The Miami Dolphins haven’t given Jason Taylor his Hall of Fame ring yet, that will be at later ceremony but already the team is looking at 2018 for their next Hall of Fame candidate.
The Pro-football Hall of Fame has released the 108 modern era nominees for the 2018 enshrinement and two former Miami Dolphins have made the list. Zach Thomas and Richmond Webb.
Both Thomas and Webb are deserving nominees and Webb has already been snubbed enough that the media in Miami ask him about it. Webb has been quick to say that he did all that he could do and that it is out of his hands. In my 2017 Miami Dolphins Season Preview Guide I asked Richmond in our exclusive interview about the HOF.
"I think my resume speak for itself. I definitely have the numbers. Sometimes you need a writer who actually votes on the Hall of Fame to state your case and bring attention to why you are worthy to be selected and to be inducted into the Hall of Fame."
Webb has indeed produced the numbers and was a member of the NFL’s All-90’s team but he is hindered by not getting a Super Bowl win and by protecting one of the quickest arms in the NFL, Dan Marino. During Jason Taylor’s induction speech last August, Taylor mentioned Webb as someone who needs to get into the Hall of Fame. Something former opponent and Hall of Famer Bruce Smith agrees with.
The case of Zach Thomas is a little harder to present. While there is no question that Thomas’ tackle totals are noteworthy his overall statistics don’t stack up to some of the great middle linebackers in NFL history. Thomas also is held down by teams who underperformed and the lack of playoff success hurts as well. Unlike Taylor, there is no milestone “sack-type” total that he is reached. His overall body of work however can’t measured in stats alone.
Thomas was a seven-time Pro-Bowler and an eight-time All-Pro making first team All-Pro five times. He has four career interceptions for touchdowns and six total on his career. He spent 12 years of this 13 year career with Miami and is very deserving of Hall of Fame consideration. The question is whether or not the voters can be swayed to see his value in the NFL.
Two other former Dolphins are also on the list. Linebacker Joey Porter and tight-end Ferrell Edmonds. Both long shots for the 2018 induction Porter has a far better chance that Edmonds who while deserving is faced with the reality that the HOF isn’t a haven for tight-ends.
The class of 2018 is far from being determined but the buzz centers more on the names of Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and Hines Ward at receiver. Owens and Moss specifically have been outspoken about not being in the Hall.
The list of offensive lineman that will be competing with Webb is a long one. In fact 21 lineman are in this 108. Willie Anderson (T), Matt Birk (C), *Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Ruben Brown (G), Ray Donaldson (C), *Alan Faneca (G), Bill Fralic (G/T), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Steve Hutchinson (G), *Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), *Kevin Mawae (C/G), Tom Nalen (C), Nate Newton (G), Bart Oates (C), Jeff Saturday (C), Steve Wisniewski (G).
At linebacker, Thomas has his hands full as well, especially with Ray Lewis a first time eligible linebacker. When comparing Thomas to Lewis it’s hard to justify them both although both played a far different style of game. There are 15 linebackers nominees. Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Tedy Bruschi, Seth Joyner, Ray Lewis, Greg Lloyd, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest (also DE), Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Joey Porter, Darryl Talley, and Brian Urlacher.
NOTE: Former Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson is also a 2018 nominee. This was missed earlier.