With the retirement of Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, many on social media have been discussing whether he and Eli Manning should be considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
One point by Senior NFL report Albert Breer brings up the idea that “if you’re for Eli Manning getting into the HOF, shouldn’t you be for Julian Edelman getting in?” this comparison is not fair to either player for multiple reasons.
First, the obvious, Manning played quarterback while Edelman was a slot wide receiver so comparing the two is difficult.
When a quarterback wins a Super Bowl, it means more than a receiver winning a ring in terms of resume. The quarterback is the leader of the entire offense and when the game is on the line the ball is in his hands every single play.
A quarterback has to know where each player is going to be on every single play for there to be a success. His role is just larger and more important than everyone else’s on the field.
So, when a quarterback wins a Super Bowl that is why it is a more valued accomplishment than a receiver such as Edelman winning one, although he was an integral part of those wins.
Who was more important during those Super Bowl runs with the Patriots, Tom Brady, or Edelman, the answer is clear.
This also applies to pretty much every other Super Bowl-winning team, the quarterback is always more important and cannot outshine the receiver. While Edelman and Jerry Rice are the top two in terms of playoff receptions and yards, their quarterbacks are also two of the greatest playoff QBs of all time.
So while Albert Breer brings up a good point in this tweet, there is still plenty of difference left between these two players besides their position.
Advocating for Manning to get in is advocating for a two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP of that game, a four-time Pro Bowler, and a player who holds a majority of the Giants all-time passing records.
There is obviously plenty more to go off of but Manning’s candidacy, similar to Edelman’s is largely tied to postseason success.
However, while Edelman being a great playoff receiver who is second in playoff receiving yards and touchdowns should be valued, his success does not carry the same weight as Manning’s impact on the NY Giants’ two Super Bowls.
Throwing for 57,023 yards along with 366 touchdowns does not just happen by playing for a long time. You have to be a great player to put up these numbers and Manning was that.
Some bring up that Manning never put up true elite production, but throwing for 4.933 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2011 is an elite season along with a 92.9 quarterback rating. Manning has the elite playoff production that Edelman has, but he also has the regular-season production to back up his resume. He has also thrown for over 4000 yards five other times in his career while Edelman only has three 1000 yard receiving seasons and a year with 972.
Edelman was never an elite regular season receiver which is important for Hall of Fame resume. Although Manning was never an MVP or a consistent top-five quarterback, his consistency and talent speak volumes through his statistics and make him deserving of that spot in Canton.
But, while one may like to say that if you take away Manning’s Super Bowls he is not much of a great player, take away Troy Aikman’s three rings and you see inconsistencies as well. Undermining the importance of a quarterback winning a championship is not the right way to go about judging a player, the leadership required to win one at that position is very rare to find.
You cannot just take away the rings because well, he has them and that is a key part of his resume. Never being an All-Pro or winning an MVP will probably keep him off the first ballot and rightfully so, but he will get in eventually based on his longevity, talent, and winning abilities.
Edelman on the other hand really only has those playoff runs with Brady and the Patriots. He was never selected to a Pro Bowl or has a season that truly stands out as elite.
Many players are to be named who have put up much more production than Edelman had, but they do not have the playoff statistics. Other receivers may deserve it more but Hines Ward had been used as the example of this quite often.
Warren Sharp’s tweet truly sums this all up perfectly, what has Edelman done that Ward has not?
When comparing him to Manning he has done things that no other quarterback has done before as previously mentioned, while Ward is not in yet and has done more than Edelman.
The pure volume of receivers that are of Hall of Fame talent is what truly makes the comparison between Manning and Edelman not very fair or even possible at that.
So will Manning get into the Hall of Fame? most likely as he has checked enough off of the list to be selected for the honor. Edelman on the other hand only has the playoff aspect of this checklist, so whether that is enough is up for Canton to decide.