Aeneas and a Hall of Fame race with Warner

Posted by Darren Urban on February 1, 2013 – 2:44 pm

Who will be the first Arizona Cardinal to make it into the Hall of Fame? That could be an interesting race.

Former cornerback Aeneas Williams is among the 17 finalists for induction this year, just as he was last year. Williams, drafted by the Cardinals in 1991, is the first homegrown Arizona Cardinal to have a chance at the Hall. He deserves to get there at some point. He made eight Pro Bowls in his career (a decade with the Cards, and then four seasons with the St. Louis Rams), seven as a cornerback. He made one after moving to safety with the Rams. He had 55 interceptions, nine that he returned for touchdowns. Cowboys Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin has often talked about how hard Williams made his life. He was one of the game’s all-time best, although his career was underplayed because the Cardinals were often bad during his playing days.

Williams may be in a waiting game. If he doesn’t get in this year — and it will be tough with the names there — when would it happen?

In the meantime, quarterback Kurt Warner waits for his chance for eligibility. Warner isn’t homegrown, not after successfully breaking in with the Rams. But there is little question that the only reason Warner’s career elevated to possible Hall of Fame status was because he had a rebirth with the Cardinals. Without those years from 2005-2009 — particularly his renaissance with Ken Whisenhunt from 2007-2009 — this wouldn’t even be a topic. Warner’s first year of eligibility comes after the 2014 season, when, in a nice twist of coincidence, the Hall vote will take place at the Super Bowl in Arizona. (Team president Michael Bidwill also said on Radio Row the other day the team’s plans to eventually honor Warner themselves — perhaps the Ring of Honor? — would likely wait until Warner’s Hall status is possible.)

Many believe Warner is a surefire get-in-right-away Hall of Famer, but we will see. There are some significant players that have come up for the Hall of late and will be reaching eligibility over the next few years. There will be a logjam of worthy candidates. If Williams doesn’t get in this year, it’s because of the guys who he is up against. Finalists include Cris Carter, Warren Sapp, Tim Brown, Will Shields, Michael Strahan and Jonathan Ogden, among others. Hopefully, Williams gets in sooner rather than later. Who knows? Maybe they could both get in the same year, in Arizona.

This year’s class is announced at 3:30 p.m. Arizona time Saturday.

UPDATE: Williams did not make it, although he did get to the final 10.

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25 Responses to “Aeneas and a Hall of Fame race with Warner”

  1. By Tucson Card on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    What a BMAF. One of the few bright spots during a wildly mediocre decade.

  2. By Scott H on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    I think Warner should and will definitely go in. To have gone to 3 SB’s – WITH TWO DIFFERENT TEAMS -, winning one of those, almost winning all three, and having the top 3 passing performances in SB history, I don’t see how he doesn’t. And all of the above is only in addition to the many other amazing stats he compiled during his career. He is one of the most accurate passers in NFL history and against the blitz, he may have been THE greatest QB in NFL history.

    Whether it will be considered or not, the fact that the two teams he took to the SB were the Rams and ( especially! ) the Cardinals certainly seems like it SHOULD be considered. The Cardinals were a lost cause for decades before 2008 and they have quickly reverted to that same status since Warner retired. But from 2007-2009 with Warner playing the way he did? The Cardinals were for real. Too bad it was so short lived.

    But aside from football, there is hardly a better example of an all-around good guy in the NFL – past or present – than Warner.

    As for Williams, he definitely is worthy of HOF induction. Regardless of when he gets there, I believe that he will. It is just a shame to know, however, that had he spent his entire career with the Cardinals, he probably does NOT get in. If not for his late-career years with a team that won a SB – and him still playing very well at that time – I don’t think he makes it.

    One can only hope Larry Fitzgerald’s career will not follow the same course. Although, right now….it appears to be leaning in that direction.

  3. By AndyStandsUp on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Like in past voting, Kent Somers will be presenting Williams case for inclusion, correct Darren?
    Do you know if he makes the same points as last time/changes his argument and how was he chosen? Was Aeneas involved in the decision?

  4. By Darren Urban on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Somers

    Yes, Kent will present for Aeneas. That’s all supposed to be secret, so Kent doesn’t share those details. But obviously, once a guy is presented once, I assume there is a moving forward with the process.

