Edgerrin James Announces Retirement: Is He a Hall of Famer?

Earlier this month, Kerry Collins announced his retirement at number 11 on the all time passing yardage list. Now in an odd 2011 coincidence, the NFL’s number 11 all-time leading rusher, Edgerrin James announced his retirement.

James, the fourth overall pick in the 1999 draft for the Indianapolis Colts from the University of Miami, started the run of stud running backs to come from “The U” that included Clinton Portis, Najeh Davenport, Willis McGahee and Frank Gore. He was named AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1999 and was selected to four Pro-Bowls.

A strong, physical running back from Immokalee, Florida, James spent time with the Cardinals after playing with the Colts, helping Arizona to their first Super Bowl in Franchise History. He spent part of 2009 with the Seahawks but was out of football last season. According to the Fort Myers’ News Press James made the decision official yesterday.

“I’ve been retired,” said James, a running back who began his career in 1999 as the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. “I’m not playing anymore.”

“I could play again as a free agent, but that’s not something I would do. I got in, got out. That was the plan. I look at it as a well executed plan. Now I can do stuff like this. This is what I want to do. I didn’t want to keep playing until I was too old and I couldn’t move around. The last year I played, I was hurt, and I never had a chance to get healthy.

It seems like he is comfortable with his decision. Now the question is, will Canton come calling in 2014? According to James himself, he thinks he is worthy.

“I’m No. 11,” he said of his place on the all-time rushing list. “Everybody before me is in there. People after me are in there. I think it will work itself out, eventually.”

Maybe it is my “U” blinders, but I think he has a legit shot at the Hall of Fame. Maybe not first ballot, but like he said, everybody ahead of him who is eligible to be in, is in. Also, consider that for the bulk of his career, he was the running back of a team that had a guys named Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark.

I think he has a much better shot to get in than Kerry Collins. Its an interesting debate, which carries more weight? Yardage wise, being the 11th best running back of all time or being the 11th best quarterback of all time?

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