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Published on 01/08/2010 at Fri Jan 08 14:30.
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Shannon Sharpe (SI.com)

Shannon Sharpe (SI.com)

Former Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe has been named a finalist for the 2010 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the team’s official twitter reports. It is his second consecutive year as a finalist candidate.

Both Sharpe and running back Terrell Davis were semifinalists in November; the absence of Davis’ name can only mean the former Super Bowl and League MVP did not advance to the final round of voting.

As a senior candidate, Floyd Little automatically advances to this final round. The Hall of Fame class is usually announced the day before the Super Bowl.

Congratulations and good luck to both Sharpe and Little! Press release, with information on all 17 finalists, after the jump.

15 MODERN-ERA FINALISTS

FOR HALL OF FAME ELECTION ANNOUNCED

Also Fans “Voice Their Choice”

Three first-year eligible players, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, 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 South Florida on Saturday, February 6, 2010.

Joining the three first-year eligible players, are 11 other modern-era players and a longtime head coach.  The 15 modern-era finalists, along with the two senior nominees announced in August 2009 (former Detroit Lions cornerback Dick LeBeau and former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little) will be the only candidates considered for Hall of Fame election when the 44-member Selection Committee meets. To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.

Also, for the first time fans are invited to vote for their choice for the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Van Heusen Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan’s Choice at www.fanschoice.com.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation and JC Penney Company have teamed to provide the first-ever dedicated forum for fans to debate, discuss and voice their choice by voting for the Hall of Fame Enshrinee Class of 2010. The robust forum also includes stats on all candidates and opinions from football experts, Hall of Fame players and fans around the country.

The official Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s 17 finalists (15 Modern-Era and two Senior Nominees*) with their positions, teams, and years active follow:

  • Tim Brown – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
  • Don Coryell – Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
  • Roger Craig – Running Back – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
  • Dermonti Dawson – Center – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Richard Dent – Defensive End – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
  • Russ Grimm – Guard 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
  • Charles Haley – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
  • Rickey Jackson – Linebacker – 1981-1993 New Orleans Saints, 1994-95 San Francisco 49ers
  • Cortez Kennedy – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
  • Dick LeBeau* – Cornerback – 1959-1972 Detroit Lions
  • Floyd Little* – Running Back – 1967-1975 Denver Broncos
  • John Randle – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks
  • Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
  • Jerry Rice – Wide Receiver – 1985-2000 San Francisco 49ers, 2001-04 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Seattle Seahawks
  • Shannon Sharpe – Tight End – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
  • Emmitt Smith – Running Back – 1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, 2003-04 Arizona Cardinals

Carter, Dawson, Dent, Grimm, Kennedy, Randle, Reed, and Sharpe have all been finalists in previous years.  Although they were eligible in previous years, this is the first time Coryell, Craig, Haley, Jackson, Little, and LeBeau have been finalists.

From this year’s list, five players – Dawson, Grimm, Kennedy, LeBeau, and Little – spent their entire NFL career with just one team.

LeBeau and Little were selected as senior candidates by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee at their August 2009 meeting.  The Seniors Committee reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers took place more than 25 years ago.  The remaining 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s 44-member Selection Committee from a list of 131 preliminary nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 25 semifinalists.  To be eligible for election, modern-era players and coaches must be retired at least five years (prior to 2007 coaches were eligible immediately after retiring).

Since Coryell retired prior to the 2007 change in coach’s eligibility, he has been eligible the longest of the modern-era nominees, 23 years.  Grimm has been eligible 14 years, while Craig has been eligible 12 years.  Jackson has been eligible for 10 years, Dent eight years, Haley six years, Reed, Dawson and Kennedy five years, Carter three years, Randle and Sharpe two years. Brown, Rice and Smith are in their first year of eligibility.  Senior nominees LeBeau and Little have been eligible 33 years and 30 years respectively.

The Selection Committee will meet in South Florida, on Saturday, February 6, 2010, to elect the Hall of Fame Class of 2010. The election results will be announced at 5 p.m. ET during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Broward County Convention Center.

At the 2010 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 a class of six or seven can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected. Representatives of the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche will tabulate all votes during the meeting.

