Chris Snee announced his retirement from the NFL this week after a decade of playing right guard for the Giants. His family was standing by as he reportedly choked on the words while meeting with the media, his wife and three kids apparently taking the news even harder than he did.
His father-in-law, who also happens to be Head Coach Tom Coughlin, had nothing but great things to say about Snee, who was a second round draft pick in 2004. Solid, stand-up guy who never got in trouble and always showed up in shape, ready to do his job. Quotes from QB Eli Manning leave me wondering if he’s not taking it hardest of anyone.
It sounds like he was a great guy and a superb teammate – and hopefully he continues to be a fantastic family man as he transitions to his next phase in life. It sounds like he’s the type of guy fans should love to cheer for.
But those characteristics, unfortunately at times, don’t make a player a strong candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Snee did make four Pro Bowls and he was a first-team All Pro one time. That is a solid body of work. It’s not Hall of Fame worthy.
When the AP names its teams of the decade, typically it names first team and second team guys for each position. For the Team of the 2000s, Snee lost out to Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson, Larry Allen and Will Shields.
He made the second team All Pro list as a right guard in 2010, behind Jahri Evans from New Orleans. Logan Mankins and Carl Nicks were the left guards. In 2011, Nicks and Evans were first teamers. Mankins was joined by Marshall Yanda on the second team. In 2012, Mike Iupati from San Francisco joined Evans on the first team while Yanda and Mankins repeated on the second team. Last year Louis Vasquez in Denver and Evan Mathis in Philadelphia were first teamers while Evans and Mankins were second teamers.
That’s at least four guys from the first half of Snee’s career and five from the second half who were seen as his equal or superior. That’s not going to get him far in the Hall of Fame running. It’s difficult as it is for guards to stand out against tackles as it is – as evidenced by the fact that Will Shields, whose 12 Pro Bowls and two first-team All Pro awards has gotten him finalist status three times but so far no induction into Canton.
And perhaps he got shafted in some of those votes. He helped the Giants win two Super Bowls. And Pro Football Focus, highly respected for their offensive line rankings, indicated in a couple of tweets posted at Big Blue View earlier this week, that he was, in fact, the best in a couple areas for at least a period of time.
Pete Damilatis indicated that in 2007 and 2008 Snee had PFF’s highest grade for any right guard. Nathan Jahnke adds that from 2007 to 2013 Snee was the best run blocking guard in the league.
It’ll be interesting to see if, over the years, some of PFF’s numbers become a factor in determining some of the postseason honors. In the meantime, those profile numbers remain among the most frequently cited portions of an offensive lineman’s resume. And Snee’s four Pro Bowls and one AP first team All Pro ranking make him a first ballot consideration for the Hall of Very Good. But they are going to leave him with an uphill climb when he becomes eligible for Canton in 2019.