Luke Kuechly‘s surprise retirement means he’ll first be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Class of 2025. If Kuechly is inducted on the first ballot, he’ll join Gale Sayers as the youngest Hall of Famers ever.
Kuechly is 28 years old and turns 29 in April, meaning he’ll be eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame when he’s 33 and would turn 34 before the enshrinement. Sayers was also voted into the Hall of Fame at age 33 and was enshrined at age 34.
Whether Kuechly is a first ballot Hall of Famer remains to be seen. His case includes being a seven-time Pro Bowler, five-time first-team All-Pro, and 2013 defensive player of the year.
Rob Gronkowski, who retired last year, will be eligible to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame at age 35. If he gets in on the first ballot, he’ll tie Jim Brown as the second-youngest members of the Hall of Fame.