Technically speaking, Neon Deion is the fifth ex-Redskin to make the Hall in four years. But, who’s speaking technically? No one, not the fans, not the player, not the owner claims Sanders as a Redskin.
Sanders was an undeniably great player and made the Hall in his first year of eligibility. He spent five (1995-’99) of his 14 year career as a Redskins nemesis with the Dallas Cowboys before hitting the jackpot at the Snyder casino in 2000.
As a fan in the stands, signing Sanders was the Snyder move that most incensed me. Yes, worse than signing free agent Albert Haynesworth. It still causes heartburn.
Haynesworth hadn’t retired from football before he was signed as Sanders was when Snyder approached him. Nor did the Redskins cut a premier active player to make room for Haynesworth the way Snyder cut Brian Mitchell to make room for the Neon one while keeping Darrell Green on the bench.
Deion Sanders as Redskins punt returner: 25 returns, 185 yards, 7.4 average, 0 touchdowns
Brian Mitchell as Eagles punt returner: 32 returns, 335 yards, 10.5 average, 1 touchdown
But wait. There’s more.
Saunders retired from football, again, after one season with the Redskins. So he wasn’t around to help Steve Spurrier revolutionize pro football.
Haynesworth’s been on the roster two seasons and the Redskins hint he is welcomed to stay, if only….
Sorry, Sanders making the Hall just brought all that back. I didn’t have to look up the “Saunders” or “Mitchell” entry in The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide To Daniel Snyder.
(Grudgingly admit through clenched teeth that Sanders deserves to be in the Hall.)
BRIAN MITCHELL FOR THE HALL OF FAME!
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Rooting for the Steelers today. Packers are favored to win. Be safe tonight.