Kansas City Chiefs: Future Hall-of-Famers on roster

Aug 6, 2016; Canton, OH, USA; General view of busts on display at the Pro Football Hall of fame during the 2016 NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 6, 2016; Canton, OH, USA; General view of busts on display at the Pro Football Hall of fame during the 2016 NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Hall of Fame is the end all for NFL players as individuals. What current Kansas City Chiefs could wear the gold jacket after their careers?

Over 50-plus years, the Kansas City Chiefs have fielded a number of high-quality teams. Only one team can be considered great, as they won the only championship in franchise history. That team has seven players in the Hall of Fame, in addition to head coach Hank Stram. It doesn’t require a Super Bowl victory to get into the Hall of Fame, but it certainly helps.

Without that extra boost of a championship, individual careers have to be truly spectacular to qualify. Are there any players on the Chiefs current roster that could make it? To try and figure that out, there had to be some guidelines set.

First, the player has to be entering at least their fifth year in the league. Second, they need at least one All-Pro selection in their career. Last, they should be on track to finish in the top 20 in a major category at their position. This is not required for defenders as tackles is not an official stat. The list is ordered from most to least likely.

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Justin Houston

Justin Houston is currently sitting at 60 sacks in just six years. It’s more like five years since both 2015 and 2016 were shortened by injury. If Houston gets back to full strength, then he can realistically achieve 12 sacks per year for six more years. That puts him right behind Lawrence Taylor and ahead of Derrick Thomas on the career sack list, both Hall of Famers.

The star outside linebacker’s impact on the field is more than just sacks. His pressure on the quarterback causes interceptions. His ability to read plays turns into touchdowns for him and his teammates. Houston is the most likely to end his career in prime position to be enshrined in Canton.

Eric Berry

Beating cancer and coming back to play at a high level places you in a unique class, and Eric Berry accomplished just that. That coupled with stellar play for another six to seven years could be enough to get him in. Berry is not a consistent enough pass defender to get a ton of interceptions, but he is a playmaker.

He is always around the ball and destroys both receivers and running backs. His value is one that can’t be measured by statistics as much as just by watching the film. His All-Pro selections and Pro-Bowl selections over his career would also add credibility to his candidacy. Berry has a very good chance at seeing his statue in the Hall of Fame.

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Travis Kelce

This might be cheating a little bit because technically Kelce is entering his fifth year, but he did not play his first year due to injury. Even with that, he is only 209 yards off of Tony Gonzalez’s four-year pace. If you consider it a three-year pace, then he is well ahead. Kelce has stayed healthy for each of the last three seasons and has increased his production year after year.

There is good reason to expect that, if he remains a Chief, that he will be able to get into the top 20 in career receiving yards. He needs to up his touchdowns per year, but if Patrick Mahomes is the future in Kansas City, it shouldn’t be a problem. Kelce has the best chance on the Chiefs offense to make it to the Hall of Fame.

Arrowhead Ring of Honor

Those who are not good enough to make the NFL’s Hall of Fame could make it into the Chiefs’ own Ring of Honor at Arrowhead Stadium. These are reserved for guys who make a major impact on the Chiefs either by being with Kansas City for the majority of their careers or by helping them consistently achieve high win percentages.

Tamba Hali is a career Chief that doesn’t have the numbers for the Hall of Fame. He does have the longevity and charisma needed to be honored at Arrowhead in the near future. Alex Smith is another that has made enough of an impact on the Chiefs to warrant being honored. Smith has led the team to playoff appearances in three of his four years and has a very good shot at making it four of five.

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Lastly, Derrick Johnson is another career Chief who leads the team in tackles all-time. Johnson will likely play his last year in the NFL in 2017 and will see his name set in Arrowhead Stadium within the next five years.