Every year, a minimum of four and maximum of eight players or contributors are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
That number could skyrocket to 20 inductees in 2020.
The HOF announced last week it may expand its strict cap of eight selections to 20 in honor of the National Football League’s 100th anniversary celebration.
The inaugural NFL season, in which the league was called the American Professional Football Association, occurred in 1920. There were only 14 teams, almost all of which went defunct in their first few years.
The HOF itself was not established until 1963 in Canton, Ohio. Its first class enshrined 17 members. Since then, the range has stood firm at four to eight members per year, with an 80% acceptance vote from the committee required to get in.
While this range of inductees is fair and ensures only elite players and contributors will enter the Hall, the cap has also left some deserving candidates on the outside looking in.
Because of this, the HOF should carry through with its consideration of opening its doors to 20 new members in 2020.
If the HOF decides to go through with its plan, the split would look like this: five modern-day finalists, 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches.
I’m sure some deserving players and contributors have come to mind by now. Former players such as Washington Redskins offensive tackle Joe Jacoby, New York Jets defensive end Joe Klecko and New York Giants defensive back Jimmy Patton are all deserving of the Hall, but their fringe status among more high-profile candidates have kept them shut out.
Contributors such as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue should also be in.
The list goes on.
If the HOF pool isn’t expanded to 20 players this year, these candidates may have to wait much longer for their time in Canton. New players enter candidacy every year, with potential first ballot Hall of Famers stealing the spotlight from the older players with each passing season.
My goal isn’t to make it “easier” to get into the Hall. It should be hard, and only deserving candidates should get in. All I’m saying is that there are tons of candidates who should have their own busts in the Hall, and this is an opportunity to make that happen.
Let the guys in.
Follow Dylan O'Shea on Twitter @dylanoshea24 and contact him at [email protected].