While Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy received the nod, former Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James was left out of the 5 modern-era candidates that were ultimately chosen by the selection committee for the NFL’s Hall of Fame Class of 2016:
For James, it was his 1st year as a finalist–having been a semifinalist last year.
In what was a loaded announced Hall of Fame class including Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre and St. Louis Rams left tackle Orlando Pace, the selection committee passed over James for players they deemed were more deserving candidates at this time.
As a result, James will have to wait at least another year.
Still, James’ time should come eventually. It should be a matter of simply when–not if.
James rushed for 12,246 rushing yards in 11 career NFL seasons (1999-2009), which ranks 11th best career all-time.
That’s more career rushing yards than inducted NFL Hall of Famers such as Marcus Allen (12,243), Franco Harris (12,120), Thurman Thomas (12,074), John Riggins (11,352) and O.J. Simpson (11,236); and just 66 and 33 career rushing yards behind Jim Brown (12,312) and Marshall Faulk (12,279) respectively.
Also, he ranks 19th all-time with 80 rushing touchdowns.
The former Miami Hurricanes star was a 1x First-Team All-Pro, 2x Second-Team All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowler, Offensive Rookie of the Year, 2x Rushing Champion, and member of the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team for the Colts.
Prior to his 2001 ACL injury, it could be argued that James was well on his way to becoming perhaps the greatest running back in NFL history.
In his 1st two seasons before the injury, he was the 2nd fastest player in NFL history to reach 2,500 rushing yards and also finished second then first in most yards from scrimmage in 1999 and 2000 respectively. Not to mention, he had 13 rushing touchdowns a piece in those back-to-back seasons.
Even following the injury, he was still a star player, remaining one of the best running backs in football, and had more than enough great production to be a Hall of Famer.
While James fell just one season short of winning a Super Bowl with the Colts in 2006, he finished as the Indianapolis Colts all-time rushing leader in attempts (2,188), rushing yards (9,226) and rushing touchdowns (64). He was later inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor in 2012.
Hopefully his wait for the Hall of Fame isn’t too much longer and quite frankly, it shouldn’t be.