The Arizona Cardinals' Ring of Honor will have a new member this fall.
On Thursday, the franchise announced former quarterback and 19-year NFL veteran Jim Hart will become the 17th Cardinal inducted into the franchise's Ring of Honor, which celebrates the most important members of the organization's history.
Hart, who spent 18 seasons with the Cardinals and won the NFC Player of the Year Award in 1974, will become just the second quarterback in franchise history to enter the Ring of Honor, joining Kurt Warner, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.
Like Warner, Hart was an undrafted free agent who found tremendous success during his NFL career, as Hart led the Cardinals to three consecutive 10-win seasons in the mid-1970s including back-to-back division titles in 1974 and 1975. Over that two-year span, Hart led the Cardinals on 10-game winning drives which helped the team earn the moniker, 'Cardiac Cards.'
Hart spent more seasons with the Cardinals than any other player in franchise history and trails only kicker Jim Bakken and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in the number of games played for the organization.
“The Ring of Honor is reserved for those who have made the most extraordinary contributions to the Cardinals organization and Jim Hart is absolutely in that category,” said Cardinals President Michael Bidwill in a press release on Thursday. “When you look back at his career, two things really jump out: excellence and longevity. He is our franchise’s career leader in nearly every passing category which is commendable in its own right. But an undrafted quarterback going on to play 18 seasons and 199 games may be even more remarkable and unlikely to ever be duplicated. The impact he had on the Cardinals was undeniable and we are thrilled that he will have this permanent place of honor within our franchise.”
Hart is the Cardinals' career record holder for career wins by a quarterback (87), passing yards (34,639) and touchdown passes (209). Hart was also selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1974-1977, which is the most Pro Bowl selections for a quarterback in team history.
According to the Cardinals' press release, only five other players in NFL history have spent more than 18 seasons with their respective franchises.
Of the 16 members of the organization who have been inducted into the Cardinals' Ring of Honor, only four have played or coached with the team in the last quarter century.
The Cardinals will announce the 2017 home game at which Hart will be inducted into the Ring of Honor at a later date.