The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2014 will be enshrined on Saturday. Each day this week, the Around the League crew will pick a player that we believe is also deserving of enshrinement.
If there was an NFC game of the week in the late 1980s and early 1990s, chances are Haley was prominently featured -- often making impact plays.
Haley appeared in six NFC Championship Games in a span of seven seasons. His team won the division in 10 of his 12 years and produced a collective .700 winning percentage. He was twice named NFC Defensive Player of the Year and finished his career with 100.5 sacks.
Haley played all three downs in San Francisco as the rare outside linebacker capable of stuffing the run and harassing quarterbacks. The NFC's balance of power tilted in 1992 when he was traded to Dallas and converted to defensive end.
Former coach Jimmy Johnson has questioned the voting process that has bypassed Haley in favor of less accomplished players.
"I've said many, many times that Charles Haley should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago," Johnson said. "No offense to any of the players in there, but I coached and coached against a lot of the players that are in the Hall of Fame, and Charles Haley is better than them."
Armed with a bulletproof on-field résumé, Haley can thank his off-field exploits for the voters' reluctance to place him in football's version of Valhalla.
Haley's locker-room antics would make Richie Incognito blush. He was famously prickly toward reporters.
Voters are instructed to ignore off-field factors, but they are only human. Once those who took the affronts personally are replaced by a new generation of voters, Haley will be rewarded as one of the best defensive players of his generation.