Known more for his playing time with the San Diego Chargers, former Miami Dolphins linebacker Junior Seau was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. Seau was elected in his first year of eligibility.
Seau began his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers after his hometown team selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. He went on to play 13 seasons for the Chargers before he was traded to the Dolphins in 2003. Seau was released from the Dolphins in April 2003, and announced his retirement. Four days later he signed with the New England Patriots, where he played for four seasons before officially retiring after the 2009 season.
In his 20-year career, Seau recorded 56.5 sacks, 18 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles, 18 fumble recoveries, 1 touchdown, and 1,846 tackles. He was selected to 12 Pro Bowls and was a First-Team All-Pro selection eight times. He was the AFC Player of the Year in 1994 as well as that year's Walter Payton Man of the Year. He appeared in 268 games, with 234 starts.
With the Dolphins, he played 30 games, making 28 starts, with five sacks, one fumble recovery, and 189 tackles.
Unfortunately, Seau will be inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously. Seau died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest in 2012. Following his death, Seau was found to be suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a form of brain damage often caused by repeated blows to the head. The disease typically leads to changes in mood, to include depression and anxiety, cognitive issues, behavioral changes, and motor skills issues.
Joining Seau in the 2015 Hall of Fame class are Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Tim Brown, Will Shields, Mick tinglehoff, Ron Wolf, and Bill Polian.