Is Harrison Butker laying a Hall of Fame foundation with Kansas City Chiefs?

The Kansas City Chiefs are loaded with first-ballot Hall of Famers. But, one overlooked player is quietly on a Canton-bound track: Harrison Butker.
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The Kansas City Chiefs boast one of the most star-studded rosters in the NFL. Football fans cannot watch a game without seeing quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, or even head coach Andy Reid somewhere in the commercial break. Defensive tackle Chris Jones is the league's top defensive tackle after Aaron Donald's retirement. Such is the byproduct of consecutive Super Bowl wins, but all of those players are undoubtedly Canton, Ohio-bound at their current trajectory.

Hundreds of players had donned Chiefs jerseys during the recent golden age of Kansas City football. Some players are destined to be role players, carving out NFL careers by finding a team that needs them most each year. There is nothing wrong with that. Any football player reaching the NFL is a great accomplishment after decades of work and outperforming thousands of others. But there are also the long-term players, those that have name recognition around the league, contribute to winning, and are better than most. One such player that fits the bill is Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker.

I was a Cairo Santos believer when the Chiefs placed Santos on injured reserve back in 2017. The team added a no-name rookie from the Carolina Panthers practice squad, someone I thought would be a short-term option. Butker's failure to make his first career field goal attempt, a 46-yard attempt, only reinforced my stance. But, less than four months later, the Decatur, Georgia, native tied for the most field goal attempts in the league and ranked ninth with a 90.5% conversion rate. It was a good season, sure. But it was only the beginning.

The Kansas City Chiefs are loaded with first-ballot Hall of Famers. But, one overlooked player is quietly on a Canton-bound track: Harrison Butker.

Butker has appeared in 94 games since his rookie season, quietly becoming one of the league's best kickers. He had a rough 2022 season, but Butker's 88.8% conversion rate since 2018 ranks second behind Baltimore Ravens legend Justin Tucker. He also led the league in scoring back in 2019 with the high-octane Chiefs offense. Butker's rise was meteoric, going from the practice squad to the record books within two calendar years.

It is amazing what a change of scenery can cause.

Since that fortuitous 2019 season, football fans at large have recognized Butker's value and standing as a top-five kicker, at the very least. His 2022 campaign worried Chiefs Kingdom, but he rebounded quite well in 2023. Butker set the record for the longest field goal in a Super Bowl with an exclamation mark, nailing a 57-yard attempt in Super Bowl LVIII. Plus, Butker holds the record for career field goals made in the Super Bowl. Here is how Butker's 9 stacks up against active kickers.


Field Goals Made

Harrisson Butker


Jake Elliott


Brandon McManus


Jake Moody


Evan McPherson


Justin Tucker


Butker's edge is fairly insurmountable, and he still has room to grow. But grow into what exactly?

Looking at his resume, any fan would think Butker, at age 28, is on a Hall of Fame track. Not just for the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame, but rather a bust in Canton, Ohio. Is it that hard to envision? He holds multiple Super Bowl records, is a three-time champion, and led the league in scoring to boot. But the deck is unquestionably stacked against the Georgia Tech alum. 

Every playing position has a Hall of Fame bar, except for the kicker. Morten Andersen and Jan Stenerud stand as the two lone kickers in the Hall of Fame, having played a combined 645 games across four decades. Those two are the bronze-bust standard for kickers, and Butker is a long way from matching their accolades. Adam Vinatieri should be joining those two in Canton soon, providing more modern context to Butker's case. 








Pro Bowls

Super Bowls

Morten Andersen






5 1st, 1 2nd



Jan Stenerud






4 1st, 2 2nd



Adam Vinatieri






3 1st



Harrison Butker









At first glance, that shows Butker succeeding where he can control. His career field goal percentage leads that group by a wide margin, considering Anderson and Stenerud. The accolades are biography stuffers, titles applied after the fact that individual likeability and team success sway statistical performances. 

However, a career filled with records and accolades easily sways those voters. It's me; I'm "voters." Not literally, but you get the point. In baseball, people say a player is what is on the back of his baseball card. When looking at the back of Butker's card in comparison to Vinatieri, Anderson, and even Stenerud, he just doesn't stack up yet. What does Butker need to do to earn him a sure-fire spot in Canton's hallowed halls?

Here are a few benchmarks that Butker should strive for, in my opinion. I will be transparent: Stenerud will not meet many of these criteria. He was the hall's first kicker and thus has an imperfect case looking back. But Mortenson and Vinatieri are good standards any kicker should follow.

1. Play at least 350 games

Anderson, Vinatieri, and Gary Anderson (who should be in the Hall of Fame) are the only three kickers to play in at least 350 career games. Vinatieri had a playing career that was older than many Chiefs fans now. Butker has 107 games under his belt. He is nearly a third of the way to this point.

Longer NFL regular seasons make this mark seem more attainable. However, even if Butker played 16 games on average per season, he needs 15 more campaigns under his belt. It is possible, but 2038 is a long way off.

2. Maintain >85% field-goal percentage

Unlike the 350-game mark, many kickers have kept their career field-goal percentage above 85%. Eighteen different kickers with at least 100 career games currently hold career marks above 85.2%. Butker currently sits at 89.1%, good for second in that group of kickers.

Butker is off to a good start in his career. However, he is not the only one in the race. The top four kickers, ranked by their field goal percentage, are still active players, so their performance can go up or down. Nevertheless, none of the Hall of Fame kickers have a percentage higher than 85%. Will Butker be able to surpass them?

3. Maintain scoring pace

The total points scored by any given player aren't on the back of any football card and remain an underrated part of kicking's importance. Through 107 career games, Butker has a cool 900 points for the Chiefs. That leaves him behind other kickers in NFL history, but his scoring pace does not.

Among active kickers, Butker's 8.41 points per game trail only Tucker's 8.46. That is a slim margin, but both vastly outpace the competition and even the Hall of Fame standard.

If Butker can hit all three of those wickets, there is no reason he won't have a strong Hall of Fame case. If he plays the same number of games as other historic kickers while improving upon their reliability and impact on the scoreboard, his induction makes too much sense. If he does all that, Butker may emerge from Tucker's shadow.

You see all those ifs? You should.

Butker is on a good track towards Canton right now. Not perfect, not terrible, but good. There are accolades to acquire, records to reap, and championships to collect. The Hall of Fame is reserved for not just very good players, but the great ones. Butker has a long way to go to prove he is one of the best kickers in NFL history. But, for now, he is on the right path.