Fooch's Update: The HOF made it official, along with the rest of the class: Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Bill Polian, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tinglehoff, Ron Wolf.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has not yet announced the Class of 2015, but rumors are swirling. According to one report, Charles Haley is finally going to be enshrined in Canton. Thus far, there is word that Jerome Bettis and Ron Wolf are in, with Bill Polian rumored to be getting in as well.
Got text from a high ranking cowboys source that he heard Charles Haley made the HOF. Nothing official but that's what he heard. #Boom— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) February 1, 2015
This year marked Haley's sixth straight year as a finalist on the ballot. Each of the previous five classes were certainly deserving, but it has been ridiculous that Haley might only just now be making it in. That being said, if this is true huge congrats to one of the most fearsome pass rushers in NFL history. We'll update this once word is official.
One of Haley's claims to fame is that he is the only player in NFL history to get five Super Bowl rings. Other players have gotten up there combining playing with front office or coaching, but Haley is the only player to play in and win five Super Bowls. In 12 seasons (not including 1998 when he only played in the playoffs), Haley's teams won their division 10 times. The 10-6 49ers finished third in 1991, and the 4-12 49ers finished fourth in 1999. It is a team game, but that is still a pretty crazy accomplishment.
The San Francisco 49ers drafted Haley in the fourth round of the 1986 draft. He started out as an outside linebacker, and then switched to defensive end after he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys. He finished his career with 100.5 sacks, leading the 49ers in sacks each of his first six seasons. He suffered a back injury in 1996 that forced him to retire. Two years later he made a brief cameo with the 49ers in the 1998 playoffs and the 1999 season. He then retired for good having twice been named NFC Defensive Player of the Year, and earning two All Pro and five Pro Bowl nods.
Haley had a fairly tumultuous time in San Francisco, and it eventually led to the team trading him to Dallas. Eddie DeBartolo has since acknowledged it was a big mistake to trade Haley. Haley was an erratic personality during his career, but he was later diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. After his career, Haley and DeBartolo made their peace, and Haley apparently told Eddie a couple years back he would like the latter to introduce him at Canton.
Well, that day might finally be arriving!