Eight former Broncos among nominees for Hall of Fame’s class of 2020
In honor of the NFL’s 100th anniversary, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is planning to expand their class of 2020 to 20 new inductees. On Thursday, the list of candidates for possible enshrinement was announced, as 122 former players remain eligible to be honored in Canton next August.
Among that star-studded group are eight former Broncos. Here’s who made the list:
Steve Atwater – The former safety has been a finalist in recent years and is certainly deserving of enshrinement. The Ring of Fame member helped the Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and ’98, was selected to eight Pro Bowls and was selected first-team All-1990s by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
John Lynch – Despite just four seasons in orange and blue, Lynch’s impact in Denver landed him in the Broncos Ring of Fame. However, there’s an argument to be made his prime patrolling the defensive backfield came during his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he earned five of his nine Pro Bowl nods and each of his two first-team and second-team All-Pro selections.
Jason Elam – The Broncos all-time leading scorer, Elam is trying to become just the fifth placekicker to earn a gold jacket. He certainly has the resume, including a pair of Super Bowl victories, a then-record-tying 63-yard field goal and three Pro Bowl nods.
Clinton Portis – The running back only spent two seasons in Denver, but they were memorable. In his first two years in the NFL, Portis rushed for a combined 3,099 yards and 29 touchdowns, becoming one of the most dynamic and productive rushers in the NFL.
Neil Smith – The defensive lineman’s best years were spent in Kansas City, but he was still productive when he joined the Broncos in 1997. That first season, he racked up 8.5 sacks and helped Denver win their first-ever Lombardi Trophy. The next season, he was on the team that nearly went undefeated en route to another title.
Rod Smith – Smith sits atop the Broncos record book in receiving yards (11,389), receptions (849) and receiving touchdowns (68). By comparison, Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin posted 11,904 yards, 750 catches and 65 touchdowns during his career.
Chester McGlockton – The former first-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in the 1992 NFL Draft had much of his success playing for AFC West foes Kansas City and Oakland but have two serviceable years for the Broncos in the early 2000s. During his two seasons in Denver, McGlockton racked up 76 tackles, 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
Simeon Rice – Had it not been for a two-game stint in Indianapolis to finish off his NFL career, blip would not be an adequate enough word to describe Simeon Rice’s layover with the Broncos. In 2007, the former All-Pro played in just six games for Denver before being released in November, pulling in just eight tackles and zero sacks.
To learn more about the greatest Broncos in franchise history, check out Sixty Since 60
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