DeBartolo, Haley among Hall of Fame finalists

DeBartolo, Haley among Hall of Fame finalists
January 9, 2014, 6:45 pm
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During Eddie DeBartolo’s ownership, the 49ers made 16 playoff appearances and became the first franchise ever to win five Super Bowls. (USATSI)

The 15 finalists for the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, which includes plenty of names with Bay Area ties, were announced Thursday with the following release:

CANTON, OHIO – Four first-year eligible nominees – Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison, and Walter Jones – 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 New York City on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014.

Joining the first-year eligibles, are 10 other modern-era players and a contributor. The 15 modern-era finalists, along with the two senior nominees announced in August 2013 (former Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders punter, Ray Guy and Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey) will be the only candidates considered for Hall of Fame election when the 46-member Selection Committee meets.

The 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee from a list of 126 nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 25 semifinalists, during the multi-step, year-long selection process. Guy and Humphrey were selected as senior candidates by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee. The Seniors Committee reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago.

To be elected a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.

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:

· Morten Andersen,Kicker –1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
· Jerome Bettis, Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
· Derrick Brooks,Linebacker – 1995-2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
· Tim Brown, Wide Receiver/Kick Returner/Punt Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/ Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
· Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
· Tony Dungy,Coach – 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts
· Kevin Greene, Linebacker/Defensive End – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
· *Ray Guy, Punter – 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
· Charles Haley, Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
· Marvin Harrison,Wide Receiver – 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts
· *Claude Humphrey, Defensive End – 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles
· Walter Jones, Tackle – 1997-2008 Seattle Seahawks
· John Lynch,Free Safety –1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
· Andre Reed, Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
· Will Shields, Guard – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
· Michael Strahan, Defensive End – 1993-2007 New York Giants
· Aeneas Williams, Cornerback/Safety – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams

Although they have been nominees in previous years, this is the first time that Morten Andersen and John Lynch have been finalists.

To be eligible for election, modern-era players and coaches must have last played or coached more than five seasons ago. Contributors need not be retired.

Brooks, Dungy, Harrison, and Jones are in their first year of eligibility. Andersen, Lynch, and Strahan are in their second year of eligibility. Shields is in his third year of eligibility and Bettis is in his fourth. This is the fifth year of eligibility for Brown and Williams, the ninth for Reed. Greene and Haley have both been eligible for 10 years. Senior nominee Guy has been eligible for 23 years and Humphrey 28 years. Since contributors need not be retired to be eligible, there is no specific year of eligibility for DeBartolo.

David Baker, the recently named president/executive director of the Hall of Fame will oversee his first meeting of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee on Saturday, February 1, 2014, in New York City when the committee meets to elect the Class of 2014. For the first time, the Hall of Fame’s newest class of enshrinees will be introduced during the “3rd Annual NFL Honors” show, a two-hour primetime awards show airing nationally that night at 8 PM ET/PT on FOX.

At the 2014 selection meeting, the selectors will thoroughly discuss the careers of each finalist. Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and thus a class of six or seven can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees (Ray Guy and/or Claude Humphrey) are elected. Representatives of the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche will tabulate all votes during the meeting.

Courtesy Pro Football Hall of Fame

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