The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its list of 173 modern-era nominees for its 2024 class on Tuesday, and one former New Orleans Saints player was brought up as a first-time honoree in his first year of eligibility: Max Unger.
Unger, 37, retired on his own terms after the 2018 season having accomplished a lot in the NFL. Before joining the Saints in the landmark 2015 Jimmy Graham trade, Unger earned All-Pro recognition and two Pro Bowl trips with the Seattle Seahawks — with whom he also won a Super Bowl ring. He played at a high level in New Orleans and was selected for a third Pro Bowl appearance in 2018, his last year in the league before choosing to hang up his cleats.
So does he have a real chance at earning a bronze bust in Canton? Unger is a long shot. Just seven centers have been inducted to the Hall of Fame, and Pro Football Reference research found on average they’ve logged five All-Pro teams and eight Pro Bowl appearances. That’s a very high bar which Unger doesn’t quite meet.
He isn’t the only former Saints player on this year’s list of nominees, though. Unger’s old teammate Jahri Evans is returning for another shot after he reached the semifinalist stage last season. With Drew Brees eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2026, there’s a good chance one of his former blockers will be waiting for him in Canton.