At the announcement, Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry will be presented with an envelope containing the names of the nominees elected.  Each newly elected member will be contacted immediately by the Hall of Fame.  Members of the Class of 2010 in South Florida for the Super Bowl will be asked to join the live announcement show.  Those not able to attend will be asked to join via teleconference.

The Van Heusen Fan’s Choice campaign which launched in September, mirrors the Hall of Fame’s selection process and will name the first-ever Fan’s Choice Class live on NFL Network just prior to the official announcement from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Van Heusen Fan’s Choice Top 15 list includes seven candidates who also appear on the official Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee list including: Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Richard Dent, Charles Haley, Jerry Rice, Shannon Sharpe and Emmitt Smith.

Others who made the Van Heusen Fan’s Choice Top 15 list who didn’t make the official Hall of Fame Selection Committee list include an athletic trainer, Otho Davis; a coach, Tom Flores; as well as former players, Cliff Branch, Todd Christensen, Ray Guy, Lester Hayes, Ed “Too Tall” Jones , and Jim Plunkett.

The Final Round of fan voting begins today and the top 15 Fan’s choices will be combined with the Hall of Fame Selection Committee choices for one powerhouse list of candidates looking for fans’ votes to become a part of the inaugural Fan’s Choice class.

Fans are encouraged to visit www.fanschoice.com to vote for their favorites before the Fan’s Choice Class is revealed on February 6.

CLASS OF 2010 17 FINALISTS

Tim Brown

Wide Receiver/Kick Returner … 6-0, 195 … Notre Dame … 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers … 17 seasons, 255 games … Heisman Trophy Winner … Selected by Raiders in 1st round (6th player overall) of 1988 draft … As rookie led NFL in kickoff returns, return yards, and yards per return average  …  Led NFL in receptions, 1997 … Set Raiders franchise records for receptions, receiving yards, and punt return yards … At time of retirement his 14,934 receiving yards were second-highest total in NFL history; 1,094 receptions were 3rd; and 100 touchdown catches were tied for 3rd … Also gained 190 rushing yards; 3,320 punt return yards, 3 fumble return yards; 1,235 kickoff return yards … Total of 19,682 combined net yards, 5th all-time at time of retirement … Scored 105 total touchdowns (100 receiving, 1 rushing, 3 punt returns, 1 kickoff return) … Voted to Pro Bowl nine times, 1989 and 1992 as kick returner, 1994-98, 2000 and 2002 as a receiver … All-Pro choice as a kick returner, 1988 … All-Pro wide receiver, 1997 … Was named All-AFC as a kick returner, 1988, punt returner, 1991, and wide receiver, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 … Born July 22, 1966 in Dallas, Texas.

Cris Carter

Wide Receiver … 6-3, 202 … Ohio State … 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins … 16 seasons, 234 games … Selected by Philadelphia in the fourth round of the 1987 Supplemental Draft … First reception as a pro was a 22-yard touchdown catch … Durable; he played a full 16-game season in 13 of his 16 seasons … In 2000, became only the second player in NFL history to catch 1,000 career passes … Recorded 1,000 receiving yards in a season eight straight years … Broke the 100-yard receiving plateau 42 times during his career … Ranked second on the NFL’s all-time list for total receptions (1,101) and receiving touchdowns (130) at retirement … His 130 TD receptions came from 13 different passers … Caught 70-plus passes in 10 seasons … His 122 receptions in 1994 was a then-NFL single-season-record … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s and received the 1999 NFL Man of the Year Award … In 2002, returned to the field when he joined the Miami Dolphins in midseason when injuries decimated team’s receiving corps … Was first- or second-team All-Pro 1994, 1995, and 1999 … Selected to play in eight Pro Bowls (1994-2001) … Born November 25, 1965, in Troy, Ohio.

