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By: Ian St. Clair
One of the greatest middle linebackers in NFL history is a member of the Hall of Fame class of 2024.
Randy Gradishar is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It may have taken way, way, way longer than it should have to get one of the greatest players in NFL and Denver Broncos history to this rightful place, but it’s actually happening.
And it’s not some bad joke.
Gradishar is the first member of the Orange Crush defense to get inducted into the Hall of Fame. He’s also the third defensive player in Broncos’ history to get this honor.
Gradishar joins the class of 2024 as a member of the Seniors Committee. The formal induction ceremony will take place in August in Canton. You can expect a massive following of Broncos Country will be there.
Needless to say, Gradishar’s resume speaks for itself.
There’s the 2,000+ tackles, which can now finally be put to bed.
- There have been 10 linebackers in NFL history who have 20+ career interceptions, 10+ fumble recoveries and 7+ Pro Bowl selections.
- Of those 10, eight were on the NFL 100 team.
- Of those 10, nine were inducted into the Hall of Fame within TWO years of eligibility.
The lone linebacker not to gain induction was Gradishar … at least until now.
As Broncos historian Jim Saccomano told me in August when Gradishar got out of the Seniors Committee:
“I think it’s as significant of a Hall of Fame induction as Floyd Little and John Elway. We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of guys in, and more guys than the Broncos actually recognize because if you played for a team, you’re considered a Hall of Famer. So, the Hall of Fame recognizes about 15 guys. And that’s just the way it is.
“Randy was a guy symbolic of the defensive side of the ball, as Floyd was on the offensive side of the ball. He was a great player. It was a different era. It was an era defined by the middle linebackers. They funneled everything to the middle, and he was like Pac-Man. He was just unbelievable. It’s a great moment for the Orange Crush defense. For the fans who supported the team at that time. That leader of that team and defense is in.”
Congratulations to one of the best and most important players in Broncos history on this amazing accomplishment.
Let the celebration commence.
Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2024:
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 9, 2024
Originally posted on Mile High Report