The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Troy Polamalu and Alan Faneca will both make it into the 2020 Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Explanation: It was announced yesterday that three members of the Steelers—Troy Polamalu, Alan Faneca, and Hines Ward—were among the 25 semifinalists selected for consideration for the 2020 Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ward is a longshot to make it any time soon. Polamalu is in his first year of eligibility, while Faneca has been close multiple times after being eligible for a few years.
There is not even a discussion to be had over whether or not Troy Polamalu will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. In making Ed Reed a first-ballot lock this past year, the Hall of Fame voters made it clear that, even though there is a bias against safeties, that pair of Reed and Polamalu during their era transcended the position and have had a seismic impact on the way in which it is viewed today.
So that’s not even part of the conversation. The rest of the conversation is over Faneca and whether or not he gets in. but I think enough of the crowd in front of him is now out of the way for him to walk in, especially after Kevin Mawae made it last year. He has been a finalist multiple times, so he’s due to get in now.
Even with an extended class this year, however, the fact that Polamalu is almost sure to get in could make it more difficult for the electors to put in multiple members of the Steelers in the same class. While each class is supposed to represent the best of the eligible candidates, we know that it simply doesn’t work that way in practice.
Plus, there is still a strong group of players at the offensive line spot. Tony Boselli didn’t have the longest resume, but he played the more desirable position of tackle. And Steve Hutchinson is just as respected as a guard as was Faneca.