Don Coryell

Head Coach … Washington … 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers … 14 seasons, 195 games … Regular season record 111-83-1 … Post season record 3-6 … Overall record 114-89-1 … Took over Cardinals team that hadn’t won title of any kind since 1948 … After 4-9-1 inaugural season took team to playoffs, 10-4 record … “Big Red” won NFC Eastern Divisional title 1974, 1975 … Named consensus NFL Coach of the Year, 1974 … Narrowly missed playoffs in 1976 despite finishing 10-4 … Record of 31-11, 1974-76 marked most successful three-year stretch in franchise’s history … Again inherited a team that hadn’t won title in many years when he took over as coach of Chargers four games into 1978 season … Installed new explosive offense soon labeled “Air Coryell” … Chargers led NFL in passing six straight seasons, amassed more than 24,000 yards from 1978 to 1983 … QB Dan Fouts blossomed to become  first player in NFL history to record three straight 4,000-yard seasons … Coryell succeeded in turning Chargers into one of NFL’s elite teams … Captured three AFC Western Division titles (1979-1981) … Named AFC Coach of the Year in 1979 … Born October 17, 1924 in Seattle, Washington.

Roger Craig

Running Back … 6-0, 222 … Nebraska … 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings … 11 playing seasons, 165 games … 49ers’ second-round draft pick (49th player overall), 1983 draft … Ran for 725 yards, scored eight rushing touchdowns, caught 48 passes for 427 yards, and four touchdown receptions as a rookie … Scored three touchdowns, two receiving, one rushing, in Super Bowl XIX win over Miami Dolphins … First player in NFL history to gain 1,000 yards in rushing (1,050 yards) and receiving (1,016 yards) in same season, 1985 … Career-high 92 receptions that year led league … In 1988, established 49ers’ record with 1,502 yards rushing … Had 101 yards receiving and 74 yards rushing in win over Cincinnati Bengals, Super Bowl XXIII … First 49ers running back to rush for 1,000 yards three times … Rushed for 69 yards on 20 carries and scored one touchdown in Super Bowl XXIV … At time of retirement, Craig’s 8,189 rushing yards ranked 13th all-time, and 566 career receptions was 19th … Scored 56 rushing touchdowns and added 17 more on receptions during career … Selected to four Pro Bowls, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990  …  Named unanimous All-Pro and All-NFC selection, 1988, and second team All-Pro or All-NFC, 1985, 1987, 1989 … Born July 10, 1960 in Davenport, Iowa.


Dermontti Dawson

Center … 6-2, 288 … Kentucky … 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers … 13 playing seasons, 184 games … Steelers’ second-round draft pick (44th player overall), 1988 NFL Draft … Second-team All-SEC at Kentucky … Started five of eight games played as a rookie at right guard … Missed eight weeks at midseason with knee injury … Became starting center in 1989 replacing future Hall of Famer Mike Webster … Doubled as team’s long snapper, 1988-1993 … Named Co-AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year (with Richmond Webb) by NFL Players Association, 1993 … Selected as NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year, 1996 … Played in 170 consecutive games before streak ended in 1999 due to hamstring injury … His exceptional speed and strength enabled him to do things not typical of a center … Named first-team All-Pro six consecutive years (1993-1998) … Selected to play in seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1993-99) … Anchor on offensive line that led Steelers to five AFC Central Division championships and one AFC championship … Born June 17, 1965 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Richard Dent

Defensive End … 6-5, 265 … Tennessee State … 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles … 15 seasons, 203 games … Selected by Chicago in eighth round (203rd player overall) of 1983 NFL Draft … Played in every game as rookie … Became full-time starter early in 1984, beginning a 10-year period in which he recorded 10 or more sacks in eight of 10 seasons … An intimidating player, could speed rush or power rush the quarterback … Twice, once in 1984 and again in 1987, recorded 4.5 sacks in a game, both vs. Raiders … One of game’s premier pass rushers with 137.5 career sacks, which at time of retirement third all-time best … Led NFC with team record 17.5 sacks, 1984 … Following year, led NFL with 17 sacks as an integral part of Bears dominating defense … His three tackles, 1.5 sacks, one pass defensed and two forced fumbles earned him Super Bowl XX MVP honors following Bears lopsided 46-10 win over Patriots … Career statistics include eight interceptions (one touchdown), a safety, and fumble recovery for a touchdown … Named first- or second-team All-Pro four times, All-NFC five times … Selected to play in four Pro Bowls (1985, 1986, 1991, 1994) … Born December 13, 1960 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Russ Grimm

