Four former Denver Broncos defenders are among the 15 finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Pat Bowlen, who bought the Broncos in 1984, is up for induction as a contributor.
Steve Atwater, Champ Bailey, Ty Law and John Lynch all played for the Broncos. Atwater and Lynch were safeties and Bailey and Law played cornerback.
The selection committee will vote Saturday and the class of 2019 will be announced that day.
Atwater was considered one of the hardest hitters in the NFL. Although the sport no longer celebrates that type of play, Atwater’s accomplishments are hard to ignore. He started in three Super Bowls (winning two) and according to The Gazette’s Paul Klee he should have been named the MVP of Super Bowl XXXII. Atwater made the Pro Bowl eight times and had a streak of seven consecutive Pro Bowls from 1990-96.
Champ Bailey made it to the Pro Bowl 12 times in his career (eight times with the Broncos). He was acquired by Denver in a trade for running back Clinton Portis. Klee has said that Bailey is the best Broncos defender ever, but added that Von Miller could surpass Bailey under coach Vic Fangio’s guidance.
Law, who played for four teams in his career, is best known for playing for the Patriots. He had three interceptions against Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning in the 2003 AFC Championship Game.
Lynch, who is currently the general manager of the 49ers, played for the Broncos from 2004-07 after spending the first 11 years of his career with Tampa Bay. Lynch was Denver’s defensive caption in 2006-07 and made the Pro Bowl each year as a Bronco.