Each of the last few years, former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler has seemingly seen his case for making the Pro Football Hall of Fame grow. Butler was a semifinalist each of the past three years, dating back to 2018. However, this year marks the first time that he has taken the next step forward in consideration.
On Thursday evening, the Hall of Fame revealed its class of 15 modern-era finalists, and for the first time, Butler is on that list. It is a major improvement for Butler, who is widely considered the most deserving Packers player not yet enshrined in Canton.
Butler still has a tough road to be one of the enshrined members of the hall this year, however. A handful of players are eligible for the first time this year, including another safety: Troy Polamalu. Meanwhile, as a first-time finalist, Butler faces a tough road against fellow safeties like John Lynch and Steve Atwater, who have been finalists multiple times but have yet to be enshrined.
The road continues to get tougher, as the 15 finalists must be whittled down to five players who will be inducted at the NFL Honors on the eve of the Super Bowl. Packers fans would certainly love to see Butler go in this year, and although his statistics certainly seem to be worthy of the honor, it will still be a hard road for the four-time first-team All-Pro to make it there. Still, this is a tremendous step forward for a deserving player, and it appears that Butler’s case for enshrinement is finally beginning to get the recognition it deserves.