Five first-year eligible players – Jerome Bettis, Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin, Deion Sanders, and Willie Roaf – are among the 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in North Texas on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011.
Joining the five first-year eligible players, are nine other modern-era players and a contributor. The 15 modern-era finalists, along with the two senior nominees announced in August 2010 (former Washington Redskins linebacker Chris Hanburger and former Los Angeles Rams linebacker Les Richter) will be the only candidates considered for Hall of Fame election when the 44-member Selection Committee meets. To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.
Also, for the second consecutive year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has teamed up with Van Heusen and JCPenney to ask fans to voice their choice for whom they think should be included in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 at www.fanschoice.com.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s 17 finalists (15 modern-era and two senior nominees*) with their positions, teams, and years active follow:
* Jerome Bettis – Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
* Tim Brown – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
* Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
* Dermontti Dawson – Center – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
* Richard Dent – Defensive End – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
* Chris Doleman – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
* Marshall Faulk – Running Back – 1994-98 Indianapolis Colts, 1999-2005 St. Louis Rams
* Charles Haley – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
* *Chris Hanburger – Linebacker – 1965-1978 Washington Redskins
* Cortez Kennedy – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
* Curtis Martin – Running Back – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets
* Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
* *Les Richter – Linebacker – 1954-1962 Los Angeles Rams
* Willie Roaf – Tackle – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
* Ed Sabol – Founder/President/Chairman – 1964-1995 NFL Films
* Deion Sanders – Cornerback/Kick Returner/Punt Returner – 1989-1993 Atlanta Falcons, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-99 Dallas Cowboys, 2000 Washington Redskins, 2004-05 Baltimore Ravens
* Shannon Sharpe – Tight End – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Brown, Carter, Dawson, Dent, Haley, Kennedy, Reed, and Sharpe have all been finalists in previous years. Although they were eligible in previous years, this is the first time Doleman, Hanburger, Richter, and Sabol have been finalists.