Four first-year nominees, including defensive linemen Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan and offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, are among 15 modern-era finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2013.
Three wide receivers, Cris Carter, Andre Reed and Tim Brown also are on the list.
Other offensive players in the running for induction are running back Jerome Bettis and offensive lineman Will Shields. Defensive players among the finalists include linebacker Kevin Greene, defensive end Charles Haley and cornerback Aeneas Williams.
The last three finalists are coach Bill Parcells and two owners, Edward DeBartolo and Art Modell.
The finalists were announced Friday morning on NFL Network.
The list of 15 modern-era finalists was culled from a list of 27 semifinalists that was announced in November. The 12 semifinalists who did not make the cut to 15 were: running backs Roger Craig and Terrell Davis; offensive lineman Joe Jacoby; linebacker Karl Mecklenburg; defensive backs Steve Atwater, Albert Lewis and John Lynch (another notable first-time candidate); kicker Morten Andersen; special teamer Steve Tasker; coach Don Coryell; former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and former Giants General Manager George Young.
Notable among the finalists are the three wide receivers. Brown, Reed and Carter all are seen as legitimate candidates for the Hall, but to this point they seem to be siphoning votes from one another, with none of the three able to garner enough support to earn enshrinement.All three have plenty of eligibility left, but their candidacies in future years will be up against younger stars who played during the league’s heavier passing era, including Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt and Hines Ward.
The Hall of Fame selection process started in September, when the Hall unveiled an uncut list of 127 nominees. That list was cut to 27 semifinalists in November.
The voting committee will discuss the 15 finalists the weekend of the Super Bowl, first reducing the list to 10 and then to five. Those five will be discussed individually and will then receive an up or down vote.
The Hall’s bylaws call for enshrinement of at least four new members and no more than seven.
In addition to the 15 modern-era candidates, two senior nominees – Kansas City defensive lineman Curley Culp and Green Bay linebacker Dave Robinson – were announced in August. They advance right away to finalist status and will receive a yes or no vote at the same time as the modern era candidates.
Last year’s senior candidates were Jack Butler, who was enshrined, and Dick Stanfel, whose nomination was voted down by the selection committee. Butler was joined by fellow inductees Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf.