Steve Atwater was a straight-up assassin on the football field.

The “Smilin’ Assassin” was one of the hardest hitting, most feared safeties in the NFL throughout his 11-year career that spanned from 1989-1999. He and Dennis Smith were a formidable, dynamic duo of safeties on the back end of Denver’s defense which helped the Broncos to the Super Bowl in Atwater’s rookie season.

And, if it weren’t for the awesome play of Atwater in Super Bowl XXXII, the Broncos likely wouldn’t have won their first Vince Lombardi Trophy. The safety was superb on that January 25 day. He enjoyed six tackles in the game, including a strip-sack of NFL legend Brett Favre to give the Broncos the ball. Later in the game, Atwater defensed a pass which led to a punt and on the game’s penultimate play, he forced an incompletion with a massive hit which sent three players to the sideline.

The number of huge hits Atwater made during his career are countless. But, another infamous one was his “ending” of the Nigerian Nightmare Christian Okoye in 1990. It sent chills down football fans’ spines and made the entire crowd at Mile High Stadium “ooh” in delight.

And, while the Broncos have enjoyed seeing many of their former players and even former owner Pat Bowlen be enshrined lately, no one can deny that Atwater deserves to get into Canton.

Fans can now vote for their favorite players, like Atwater or John Lynch, through the Hall of Fame. And, while these votes don’t register with the committee — they don’t make a difference when it comes to getting players elected — fans can win prizes for successfully guessing the five members who get in.

Fans can vote here for the rest of the week, with new Hall of Famers being announced on Saturday.