John Clayton of ESPN
Vote: Definitely Yes (9/10)
Saturday, January 25, 2003
Elway, Sanders head next year’s Hall class
Each year between four and six modern day Hall of Famers are selected. Two will be easy — Elway and former Lions halfback Barry Sanders. It’s hard to believe that Sanders has been out of the NFL for four years. Sanders retired so young and would have easily beaten Walter Payton’s all-time rushing record had he kept playing.
If there are only going to be four Hall of Famers selected next year, that doesn’t leave much room for those who didn’t make the cut this year. Once again, Gradishar will be battling Harry Carson of the Giants. Carson made the final six Saturday along with late Giants general manager George Young. Their names will be automatically placed in the final 15.
With Lofton making it, there is a good chance that Art Monk of the Redskins, who was eliminated from the cut down from 15 to 10, should have a good chance. For years, there has been a logjam at the receiver position that was cured when Lynn Swann and John Stallworth of the Steelers made in the past couple of years. Swann and Stallworth took votes away from each other and blocked other qualified candidates from getting votes.
Lofton made it after a five-year wait and three chances in the finals since 2000. Monk has been a finalist the past three years and is atop the list of eligible receivers. He caught 940 passes for 12,271 yards.
This is where backlogs can create problems, though. If the bulk of next year’s class is Sanders, Elway, Monk and Carson, there isn’t much room for the other candidates. Approximately 313 new players, including Sanders and Elway, are eligible next year.
The Colorado Springs Gazette
February 1, 2004
Bob Brown finally a Hall of Famer
Milo F. Bryant
The former Washington Redskins wide receiver has been eligible for the Hall for four years. This year marked Monk’s fourth year as a finalist, too. But this year, Monk failed to even make the voters’ final cut.
The Hall’s Board of Selectors cuts the 15 finalists down to 10 and the 10 down to six. Monk’s name was left off the list of 10.
“I’m surprised he didn’t make it,” ESPN.com writer John Clayton said. Clayton is the board’s Seattle representative. “I’m surprised he didn’t make it to the top 10 – I mean 941 catches?
“Just because (the Redskins) didn’t throw to him in the red zone, he still got them to the 10, to the 20. I thought he should have made it, at least more than Bob Hayes. That’s one that kind of puzzled me.”
The Devnver Post
August 3, 2006
Smith Playing the Fame Game
“The receiver position is just so congested,” said NFL analyst John Clayton of ESPN, who has a Hall of Fame vote. “It seems like this is the second instance where it’s gotten backed up. It got backed up when John Stallworth and Lynn Swann were banging each other and taking votes away from each other. That resulted in taking Swann (14) years to get in. Now we’re having one in Art Monk and Michael Irvin, two guys who I feel deserve to go in.”