As part of the annual tradition of Super Bowl weekend, the Pro Football Hall of Fame committee announced their Class of 2020. From a semifinalist list of 25, they cut the list down to ten finalists and arrived at these five names:
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 1, 2020
????S Troy Polamalu
????RB Edgerrin James
????S Steve Atwater
????G Steve Hutchinson
????WR Isaac Bruce.
With the franchise now almost twenty years old, the Houston Texans will begin to have names that spent all or some time in the league with the franchise that enter into these conversations. Some already have, as I'm sure we were all throwing wild parties for Ed Reed's induction last year. (Sarcasm font alert!) It gets me thinking, which players with Texans ties of ANY kind will be in Hall of Fame discussions throughout the next several years. By my count, the list of those current or former Texans with a non-zero chance of some Hall of Fame consideration are on the list below:
J.J. WATT, DE (2011-present)
Whenever the time comes for Watt to decide that he likes performing funny skits instead of sacking quarterbacks, he will be a first ballot Hall of Famers five years later. Three Defensive Player of the Year awards in his first five seasons were enough to cinch it up. Anything he does from here on out is just gravy.
HOF PROBABILITY: 100 percent
SHANE LECHLER, P (2013-2017)
Seven Pro Bowls and nine All Pro designations (six first team, three second team) are certainly enough to get Lechler inducted, it's just a question of when they open the books for another punter. Lechler was undeniably great at what he did, moreso for the Raiders than Texans, but he is obviously beloved here, as a native Texan and Texas A&M Aggie.
HOF PROBABILITY: 95 percent
TONY BOSELLI, LT (2002)
Boselli has found his way onto the finalists list before, so his name will continue to float in and out of these discussions until he gets inducted. Boselli's ties to the Texans are administrative only, as his balky shoulder ended his career before he could ever see the field in 2002. With the Hall more understanding of dominance in short windows being worthy of induction, at some point I expect Boselli's five Pro Bowls and three first team All Pro berths to get him in. He was also part of the 1990's All Decade team.
HOF PROBABILITY: 80 percent
ANDRE JOHNSON, WR (2003-2014)
Johnson's eligibility begins in a couple years. The argument FOR Andre Johnson — he is a seven time Pro Bowler, 11th all time in receptions and receiving yards, and he did that without playing with a great quarterback. The argument AGAINST Andre Johnson — he is 103rd all time in touchdown catches, and played in four playoff games his whole career. The argument against contains very little actual fault of Johnson, but it is what it is. The logjam at receiver will need to be cleaned out a little more for Andre to gain admission. Isaac Bruce getting in this year helps.
HOF PROBABILITY: 70 percent
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DeANDRE HOPKINS, WR (2013-present)
When all is said and done, Hopkins may wind up with a better Canton case than Johnson, as the Texans star wideout has been the youngest in league history to hit several key receiving milestones. He already has more first team All Pro designations (three) than Johnson had his whole career, and Hopkins list of quarterbacks pre-Watson reads like a training camp list of player cuts. Hopkins' percentage will continue to climb for the next few years, and he will be a near lock by 2022 or 2023.
HOF PROBABILITY: 50 percent
DESHAUN WATSON, QB (2017-present)
It's early for Watson, but if he can build on his statistical milestones, and show some of that regular season fourth quarter magic in the postseason, he will start building a resume to where in his early 30's, we will be debating and discussing his Hall of Fame shops.
HOF PROBABILITY: 15 percent
TYRANN MATHIEU, S (2018)
The Honey Badger is an interesting one. He was on his way, with a bullet, to being in conversations like this when he was a first team All Pro in 2015, but injuries robbed him of that level of play for a couple years. He had a nice season for the Texans in 2018, but Mathieu has regained his All Pro groove in Kansas City. If he stacks a few more All Pro honors, and gets to about five or six, while playing for a perennial playoff team, Mathieu will begin to garner Hall of Fame attention. That's a big if.
HOF PROBABILITY: 10 percent