Patriots

Belichick weighs in on Harrison's Hall of Fame credentials after recent snub

Patriots

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its semifinalists for the 2022 class Wednesday, and two former New England Patriots players made the cut.

Defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Vince Wilfork both were among the 26 players selected. Seymour was a finalist for the 2021 class but wasn't part of the final group. Wilfork is a semifinalist for the first time.

One player who was not named a semifinalist was Rodney Harrison. After being a semifinalist last year, the former safety was surprisingly snubbed this time around.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked Friday about these three players' Hall of Fame situations, and he gave his full support for Harrison.

“The only thing I would add relative to those two players, to Vince and to Richard Seymour, I think that Rodney Harrison 100 percent (belongs) in that conversation,” Belichick told reporters at a press conference.

“I’ve coached some of the other safeties that have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and not taking anything away from them, but certainly Rodney Harrison belongs in that conversation, and he belongs in the conversation with other players that are already there.”

The Patriots will play against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Titans are coached by former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, who was Harrison's teammate in New England for six seasons.

Harrison reveals 'key moment' when he knew Patriots were right team for him

Vrabel made it clear earlier this week that he believes Harrison is a Hall of Famer.

Former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also is among Harrison's supporters for the Hall of Fame.

 

Harrison played 15 seasons in the NFL between the San Diego Chargers and Patriots.

He received two Pro Bowl nods (1998 and 2001) and was a first-team All-Pro selection twice (1998 and 2003). Harrison is one of just two players in league history to tally 30-plus sacks and 30-plus interceptions. The other is Baltimore Ravens legend Ray Lewis.

Harrison ranks among the best safeties of his era. When you combine his individual stats and accolades with his two Super Bowl titles in New England, a pretty compelling Hall of Fame case can be made for him.

Unfortunately for Harrison, he'll have to wait until at least next year to be considered for enshrinement again.