Charles Woodson stumps for Lester Hayes as the next deserving Raider to enter the Hall of Fame

A few years ago, the list of deserving Raiders who had not gotten the call to the Hall was a long one. The Senior Committee has helped right many wrongs, most notably Ray Guy, Ken Stabler, Tom Flores, and as of today, Cliff Branch.

Those were some of the greats who one might call criminal for having been passed up for so long.

Now with Cliff Branch finally getting in after 32 years of eligibility, who’s next? Charles Woodson knows who he would pick — Lester Hayes.

He’s not wrong. Hayes would get my vote as the next most deserving Raider if I had a vote.

Unfortunately, those who DO have votes on such things have turned a blind eye to what Hayes accomplished over his career as a lockdown cornerback for the Raiders.

Hayes spent his entire 10-year NFL career with the Raiders. In that time, he won two Lombard trophies, went to five Pro Bowls, and in 1980, set an NFL modern-era record with 13 interceptions that had him named. first team All Pro.

He was half of the feared Hayes/Haynes duo that helped the Raiders win their third Super Bowl. Haynes has long since been in the Hall of Fame. While Hayes still waits.

Why is he waiting? One can theorize, but none of the reasons would be legitimate.

Some point to his generous use of Stick-em — a substance that was legal in the years he used it — but if you look at some other players who used it during that time who are in the Hall of Fame — including one Fred Biletnikoff — that argument seems to fall apart.

Some point simply to the fact that he was part of those “dirty” Raiders defenses, particularly the secondary. Or perhaps, just because he was with the Raiders during a time when the NFL wasn’t too keen on Al Davis and his insistence on doing things his way.

That last one actually seems the most plausible, especially in light of all the other Raiders greats who waited so long to get the call.

Charles Woodson was a first-ballot inductee. And he would like to see Lester Hayes’ wait end after 32 years. We’ll see if the Senior Committee is listening.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire

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