Jacksonville Jaguars: Fred Taylor Should be in the Hall of Fame

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor rushes upfield against the San Francisco 49ers December 18, 2005 in Jacksonville. The Jaguars defeated the 49ers 10 - 9. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor rushes upfield against the San Francisco 49ers December 18, 2005 in Jacksonville. The Jaguars defeated the 49ers 10 - 9. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

Why isn’t Jacksonville Jaguars all-time leading rusher Fred Taylor already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Jacksonville Jaguars all-time leading rusher Fred Taylor should be in the NFL Hall of Fame, Period.

I can go on and on and on with how Fred Taylor has more rushing yards than O.J. Simpson, John Riggins, Joe Perry (all Hall of Fame players) and I can talk about a long litany of records that he holds for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the impact he had in the league.

However, when it comes down to it, Taylor is the greatest player in the entire 25-year history of the Jacksonville Jaguars (no offense Tony) and when there are only 32 NFL franchises it blows my mind that he gets overlooked for the Hall.

Sure, the former first-round pick in 1998 may have only been selected to one Pro Bowl, but with a fan voting system in place, we should ignore this fact given that Taylor started his career for a brand new franchise and NFL Market. Do not get me started on the asinine nickname “Fragile Fred” that should be removed from Pro Football Reference immediately for a player whose career spanned 13 years.

Here’s a look at a Hall of Fame level player.

Fred Taylor embodied what it meant to be a Jacksonville Jaguar: Quiet, strong, fierce, relentless. All of the aforementioned qualities Taylor showcased in his 11 seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars should be celebrated and not held against him when the discussion of joining the Hall of Fame is brought up.

Taylor should be lauded for being able to carry the Jaguars on his back as they had to go up against the stout defenses of Baltimore, Tennessee, and Pittsburg during his era/time in the old AFC Central and not be penalized for lower touchdown numbers compared to his colleagues. The point is, Taylor was going up against the best his generation had to offer and still put up more than 10,000 yards.

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When it came down to it, one of the most popular players in team history delivered.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have still not had a player enshrined in the Hall of Fame and with the likes of Jimmy Smith, Tony Boselli, and Taylor eagerly waiting, it is clear the time is now to have him become the first Jaguars player given the extremely high honor.

Following the election of Edgerrin James, this should be easier for Taylor. James’ stats are slightly higher than Taylor’s although Taylor did average .6 yards more per carry than James did. I have zero doubt that James playing alongside the likes of Peyton Manning for most of his career elevated his football profile and brought himself to the attention of more sportswriters. The selection of “Edge” shows that the Hall should be moving in the direction of selecting Fred Taylor in the hopefully near future as the two had very similar careers.

My overarching point is that while the careers are similar Taylor has had a much more impact on his franchise and the market of Jacksonville than just about any other running back already in the Hall for their respective organizations.

Taylor will never go out and beg/campaign to be in the Hall of Fame because that’s the type of guy he is. he is a hard worker who understands what it means to do your job and dominate on the gridiron play after play.

Jacksonville Jaguars fans are well aware of the impact and importance the player has had, but what I hope is heard loud and clear is to the entire NFL base is that Fred Taylor IS Jacksonville and would be more than deserving to be the first Jacksonville Jaguars player enshrined into the Hall of Fame.

There are many running backs either in the Hall of Fame or looking to get in but there is only one Fred Taylor.

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