Guard … 6-3, 273 … Pittsburgh … 1981-1991 Washington Redskins … 11 seasons, 140 games … Selected in third round (69th player overall) in 1981 NFL Draft … Originally pegged to play center, moved to left guard as rookie … Immediate starter on line that earned nickname “The Hogs” … Teaming with tackle Joe Jacoby, formed perhaps most punishing side of an offensive line in football at the time … With Grimm’s speed and strength, Redskins rode success of dominating running attack to victory in Super Bowl XVII in which John Riggins rushed for then-record 166 yards … During playoff run that year, team averaged 152 yards rushing … Following 1983 season, Grimm was selected to first of four straight Pro Bowls … Also marked start of four consecutive years (1983-86) of All-Pro recognition … Also named All-NFC in each of those seasons … In 1987 moved to center and started five games before being sidelined until season finale with knee injury … Missed 11 games in 1988 with knee injury … Appeared in five NFC championship games and four Super Bowls including wins in Super Bowls XVII, XXII, XXVI … Elected to NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team … Born May 2, 1959 in Scottdale, Pennsylvania.

Charles Haley

Defensive End/Linebacker … 6-5, 242 … James Madison … 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys … 12 playing season, 169 games … Selected by 49ers in 4th round (96 player overall) in 1986 draft … Only player in NFL history to play on five winning Super Bowl teams (SBs XXIII, XXIV, XXVII, XXVIII, XXX) … Began career at linebacker and led 49ers in sacks in each of first six seasons … Recorded four double-digit sack totals with 49ers including 12 as rookie and career-high 16 in 1990 … Moved to defensive end after trade to Dallas … Added two more double-digit sack seasons, 1994, 1995 … Suffered serious back injury, limited to just five games, 1996 … Retired after undergoing surgery … After a two-year hiatus, signed with 49ers as backup defensive end for two playoff games in 1998 … In 1999 came back for final season, added three sacks to finish career with 100.5 … Twice named NFC Defensive Player of the Year (1990, 1994), voted to five Pro Bowls, named All-Pro twice, once as linebacker, once as defensive end … Played in six NFC championship games over seven seasons … Starting at left outside linebacker in 49ers 1988, 1989, 1990 championship games; at right defensive end in Cowboys’ 1992, 1993, 1994  conference championships … Member of 10 division championship teams during his 12-seasons … Born January 6, 1964 in Gladys, Virginia.

Rickey Jackson

Linebacker  … 6-2, 243 … Pittsburgh … 1981-1993 New Orleans Saints, 1994-95 San Francisco 49ers … 15 playing season, 227 games … Selected by Saints in 2nd round (51st player overall) in 1981 draft … One of key players that fueled New Orleans transition from perennial losers into contenders in late 1980s … Made immediate impact as rookie when he led team with franchise rookie record eight sacks and was leading tackler … In 1983 established himself as elite pass rusher recording 12 sacks … That year marked first of six double-digit sack totals in career … Also earned Jackson first of six trips to Pro Bowl … Named first-team All-Pro 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993 … In 1987, Saints first winning season, Jackson recorded 9.5 sacks, 74 tackles, three forces fumbles, and two interceptions … Saints captured their first-ever division title in 1991 and Jackson recorded 11.5 sacks, 59 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and three passes defensed … Team never finished below .500 during Jackson’s final seven years … Jackson finished NFL career with two seasons with 49ers who converted him to defensive end and pass rush specialist … Retired after 1995 season with 128 career sacks that does not include rookie total since sack did not become official statistic until 1982 … Also intercepted eight passes during career … Born March 20, 1958 in Pahokee, Florida.

Cortez Kennedy

Defensive Tackle … 6-3, 298 … Northwest Mississippi Community College; Miami (FL) … 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks … 11 playing seasons, 167 games … Seahawks 1st round draft pick (3rd player overall), 1990 NFL Draft … First Team All-America choice at Miami in 1989 … Extremely durable, played in 167 of possible 176 games … Injury ended streak of 116 straight games played and club record 100 consecutive games started … Named first-team All Rookie by PFWA … Voted to a team-record eight Pro Bowls (1992-97, 1999, 2000) … Named first-team (1992, 1993, 1994) or second-team (1991, 1996) All-Pro five times … Named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 while playing for a 2-14 team … That season led all interior linemen with 14 sacks and career best 92 tackles; had four forced fumbles; recovered fumble and batted down two passes … Recorded three career interceptions and scored touchdown on a fumble recovery … Recorded 73 tackles, 6.5 sacks and two interceptions in 1999 as team captured AFC Western Division crown … Born August 23, 1968 in Osceola, Arkansas.

