Seven Oakland Raiders nominated for Hall of Fame
By Chase Ruttig
Aug 8, 2015, Canton, OH, USA; Tim Brown speaks at the 2015 Pro Football Enshrinement Cermony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The long initial list for the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees was announced on Wednesday, and as expected a handful of former Oakland Raiders will be hoping that this is the year that their names will be forever enshrined in Canton.
In total, seven players who played for the Raiders at one point during their career were amongst the 108 Modern Era nominees for the Class of 2016. Giving the Silver and Black good odds of making it three seasons in a row in which a former Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders player is elected into the Hall of Fame. Ray Guy (2014) and Tim Brown (2015) the most recent players to make it to Canton from the franchise.
The notable names nominated include Matt Millen, Steve Wisniewski, and Tom Flores while the rest of the list spent the majority of their careers with other teams. Cornerbacks Eric Allen and Albert Lewis retiring with the team after successful stints late in their careers while former Niners running back Roger Craig and tackle Jim Lachey had only brief careers with the Raiders.
The full list of Raiders nominees is as follows (courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame website):
- Steve Wisniewski
- Matt Millen
- Eric Allen
- Albert Lewis
- Tom Flores
- Roger Craig
- Jim Lachey
Of the Raiders seven nominees, it is easy to argue that Tom Flores is the most deserving as a coach who was involved with all three of the franchise’s Super Bowl wins and a holder of four Super Bowl rings after winning the 1969 championship with the Kansas City Chiefs as the backup quarterback to the legendary Len Dawson. Flores was an assistant coach for the Raiders first Super Bowl title before winning the team’s final two championships as the first Latino head coach in NFL history to do so.
In addition to his four Super Bowl rings, Flores was also the first Hispanic starting quarterback which adds to his lengthy contributions to the history of the NFL that have long been ignored by Hall of Fame voters. With notable snubs in Guy and Brown just finally getting in it may just be the year for Flores to get into Canton. Nothing against the likes of Wisniewski, Millen, and company, but when it comes to the Raiders 2016 nominees it is hard to say that Tom Flores is not the most deserving of the bunch.
It will be interesting to watch the process unfold, but if the four-time Super Bowl winner is not in Canton soon it will be one of the biggest travesties in the Hall of Fame voting. After years of waiting, it is time to get the legendary coach where he rightfully belongs amongst some of the most successful coaches in league history.
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