Upon an NFL Super Stars retirement the minimum allotment of time to pass before becoming eligible to receive HOF voters consideration is five years.
The majority of deserving stars are usually denied the Gold Jacket until long after their first year of eligibility, some wait decades, some leave this earth long before being honored, some never receive enough votes.
In 1997 the Miami Dolphins Jimmy Johnson drafted a skinny kid from a small college called Akron in the drafts third round.
Jason Taylor is his name, 99 was his number. He played in the NFL for 15 years before retiring prior to the 2012 season. Today he was named a first ballot Hall Of Famer!
99 and six others made this year's final cut, only running back LT/Ladanian Tomlinson and JT were first ballot recipients while just safety Kenny Easley (58) from the early 1980's joins JT as this year's only defensive honorees.
Some of Jason Taylor's NFL accomplishments include.
139.5 sacks (7th best in history)
He led the NFL in sacks in 2002 with 18.5, was named the defensive player of the year in 2006, and the Walter Payton Man of the year in 2007. He was voted to the Pro Bowl on six occasions.
JT holds the NFL record for fumble return touchdowns with six as well as the NFL record for most touchdowns via a defensive lineman with nine.
29 fumble recoveries via 99 is also an NFL record, he stands second in NFL history in creating three safties, and shares yet another record with the most interceptions (8) via the defensive end position. JT forced 48 fumbles over his career.
JT had a sack in his first ever NFL game with a bunch more in between and including the second to last game of his career.
Most of the pundits and/or experts (especially outsiders/non Dolphin loyalists) suggested that JT was an extreme long shot and that he'd have to wait several years if not forever to be acknowledged as worthy. 99 (in his first year of eligibility) sacked all that have dissed the Dolphins for decades! Maybe 10 Adam Gase Victories is paying off in more ways than one? Maybe next year some of the 1972'ish Miami Dolphins will get their due?
Jason Taylor played 13 (with 131 sacks) of his 15 NFL seasons in Aqua & Orange and played his final career game as a Miami Dolphin which is who he will represent when instated to The Hall Of Fame.
Hopefully number 99 will grace a future HOF'er number 54/Zach with the honor of placing the Gold Jacket upon Jason Taylor's shoulders.
CONGRATULATIONS JT/99 !!!
You were surely the most exciting defensive player to ever wear the Miami Dolphins Logo and you are most definitely deserving of this highly esteemed honor!!!
A tear came to my eyes as he walked across the televised NFL Honors stage when he was announced.
Hopefully my eyes will leak with joy on many an upcoming Miami Dolphin occasion and/or upon many more monumental victories!!!