Dick LeBeau

Cornerback … 6-1, 185 … Ohio State … 1959-1972 Detroit Lions … 14 playing seasons, 185 games … Selected by Cleveland Browns in 5th round (58th overall) in 1959 draft … Cut by Browns during rookie training camp … Signed with Lions, earned place in starting lineup final six games of rookie year … Didn’t miss another game until late in 1971 season … Started 171 consecutive games, an NFL record for his position … In 1960, began to make mark by intercepting four passes, starting string of 12 straight seasons with three or more interceptions  …  In 1963, intercepted five passes which he returned for career-high 158 yards, including 70-yard TD return against Rams … It was one of three interceptions he returned for touchdowns in career … The following year, intercepted five passes and was voted to first of three consecutive Pro Bowls … Also earned All-NFL second-team accolades, an honor earned again in 1965, 1966, 1970 … Finest season came in 1970 when he recorded NFC-leading nine interceptions for 96 yards … In all, recorded 62 picks for 762 yards … Ranked second among pure cornerbacks at retirement with 62 interceptions, third overall … Currently ranks third all-time among pure cornerbacks … Born on September 9, 1937 in London, Ohio.

Floyd Little

Running Back … 5-10, 196 … Syracuse … 1967-1975 Denver Broncos … Nine playing seasons, 117 games … Selected by Denver in first round (6th player overall) of 1967 AFL-NFL Draft … Initially used mostly as return specialist .  . . As rookie, led AFL in punt returns with 16.9 average on 16 returns … Scored only touchdown on a punt return that season in AFL, 72 yards against the Jets … Also returned career-high 35 kickoffs for 942 yards … In third year averaged league-high and career best 5.0 yards per carry rushing … In 1971, became Broncos’ first 1,000-yard rusher … Won NFL rushing title that year with 1,133 yards on 284 carries and 6 TDs … Receiving threat out of backfield, caught 25-plus passes in each of final five seasons … Had knack for finding end zone … During three-year stretch, 1971-1973 scored combined 32 TDs rushing and receiving … Named to two AFL All-Star Games, three AFC-NFC Pro Bowls … Named All-AFL/NFL twice, All-AFC first- or second-team four straight years … Amassed more than 12,000 all-purpose yards and 54 TDs … Gained 6,323 yards on 1,641 career carries, scored 43 TDs … Added 215 receptions for 2,418 yards, 9 TDs … Totaled 893 yards on 81 career punt returns, 2 TDs; returned 104 kickoffs for 2,523 yards in his nine-season career … Born July 4, 1942 in New Haven, Connecticut.

John Randle

Defensive Tackle … 6-1, 278 … Trinity Valley Community College (TX); Texas A&I … 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks … 14 playing seasons, 219 games … Little All-America pick as a senior at Texas A&I … Signed by Vikings as an undrafted free agent … Played in all 16 games as a rookie … Recorded 137.5 sacks during career . .  Had eight consecutive seasons (1992-99) with 10-plus sacks and a ninth in 2001 … In 1997 had career best and league leading 15.5 sacks, and career high 71 tackles (39 solo) … Signed a free agent contract with Seahawks in 2001 and turned in one of most productive seasons in team history with 11 sacks, four forced fumbles and fumble recovery in end zone for a TD … Named first-team All-Pro/All-NFC six consecutive years (1993-98) and once All-AFC with Seahawks (2001) … Selected to play in seven Pro Bowls (1994-99, 2002) … Led Minnesota defensive line recording double digit sack totals in three of four years that Vikings won NFC Central Division titles and eight sacks in fourth … Born December 12, 1967 in Hearne, Texas.

