Claude Humphrey in Hall; Andersen waits

February, 1, 2014
Feb 1
7:30
PM ET
Morten Andersen said it was time for fellow kicker Jan Stenerud to have company in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately, Andersen won’t be joining Stenerud just yet.

The former Atlanta Falcons kicker was not voted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday after being announced as one of 15 modern-day finalists. He failed to survive the Saturday-afternoon cut from 15 to 10 finalists in this, his second year of eligibility.

However, the Falcons did have a representative in the group. Defensive end Claude Humphrey was elected into the Hall of Fame as a senior nominee. He received the necessary 80 percent of the vote.

Humphrey was an All-Pro five times -- four times with the Falcons -- and was selected to six Pro Bowls during his 14-year career. Although sacks didn’t become an official stat until 1982 after Humphrey retired, he still was credited with 122 sacks.

Humphrey, the defensive rookie of the year in 1968 after being the third-overall pick from Tennessee State, certainly deserved the honor.

As for Andersen, an All-Pro during his first year with the Falcons in 1995, he played the majority of his career with the New Orleans Saints, but had two stints with the Falcons. He finished his 25-year career in Atlanta back in 2007.

Andersen no doubt deserved strong consideration. The Denmark-born journeyman is the NFL’s all-time leading scorer with 2,544 points. But, as Andersen noted in a recent interview with ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett, it’s hard for kickers to get such recognition. Stenerud was the last true kicker to be enshrined, in 1991.

The fact that Andersen kicked at such a high level for such a long time -- he was named to two All-Decade teams -- shouldn’t be overlooked. He converted 565 of 709 field goal attempts, and led his team in scoring 22 times.

At the same time, he wasn’t a perennial All-Pro, and had a handful of mediocre seasons.

Defensive end/linebacker Chris Doleman is the last former Falcon to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, back in 2012. With the addition of Humphrey, the Falcons now have five in the Hall of Fame: Deion Sanders, Eric Dickerson, Tommy McDonald, Doleman, and Humphrey.

Maybe Andersen will be next.

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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