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It's Time to Put Morten Andersen in the Hall of Fame

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The Saints' most recent Ring of Honor inductee has a serious case for Canton, and New Orleans wants the league to know it.

Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

There are currently only four kickers inducted in the Hall of Fame.  Jan Stenerud, George Blanda, Ray Guy and Lou Groza.  Of those four, only Stenerud and Guy didn't play a second position.  It's time to add a fifth.

Morten Andersen had a long and storied career for a variety of teams, and he could really be inducted on longevity alone.  The man kicked from 1982 all the way up until 2007, a ridiculous 25 year career.  His first 12 years were spent with the Saints before Andersen became a journeyman of sorts, going from the Falcons to the Giants to the Chiefs to the Vikings before heading BACK to Atlanta.  Both his stints in Atlanta, however, were relatively short, so they're fairly forgivable (plus he didn't Bobby Hebert it upon leaving).

In 2007, Andersen finally retired, leading the NFL in career points at 2,544, field goals at 565 and games played at 382.  The only other kicker that has as compelling an argument as Andersen is Adam Vinatieri, and even that case is largely due to the nature of the kicks that he makes (though Vinatieri is on pace to break Andersen's points record by 2018, sitting at 2,237 to date).

The last kicker to be inducted was Stenerud in 1991.  There is a certain bias against kickers these days, due to the misconception that they're just "doing their job" if they make a kick, with the potential to be a massive goat should they ever miss (see: Blair Walsh).  It's also difficult to quantify a kicker's worth, as some kickers only show up in the most "clutch" situations, but the Hall of Fame isn't granted on "clutch."

Andersen has been a finalist the last 2 ballots, falling short on both of them.

To give a point of reference as to the exclusivity of the New Orleans Ring of Honor, the only other inductees are Archie Manning, Ricky Jackson and Willie Roaf (all deservedly so).

Andersen holds the team lead in both points and games played to date, at 1,318 and 196, respectively.

Andersen holds a myriad of NFL records, including most games played in his career (382), most consecutive games for a placekicker (248), most career game-winning field goals (103) and most 50 yard field goals in one game (3).  These are just chief amongst 21 NFL records broken upon the time of his retirement.  Andersen also holds the Saints' record for field goals made/attempted at 302/389.  Andersen fell 2 days short of George Blanda's record of 48 years and 109 days as the oldest player to appear in an NFL game.

The Hall of Fame is meant to recognize outstanding career achievements and it also is designed to enshrine those that shine at every position throughout the NFL.  Andersen fits that bill (and then some).  It's time to add another kicker and reset the clock.

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