Andre Reed

Wide Receiver … 6-2, 190 … Kutztown … 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins … 16 seasons, 234 games … Selected by Buffalo in fourth round (86th player overall) of 1985 NFL Draft … Most prolific receiver in Buffalo Bills history … His 941 career receptions still Bills record and 266 more than number two on that list … His 13,095 career reception yardage, 36 games with 100-plus receiving yards, and 15 catches in a game are current team records … Known for his “yards after catch” … His 951 career receptions were third all-time in NFL history at the time of his retirement … His 13 seasons, including nine consecutive, with 50-plus receptions is exceeded only by Jerry Rice … Reed is tied with Bills running back Thurman Thomas for team best career touchdowns (87), most on passes from Jim Kelly … Kelly-Reed tandem held NFL record for career receptions (663) until 2004 when eclipsed by Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison … Known for toughness as he made most of his receptions over the middle … A four-time All-AFC choice and three-time All-NFL second team, was selected to play in seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1989-1995) … Added an additional 85 catches for 1,229 yards, including five 100-yard games in postseason play … Born January 29, 1964 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Jerry Rice

Wide Receiver … 6-2, 200 … Mississippi Valley State … 1985-2000 San Francisco 49ers, 2001-04 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Seattle Seahawks … 20 playing seasons, 303 games … Selected by 49ers in first round (16th player overall) of 1985 draft … Averaged 18.9 yards per catch on 49 receptions for 927 yards and 3 TDs as rookie … In 1986 caught 86 passes for a league-leading 1,570 yards and led the NFL in touchdown catches with 15 … Marked first of 11 straight 1,000-yard seasons … Also recorded double-digit receiving touchdowns in nine of next 10 seasons … In 1987 set the NFL record for touchdown receptions in season with 22 … Four seasons with 100-plus catches … Led NFL in receiving yards six times including NFL record 1,848 yards in 1995 … Led NFL in touchdown receptions six times … Owns virtually every significant receiving mark including receptions (1,549); receiving yards (22,895); most 1,000-yard receiving seasons (14); total touchdowns (208); combined net yards (23,546) … Holds multiple playoff and Super Bowl records … Played in eight conference championships and four Super Bowls … Earned three Super Bowl rings with 49ers and was named MVP in Super Bowl XXIII … Named first-team All-Pro 11 consecutive seasons and voted to 13 Pro Bowls … A member of NFL’s All-Decade Teams of 1980s and 1990s and NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team … Born October 13, 1962 in Starksville, Mississippi.

Shannon Sharpe

Tight End … 6-2, 230 … Savannah State … 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens … 14 playing seasons, 204 games … Three-time All-America at Savannah State … Selected by Broncos in the seventh round (192nd player overall) of the 1990 NFL Draft … At time of retirement, his 815 career receptions and 10,060 yards and 62 TDs were all NFL career records for a tight end … His 214 receiving yards vs. Kansas City in 2002 is an NFL single-game record for a tight end … Tied NFL record with 13 receptions in single post-season game (vs. Raiders, 1993) … Three times during career amassed over 1,000 yards receiving … Earned first- or second-team All-Pro honors five times and first- or second-team All-AFC honors six times … Selected to play in eight Pro Bowls (1993-1999, 2002) … In 1996 led all tight ends in receptions (80), receiving yards (1,062 yards), and receiving touchdowns (10) … Following season had career best 1,107 receiving yards for career best 15.4 yard average … An integral part of Broncos Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII and Ravens Super Bowl XXXV championships … Born June 26, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois.

Emmitt Smith

Running Back … 5-9, 207 … Florida … 1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, 2003-04 Arizona Cardinals … 15 playing seasons, 226 games … Selected by Dallas in first round (17th player overall) of 1990 draft … Rushed for 937 yards, 11 touchdowns to earn Offensive Rookie of the Year honors … Second season rushed for league-leading 1,563 yards … Won rushing crowns in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 … Led NFL in rushing touchdowns three times and accumulated 277 pass receptions during that same five-season period … In 1995, recorded career highs for rushing yards (1,773), rushing touchdowns (25), and receptions (62) … Major contributor to Cowboys Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII, XXX victories … Named first-team All-Pro 1992-95 … In 1993, named NFL’s MVP and MVP in Super Bowl XXVIII … After narrowly missing the 1,000-yard mark as rookie, embarked on a record run of 11 straight seasons with 1,000 yards rushing … Streak came to end in 2002 when he missed the 1,000-yard mark by 25 yards … On Oct. 27, 2002 in game vs. Seattle Seahawks, he supplanted Walter Payton as the NFL’s all-time rushing leader … Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s … Career totals of 18,355 yards and a 164 touchdowns rushing, 515 receptions for 3,224 yards and 11 touchdowns … Born May 15, 1969 in Pensacola, Florida.

