After several tries, Jacksonville Jaguars legendary offensive tackle Tony Boselli has at last been selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It should’ve happened earlier but can’t keep thinking about that. Instead, it’s time to celebrate one of the most iconic players in franchise history will get to wear a gold jacket soon.
Boselli was the very first player the Jags drafted. They chose him out of USC with the top pick in the 1995 NFL Draft. He appeared in 91 games with 90 starts over his eight-year career, making the Pro Bowl five times and the All-Pro team three times in that span. Although he joined the Houston Texans, then an expansion team, in 2002, he never played for them due to a shoulder injury that cut his NFL career short.
This was the sixth time Boselli was a finalist to the Hall of Fame. The former USC Trojan made the cut along with former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler, former Carolina Panthers linebacker Sam Mills, former New England Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour, former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Bryant Young, former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch, former Philadelphia Eagles/Los Angeles Rams head coach Dick Vermeil and former NFL director of officiating Art McNally.
Here’s a list of all the players that didn’t make the final cut this time and will have to wait at least another year to get inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- Patrick Willis (San Franciso 49ers), linebacker
- DeMarcus Ware (Dallas Cowboys/Denver Broncos), linebacker
- Zach Thomas (Miami Dolphins), linebacker
- Torry Holt (Los Angeles Rams), wide receiver
- Andre Johnson (Houston Texans), wide receiver
- Jared Allen (Kansas City Chiefs/Minnesota Vikings), defensive end
- Ronde Barger (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), cornerback
- Willie Anderson (Cincinnati Bengals), offensive tackle
- Devin Hester (Chicago Bears), return specialist
Here’s an image the Jags’ official Twitter account posted after news that Boselli will get enshrined made the rounds on social media.
The Jaguars have at last one of their players make the Hall of Fame.
The Jaguars haven’t been very good in recent years, having only one winning season in the last decade. But that wasn’t always the case and they were one of the most dominant clubs in the AFC in the late 1990s. Boselli was a key cog in those Jags teams. He was one of the most dominant offensive tackles in the league and his inclusion in the Hall of Fame was past due.
With Boselli no longer needing to wait every year to know whether he made the cut or not, the Hall-of-Fame committee can now turn their attention into inducting former Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith and running back Fred Taylor.
Just like Boselli, Smith, and Taylor were an integral part of those Jacksonville teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s and Taylor didn’t even make the cut to the final 15 this year. Their respective resumes stack up pretty well against those of players that already got enshrined. You could make a case that playing in a small market (and the Jags) is hurting their candidacy but if Boselli was able to get in, Taylor and Smith have a realistic shot to make it too.