  5. By georgiebird on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Warner is a sure fire HOF- what he did for the Cardinals is HOF material even if he had never played for the Rams. Warner’s play in 2008 is probably the greatest achievement by any player in NFL history-almost winning the Super Bowl for the St Louis/ Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals- it still amazes me.
    Aeneas Williams should not get in to the HOF. He was a very good player- some nice stats but he is not HOF quality-on too many losing teams to truly judge him.

  6. By AndyStandsUp on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    The reason I asked on the presenter is because why I like Somers as a person, his “presence” might not be as “overpowering” as a Mike Sando from ESPN for Cortez Kennedy last year. Or a Peter King/ SalPal/other East Coast guys.
    I recognize that the voters take their choices very seriously, but with a small inclusion group of 46 people that probably know each other and their preferences, I could see a bias being formed.
    IMO, voters should be expanded ala MLB HOF voting. Would you welcome that?

  7. By Darren Urban on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: HoF

    As for Kent’s “presence,” everyone in that room knows each other. No one is star struck. I find it very unlikely guys are being voted in or out based on the presenter.

    As for MLB, maybe that makes sense, but as the news has reported of late, their system isn’t perfect either.

  8. By Iain M on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    I know this is a little off topic, but could the cards trade Levi Brown for a high draft pick and then obtain a left tackle in the first round? And if it is possible could you see it happening?

  9. By Darren Urban on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Iain —

    RE: Levi

    Who is going to trade a high pick for Levi Brown?

  10. By Iain M on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    I am only asking if it is possible because I only recently started following football and I am not sure on all the rules and regulations surrounding trades and free agency. So I apologise for my lack of knowledge.

  11. By philly cards on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    What aneas did by going to stlouis was close to treason. He was my favorite card with larry centers. But he had no reason to do that. He helped us lose what ever momentum we had from beating dallas.

  12. By clssylssy on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    As you pointed out, there are a lot of worthy names who are eligible and have been nominated but since this is such an elite group the class seems to get smaller each year, especially when non-players are included, owners, coaches etc. The game is changing and many of today’s fans don’t recognize the nominees from past eras, like Williams whose contributions set the standard for the NFL. . Most Arizonans would never have heard of Kurt Warner had it not been for his finishing his career here, AND his being at the right place at the right time during the “Golden years” of Ken Whisenhunt and the 2008 “Dream Team” with it’s coaching staff and collection of young future greats. Remembering back to those early games with Warner, I remember Arizona fans booing him off the field and while much has changed, so much has stayed the same. I doubt that Warner will enter the Hall as a Cardinal; St. Louis is where his heart always has been and where he became famous for the legendary ” Greatest Show on Turf” SB, although the SB with the Cards and Steelers would have been even more legendary IF we had won. Seeing Anquan Boldin get back to the “Big Dance” this year has been so exciting. It shows that these players owe everything to the guys around them, that the team is not one man but the sum of it’s parts. The competition is stiff enough but it’s especially hard for certain position players like Wide Receivers to make the cut unless they have a SB ring; hopefully Q will get his this weekend and will be one step closer with a talent like Larry Fitz cheering him one but wondering how his choices may have effected his chances.
    It’s always great to see Cardinal players honored and achieve recognition and the Hall of Fame is the final marker by the industry validating a player’s career of achievement. Good Luck Willie! GO CARDS!

  13. By Chuck 1 on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Off topic, but …………

    I just want to say, after giving it much thought, I’M ALL IN WITH BA’s & MOORE’S DECISION ON WHICH QB THEY DRAFT. THEY KNOW QBs.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Aeneas is one of my all-time favorite cardinals. I sure hope he gets in. Looking at his competition, it will be tough.

    I went to a game between the cards and saints in New Orleans a few years back. (help me out Darren, it was the game the running back who was a rodeo cowboy, ran for around 200 yards. Cant remember his name)

    Anyway, we ran into about 20 people there rooting for Aeneas. It turned out to be his family and friends. Great people and they raised a great man.

    Other memories ;
    He should have been rookie of the year, but fell short in the votes. He dominated Michael Irvin in the 2008 playoffs and picked Aikman twice.

