The Buffalo Bills have two former players from their Super Bowl era on the final list of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021. Special teams ace Steve Tasker is a semifinalist for the eighth time while linebacker Cornelius Bennett makes his first appearance on the whittled-down list.
Bennett is not a member of the Bills’ Wall of Fame, probably due to his sexual assault conviction in Buffalo following his time with the Bills. The Pro Football Hall of Fame only considers on-the-field play in their voting methodology. Originally selected second overall by the Indianapolis Colts, Bennett forced a trade and ended up on the Buffalo Bills for the second half of his rookie season. He excelled as a five-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro, twice was the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Year, was a member of the Bills’ 50th Anniversary Team and was second-team on the All-90s voting behind three Hall of Famers.
Tasker is the best special teams player of all time. Last year, as has been in the case in most years, he was eliminated in the vote from 25 to 15 finalists. Tasker absolutely deserves the honor of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They changed the rules because of how well he played his position and he was a transcendent player. Stats don’t measure his impact on the game.
Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Charles Woodson, and Jared Allen highlight a dynamite list of first-time eligible players who will make it tough on the returning semifinalists.
We won’t know until January who survives from 25 to 15. Then the final 15 players plus three separate nominees for senior committee, coaching, and contributor categories will all be voted on during Super Bowl weekend.