Carl Banks Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame Semifinalist List

Patricia Traina

Former Giants linebacker Carl Banks has been selected as one of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Banks, who played with the Giants from 1984-92, was a first-round draft pick out of Michigan State, the last linebacker the Giants drafted in the first round.

Named to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team, Banks was a key contributor to the Giants teams who won Super Bowls XXI and XXV.

Banks, who finished his NFL career by spending two seasons in Cleveland with Bill Belichick, then the Browns head coach who had been the Giants defensive coordinator, and one season with Washington, appeared in 173 career games, 125 as a Giant.

With the Giants, Banks recorded 627 career tackles and 36 sacks in addition to all three of his career interceptions.

One of his finest performances might have been in the Giants Super Bowl XXI win over the Broncos. That day, Banks finished with a team-leading 10 tackles in the game and was part of a huge third-quarter goal-line stand when he stopped Broncos running back Sammy Winder for a loss of four yards.

Banks retired after the 1995 season. He is currently a member of the Giants broadcasting crew.

The Modern-Era players list will be reduced to 15 Finalists that will be announced on Jan. 2, 2020. 

The finalists will then be presented to the full 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee during its annual meeting on “Selection Saturday,” on Feb. 1, 2020, the day before Super Bowl LIV. 

The Selection Committee will elect five Modern-Era players for the Class of 2020.

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Comments (5)
No. 1-2

Carl Banks should not be a semifinalist, he should have been inducted into the HOF many years ago!!!! LT and Harry Carson were considered the best linebackers in Giant history. Banks was less than a half step away from being as good as they were. The fact that it took Carson as long as it did to get inducted and that Banks is still not in is a huge travesty.


I just rewatched the ‘86 Divisional Playoff game vs the 49ers on YouTube. At one point during the 3rd Quarter John Madden says ‘today, Carl Banks is the best player on the field.’ High praise considering the importance of the game to the Giants franchise and that Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Charles Haley, LT, Carson, Simms and Bavaro were also playing that day. Good to see that one of the more underrated players in league history is finally a HOF semifinalist. I hope to see him in a yellow jacket next summer.