Roger Craig

49ers legend Craig again passed over for Pro Football Hall of Fame

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The wait continues for Roger Craig.

Craig, the three-time Super Bowl champion with the 49ers and the inaugural member of the NFL’s 1,000-1,000 club, was not selected as one of three senior finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Craig was one of 12 senior candidates under consideration but again was passed over for a potential spot in the Hall of Fame.

Randy Gradishar, Steve McMichael and Art Powell were voted as the three seniors finalists for the Class of 2024, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Wednesday morning.

Each finalist must receive at least an 80 percent vote from the 50-member board of selectors to be elected into the Hall of Fame.
Craig, 63, was a four-time Pro Bowl player and member of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1980s.

In 1985, he led the NFL with 92 receptions while becoming the first player to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season. The late Bill Walsh would say his offense was not complete until Craig arrived.

Craig was a pioneer of the game. He was equally effective as a runner and receiver at a time when running backs were not featured in the passing game.

“Obviously, it’s a copycat league, and everyone copied Bill Walsh and Roger Craig,” former New York Giants defensive lineman Jim Burt told NBC Sports Bay Area last week. “It’s as simple as that.”

Marshall Faulk (1999) and Christian McCaffrey (2019) are the only players to join the 1,000-1,000 club since Craig first accomplished the feat 37 seasons ago.

Craig’s teams advanced to the playoffs in each of his 11 NFL seasons.

Craig played the first eight seasons of his career with the 49ers. He moved on to the Los Angeles Raiders for one year and finished his career in 1993 after two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

Gradishar was a seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker with the Denver Broncos who was named 1978 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. 

McMichael registered 95 sacks and was a two-time All-Pro defensive tackle with the Chicago Bears.

Powell, who died in 2015, was a four-time Pro Bowl receiver with the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders. He twice led the AFL in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Powell also used his platform to protest segregation in the 1960s.

Pro Football Hall of Fame bylaws stipulate that up to three seniors candidates may be elected into the Hall of Fame through the Class of 2025.

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