Rodney Harrison is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The two-time All-Pro safety and two-time Super Bowl champion seems to think he should be.
He didn’t say it directly, but he blasted Hall of Fame voters on Wednesday for the dearth of former New England Patriots elected to football’s highest individual honor.
Rodney Harrison: ‘They’re such haters’
Speaking with The Boston Globe’s Karen Guregian, Harrison chastised Patriots “haters” for not giving the players who were part of the Patriots early run of three Super Bowls their due.
“It’s just unfortunate,” Harrison said. “It’s almost a form of discrimination. People don’t want to elevate us, or recognize or acknowledge how great we are because they’re such haters. Everywhere I go, people hate on the Patriots. So we don’t get credit. All I hear is Tom [Brady] and Bill [Belichick]. But that’s such a lazy analysis.”
Ty Law the first Patriot of his era elected to Hall
Harrison’s comments arrive as Ty Law is slated to be inducted into the Hall of Fame next week. Law will be the first player from the Patriots teams that won three Super Bowls from 2001 to 2005 to receive a gold jacket.
Tom Brady will obviously join him one day. But he’s still busy chasing a seventh ring 18 years after that first Super Bowl victory.
For now, Law alone will represent the Patriots dynasty in Canton.
Law, a five-time Pro Bowl cornerback and two-time All Pro who played on all three of the early Patriots Super Bowl winners, was elected in his fifth year of eligibility.
Harrison’s nominees for Hall consideration
Harrison believes several other Patriots players from that generation should join Law in the Hall of Fame.
“I’m like, Ty Law was the greatest defensive back I’ve ever played with,” Harrison said. “He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.
“Richard Seymour, Willie McGinest, Troy Brown, Kevin Faulk, these dudes were bad, bad dudes. They weren’t just system guys. It’s unfair when people say, ‘As long as you had Tom and Bill.’ Well, ‘dude, Tom and Bill can’t get it done by themselves.’ It takes a lot of really smart, great players.”
Does Harrison have a point?
While it comes off as whining, Harrison is right that Patriots players fall victim to the “system” trope. Even Brady runs into the argument that he’s a system quarterback when compared to other all-time great quarterbacks.
It’s fair to wonder if Aaron Rodgers would have six rings if he took Brady’s place in the Patriots dynasty, but it’s absurd to call Brady a system quarterback.
At the same time, Faulk and Brown have a combined tally of one Pro Bowl between them and don’t have the career numbers to be a part of any reasonable Hall of Fame conversation.
Bruschi, McGinest and Harrison have been nominated, but didn’t have the résumés to make the semifinalist cut for this year’s class.
Seymour, a seven-time Pro Bowler who made the list of finalists in his second year of eligibility, appears on his way to Canton and is the most likely Patriots candidate to join Law in the Hall of Fame.
But after Seymour, the Patriots will likely have to wait for players from the Rob Gronkowski era for additional gold jackets from their remarkable run of dominance.
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