When is a player eligible for the Hall of Fame?

03/27/2007

Bruce_Matthews
Class of 2007 inductee Bruce Matthews was elected in his first year of eligibility. He retired in 2001 after a 19-year NFL career.
News of Marshall Faulk's official retirement from the National Football League on Monday prompts an often asked question, "when is a player eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?"

The official by-laws that outline the Pro Football Hall of Fame's selection process states any player is eligible when he, "has not played or been on an active regular- or post-season player roster for five consecutive seasons."

Therefore, the mandatory waiting period for the NFL's ninth all-time leading rusher actually began following his last active season which was 2005. So, after Faulk sits out five full seasons, he would become eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2011.

The other two categories for Hall of Famers - coaches and contributors - do not have a mandatory waiting period. However, coaches do need to be retired before they can be considered for election to the Hall.

 More on the Hall's selection process>>