The 15 modern-era candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame have been announced ahead of the selection committee's meeting in New Orleans next month, according to NFL.com. Two players will also be reviewed by the seniors committee.
|Owner||Edward DeBartolo Jr.|
Seniors Committee Finalists
A couple of names immediately stand out from the crowd. Michael Strahan, who holds the record for most sacks in a single season, and Warren Sapp, one of the most dominant defensive forces in recent times, are both on the ballot for the first time.
They are joined by fellow first-time nominees and terrific offensive linemen Larry Allen and Jonathan Ogden. All four can make a strong case for entry into the Hall of Fame, which requires at least 80 percent of the vote.
Another intriguing storyline to follow is the continued logjam at wide receiver. Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed are all finalists again but have been canceling each other out over the past few years. It's an unfortunate situation for all three, as each has a strong résumé.
Among the other notable names are Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell and longtime coach Bill Parcells.
The NFL.com report states the committee will vote on the candidates on Feb. 2 during the Super Bowl festivities, with the Hall of Fame announcement happening on the same day. Those who reach the 80 percent threshold will be inducted on Aug. 3.
Given the high number of strong candidates, it will be interesting to see which players the committee feels stand above the rest. Until then, let the debate begin.