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Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Weighing who belongs in the Hall of Fame

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Saints coach Sean Payton, covering for Peter King on "Monday Morning Quarterback," thinks Rickey Jackson and former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy belong in the Hall of Fame.

Why would Payton single out Kennedy? One, Kennedy was indeed a dominant player and one of the best defensive tackles in league history. Kennedy also has ties to the Saints. Their general manager, Mickey Loomis, was with the Seahawks from 1983 to 1998. Kennedy has spent more time around the Saints than Seahawks in recent seasons.

Payton: "I think former Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson and ex-Seattle defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy should have a spot reserved for them in Canton. This is coming from an offensive coach who believes it is time to fill the Pro Football Hall of Fame with more of the NFL's defensive elite."

Kennedy was one of 17 finalists for the Hall of Fame this year. He might have to wait a while, but I think he'll get in eventually. It's tough being named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year on a 2-14 team, but Kennedy did it in 1992. He was that good.

Who else from the NFC West -- beyond the obvious ones such as Jerry Rice -- should be in the Hall of Fame? What about John Brodie? Aeneas Williams? Kenny Easley? Others?