 12 seasons of his career with the Chiefs, Gonzalez had five productive seasons with the Falcons.
He was still among the best tight ends in football in his final season at the age of 37 in 2013 when he finished with 83 receptions for 859 yards and eight touchdowns.
Gonzalez topped 1,000 receiving yards in a season four times during his career, and he caught double-digit touchdowns on three occasions.
With 1,325 receptions for 15,127 yards and 111 touchdowns, Gonzalez is one of the most prolific pass-catchers in NFL history regardless of position.
He ranks second on the all-time receptions list behind Jerry Rice, sixth in receiving yardage and eighth in receiving touchdowns.
No tight end in NFL history has more catches or receiving yardage than Gonzalez, and only Antonio Gates has more receiving touchdowns with 116.
Gonzalez was a slam-dunk choice as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, which is fitting given the former basketball player's touchdown celebration.
Longtime Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed was chosen as a first-ballot Hall of Famer on Saturday.
Reed spent 11 of his 12 NFL seasons with the Ravens before splitting his final campaign between the Houston Texans and New York Jets.
The 2002 first-round pick out of Miami was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and the All-Pro First Team five times in his illustrious career.
He was won the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, making him one of only five safeties in NFL history to receive that honor.
Reed completed his resume during the 2012 season when he helped lead the Ravens to a victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
Perhaps no player in NFL history was a better playmaker on the defensive side of the ball than Reed.
His 64 career interceptions are seventh on the all-time list, and his seven pick-sixes are tied for 11th in NFL history.
He also returned a pair of fumbles and a punt for scores.
Along with linebacker Ray Lewis, Reed was the lifeblood of a Ravens defense that ranked near the top of the league for the better part of a decade.
After Lewis went into the Hall of Fame last year, it is only fitting that Reed will join him in 2019.
Former Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey is a Pro Football Hall of Famer in his first year of eligibility.
Bailey was selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft out of Georgia by the Redskins, and he went on to have a 15-year career highlighted by major accomplishments.
After spending five seasons with the Redskins, Bailey was traded to the Broncos in a blockbuster deal that sent running back Clinton Portis to Washington.
Bailey raised his game to another level in Denver and finished his career as a 12-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro.
He amassed 908 tackles, 203 passes defended and 52 interceptions, four of which he returned for touchdowns.
Since passes defended became an official stat in 1999, no player has defended more passes than Bailey.
He also ranks 26th all-time in interceptions despite the fact that opposing quarterbacks often threw away from his blanket coverage.
While Bailey never won a Super Bowl, he did appear in 11 playoff games, and he reached Super Bowl XLVIII with the Broncos in his final season.
Bailey was the preeminent cover corner of his era, and there was little doubt about his Hall of Fame worthiness entering Saturday's vote.
One of the New England Patriots' all-time greatest defensive players, cornerback Ty Law, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Law was chosen during his third stint as a Hall of Fame finalist.
He spent 15 seasons in the NFL after getting selected by New England in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft out of Michigan.
During Law's 10 years with the Pats, he played on teams that went to four Super Bowls and won three.
Most of his success was in New England with those Super Bowl victories, four Pro Bowls and two first-team All-Pro selections, but he was still productive later in his career.
Law spent two seasons with the New York Jets, two with the Kansas City Chiefs and one with the Denver Broncos.
In 2005 with the Jets, Law was named to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in his NFL career and led the league with a career-high 10 interceptions.
Law also led the NFL with nine picks in 1998 as a member of the Pats.
In 203 career regular-season games, Law made 838 tackles, registered five sacks, forced seven fumbles, recovered five fumbles and hauled in 53 interceptions, seven of which he returned for touchdowns.
On the all-time NFL list, Law ranks 24th in interceptions and 11th in pick-sixes.
He also made six interceptions in 13 career playoff games, returning one for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams in New England's 20-17 win in Super Bowl XXXVI.
That iconic moment stands as Law's greatest career highlight, but entering the Hall of Fame may soon surpass it.
One of the greatest centers in NFL history is now a Hall of Famer.
