In 2015, the Pro Football Hall of Fame created a contributor category, which gives non-playing contributors (i.e. general managers, scouts, owners and commissioners) a chance to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.
With next year's Hall of Fame class featuring two nominees from that category, the big question is: could this finally be Bobby Beathard's turn to make it into the Hall of Fame?
Talk of Fame Network recently released a poll and asked, "Who should be the HOF's [Hall of Fame] contributor candidate for the Class of 2017?" Among the names were Beathard, Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones, the late Bucko Kilroy, former NFL executive, the late Steve Sabol, former president of NFL Films, and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
Those are three pretty big names Beathard's going up against in this poll, but what he did throughout his NFL career, especially with the Washington Redskins, is something that should get him a lot of votes before the poll ends.
Beathard served as Redskins general manager for 11 years [1978-88]. Beathard led Washington to three Super Bowl appearances, including victories in Super Bowls XVII and XXII. Many of the players Beathard acquired remained on the roster for the team's Super Bowl XXVI victory as well.
In Beathard's 11 seasons as general manager, the Redskins averaged 9.5 wins a year. The team posted a regular season winning percentage of .625 (105-63) in that time frame, best in the NFC and second-best in the NFL. No team in that time frame posted a better postseason winning percentage than the Redskins, who went 11-3 in postseason play in his tenure for a winning percentage of .786.
Beathard worked with 23 of the existing 48 members of the Redskins' Ring of Fame in various capacities during his career, and was responsible for the acquisition of 12 players or head coaches in his time with the team. Beathard was also named by a blue ribbon panel as a member of the 80 Greatest Redskins in 2012 during the team's 80th Anniversary celebration.
It'll be a while before the contributor finalists for the 2017 Hall of Fame Class are announced, but until then, you can take part in Talk of Fame Network's poll right here.