MIAMI, Fla. – There are 11 pure safeties in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Four more are seeking to join them when the Class of 2020 is selected Saturday.
John Lynch, now the general manager of the 49ers who will play the Chiefs in Sunday's Super Bowl, is up for the seventh time. Steve Atwater is a finalist for the third time. LeRoy Butler and first-year eligible Troy Polamalu complete the quartet of safeties among the 15 final candidates.
“The Hall of Fame would be unbelievable. I'm humbled every year,” Lynch says. "I've been a finalist seven times now. I don't know if it will necessarily change my life. I've been pretty blessed with my family, what I've been able to do in football. I've heard other people say that, and then they go in and say it's like happening. You never know until you're in there what it means to you.
“It would be tremendous. I'd be incredibly humbled and honored. Hopefully this is the year on Saturday.”
Butler, who starred for the Packers from 1990-2001, has had the longest wait to get to this point.
Butler won a Super Bowl for Green Bay, which had a quarterback named Brett Favre — a first-ballot Hall of Famer — leading the way.
Favre is adamant about Butler also deserving enshrinement.
“LeRoy was as important to our Super Bowl win and success as any other player on our team,” Favre says. "I couldn't tell you the interceptions or tackles — I know there were a lot — but his leadership and playmaking ability were outstanding. He had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Being around the ball.