In his third year as a finalist, former Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Mawae spent 16 seasons in the NFL from 1994 to 2009, making the Pro Bowl eight times and the All-Pro First Team three times.
Seattle selected Mawae in the second round of the 1994 NFL draft out of LSU and made him an instant starter at guard before moving him to center, but Mawae experienced his greatest success in his eight seasons with the Jets.
From 1998 to 2004, Mawae started 112 straight games and was elected to the Pro Bowl in six of seven seasons.
It wasn't until his final season in New York that injuries forced him out of the lineup, which led to his release by the Jets and subsequent signing by the Titans.
Mawae was a Pro Bowler in each of his final two seasons, and he ended his career with 241 career regular-season games played and 238 starts, which is 21st on the all-time list.
He also appeared in seven playoff games, although he never reached the Super Bowl.
Mawae was perhaps best known for his clean play, as he was called for just six false-start penalties in his career.
Saturday's honor was a fitting one for Mawae, as he was part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-2000s Team prior to officially being named a Hall of Famer.
Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in the contributor category.
The 74-year-old native of Wisconsin purchased the Broncos in 1984 and oversaw a remarkable run of success.
During his tenure, the Broncos have reached the Super Bowl on seven occasions and won three championships.
They have also made the playoffs 18 times since he bought the team, making the Broncos one of the most successful NFL franchises of the past three-plus decades.
In Bowlen's time at the helm, the Broncos featured several Hall of Fame players, including quarterback John Elway, running back Terrell Davis and tight end Shannon Sharpe.
According to Zac Stevens of BSN Denver, every Broncos regular-season and playoff game has been a sellout since Bowlen bought the team.
Bowlen stepped down as Broncos CEO in 2014 as a result of Alzheimer's disease.
He is already part of the Broncos Ring of Fame, and he received an even greater honor Saturday by being named a Hall of Famer.
Former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt was elected as a Pro Football Hall of Famer on Saturday in the contributor category.
After breaking into the NFL as a scout with the Los Angeles Rams and then the San Francisco 49ers in the late 1950s, Brandt joined the expansion Cowboys in 1960 and helped construct multiple Super Bowl-winning teams.
The University of Wisconsin graduate served as the Cowboys' vice president of player personnel alongside general manager Tex Schramm and head coach Tom Landry.
While the Cowboys went 0-11-1 in their first season, they quickly developed into the class of the NFL.
Dallas won five NFC championships in Brandt's time with the franchise, and it prevailed in both Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII.
The Cowboys won 13 division titles during Brandt's tenure from 1960 to 1989, and they had a winning record for 20 consecutive seasons from 1966 to 1985.
Brandt had a hand in drafting many of the greatest players in Cowboys history, including fellow Hall of Famers Bob Lilly, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Mel Renfro, Rayfield Wright, Randy White, Tony Dorsett and Michael Irvin.
After parting ways with the Cowboys in 1989, Brandt became an NFL draft analyst, and he remains a contributor on NFL.com to this day at the age of 85.
In his seventh round as a finalist, former Kansas City Chiefs safety and flanker Johnny Robinson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday as a senior nominee.
Robinson spent his entire 12-year playing career with the Dallas Texans/Chiefs franchise from 1960 to 1971.
The Texans selected Robinson in the first round of the 1960 AFL draft after he starred at LSU as a running back.
Robinson spent his first two AFL seasons as a flanker (or wide receiver), totaling 658 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, as well as 76 receptions for 1,212 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
He then moved to safety in 1962, which was the Texans' final year in existence before becoming the Kansas City Chiefs.
In his nine years in Kansas City, Robinson was a six-time AFL All-Star and one-time Pro Bowler, as well as a five-time All-AFL First Team selection and one-time All-Pro First-Teamer.
Robinson also won three AFL titles during his career, and he helped lead the Chiefs to a win in Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings.
The Louisiana native had 57 interceptions in 164 career regular-season games, ranking him 13th on the all-time list.
Robinson led the league in interceptions twice with 10 in both 1966 and 1970.
While Robinson's Hall of Fame induction may have taken longer than expected, his status as one of the AFL's top defensive players undoubtedly makes him worthy.