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Rob Gronkowksi Resets Hall Eligibility to 5 Years

Rob Gronkowksi Resets Hall Eligibility to 5 Years

04/22/2020
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With Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady reunited again, the door opens to Gronk to move up the ladder of great tight ends in his quest to get to Canton.

When Gronk retired last year (March 2019), his 5-year clock for Pro Football Hall of Fame eligibility started, he would have been eligible for Hall consideration in 2024. By returning, the clock starts when he finally decides to retire for good. But by playing this year, he gives himself a great chance to move up the chart of tight ends that ended up at the Hall.

Right now, the top 7 in receiving yards start with Gold Jacket Tony Gonzalez with 15,217, followed by Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, and Shannon Sharpe. There are four players ahead of Gronkowski - Greg Olsen, Ozzie Newsome, Jackie Smith, and Jimmy Graham, but only 581 yards separate Gronk from leaping up into fifth place.

This is just one of the many factors on the Road to Canton.

What Brady did with him one year, and with Randy Moss, can that happen again? When Tony Gonzalez played with Matt Ryan in Atlanta, he padded his HOF credentials. Can Gronk and Brady continue their magic? 

Here is a look at the great quarterback-tight end combinations

Tony Romo and Jason Witten, Dallas: Beyond the 632 completions, they are second with 7,139 yards. Their 35 TDs are tied for 11th with Lynn Dickey-Paul Coffman (Green Bay, 1979-85) and Matt Ryan-Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta, 2009-13).

Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, San Diego: They are the most prolific under all three categories combined. Rivers and Gates lead with 7,525 yards and have a 19-touchdown edge with 72 on the all-time list that goes back to 1940. They are second to Romo and Witten with 593 completions. 

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, New England: They don’t yet crack the top five in completions and yards, but are second to Rivers and Gates with 53 touchdowns in just five seasons. If both stay healthy, they’ll be high on the other lists as well. They won their first Super Bowl together in 2017.

John Elway and Shannon Sharpe, Denver: The pair of Hall of Famers is third in yards (5,941), fourth in completions (452), and tied for seventh in TDs (41) despite playing just eight seasons together. They won consecutive Super Bowls in Elway’s final two seasons.

Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller, Pittsburgh: They are third in completions (486), fourth in yards (5,438), and ninth in touchdowns (39) going back to 2005. Like Elway and Sharpe, they’ve won two Super Bowls together.

Ken Stabler and Dave Casper, Oakland and Houston: They are 10th on the all-time touchdowns list with 38, most of them coming with the Raiders from 1974-79. They won the Super Bowl with Oakland after the 1976 season. Casper is in the Hall of Fame. Stabler, who died of colon cancer July 8 at age 69, is a senior finalist for the class of 2016.

Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow, San Diego: Another Hall of Fame pair along with Elway and Sharpe, and tied with them for seventh with 41 touchdowns. But Fouts and Winslow never made it to the Super Bowl in four straight playoff trips from 1979-82.

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