Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Ray Lewis Headline 2018 NFL Hall of Fame Finalists

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

This is the logo of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the side of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 class were announced Tuesday during an NFL Network broadcast, and they included linebacker Ray Lewis, linebacker Brian Urlacher, wide receiver Terrell Owens and wide receiver Randy Moss.

NFL.com explained the 18 finalists for the class of 2018 consist of the 15 players announced Tuesday, two senior finalists—Houston Oilers linebacker Robert Brazile and Green Bay Packers guard Jerry Kramer—announced in August and a contributor finalist, general manager and personnel administrator Bobby Beathard, who was also announced in August.

Other modern-era finalists announced Tuesday were running back Edgerrin James, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, safety John Lynch, safety Brian Dawkins, cornerback Ty Law, cornerback Everson Walls, offensive tackle Tony Boselli, offensive lineman Kevin Mawae, offensive tackle Joe Jacoby, offensive guard Steve Hutchinson and offensive guard Alan Faneca.

This comes after the Hall of Fame trimmed the list of 108 modern-era nominees to 27 semifinalists on Nov. 21.

An announcement from the Pro Football Hall of Fame explained the 15 modern-era finalists, as well as the two senior finalists and the contributor finalist, are presented to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee during its annual meeting in February.

There, the senior finalists and contributor finalist are given a "yes" or "no" vote, and five modern-era finalists—after the list is trimmed from 15 to 10 and then from 10 to five—are also subjected to the same vote. The finalists need to receive an 80 percent positive vote from the 48-member committee to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in August.

"While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the selection process by-laws provide that between four and eight new members will be selected," the Hall of Fame's announcement noted.

Owens and Moss immediately stand out given their historic resumes at one of the most prominent offensive positions.

Owens made six Pro Bowls and was a five-time first-team All-Pro member, while Moss made six Pro Bowls and was a four-time first-team All-Pro member. What's more, Owens is eighth and Moss is 15th on the list of all-time reception leaders, Owens is second and Moss is fourth on the list of all-time receiving yards, and Moss is second and Owens is third on the list of all-time receiving touchdowns.

Despite similar statistical statures, Elliot Harrison of NFL.com predicted in August that Moss would be elected this year but Owens wouldn't, noting "the main argument against him seems to be that five teams were more than willing to let him walk out the door" when discussing Owens.

One voter went as far as to tell Harrison "T.O. isn't getting in next year."

Elsewhere, Lewis is a potential headliner for this Hall of Fame class, considering he is a two-time Super Bowl champion, 13-time Pro Bowler, seven-time first-team All-Pro member, Super Bowl MVP and two-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Harrison predicted Lewis, Moss, Boselli, Dawkins and Law would be the five modern-era players ultimately selected for this class. 


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