Ryan Longwell: Packers Hall Of Famer?
It’s not very often we’d bother to talk about a Minnesota Vikings player around here, but this is one of those cases. The Vikings released veteran kicker Ryan Longwell, a former member of the Green Bay Packers, on Monday.
The Vikings drafted Georgia’s Blair Walsh in the sixth round last month, making the 37-year-old Longwell expendable. Although history tells us veteran kickers as good as Longwell usually catch on somewhere, this could also be where he decides to hang up the cleats.
That possibility begs the question, is Longwell good enough to make the Packers Hall of Fame? First, you’ll need to throw out the six seasons he played with the Vikings.
Longwell spent his first nine seasons in Green Bay. During that time he converted 226 of 277 field goals (81.6 percent) and scored 1,054 points. Those are pretty solid numbers, but Longwell has never made a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team. He is, however, the Packers all-time leading scorer.
There are only three true kickers in the Packers Hall of Fame — Don Chandler, Chester Marcol and Jan Stenerud.
Chandler played only three seasons in Green Bay (he was also a punter), made 57.8 percent of his field goals and scored 261 points. He made his lone Pro Bowl as a member of the Packers in 1967.
Marcol played nine seasons with the Packers, made 61.5 percent of his field goals and scored 521. He made two Pro Bowls and was named first-team All Pro twice.
Stenerud played four seasons in Green Bay, made 80.8 percent of his field goals and scored 292 points. He never made a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team as a member of the Packers. He is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but largely based on his resume with the Kansas City Chiefs.
All things considered — and again, we’re forgetting that he played for the Vikings — Longwell’s chances look pretty good.