The Broncos won’t add anyone to the Ring of Fame in 2022
Jun 2, 2022, 4:48 PM | Updated: Jun 3, 2022, 12:38 am
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
The Broncos will commemorate the 1997 team this season — but they won’t add anyone new to the Ring of Fame.
Thursday, the team announced that it would hold a reunion for the 1997 team during the weekend of the Oct. 23 home game against the New York Jets. The gathering will take place as part of the team’s annual Homecoming Weekend.
However, according to a source with knowledge, the team will not add any new players into the Ring of Fame this year.
The club inducted coach Mike Shanahan and quarterback Peyton Manning last year. The induction of Shanahan should have taken place in 2020, but COVID-19 delayed it.
Pat Bowlen created the Ring of Fame in 1984, just four months after he bought the club. Bowlen immediately established two selection criteria: a minimum of four years with the Broncos and being retired for five years.
The last decade has been the busiest time for Ring of Fame inductees since 1984-89. In that span, the Broncos inducted 13 players.
Thirteen Broncos figures joined the Ring from 2012-21.
The cluster of recent inductees, the pending sale of the team and construction around Ring of Fame Plaza on the south end of the stadium are reasons for hitting the pause button on Ring induction for 2022, per a source.
The celebration of the 1997 world champions marks the second time in the last seven years that the Broncos will commemorate that squad. In 2015, the franchise held a reunion around the induction of owner Pat Bowlen into the Ring of Fame.
Meanwhile, the wait will continue for some notable eligible candidates, including some whose resumes warrant consideration in future years:
LT RYAN CLADY: He retired after a final 2016 season with the New York Jets. He endured a brilliant-but-star-crossed Broncos career. When healthy, he was arguably the best left tackle in team history; it’s a debate between him and Gary Zimmerman. Despite two knee injuries and a Lisfranc injury, he was a four-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro. He earned first-team All-Pro nods in 2009 and 2012.
DE/OLB ELVIS DUMERVIL: He notched three Pro Bowl appearances and a first-team All-Pro nod in just seven Broncos seasons — one of which saw him miss the entire year because of a torn pectoral muscle. His rate of 0.7 sacks/game is the second-best in Broncos history for anyone with at least 20 sacks; only Von Miller is better.
S/CB STEVE FOLEY: A member of the “Orange Crush” defense, Foley remains the Broncos’ all-time leader in interceptions with 46. Foley is also one of just two players in team history with at least five seasons with 5 or more interceptions. Austin “Goose” Gonsoulin is the other.
DE RULON JONES: In Broncos history, only Miller and Simon Fletcher have more double-digit sack seasons than Jones, who posted four — including in 1980, per the calculations of Pro-Football-Reference.com, which examined seasons before the sack became an official statistic in 1982. Jones earned two Pro Bowl selections and was twice an All-Pro — a first-teamer in 1986 and a second-teamer in 1985.
WR ED McCAFFREY: The patriarch of what has become a footballing dynasty, McCaffrey was a Pro Bowler and a second-team All-Pro during nine seasons as a Bronco. He is in the top five in franchise annals in receptions, receiving yardage and touchdown catches; all other eligible players in those categories are already in the Ring of Fame.
TE RILEY ODOMS: Every eligible Bronco with at least two first-team All-Pro selections since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger is in the Ring of Fame, save for two: Clady and Odoms. Among tight ends, Odoms trails only Hall of Fame Shannon Sharpe in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches.
DL TREVOR PRYCE: A four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro (two years second-team, one year first-team) in eight Broncos seasons, Pryce amassed 65 sacks, placing him seventh in franchise history.
LB AL WILSON: The spiritual leader and heart and soul of the Broncos’ early-to-mid-2000s defenses earned All-Pro honors in 2005 and was a five-time Pro Bowler. He finished with at least 100 tackles three times. He is one of just 13 Broncos with at least five Pro Bowl selections. But Wilson is the only eligible 5-time Pro Bowler not in the Ring.