Last week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 17 finalists for the 2009 enshrinement...listed alphabetically, the 17 finalists with their positions, teams, and years active follow:
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
Russ Grimm – Guard – 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Bob Hayes – Wide Receiver – 1965-1974 Dallas Cowboys, 1975 San Francisco 49ers
Claude Humphrey – Defensive End – 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles
Cortez Kennedy – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Bob Kuechenberg – Guard – 1970-1984 Miami Dolphins
Randall McDaniel – Guard – 1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
John Randle – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks
Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Shannon Sharpe – Tight End – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Bruce Smith – Defensive End – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000-03 Washington Redskins
Paul Tagliabue – Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
Derrick Thomas – Linebacker – 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Ralph Wilson – Team Founder/Owner – 1960-Present Buffalo Bills
Rod Woodson – Cornerback/Safety – 1987-1996 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers, 1998-2001 Baltimore Ravens, 2002-03 Oakland Raiders
Four first-year eligible players, John Randle, Shannon Sharpe, Bruce Smith, and Rod Woodson, are among the 17 finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Board of Selectors meets in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, January 31, 2009...
Joining the four first-year eligible players, are nine other modern-era players, two contributors and two players nominated earlier by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Committee.
The contributor finalists are former National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Buffalo Bills founder/owner Ralph Wilson, Jr. The Senior Committee nominees, announced in August 2008, are former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Bob Hayes and former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Claude Humphrey. The other modern-era player finalists include wide receiver Cris Carter; center Dermontti Dawson; defensive end Richard Dent; guard Russ Grimm; defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy; guard Bob Kuechenberg; guard Randall McDaniel; wide receiver Andre Reed; and linebacker Derrick Thomas.
Hayes and Humphrey were selected as senior candidates by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee at their August 2008 meeting. The Seniors Committee reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers took place more than 25 years ago. The remaining 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s 44-member Board of Selectors from a list of 133 preliminary nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 25 semifinalists. To be eligible for election, modern-era players and coaches must be retired at least five years while a contributor need not be retired.
At the 2009 election meeting, the selectors will thoroughly discuss the careers of each finalist before narrowing the field to seven candidates (two senior and five modern-era). At least four candidates must be elected but the total class cannot number more than seven.
If you were on the committee, who would you select for the 2009 class?...leave your thoughts in the comments section...remember, you can only select between 4-7...I will present my selections tomorrow...