    I also loved when Aeneas came back before one of the playoff games and gave his speech to the crowd. Awesome.

    But it is hard to think about his era with the cards and not think of what could have been. Now that was a good team till Mr B. let 5 stars leave without contracts, injuries to wrs and D-lineman, Rice off to Tampa, and the trade of Aeneas for Michael Stone and Marcus Bell. (2nd and 4th round picks for Williams). Poor Tobin never had a chance.

    Well, I guess I cant think of Williams without thinking of the colossal failure of the ownership after the playoff win and the injustice I believe Tobin experienced.

    Good Luck Aeneas Williams

  15. By Darren Urban on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Name

    LeShon Johnson.

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply


    Everything is possible, but Levi missed last year due to injury. So, it is unlikely.

    If I were the Bears, I would Give up a 3rd or maybe a 2nd and switch places with our 3’s. Something like that might be more likely.

    But I personally think a team that struggled with OLineman shouldn’t trade any of the good ones they have away. If you feel strong about the two tackles we have, move someone inside to guard.

    We once drafted a LT who left the team and was moved inside to guard and became an all-pro guard for the cowboys. If you feel someone is not a tackle, try him at guard before you dismiss him.

  17. By Cactus jeff on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Free agency recap past 2 years

    Niners: Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, starting C Johnathan Goodwin,, Carlos Rodgers, and Donte Whitner

    Cardinals: William Gay, Todd Heap, Darryn Colledge, Adam Snyder, and King

    Safe to say all Niners FA’s start on the Cardinals, none of the cardinal’s FA’s start on the Niners. That is 4 or 5 starter advantage on the Niners through FA over past 2 years. Tough for a coach or GM to compete with that kind of disadvantage heading into the draft. Mr Bidwill, please focus on FA! Beat the teams in your division in FA first, then worry about the draft.

  18. By Credit Card on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Agreed with John the Draft Guy regarding moving a tackle to guard. Levi Brown is a decent run blocker, and does fairly well with slower moving DLineman. Brown’s biggest problem is movement. Faster DE such as Vonn Miller etc.. give Brown all sorts of problems. I said with the movement of Porter to LT — at least he can be at the point of attack. Brown cannot get to the point of attack when it comes to pass protection against a fast DE. Move him to guard!

  19. By AndyStandsUp on Feb 2, 2013 | Reply

    Whom do we have next year in possible HOF inductions? Marvin Harrison, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison,Paul Taglibue? Plus Strahan, Brown and Bettis?
    Aeneas Williams had better get in next year or face long odds before the big guns move in.

  20. By cardsalltheway on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    Bob Costas: “The way football is currently played in the NFL is fundamentally unsustainable”
    I’ve always liked Bob Costas!

  21. By cardsalltheway on Feb 3, 2013 | Reply

    The 49ers will win the Super Bowl via “The Catch III” from a Colin Rand Kaepernick pass to Randy Gene Moss.

  22. By Scott H on Feb 4, 2013 | Reply

    philly cards –

    RE: Wiiliams going to St Louis was close to treason / He had no reason to do that

    Really???? I’d say he had a very good reason. What do you think it was like for him, to be one of THE best players of an era at his position and to be stuck in a place where he KNEW there was no chance to play in a Super Bowl??? Do ya think that may have been just a bit frustrating? Please. There is NOTHING wrong with what he did. After dedicating himself – heart, soul, and body – to this team for as long as he did, he deserved a chance to win a Super Bowl. And that was just not gonna happen here. Knowing that, why did he have to give up the only chance he would ever have to be a world champion?

    I’m a huge fan of almost 40 years at this point, and I say good for him. I wear his jersey and he is STILL one of my favorite players of all time. And I am glad he got to win a SB, regardless of where it was.

  23. By Eazy E on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Boy Aeneas was a baller. I knew he was, bu when you put his numbers down there, it looks really good for him getting in soon. Michael Strahan didn’t make it which shocked me.

  24. By Mariellen on Mar 18, 2013 | Reply


    Put Kurt Warner in the Hall of Fame! Check out this funny video. You go Kurt!

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