NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — First-year candidates Junior Seau, Kurt Warner and Orlando Pace are among 18 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The list of nominees was reduced Thursday to 15 from the modern era, one senior and two contributors. A finalist must receive at least 80 percent of the votes from the 46-person selection committee to be elected.
The class of 2015 will be announced Jan. 31 in Phoenix during “NFL Honors,” the TV show in which The Associated Press hands out its eight individual NFL awards. Inductions will be in August in Canton, Ohio.
The modern-day finalists are kicker Morten Andersen, running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver Tim Brown, coach Don Coryell, running back Terrell Davis, coach Tony Dungy, linebacker-defensive end Kevin Greene, linebacker-defensive end Charles Haley, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, coach Jimmy Johnson, safety John Lynch, and guard Will Shields.
The senior nominee is former Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff.
Special contributors are Bill Polian and Ron Wolf, the architects of Super Bowl teams as executives.
Of the three coaches on the ballot, Dungy is in his second year of eligibility, Johnson in his 16th and Coryell in his 28th. Hall of Fame rules for coaches changed in 2007, requiring the coach to be retired for five seasons.
Seau, who committed suicide in 2012, played two decades with three teams and made 12 Pro Bowls. He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992.
Warner guided St. Louis to its only Super Bowl victory after the 1999 season and also led the Rams to the title game two years later. A four-time Pro Bowler, he helped Arizona get to its only Super Bowl after the 2008 season. He won league MVP honors in 1999 and 2001.
Pace was the first overall draft pick in 1997 by the Rams and played 13 seasons, with five Pro Bowl selections.
Like Dungy, one of his star players, Harrison, is in his second year of eligibility. The Colts star retired ranking second to Jerry Rice in receptions with 1,102.
Andersen, seeking to become the only kicker other than Jan Stenerud in the hall, and Lynch are in their third years on the ballot. Andersen played 25 pro seasons with five franchises and set the NFL records for points (2,544), field goals (565) and games (382). Lynch spent 11 seasons with Tampa Bay, four with Denver, and made nine Pro Bowls.
Shields, a Pro Bowl guard 12 straight years with Kansas City, is in his fourth year of eligibility. Bettis, nicknamed “The Bus,” carried the Steelers to the 2005 NFL championship in his final season and has been on the ballot for five years.
Brown, a standout kick returner as well as pass catcher, is in his sixth year of eligibility. He made nine Pro Bowls, twice as a return man.
Davis gave Denver an efficient running game to go with John Elway’s passing, and they took the Broncos to championships in 1997 and 1998. This is his ninth year on the ballot.
Pass-rushing stars Haley and Greene are in their 11th year of eligibility. Greene played for four teams and made the Pro Bowl five times. Haley won five Super Bowls, two with San Francisco and three with Dallas, the only player to do so.
Tingelhoff retired in 1978 after 17 seasons as one of the most durable and dependable centers in the league. He never missed a game, starting 240, and made it to four Super Bowls.
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