Should Seau Get In On The First Shot?

Junior Seau is already being talked about as a first ballot Hall Of Fame candidate. So what does New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan think of all the talk?

New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan recently announced that he would not return for another season, much to the chagrin of Giants fans. The All-Pro defensive lineman ends his career right where it began 15 seasons earlier - in New York.

Brett Favre, Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Bryant Young and Warren Sapp have all joined Strahan in retirement this season. Another long time veteran, Junior Seau, is weighing his options. Seau came out on the wrong end of Strahan's crowning achievement - a win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, and his anguish was palpable to all who saw the veteran defender lying face down on the field moments after the Giants scored a touchdown in the final moments of the game.

Widely considered a first ballot Hall of Fame candidate, Strahan recently opined on his potential classmates if inducted into the Hall on the first Ballot. Strahan believes Seau is a lock for the Hall. During an appearance on ESPN last week, Strahan commented that he felt Seau would be the next one in after the obvious choice of Packers quarterback Brett Favre.

"He deserves it. He's the only one of us who doesn't have it - one of those rings," said Strahan. "He's lasted the longest of any of us. I'd have to give it to him. He definitely deserves that yellow jacket."

Linebacker Junior Seau lies on the field moments after the New York Giants scored to take the lead in Super Bowl XLII (AP Photo)

Strahan's admiration of Seau isn't unique. Not only did the ESPN hosts agree with the gap-toothed defender, but the hosts on ESPN's NFL Live also agreed that Seau belongs in the Hall. The only question that remains is if he plays one more year - as expected. Should Seau return to New England, as the team has hinted, he'll have to wait until the class of 2014. (Players are eligible 5 years after they retire).

Whether Seau returns, or retires, he remains one of the most widely recognizable linebackers in the league, next to the likes of Zach Thomas, Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher.

Seau began his career as the first round pick of the San Diego Chargers (5th overall) in the 1990 NFL Draft. The All American out of USC, remains a fan favorite in his hometown of San Diego despite a career that saw him leave the Chargers (1990-2002) to play for the Dolphins (2003-05) and the Patriots (2006-07).

Last year the 6-foot-3, 250-pound California native recorded 74 tackles (58 solos), 3.5 sacks, four passes defended and 3 interceptions for the Patriots.

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