The Denver Broncos have announced that three former greats have been elected to the Ring of Fame. Kicker Jason Elam, linebacker Simon Fletcher and safety John Lynch will be inducted by the Broncos later this year.
This marks the fifth time that three or more players will be inducted at the same time, since owner Pat Bowlen created the Ring of Fame back in 1984 to honor players and administrators who have played pivotal roles in Broncos history.
Including the 2016 inductees, the Broncos have 31 individuals in the RoF. Aside from the placement of their names on the Level 5 facade of Sports Authority Field, inductees also have the honor of being featured on the 8-foot bronze and steel pillars in Ring of Fame Plaza outside the south end of the stadium.
Jason Elam (1993-2007)
The Broncos selected Elam in the third round (No. 70 overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft out of Hawaii. He's originally from Georgia.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Elam is Denver's all-time leader in field goals (395) and points (1,786). He also distinguished himself as the Special Teams Player of the Year in 2001.
Elam was part of 152 combined wins—the second-highest total in team history behind quarterback John Elway (163)—including the Broncos’ back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998.
Elam retired tied for the all-time record for the longest field goal in NFL history (63 yards). It was broken by then-Broncos kicker Matt Prater in 2013 (64 yards).
Elam also retired 436-of-540 (80.7%) on field goal attempts, also going 675-of-679 (99.4%) on PATs for 1,983 points—including his two years with the Atlanta Falcons.
He had a mind-boggling 16 consecutive seasons scoring 100-plus points. And he retired with 263 consecutive games (every contest of his career) with a point—the second-longest streak in NFL history.
Simon Fletcher (1985-95)
Fletcher was selected in the second round (No. 54 overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft out of Houston by the Broncos. He was born in Texas.
He played each of his 11 seasons with the Broncos and retired as the team's all-time leader in sacks with 97.5. He was also a member of the Broncos 50th Anniversary Team, never missing a game, appearing in 172 straight.
Fletcher retired No. 13 on the NFL's all-time sack list. When you factor his six postseason sacks, he becomes just the 11th player to in NFL history to reach 100 career QB takedowns for a single team.
He was a force, playing most of his career in Wade Phillips 3-4 defense. Fletcher joined Hall-of-Famer Reggie White as the only players to record double-digit sack totals in five consecutive years from 1989-93.
Fletcher set an NFL record, notching a sack in 10 consecutive games from 1992-93—a mark that he currently shares with Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware (2007-08 Dallas).
Fletcher posted 851 career tackles (530 solo), two interceptions, 21 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries. He started in three AFC Championship games ('86, '87, ’89), while posting 42 tackles (36 solo) and six sacks in 12 career postseason games.
He was the definition of consistent and one of the most feared pass rushers of his era. Simon Fletcher deserves Hall of Fame consideration, but we all know the likelihood of that happening is close to zero.
John Lynch (2004-07)
Although he only played four seasons for the Broncos, he was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of them. Lynch joined fellow safety Steve Atwater (7), tight end Shannon Sharpe (7), cornerback Champ Bailey (4), center Tom Nalen (4) and defensive lineman Trevor Pryce (4) as the only Broncos players to earn a Pro Bowl nod in four-straight years.
Lynch and Bailey are the only players to make the Pro Bowl in each of their first four seasons with the Broncos. Including five with Tampa, Lynch earned nine career Pro Bowl selections.
He was a key player on the Broncos 2005 team that secured the first playoff victory at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (then Invesco) in 2005, defeating the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots 27-13. Lynch picked off Tom Brady in the fourth quarter of that Divisional Round playoff.
Lynch joined the Broncos after 11 seasons in Tampa, that saw him earn a Super Bowl ring (XXXVII). He'll also be inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Fame this year.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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