So, Is Matthew Stafford a Hall of Famer Now?
NFL Super Bowl - Matthew Stafford did not receive a single vote for Most Valuable Player this year, even though teammate Cooper Kupp received one.
Stafford was not named to any major All-Pro team; Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Joe Burrow were the choices of record. Stafford was not among the FIVE quarterbacks named to the official 2022 Pro Bowl roster: Rodgers, Brady, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins and Kyler Murray received those honors.
Stafford was not taken seriously as a Super Bowl MVP candidate; there has been some chatter after the fact about his three-touchdown performance, but those of us in the stadium were debating Kupp and Aaron Donald.
Yet, despite the fact that the story of Stafford’s 2021 season was “well, he was better than Jared Goff, but he kept almost screwing things up,” lots of folks are arguing that Stafford has ascended to Hall of Famer status because he “won a ring,” which will somehow bedazzle those dumb-dumb voters.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee does not count rings and scan leaderboards. The committee also does not forget the details of a player’s “signature” seasons the way casual fans and talkshow hosts do. Just the opposite, in fact: when a player reaches the finalist stage, voters examine dossiers, solicit testimonials and engage in debates that bring each player’s strengths AND weaknesses back to life. If Richard Sherman’s remarks on Twitter (see the link to Scooby Axson’s USA Today column below) are any indicator, Stafford won’t be getting many “testimonials” from his peers.
As for Stafford’s long string of statistically bulky seasons, they will not impress a single Hall of Fame voter. Again: this is an informed electorate that knows darn well that passing statistics have been going up steadily for decades.
Before Super Bowl LVI, Stafford had a 0.0% chance of reaching the Hall of Fame. I now estimate his chances, charitably, at about 20%, based on the possibility that Stafford could lead the Rams to a second Super Bowl or amass other late-career accomplishments. But if Stafford retires tomorrow, he is not a Hall of Famer. If all he does is hang around until age 40 compiling stats, he is not a Hall of Famer.
And if Aaron Donald retires tomorrow, Matthew Stafford will never be a Hall of Famer.
But that's just my opinion. Here is a thread where you can voice yours!