Much like the team he played for, former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler found himself one step short of football history for the second straight year.
After being named as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second time, Butler is on the outside looking in at those great players immortalized in Canton. It’s left many Packers fans wondering if he is the next Jerry Kramer who waited decades for the hall’s call before finally being enshrined in 2018.
To those fans and to Butler, it seems those fears may be unwarranted.
Looking ahead to the 2022 class, the modern era class is nowhere near as strong as this year’s that saw two first-ballot locks in Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson. Notable names eligible for the first time next year include DeMarcus Ware, Andre Johnson, Anquan Boldin and Devin Hester. There’s not one absolute surefire lock among them except maybe Ware. That provides a big boost to Butler’s case as a repeat finalist.
When you add in fellow safeties John Lynch and Steve Atwater getting in this year (wrongly) ahead of the Packers legend and the stage is set for 2022 finally being the year Butler makes the Lambeau Leap into Canton.
You can read more on Butler’s case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame plus a look at what the defense Joe Barry will be leading could look like in today’s curds.
Butler’s resume is more than enough for a trip to Canton and his membership on the All-1990s team should all but punch his ticket as he’s the only member of that group that is NOT currently a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
You don’t even need to look at a stat sheet to know how good Butler was either. He was a game disrupter in every way if you look at the tape.
Cornerback is clearly the top need on defense for the Packers but adding a certain former Badger whose team recently released him wouldn’t hurt either right?
Offensive line, particularly at tackle, is another news Green Bay could address in the draft and Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood could more than fit the bill.
Not sure what Aaron Rodgers is doing in North Carolina but it’s good to see him already beginning off-season workouts.