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The Hall Of Fame Case For Bobby Beathard

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Since last year's creation of a contributor's category in the Hall Of Fame induction qualifications, talk about electing certain general managers that were crucial to both their teams and the way they impacted the entire league has been growing.

Last year, Ron Wolf and Bill Polian were inducted and former 49ers owner Ed DeBartolo is the 2016 candidate.

But Clark Judge, a CBS Sports and Talk of Fame contributor, opines that Bobby Beathard is due for his shot as soon as 2017. To him, and likely man, he belongs in Canton, Ohio, and had for a long time.

The first line of reasoning is very simple: Beathard was part of seven Super Bowl teams, starting with Kansas City in 1966. Most of those belong to his time with Washington Redskins, however, where as a first-time general manager he turned the team into one of the most successful franchises of the 1980s. He led them to three Super Bowls in seven years, two of which they won.

The Super Bowl championship team in 1991 was manned by GM Charley Casserly, but was composed primarily of Beathard's players.

Then he shipped off to San Diego and won a championship in 1994, taking a perennial loser in the Chargers and whipping them into elite form.

"During his 11 years in Washington, where his teams went 105-63, he exercised only three first-round picks … and he used them on Mark May, Art Monk and Darrell Green – with Monk and Green Hall of Famers," Judge writes. "And while his methods were unconventional, the results spoke for themselves."

If there's a shroud of negativity that could keep Beathard from Canton, it's his infamous first-round draft pick of Ryan Leaf.

Leaf, the once highly-touted quarterback, never worked out, of course, but every general manager has their pitfalls in a long and prosperous career. To some executives Judge spoke with, making mistakes means you're trying.

Beathard was the best in the business according to a few other GM's, the standard of how to run an organization. Leaf's pick is an easy target to single out, but shouldn't help gloss over all of his previous success.

"I know people believe the Leaf pick keeps him out, but they're wrong," Judge argues. "Look, Willie Mays didn't hit higher than .211 in two of his last three seasons, and John Unitas was 5-9 his last three years before burning out in San Diego. Both are slam-dunk Hall of Famers, as they should be."

For Redskins fans, his time with the team, from 1978-88, makes just about anything forgivable.

"So let's not wait," writes Judge. "Put Bobby Beathard in the next time he's a candidate, and do it for the right reason: Because he belongs."

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