Rodney Harrison: Lack of Patriots in Hall of Fame 'almost a form of discrimination'

Rodney Harrison is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The two-time All-Pro safety and two-time Super Bowl champion seems to think he should be.

He didn’t say it directly, but he blasted Hall of Fame voters on Wednesday for the dearth of former New England Patriots elected to football’s highest individual honor.

Rodney Harrison: ‘They’re such haters’

Speaking with The Boston Globe’s Karen Guregian, Harrison chastised Patriots “haters” for not giving the players who were part of the Patriots early run of three Super Bowls their due.

“It’s just unfortunate,” Harrison said. “It’s almost a form of discrimination. People don’t want to elevate us, or recognize or acknowledge how great we are because they’re such haters. Everywhere I go, people hate on the Patriots. So we don’t get credit. All I hear is Tom [Brady] and Bill [Belichick]. But that’s such a lazy analysis.”

Ty Law the first Patriot of his era elected to Hall

Harrison’s comments arrive as Ty Law is slated to be inducted into the Hall of Fame next week. Law will be the first player from the Patriots teams that won three Super Bowls from 2001 to 2005 to receive a gold jacket.

Tom Brady will obviously join him one day. But he’s still busy chasing a seventh ring 18 years after that first Super Bowl victory.

For now, Law alone will represent the Patriots dynasty in Canton.

Law, a five-time Pro Bowl cornerback and two-time All Pro who played on all three of the early Patriots Super Bowl winners, was elected in his fifth year of eligibility.

Related: Look back at New England's first Super Bowl win: 

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Super Bowl XXXVI: New England Patriots vs. St. Louis Rams
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Super Bowl XXXVI: New England Patriots vs. St. Louis Rams
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 3: Patriots' Tom Brady throws a touchdown pass in the second quarter. New England Patriots face the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, LA on Feb. 3, 2002. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
New England Patriots' Bobby Hamilton (91) sacks St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner (13) near the end of the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXVI Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams at the Louisiana Superdome, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002 in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta )
St. Louis Rams' quarterback Kurt Warner lies on the turf after being sacked by the New England Patriots during the second half 03 February, 2002 of Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Patriots won 20-17. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo by JEFF HAYNES / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
New England Patriots' J.R. Redmond (21) pulls down a pass from Tom Brady (12) during the final drive against the St. Louis Rams during Super Bowl XXXVI, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002, in New Orleans. The completion helped set up the winning 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri with no time left. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk (28) fends of New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law (24) during first-quarter play of Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002 in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
New England Patriots' cornerback Terrell Buckley (27) scoops up a St. Louis Rams fumble in front of Patriots' Lawyer Milloy (36) and Tebucky Jones (34) in Super Bowl XXXVI Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law (24) intercepts a pass from St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner as intended receiver Isaac Bruce (80) looks on during Super Bowl XXXVI, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002, in New Orleans. Law returned the interception for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law (24) celebrates his interception of a St. Louis Rams' Kurt Warner pass for a touchdown in the second quarter of Super Bowl XXXVI with teammate Lawyer Milloy (36) at the Louisiana Superdome Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002 in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
New England Patriots' kicker Adam Vinatieri kicks his game-winning field goal in the final seconds to beat the St. Louis Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI at the Superdome in New Orleans.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
New England Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri (L) jumps for joy after kicking the game wining field goal 03 Super Bowl XXXVI 03 February, 2002 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams 20-17 for the NFL championship. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo by Timothy A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the New England Patriots celebrate Adam Vinatieri's game winning field goal late in the second half 03 February, 2002 of Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Patriots defeated the Rams 20-17 for the NFL championship. AFP PHOTO/Peter MUHLY (Photo by PETER MUHLY / AFP) (Photo credit should read PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)
St. Louis Rams' Ernie Conwell sits dejectedly in the confetti shower after the Rams lost Super Bowl XXXVI to the New England Patriots 20-17 Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
NEW ORLEANS, UNITED STATES: New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick (R) after their win over the St. Louis Rams 03 February, 2002 in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Patriots defeated the Rams 20-17 for the NFL championship. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, celebrates on the stand as Patriots owner Robert Kraft, right, makes his way across the stand after the Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002 in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Harrison’s nominees for Hall consideration

Harrison believes several other Patriots players from that generation should join Law in the Hall of Fame.

“I’m like, Ty Law was the greatest defensive back I’ve ever played with,” Harrison said. “He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.

“Richard Seymour, Willie McGinest, Troy Brown, Kevin Faulk, these dudes were bad, bad dudes. They weren’t just system guys. It’s unfair when people say, ‘As long as you had Tom and Bill.’ Well, ‘dude, Tom and Bill can’t get it done by themselves.’ It takes a lot of really smart, great players.”

Does Harrison have a point?

While it comes off as whining, Harrison is right that Patriots players fall victim to the “system” trope. Even Brady runs into the argument that he’s a system quarterback when compared to other all-time great quarterbacks.

It’s fair to wonder if Aaron Rodgers would have six rings if he took Brady’s place in the Patriots dynasty, but it’s absurd to call Brady a system quarterback.

Not really

At the same time, Faulk and Brown have a combined tally of one Pro Bowl between them and don’t have the career numbers to be a part of any reasonable Hall of Fame conversation.

Bruschi, McGinest and Harrison have been nominated, but didn’t have the résumés to make the semifinalist cut for this year’s class.

Seymour, a seven-time Pro Bowler who made the list of finalists in his second year of eligibility, appears on his way to Canton and is the most likely Patriots candidate to join Law in the Hall of Fame.

But after Seymour, the Patriots will likely have to wait for players from the Rob Gronkowski era for additional gold jackets from their remarkable run of dominance.

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