Whether or not an active NFL player is worthy of the Hall of Fame is nothing more than pointless speculation and a way to waste time until the next football game. Richard Sherman’s got nothing to do these days but waste time on Hall of Fame arguments.
After Sherman’s former teammate Michael Robinson made comments on Good Morning Football on Monday that Matthew Stafford is “ABSOLUTELY” a Hall of Fame player after helping the Rams win the Super Bowl on Sunday, Sherman fired back that if that’s the case, it’s the same as a “participation trophy.”
What does a Super Bowl win mean for Matthew Stafford?— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) February 14, 2022
"Yes he's a gold jacket, ABSOLUTELY. The ultimate team goal, to win a Lombardi, Matthew Stafford actually has, and he was a huge part of winning this Super Bowl." -- @RealMikeRob pic.twitter.com/zFkDnZhHPO
Robinson responded that Stafford’s numbers back up his argument and Sherman pulled up Pro-Football-Reference.com for a rebuttal.
“...the HOF bar is incredibly low now. Like a participation trophy. No all decade team. No All pro. No MVP. 1 Pro bowl. Not even MVP of the SB. Never considered the best in any year he played. At least M. Ryan has an MVP,” wrote Sherman on Twitter in response to Robinson’s comments.
I’m gonna talk about it on the podcast but the HOF bar is incredibly low now. Like a participation trophy. No all decade team. No All pro. No MVP. 1 Pro bowl. Not even MVP of the SB. Never considered the best in any year he played. At least M. Ryan has an MVP https://t.co/TDQn8sJZfO— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 14, 2022
Sherman continued in a very long Twitter back-and-forth with CBS Sports’ Will Brinson for some reason, saying that Stafford has “literally no accolades” and that even the “Guys on the P squad” won a ring this year so what does it matter that the starting quarterback did too?
So did the Guys on the P squad. So did the other 53 guys. That put them in the HOF discussion?— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 14, 2022
Instead of saying that the Super Bowl was a “microcosm” of Stafford’s career, Sherman went with the “macrocosm” argument, nothing that he’s “good, not great” and that Aaron Donald and Von Miller are the reasons that Matthew Stafford won the Super Bowl.
He did nothing spectacular. Its really a macrocosm of his career. Did good. Not great. Made a few wow passes. Made a few face palm passes. Aaron Donald and Von are the two HOF he should thank.— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 14, 2022
As I said earlier, these discussions are pointless whether you’re talking about Stafford or Aaron Donald. With AD, we know he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer without having a discussion. With Stafford, he has more career ahead of him and either he will solidify that argument by winning another Super Bowl or he will end up in the Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers type of “I guess we’ll see” discussion that’s not even going to happen for a long, long time.
As for Stafford’s accolades though, Sherman is focusing on awards like “All-Pro” or “All-Decade” as a representation of a player’s value in his current era, noting that a Hall of Famer should always be the best of his position of his era. Did any quarterbacks enter the NFL during Stafford’s era who are clearly better than him?
- A First-Team All-Pro QB is basically an MVP and that’s where Stafford fell short because of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers during his career to this point. Those are essentially the only players who have won the award, with the exceptions of Cam Newton and Matt Ryan and Patrick Mahomes. I don’t consider Manning or Brady to be in Stafford’s era, but I do think that Rodgers is in the same era; I would also say that there’s room in Canton for more QBs of the 2008-2021ish era than just Rodgers.
- Cam Newton and Matt Ryan have worse Hall of Fame resumes than Stafford, but Ryan and Stafford are arguably comparable; the problem for Ryan being that the Falcons had an even worse record than the Lions from 2013-2020 and that’s including the 2016 MVP season.
- You can’t cite that a player has a low number of Pro Bowls without also essentially saying that you think Pro Bowls matter. Most are in agreement that the Pro Bowl is a bad measuring stick of anything, and Stafford was a Pro Bowl alternate this season. Do you want to know WHY Stafford didn’t replace Kyler Murray in the Pro Bowl? He was busy. He also turned down the Pro Bowl in 2016, which would give him three Pro Bowls. He has often been considered a major Pro Bowl snub. If he had six Pro Bowls at this point that would be both a) understandable and b) still not something that should accounted for in his resume. It’s the Pro Bowl. He could have had more, but he doesn’t.
- If Stafford had won Super Bowl MVP, nobody would have batted an eye. He led the Rams to game-winning drives in the divisional round against the Bucs, the NFC Championship against the 49ers, and the Super Bowl against the Bengals. This isn’t me making a Hall of Fame argument, it’s me citing a few facts, that’s it.
- I wrote about Stafford as the comeback king on Tuesday, not to argue that he IS a Hall of Fame quarterback already, but only to say that it’s what his reputation should be if he does go to Canton one day.
- Other QBs drafted from 2007-2016 include Ryan, Newton, Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill, Andrew Luck, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, Dak Prescott—out of that decade, which of those QBs deserves Hall of Fame the most? The second-most? Three have Super Bowl wins. Who would be voted in between Flacco, Wilson, and Stafford? Wilson doesn’t have an All-Pro nod. Drew Brees only had one All-Pro nod in his career and it came back in 2006.
- The Lions went 0-16 the year before Stafford arrived. They went 0-6 when he was injured as a rookie. They went 5-8 when he missed most of year two. They went 0-8 when he was injured in 2019. They went 3-13-1 without him in 2021. The Lions are 8-51-1 since 2008 without Matthew Stafford, a winning percentage of .133. Stafford went 74-90-1 as Detroit’s starter for 12 years, a winning percentage of .448. In his first season away from the Lions, he won the Super Bowl. Are we really going to say he had no impact?
It’s not even about his passing statistics or the volume numbers he acquired over the last 13 years—mostly the last 11. It’s not about the fact that wide receivers seem to consistently achieve their greatest seasons with Stafford as the quarterback. It’s not about whether or not Stafford had help in reaching and winning the Super Bowl—Peyton Manning didn’t win his second Super Bowl until he was 39 and maybe the 39th best player on the Broncos. Aaron Rodgers is the subject of trade rumors because people keep complaining that he doesn’t have enough help, and he’s Aaron Rodgers.
It’s not even about accolades or all-decade. Is Matthew Stafford a Hall of Fame quarterback? That’s not even a question that matters right now.
Is he a Super Bowl champion who made a difference for the Rams at quarterback so that we could even be having these discussions today?