Broncos Great Steve Atwater Elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

(CBS4) – One of the hardest hitting safeties in NFL history finally has a home in Canton, Ohio. Former Denver Broncos safety Steve Atwater was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The announcement was made on “Selection Saturday” in Miami for the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 before Super Bowl LIV.

Atwater makes it in on his 16th year of eligibility and joins fellow Broncos John Elway, Gary Zimmerman, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Terrell Davis, Champ Bailey and former team owner Pat Bowlen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Nicknamed the “Smiling Assassin” Atwater played 10 seasons for the Broncos from 1989-98. As a member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team, he helped the Broncos win Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII. His eight Pro Bowls are tied for the second-most in franchise history, and he was also a two time first-team All-Pro. Atwater totaled 1,356 tackles and 24 interceptions in the 155 games he played in Denver.

He would finish his career with the New York Jets in 1999.

Broncos safety Steve Atwater breaks up a pass intended for Keenan McCartell of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 27, 1997, at Mile High Stadium. (credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

The third time was a charm for Atwater as he was a third-time finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2016, 2019-20). He goes into the Hall as a modern-era player, receiving at least 80 percent of the vote by the Pro Football Hall of Fame committee.

Last year, Champ Bailey and Pat Bowlen were elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the Class of 2019.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 will be introduced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air on the eve of Super Bowl LIV.

The Class of 2020 will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 8 at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.