Current Chiefs making Hall of Fame case

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Exhibit B: Tamba Hali (OLB/DE) — 5x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro

Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Career stats of note: 505 combined tackles, 79.5 sacks, and 30 forced fumbles

Tamba Hali — a former defensive end turned outside linebacker — is within striking distance of 100 career sacks. If he can muster another 20.5 sacks, he’d join an exclusive club with an all-time membership roll of fewer than 40 players. His productivity as a pass rusher tapered off considerably last season, but it’s still conceivable given another three moderately productive seasons. Age is beginning to show on the nine-year veteran, but his conditioning year-over-year is among best in the league. Hali’s missed just three games his entire career.

It’s worth noting that Hali’s 30 career forced fumbles is 25th all-time. If he can add 10 more before retiring, he’d climb into a range of the top 12-15 players all-time in that statistical category. Between forced fumbles, sacks and trips to Honolulu, I believe he’s the second-most qualified player on this list to later come up for selection committee review.

Fortunately for him, he’s also nearly a year younger than Johnson and has never suffered serious injury since turning pro (knock on wood). The presence of 2014 draftee Dee Ford should afford him a blow here and there and may even help extend his career a bit. Hali’s calling cards have always been a non-stop motor and crafty technique. Declining athleticism is a factor, but it won’t neutralize him in the same way it would Jamaal Charles or Johnson.

Exhibit A: Jamaal Charles (RB) — 4x Pro Bowler, 3x All-Pro

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Career stats of note: 9,122 yards from scrimmage, 5.5 career yards per carry, 57 total TDs

In a number of social media exchanges I had yesterday, I was told that Charles unequivocally makes the most-compelling argument of any player in the bunch. I can’t, in good conscience, object to that claim. After all, he does lead all running backs in NFL history with a 5.5 career yards-per-carry average. He’s also one of just three backs in league history to post five seasons with 1,000 rushing yards and a yard-per-carry average of 5.0 (or better). Charles has only failed to amass 1,000 yards on the ground in two of his seven NFL seasons.

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  • If I’m being honest, Charles has work to do to command the attention of the selection committee, but he’s also said he’d like to play six more years. If he can play half as long, without any discernible drop off in productivity, he’ll reach a pair of benchmarks that demand Hall of Fame consideration. He’s just 3,144 yards shy of 10,000 on his career and three seasons comparable to his 2014 output would get him there. That number serves as a fairly solid baseline for the position, as only 29 running backs in the history of the NFL have crossed that threshold.

    Charles also averages about 8 total touchdowns per season. Extrapolate that number to the end of his contract and he’d have more than 80 career trips to pay dirt. The confluence of 10,000 rushing yards, 80 total touchdowns, and Charles’ youth (relative to Johnson and Hali) all lead me to believe he’s the most likely to ultimately enter the Canton conversation.

    Verdict: Jamaal Charles

    Which of these three players will have the most Hall of Fame-worthy career post-retirement? How would you rank the trio’s career accolades? Does Justin Houston belong on this list? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.

    Until next time, Addicts!