The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its semifinalists for the Class of 2015, with five former Broncos making the cut. With 26 total semifinalists announced, that means 19% of the semifinalist class are men who once donned the orange and blue.
S Steve Atwater, RB Terrell Davis, CB Ty Law, S John Lynch, and LB Karl Mecklenburg are the former Broncos being considered. Aside from Law, who is in his first year of eligibility, all have been semifinalists before.
The POF candidate career capsules page has this to say about each Broncos candidate.
Steve Atwater's selection to seven straight Pro Bowls from 1990-96 is tied for the franchise record with Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe. Atwater played with the Broncos from 1989-1998, winning two Super Bowls with the club.
Terrell Davis significantly increased yardage total each season until he suffered knee injury. In 1998, he became the fourth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Davis played his entire career in Denver, 1995-2001.
John Lynch had 24 interceptions for 204 yards and 13 sacks in his career while registering 90 or more tackles nine times in his career. He played in Denver from 2004-2007.
Karl Mecklenburg tallied 79.0 sacks, five interceptions for 128 yards, one safety and two fumble recoveries for a TD. He is the only player in Broncos franchise history to have four sacks in a game twice. He was a career Bronco, playing from 1983-1994.
We all believe the Hall of Fame is biased when it comes to Broncos. Hopefully this year some of that bias is wiped away with the advancement of core orange and blue legends - particularly Davis, Atwater, and Mecklenburg. Law and even Lynch will almost certainly be enshrined as members of their previous teams.
15 of the 26 will be named finalists on January 8th, and inductees will be announced on January 31st. Hopefully at least two or three of those key more former Broncos are enshrined before Champ Bailey becomes eligible five years from now.
Champ Bailey retires a Bronco - Mile High Report
Broncos Country owes you more than we can ever repay. Thanks for staying in Denver, for studying the game, for covering your ass off, and mostly for loving football enough to play your best for so many years.
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Kiszla: Even for Champ Bailey, the end comes fast - The Denver Post
"Not a lot of people can say they got one-up on Peyton, but ... " reported Bailey, his eyes twinkling with mischief. "He kicked our (team's) butt in college three years straight. So I don't have great memories. But one thing I do have is one interception (against Manning) ... So I've got one on him. I don't think there's a way he can get it back, right?"
Manning nodded in agreement.
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Champ Bailey ends his career as a Bronco on Tuesday, and he leaves a legacy as both a player and teammate.
Eric Lars Bakke/Denver Broncos
Bailey’s influence felt everywhere
Nearly 20 former teammates, plus Broncos coaches and team personnel from a variety of departments came to watch Bailey say goodbye to the game and his team.
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