Now that Kevin Mawae, Ed Reed and Johnny Robinson have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who else with Louisiana or New Orleans Saints ties could be next? Here are five names to consider:

Tom Benson

Job description: Owner

Louisiana tie: Born in New Orleans, Saints owner

NFL career: Owned New Orleans Saints from 1985 until his death in 2018.

The case for Canton: He has yet to make the ballot, but the Saints became an NFL power under his ownership and he rose to chair the NFL owners’ finance committee. The $11 million he donated to the Hall of Fame stadium (which bears his name) and village can’t hurt, either.

Alan Faneca

Position: Guard

Louisiana ties: LSU, born in New Orleans

NFL career: Pittsburgh Steelers, 1998-2007; New York Jets 2008-09; Arizona Cardinals, 2010

The case for Canton: Faneca has the classic offensive lineman’s Hall of Fame resume. He was a six-time All-Pro, nine-time Pro-Bowler and won a Super Bowl (Pittsburgh, 2005). A Hall of Fame semifinalist the past four years, it seems a matter of time before he gets the knock on the door.

Peyton Manning

Position: Quarterback

Louisiana tie: Born in New Orleans

NFL career: Indianapolis Colts, 1998-2010; Denver Broncos, 2012-15

The case for Canton: If Manning isn’t a first-ballot lock when eligible in 2021, there is no such thing as a first-ballot lock. An NFL and Super Bowl MVP, Manning ranks first in career TD passes (539), second in yards passing to Drew Brees (71,940), third in completions and attempts (6,125 of 9,380).

Sam Mills

Position: Linebacker

Louisiana tie: Played for New Orleans Saints

NFL career: New Orleans Saints, 1986-94; Carolina Panthers, 1995-97

The case for Canton: A popular player who succumbed to cancer in 2005, Mills was a Hall of Fame semifinalist in 2016 and again in 2019. A five-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro in 1996, Mills ranks 20th in career tackles (1,265). A sentimental favorite sure to merit consideration again in the near future.

Reggie Wayne

Position: Wide receiver

Louisiana tie: Born in New Orleans

NFL career: Indianapolis Colts, 2001-14

The case for Canton: A six-time Pro Bowler and 2010 All-Pro pick, Wayne ranks 10th in career yards receiving (14,345) after teaming with Manning for one of the most prolific pass-and-catch combinations in NFL history. Wayne might be elected in 2020, but wouldn’t it be cool if he and Manning went in together?

Also for your consideration

La’Roi Glover (Saints, 1997-2001), Clark Shaughnessy (Tulane and Loyola coach, NFL advisor and defensive coordinator); Jahri Evans (Saints, 2006-16); Brian Mitchell (Leesville native, Plaquemine HS, UL, played for Redskins, Eagles and Giants).


Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com