It’s been said so many times that we all kind of accept it as gospel: “Future Hall of Famer Jason Peters.”
But Peters, who rejoined the Eagles this week, is not a Hall of Fame lock, although the next season — assuming there is a next season — could make him one.
Peters is without question one of the greatest offensive linemen of his generation. He was selected in April to the NFL’s team of the decade, he’s made nine Pro Bowls and he’s going into his 18th season after spending 2003 on the Bills’ practice squad as an undrafted tight end.
The Hall of Fame voters examine a lot of things, but Pro Bowls and all-pro teams are among the biggest.
Peters’ resume is certainly filled with individual honors, but he is missing two things that make players Hall of Fame locks.
✓ No. 1, he only made all-pro twice, in 2011 and 2013.
✓ No. 2, the difference between Hall of Fame candidates with 9 Pro Bowls and 10 Pro Bowls is huge.
Let’s look at Peters’ all-pro problem.
There are 260 players in NFL history who made 1st-team all-pro at least three times, and 67 percent of them (172) are in the Hall of Fame.
There are 194 players who made all-pro exactly twice (who are eligible for the Hall), and only 23 percent of them (44) are in the Hall of Fame.
Some 78 percent of offensive linemen currently enshrined made three or more all-pro teams (49 of 63). The most recent o-lineman to get into Canton with two or fewer all-pro selections on his resume was Rams guard Tom Mack, who retired in 1978 and was inducted in 1999.
Only 18 percent of eligible offensive linemen who made exactly two all-pro teams have made it to Canton (8 of 45).
So not a lock based on all-pros.
Let's take a look at the Pro Bowls. Nine is a lot. But it’s not always enough.
There are 33 players eligible for the Hall of Fame who made 10 Pro Bowls, and all 33 are already in. Ten makes you a lock, at least so far.
There are 30 eligible players who have made exactly nine Pro Bowls and 24 are enshrined, and 80 percent is a really good ratio, but when you just look at offensive linemen that number goes down to 64 percent — 7 of 11.
So four of the six eligible players who've made nine Pro Bowls who aren't in the Hall of Fame are offensive linemen.
What about players with 9 Pro Bowls and just two all-pro teams?
Here are the numbers: Three are in the Hall (Derrick Thomas, Mike Munchak, Franco Harris) and seven aren’t. So historically that’s a 30 percent shot.
And this might seem pedantic, but this is exactly what the voters look at.
They look at nine Pro Bowls and they're like, "Ehhhhhh."
They look at 10 and say, "He's our guy!"
All of which leads us to 2020.
If Peters can change positions at 38 years old and stay healthy and the Eagles have a good season, with his reputation and name recognition and popularity throughout the league, he could definitely rack up that 10th Pro Bowl.
The one that makes him a lock.
It doesn’t hurt that one of the perennial NFC Pro Bowl guards — Brandon Brooks, the J.P. is replacing – is out for the year, which opens up a spot.
J.P. may have done enough right already. I sure look at him as a Hall of Famer.
One more elite year, one more Pro Bowl season makes him a lock. And honestly I'll be surprised if he doesn’t do it.
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