A number of former Denver Broncos are one step closer from enshrinement into the Class of 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Denver Broncos have had the luxury of having some great players come through Mile High.
Safety Steve Atwater and cornerback Champ Bailey, along with Ty Law (2009) and John Lynch (2004-2007) were all announced as finalists on Thursday. Atwater is one of the hardest-hitting safeties the league has ever seen. You had to know where he was on the field at all times.
Atwater’s strength in hits was well documented. You often see his hit on former Kansas City Chiefs running back Christian Okoye. Champ Bailey was a cornerback for the Washington Redskins (1999-2003) and the Denver Broncos (2004-2013). He was the true definition of a “shutdown corner”.
Bailey was often avoided by many of the league’s great quarterbacks because of his ballhawk skills. He intercepted 52 passes, recorded 908 tackles, seven forced fumbles and 203 passes defenses. He was also named on the Broncos 2000s all-decade team. Bailey is obviously a first-ballot Hall of Fame. There were few even close to his dominance on the field.
The biggest compliment a cornerback can get is a quarterback that won’t throw in his direction. That was Bailey. He had enough passes thrown his way to record the amazing statistics, but often was avoided because teams knew his resume.
Ty Law is known for being a New England Patriots cornerback, but still played one season for the Broncos. During his lone year in a Denver Bronco uniform, Law played in just seven games. He recorded ten tackles, one interception, and one pass defensed during the year.
His best year came in 2005, when he intercepted ten passes (long of 74 yards), one pick-6, and 62 tackles. Law also won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.
Lynch will always be known as a key member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. He played for Tampa Bay from 1993-2003.
He played for Denver from 2004 through 2007. Lynch recorded 84 tackles in 2006, four interceptions in 2005 (career high), and four fumble recoveries in 2005 (career high).
For his career, Lynch finished with 1,051 tackles, 13 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, and 26 interceptions.
There is still one step to go for Hall of Fame finalists. The final list will be cutdown and announced the day before the Super Bowl.