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Jessie Tuggle, John Abraham headline five former Falcons nominated for 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class

Two deserving players and Falcons legends who hopefully have a real shot.

Super Bowl XXXIII - Denver Broncos vs Atlanta Falcons - January 31, 1999

At their best, Jessie Tuggle and John Abraham terrorized opposing offenses. Tuggle was one of the most physical linebackers of his era, a tackling machine who was a key cog in the team’s 1998 Super Bowl squad. Abraham was the last great pass rusher Atlanta has managed to muster up, and one of the only reasons the defense was remotely solid from the time he arrived until the team abruptly dumped him post-2012.

Deservingly, both those players are up for the Hall of Fame for the Class of 2020. They’ll join former (if less legendary) Falcons Jason Elam, Cornelius Bennett, and Eric Metcalf in a list of well over 100 nominees, meaning we shouldn’t get too pumped about their chances just yet. I will say this, though: Canton isn’t really complete without them.

Tuggle finished his legendary career with 1,804 tackles, 21 sacks, 6 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, and 6 defensive touchdowns in 209 games, making five Pro Bowls and being recognized as an All-Pro multiple times. The number are impressive but certainly don’t properly capture the degree to which Tuggle was a legitimate enforcer on that Falcons defense, and you see shades of that physicality and run-stopping acumen in his son Grady Jarrett on this current Falcons defense.

Abe, meanwhile, needs no real introduction to anyone here. His 68.5 sacks in a Falcons jersey are the single highest total in team history, he forced 21 fumbles, and just generally was the most dominant pass rusher the Falcons have seen since...well, very early in their franchise history. The Falcons didn’t have many players of his caliber before he arrived in Atlanta and they’ve had exactly zero pass rushers even close to his level since he left. His 133.5 career sacks are 13th on the all-time list, and I’d find it difficult to leave him out of Canton.

Elam, Metcalf, and Bennett might be longshots, but they were all Falcons at one time, and thus I objectively believe they belong in the Hall of Fame forever and ever.

What are your thoughts on these guys and their chances?