Photo credit: Champ Bailey Instagram,,, Patriots Twitter, George Walker IV | The Tennessean, Perry Knots | AP, The Kansas City Star | AP

The 411: Tony Gonzalez and the Hall of Fame Class of 2019

When I was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in 2014, it truly meant the world to me—it was literally a dream come true and incredible way to mark the accumulation of hard work and support from those around me during my 15 years in football. This year, my friend Tony Gonzalez will be enshrined as a member of the Class of 2019, so I wanted to take a moment to recognize his incredible achievements along with those of his fellow inductees, too. 

For the gridiron novices out there, the Pro Football Hall of Fame recognizes extraordinary figures in the sport of professional American football, from players and coaches to franchise owners, personnel, and press. The process of deciding who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame is a year-round process, with the honorees being chosen from a list of 18 finalists by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee. This Saturday, August 3, the Class of 2019 will be officially inducted the Hall of Fame in a formal Enshrinement Ceremony held at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s honorees: 

Hometown: Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Position: Cornerback
Stats: University of Georgia; Washington Redskins (1999–2003), Denver Broncos (2004–2013). Played a total of 15 seasons and 215 games in the NFL: Washington’s first-round draft pick in 1999 NFL Draft; traded to the Broncos in 2004; started in two AFC championship games and Super Bowl XLVIII; amassed 52 career interceptions returned for 464 yards and four touchdowns; recorded 203 passes defensed; chosen First-Team All-Pro and Second-Team All-Pro four times apiece; named All-NFC twice and All-AFC three times; voted to 12 Pro Bowls; selected to NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s 

Hometown: Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
Position: Owner (1984–2019) and former C.E.O. (1984–2004), Denver Broncos
Stats: University of Oklahoma; shaped Broncos into one of the most storied football franchises in NFL history, earning more than 350 victories and seven Super Bowl appearances; advancing to the playoffs 18 times, winning 13 division crowns, seven AFC conference championships, and three Super Bowl titles (XXXII, XXXIII, 50); named to Broncos Ring of Fame in 2015. Sadly, Pat passed away this past June 13th

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Position: NFL Vice President of Personnel, Dallas Cowboys (1960–1988); contributor (1995–Present) 
Stats: University of Wisconsin; historic half-century career in pro-football serving as integral talent scout for Cowboys; developing innovative scouting and management of personnel systems; helping Dallas to 13 division titles, six conference championships, and two Super Bowl victories (VI and XII); regarded as top Draft expert, resident historian for, and is a radio personality on SiriusXM NFL Radio

Hometown: Torrance, California
Position: Tight End
Stats: University of California, Berkeley; Kansas City Chiefs (1997–2008), Atlanta Falcons (2009–2013). Played a total of 17 seasons and 270 games in the NFL: Kansas City’s first-round draft pick in 1997 where he was named rookie of the year; traded to Atlanta in 2009, team leader helping Chiefs and Falcons to two division titles each; named First-Team All-Pro seven times, voted to 14 Pro Bowls; named Team MVP by Chiefs (2008) and Falcons (2009); and selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of 2000s

Hometown: Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
Position: Cornerback
Stats: University of Michigan; New England Patriots (1995–2004), New York Jets (2005, 2008), Kansas City Chiefs (2006–2007), Denver Broncos (2009). Played a total of 15 seasons and 203 games in the NFL: Selected by Patriots in first round of 1995 NFL Draft; named All-Pro in 1998 and 2003; voted to five Pro Bowls; starting left cornerback in four AFC championship games and in three Super Bowls including Patriots victories in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII; selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s

Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Position: Center
Stats: Louisiana State; Seattle Seahawks (1994–1997), New York Jets (1998–2005), Tennessee Titans (2006–2009). Played a total of 16 seasons and 241 games: Selected by Seahawks in second round of the 1994 NFL Draft; named to NFL’s  All-Rookie Team; known for leadership and steady play; helped Jets to division title and championship game appearance in first season in New York, in 1998; named All-Pro six times; voted to eight Pro Bowls including his final two seasons; selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s

Hometown: St. Rose, Louisiana
Position: Safety
Stats: University of Miami; Baltimore Ravens (2002-2012), Houston Texans (2013), New York Jets (2013). Played a total of 12 seasons and 174 games: Selected by Ravens in first round in 2002 NFL Draft; NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year 2004; owns two longest interception returns in NFL history; leader on Ravens team that advanced to playoffs seven times, won four division titles, and a Super Bowl title; selected All-Pro six times; voted to nine Pro Bowls; member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s 

Hometown: Delhi, Louisiana
Position: Safety
Stats: Louisiana State University; Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs (1960-1971). Played a total of 12 seasons and 164 games: Selected in first round of 1960 AFL Draft by Texans and third overall in the 1960 NFL Draft by Detroit Lions; single-season best 10 interceptions in 1966 (led AFL) and 1970 (led NFL); helped team to four division titles; played in three AFL championship game victories; started in two Super Bowls; named All-AFL five straight seasons (1965-69), All-Pro in 1969, and All-NFL in 1970; voted to AFL All-Star Game six times and Pro Bowl once; named to AFL’s All-Time Team