NEW YORK—Former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, the NFL’s single-season sacks leader, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame here Saturday as part of a seven-member class.
Voters also chose Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed and Aeneas Williams to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in August.
Strahan had a record 22-1/2 sacks in 2001 and totaled 141-1/2 sacks in 15 seasons with the Giants. He was a charismatic player who has gone on to post-career success in broadcasting, and he is one of the top pass rushers in league history.
Brooks, a linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, never missed a game in 14 seasons and was the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 2002.
“It still hasn’t hit me yet, to be honest with you…. I’m just gonna do the best I can to enjoy the moment,” Brooks said, speaking at Radio City Music Hall after the selections were announced at the taping of the “3rd Annual NFL Honors” show.
Reed finished his career with one season with the Washington Redskins in 2000 but made his mark over 15 seasons with the Buffalo Bills. The wide receiver had 951 career catches. He had 50 or more catches in 13 different seasons.
“I look at my teammates,” Reed said. “I look at my coach [Marv Levy] who’s in the Hall of Fame. And we were a family…. The emotions right now are overwhelming.”
Guy and Humphrey were the nominees of the seniors committee and both were elected. Guy, who played for the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders between 1973 and ’86, becomes the first full-time punter in the Hall of Fame.
“There is a place for us,” Guy said.
Humphrey was a defensive end who played 14 seasons for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles from the late 1960s to the early ‘80s.
“I never gave up hope,” Humphrey said. “I always figured there was a place for me here. It’s been a long time.”
Jones was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection in a dozen seasons as an offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks and was named to the NFL’s all-decade team of the 2000s.
“It’s been a long journey for me to be at this point,” Jones said.
Williams was an eight-time Pro Bowl choice, at both cornerback and safety, in 14 seasons with the Phoenix and Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams.
“So many people need to be fitted for the jacket with me, that helped me,” Williams said.
The media members who serve as Hall of Fame voters, meeting earlier Saturday in New York on the eve of the Super Bowl, eliminated Morten Andersen, Tim Brown, Edward DeBartolo Jr., Tony Dungy and John Lynch when they cut the list of modern era finalists from 15 to 10. Jerome Bettis, Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Marvin Harrison and Will Shields were eliminated from consideration when the list was trimmed to five modern era finalists.