Being snubbed by Hall of Fame voters is not a new experience for Roger Craig. He was a finalist just once in his traditional eligibility period in 2010 (when Jerry Rice was inducted), and his eligibility expired in 2018 to be inducted via the normal 48-member selection panel. He told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco then that the results confounded him.
“I thought I’d go in a long time ago,” Craig said. “It’s kind of funny all these other guys went in before me when I kind of changed the game for the millennials today.”
Craig had another chance to be inducted with the special Centennial Hall of Fame class this season, voted on by a 25-person “Blue-Ribbon Panel” comprised of 13 members of the traditional 48-member selection panel plus 12 others, including Hall of Famers, coaches (Bill Belichick one of them), NFL historians and football executives.
Again, Craig was snubbed, as the results of the vote, which inducted 10 former players out of 20, did not include him. Here is the list of players who were inducted and those who were not:
These 10 seniors were finalists but were NOT elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) January 15, 2020
Craig, of course, was the first player in NFL history to reach the milestone of 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. In his 11-year career, eight of which were spent in San Francisco, Craig rushed for 8,189 yards and 56 TDs, had 4,911 receiving yards and 17 TDs, won three Super Bowls.
“Roger should have been there,” former teammate Earl Cooper told KNBR earlier this week. “Roger did everything that an undersized running back, full back out of Nebraska could do. Catch, run, block, true grit. Should have been there. Should have been there already. You have the kind of years he had with the receptions and the rushing. Never seemed to be tired at all. The more tired he got, the harder he ran.”
He was a four-time Pro Bowler, and named first-team All-Pro and winner of the AP Offensive Player of the Year award in 1988 when he had a career-high 1,502 rushing yards and nine rushing TDs along with 534 receiving yards (1 TD, 79 receptions). He has the 44th-most rushing yards in NFL history and the 25th-most receiving yards for a running back in NFL history.