PFHOF Profile: Kenny Easley

image6_1486155484333_8039843_ver1.0The NFL is one of the toughest leagues to play in with the toll that it can take on someone’s body.

The average career in the league is only 2.5 half years as the beating that their bodies take in only a few seasons can be too much.

It takes a special type of player to last longer than that average and it takes a great player to extend that career to beyond 10 years.

The game is not meant for people to last but great players seem to be able to avoid those major injuries and stay in the game longer.

Often it is due to their ability to avoid the big hits or the major mistakes that can cause injury but it also has a lot to do with just pure luck.

Those players that can last longer are the ones that are able to avoid those freak plays that can end a career.

Not all great players can do that and for some, they can quickly become those players that could have done so much but fell short.

These players can become legends but for all of the wrong reasons as they are the greatest players that never were.

People will constantly debate about them and just how good they could have been or whether or not they could have been the greatest ever given more time.

Kenny Easley is one of these players as he is widely considered as a player that could have been one of the greatest ever.

Instead, he only lasted seven years in the league and had the game taken away from him rather than him walking away.

Easley joined the NFL as a part of the Seattle Seahawks and was immediately moved to a somewhat unfamiliar position.

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He had been a 3-time consensus All-American at UCLA when playing Free Safety but his size made NFL teams consider him a strong safety.

It was a slight change as he was no longer the man in the defensive backfield that could roam around a little freer.

He was changed to a stay at home defender and had to make that adjustment as soon as he jumped up to the top level of the game.

Even with the new position, he flourished picking up more interceptions every year that he played.

Eventually, he put in his seventh year in the league with the Seahawks and he had amassed 32 interceptions along with eight sacks.

He was clearly one of the top safeties in the league and was on his way to an even longer and even greater career in the league.

He was going to do that with a new team though as the Seahawks had traded him to the Phoenix Cardinals.

After the trade, Phoenix put him through a medical which he did not clear and the Cardinals sent him to the hospital to get checked out.

It turned out that he was suffering from idiopathic nephrotic syndrome which affects the liver.

The trade was voided and Easley never played another game in the NFL after putting together seven solid seasons.

What could have been became the question for his entire career and even he knew that things could have been better.

Easley_Kenny_300_dpi_3After being left out of the league Easley, a strong member of the 1987 strike, blamed the Seahawks for his issues.

He claimed that while playing he took so much Advil to get over the pain that it eventually affected his liver.

He remained angry after his career was over and even sued the Seahawks claiming that they knew what he was doing to himself and that the ease of access to Advil was not right.

The lawsuit was settled out of court and Easley received a liver transplant later but always blamed the Seahawks.

It was only recently that Easley has learned to forgive even if he still thinks that the ease of access to Advil was simply too much.

It might have been the reason why he needed the veteran’s committee to make the Hall of Fame as he was certainly an outspoken critic of the league.

That should never matter though as it is his talent that has made him a Hall of Famer after a long wait.

He will forever be known as one of the best ever and for Easley that is a big deal because that question that was always lingering is no longer applicable.

There may still be some debate about what he could do with a longer career but he is one of the best and will forever be known as that now that he has his gold jacket.

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