7 Denver Broncos who could be next in the Ring of Fame

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos, Steve Foley
PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 25: Linebacker Karl Mecklenburg #77 and defensive back Steve Foley #43 of the Denver Broncos take down running back Lee Rouson #23 of the New York Giants during Super Bowl XXI at the Rose Bowl on January 25, 1987 in Pasadena, California. The Giants won 39-20. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) /

7. Steve Foley, DB

Denver’s leading pick artist is not in the Ring of Fame. Steve Foley played corner and safety for Denver from 1976-1986 and had 44 interceptions in that time. This team has such a rich tradition of elite safety talent, from current Ring of Famers like Goose Gonsoulin, Billy Thompson, Dennis Smith, Steve Atwater, John Lynch all the way up to the modern era, with TJ Ward, Darian Stewart, Justin Simmons, and Kareem Jackson.

Yet Steve Foley somehow gets left out of many of these discussions, and I can’t figure out why.

He played on the Broncos’ first two Super Bowl teams in ’77 and ’86, first as a cornerback in the Orange Crush, and later as a grizzled veteran on top of the defense in John Elway’s first shot at the Lombardi.

Foley’s penchant for interceptions was crucial to this defense’s success. Early in his career opposite shutdown corner Louis Wright, opposing QB’s quickly learned that targeting Foley’s side of the field would cost them dearly, and once he transitioned to free safety, he locked down the back end for the better part of a decade.

Though we don’t hear Foley brought up enough when discussing the great defenders of this franchise, I think it could be high time to put some respect on his name at Empower Field.

Denver Broncos Ring of Fame honorable mentions

Steve “Greek” Antonopulos

In 45 years with the team, Denver’s famed Head Athletic Trainer saw nearly every era of Broncos football. He joined up back in 1976, just in time for our Super Bowl run, and was responsible for conditioning and patching up all of our teams from 1976-2020.

That’s an insane run.

He’s been there from the Orange Crush days through the John Elway Era, to the years of succession, Peyton’s ride and the past few years. A legend in his own right, he’s just retired this offseason and would be a welcome member.

Tyrone Braxton

Another important figure in the Broncos storied line of defensive backs, Braxton played on 4 Super Bowl units in 12 years with the team. A starter at cornerback to begin his career, he took over for Dennis Smith at strong safety after his retirement and proved himself as a ballhawk and a big hitter. He is tied with Champ Bailey for 4th on the Broncos interception leaderboards and had a key pick early in Super Bowl XXXII.

A former 12th round pick by Denver, it was by pure grit that Braxton carved out such a significant role for himself with the team.

Barney Chavous

Another key member of the vaunted Orange Crush defense, Chavous played 13 years in the Orange and Blue as a Defensive End from 1973-1985.

Though sacks were only officially counted by the NFL after 1982 and he only has 23.0 after that mark, widely cited unofficial numbers credit him with 75 sacks, good for fourth in team history behind Von Miller, Simon Fletcher, and Karl Mecklenberg. A true old-school DE, he was a force to be reckoned with, perhaps the first great pass-rusher in team history.