The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced today that New Orleans Saints offensive tackle William Roaf will be enshrined as part of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012. The class will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio on Saturday, August 4.
Roaf was elected to 11 Pro Bowls during his 13-year NFL career, tying Cincinnati’s T Anthony Munoz (Class of 1998) and Baltimore’s T Jonathan Ogden for the selections by an offensive tackle. As a member of the Saints from 1993-2001, Roaf was named to seven Pro Bowls, occurring from 1994-2000, with him being named as a starter each time. No Saint has been selected to the Pro Bowl as many times as Roaf. He received Associated Press first team All-Pro recognition four times during his NFL career, twice as a Saint in 1994 and 1995. In recognition of him being one of the most dominant players during his era, he was named to the 1990s and 2000s All-Decade Teams, as selected by members of the Hall of Fame selection committee. He was a first team selection for the 1990s squad and a second-team member for the roster covering the 2000s.
“We’re glad to congratulate William Roaf in his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said Saints Owner Tom Benson. “He meant a great deal to our team during his career with us. He was the best player on our team during his entire tenure with us, one of the top players in the history of our franchise and one of the NFL’s greatest at his position.”
Roaf entered the NFL out of Louisiana Tech as the club’s first-round draft choice in 1993 (eighth overall). He immediately entered the starting lineup at right tackle. In 1994, he moved over to the left side, where he would play for the remainder of his career and earned his first of seven consecutive Pro Bowl starting berths as the New Orleans offense improved in the NFL rankings from 21st to 12th ,ranking eighth in passing yards per game, ninth in points per game and surrendering only 24 sacks.
In 1995, Roaf became the first Saints offensive lineman to be voted to the All-Star game more than once as the line gave up only 28 takedowns. In 1996, he anchored a line that gave up only 22 sacks, tied for third-fewest in the league. In 2000, Roaf was a member of a Saints squad that won the first playoff game in franchise history and was ranked tenth in the NFL in yards per game and points per game. He was a key to a resurgent rushing offense that ranked eighth in the league and featured the club’s first 1,000-yard runner since 1989.
Roaf would start 131 regular season games and two playoff contests in his career as a Saint. After spending the final four seasons of his career in Kansas City, he retired having started 189 regular season games and three postseason games.