Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, email, his Friday chat, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
Saw you mention on Twitter that you think Gronk is a Hall of Fame lock. I agree, but who else do you think gets in from the Belichick and Brady era, other than those two? There aren’t a lot of obvious choices for a team that has won five Super Bowls and counting. Maybe Wilfork? – Scott S.
Interesting question, Scott. I think the reason that it appears that the Patriots don’t have as many locks for Canton as you’d think based on the length of their dynasty is the era that they play in. Save for Brady, Belichick has turned over the roster multiple times during this run. Look back at the other dynasties in pro football history – the ‘60s Packers, ‘70s Steelers, ‘80s Niners and even the ‘90s Cowboys – and it was much easier to keep the core of those teams together. There was no free agency and not much player movement unless the team dictated it. Now, you get raided of some talent every offseason. It’s beyond remarkable what the Patriots have done, because it’s designed to be impossible.
This dynasty has existed for 17 years, so theoretically you could narrow it down to two groups. The first class that won in 2001, ’03 and ’04, and the current class that has won two Super Bowls in three years. But I’ll just look at it on the whole here. Here’s how I’d break it down:
Locks: Brady, Adam Vinatieri, Gronk. And of course Belichick and Robert Kraft.
Excellent chance: Ty Law, possibly this year.
50-50 chance or perhaps slightly better: Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, Rodney Harrison. I’d vote for all three of these guys, but who knows what goes on in that cloistered room of voters.
Locks, but only partially because of their time with the Patriots: Randy Moss, Darrelle Revis. Junior Seau is already in.
Sleepers: Matthew Slater (six Pro Bowl appearances), Stephen Gostkowski, Logan Mankins, Devin McCourty (has a real shot if he plays another half-dozen years).
Patriots Hall of Famers but nothing more: Troy Brown, Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel, Wes Welker, Matt Light, Julian Edelman, Kevin Faulk.
Who am I forgetting? I feel like I’m forgetting someone.
Anyway, that’s how I see it playing out. What do you guys think? Which Patriots from their dynasty era are Hall of Fame locks? I’ll hear you in the comments.