Packers: Brett Favre headlines list of former Packers nominated for Hall of Fame


To the surprise of absolutely no one—except perhaps for that one guy who’s been living in a cave since 1988 or so, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre headlined the list of 108 nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2016 induction class.

Favre is in his first year of eligibility and is one five former Packer players on the list of nominees that was shared by ESPN Wisconsin.

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Safeties LeRoy Butler and Darren Sharper were also nominated, along with wide receiver Sterling Sharpe, punter Sean Landeta and coach Mike Holmgren.

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Quarterback Kurt Warner, who signed with Green Bay as an undrafted free agent out of Northern Iowa but was a training camp cut, is also on the list. So is Kevin Greene, a former NFL linebacker who was an assistant coach with the Pack for five years, and Clay Matthews Jr., the father of current Packers linebacker Clay Matthews III.

Favre’s Hall of Fame worthiness is unquestioned. The NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards who is also second on the all-time touchdown passes list, Favre is a three-time NFL MVP, an 11-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion.

A second-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons out of Southern Miss in the 1991 NFL Draft, Favre was acquired by the Packers in February 1992 in exchange for a 1992 first-round pick and played 16 seasons in Green Bay, starting 253 consecutive games from 1992-2007 and rewriting the club record book with 61,655 passing yards and 442 touchdown passes.

He took the Packers to the playoffs 10 times, leading the club to two consecutive Super Bowl appearances and a win in Super Bowl XXXI following the 1996 season.

Butler was a second-round pick by Green Bay in the 1990 NFL Draft out of Florida State and transitioned from a cornerback who was a touch too slow into a safety who was named to four All-Pro teams.

He finished his career with 38 interceptions, 13 forced fumbles, 889 tackles and 20½ sacks and was the first of just six players with at least 30 interceptions and 20 sacks in his career.  Butler has never been a finalist for the Hall of Fame, having been eligible since 2007.

Sharper is a much more complicated case. In his first year of eligibility, Sharper is seventh all-time with 63 interceptions—36 of which came as a Packer—and was a two-time All-Pro, including in 2000 with Green Bay.

Sharper was a second-round pick out of William & Mary by the Packers in the 1997 NFL Draft and played with them from 1997-2004.

But Sharper is also an admitted serial rapist currently serving a nine-year prison sentence in California.

As Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette wrote Wednesday, voters are prohibited from considering a player’s off-field activities in determining his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

Sharpe presents a challenge to Hall of Fame voters because his career was cut short by injury after seven seasons. A record-setting receiver in his time, Sharpe’s accomplishments may have dimmed in the eyes of some voters because current receivers routinely put up similar numbers to what Sharpe accumulated at a time when they were considered almost unheard of.

He had two 100-reception seasons, including a then-record 112 catches in 1993, and was a three-time Pro Bowler who put up 595 catches and 65 touchdowns in seven years from 1988-94.

Sharpe was the seventh overall pick out of South Carolina in the 1988 NFL Draft by Green Bay.

Landeta punted in the NFL for 21 seasons, just one with the Packers in 1998. A two-time Pro Bowler, Landeta was undrafted out of Towson and kicked for three seasons in the old USFL before coming to the NFL with the New York Giants in 1985.

Holmgren was the Packers head coach from 1992-98, going 75-37 in the regular season and 9-5 in the playoffs, including the Super Bowl win in 1996.

He went on to go 86-74 in 10 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks from 1999-2008, where he was 4-6 in the postseason.

Holmgren was a high-school coach in the Bay Area for 10 years before spending five years in the collegiate ranks as an assistant coach.

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  • He made the leap to the NFL as an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers in 1986, ultimately rising to offensive coordinator before coming to the Packers in 1992.

    Favre has to be considered a lock. Earlier this year, I rated Butler as the best eligible former Packer not already in the Hall of Fame, and I have long felt Sharpe was being overlooked.

    Holmgren’s case is also contentious. He is 15th on the all-time wins list and has a better career winning percentage (.592) than Hall of Famers Chuck Noll (.566) and Bill Parcells (.569).

    But Noll (four) and Parcells (two) have multiple Super Bowl championships while Holmgren has just the one.

    In any event, 2016 is shaping up to be the summer of Favre. Who else goes in along with him may be relegated to afterthought status.

    Next: Best Of The Packers: Top 10 Tight Ends Since 1960

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