IF ELECTED … SPECIAL NOTES ON 2010 FINALISTS

THE ROSTER OF HALL OF FAME MEMBERS COULD INCREASE FOR 14 NFL TEAMS

The San Francisco 49ers has three finalists who spent a significant part of their careers with the team. The Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Minnesota Vikings have two. The Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, and the Washington Redskins each have one finalist who spent all or a significant part of their careers with that team.

If elected …

Tim Brown would be the 14th Oakland/Los Angeles Raider elected to the Hall of Fame.  He would join Marcus Allen, Fred Biletnikoff, George Blanda, Willie Brown, Dave Casper, Al Davis, Mike Haynes, Ted Hendricks, Howie Long, John Madden, Jim Otto, Art Shell, and Gene Upshaw.

Cris Carter and/or John Randle would be the 10th, and/or 11th Minnesota Vikings elected to the Hall of Fame.  They would join Carl Eller, Jim Finks, Bud Grant, Paul Krause, Randall McDaniel, Alan Page, Fran Tarkenton, Ron Yary and Gary Zimmerman.

Don Coryell would be the 12th long-time member of the Arizona (Chicago, St. Louis) Cardinals franchise to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  Other Cardinals to be elected include Charles Bidwill, Jimmy Conzelman, Dan Dierdorf, John “Paddy” Driscoll, Dick “Night Train” Lane, Ollie Matson, Ernie Nevers, Jackie Smith, Charley Trippi, Roger Wehrli, and Larry Wilson.

Don Coryell would also be the eighth San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame member.  He would join seven previously elected San Diego Chargers Hall of Famers including Lance Alworth, Fred Dean, Dan Fouts, Sid Gillman, Charlie Joiner, Ron Mix, and Kellen Winslow.

Roger Craig, Charles Haley, and/or Jerry Rice would be the 13th, 14th and/or 15th members of the San Francisco 49ers elected to the Hall of Fame. They would join 12 other 49ers Hall of Fame members including Fred Dean, Jimmy Johnson, Ronnie Lott, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Montana, Leo Nomellini, Joe Perry, Bob St. Clair, Y.A. Tittle, Bill Walsh, Dave Wilcox, and Steve Young.

Dermontti Dawson would be the 19th longtime Pittsburgh Steelers elected to the Hall of Fame.  Other Steelers Hall of Fame members include Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Bill Dudley, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, John Henry Johnson, Walt Kiesling, Jack Lambert, Bobby Layne, Chuck Noll, Art Rooney, Dan Rooney, John Stallworth, Ernie Stautner, Lynn Swann, Mike Webster, and Rod Woodson.

Richard Dent would be the 27th longtime Chicago Bear to be added to the Hall of Fame honor roll.  Doug Atkins, George Blanda, Dick Butkus, George Connor, Mike Ditka, John “Paddy” Driscoll, Jim Finks, Dan Fortmann, Bill George, Harold “Red” Grange, George Halas, Dan Hampton, Ed Healey, Bill Hewitt, Stan Jones, Sid Luckman, Link Lyman, George McAfee, George Musso, Bronko Nagurski, Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, Mike Singletary, Joe Stydahar, George Trafton, and Clyde “Bulldog” Turner are the others.

Russ Grimm would be the 18th Washington Redskins Hall of Fame member.  He would join George Allen, Cliff Battles, Sammy Baugh, Bill Dudley, Albert Glen “Turk” Edwards, Ray Flaherty, Joe Gibbs, Darrell Green, Ken Houston, Sam Huff, Sonny Jurgensen, George Preston Marshall, Wayne Millner, Bobby Mitchell, Art Monk, John Riggins, and Charley Taylor.

Charles Haley and/or Emmitt Smith would be the 12th and/or 13th Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame members.  Troy Aikman, Tony Dorsett, Bob Hayes, Michael Irvin, Tom Landry, Bob Lilly, Mel Renfro, Tex Schramm, Roger Staubach, Randy White, and Rayfield Wright are the current Cowboys Hall of Fame members.

Rickey Jackson would join Jim Finks as only the second longtime member of the New Orleans Saints elected to the Hall of Fame.  If elected he would be the first player to have played a significant part of his career with the team.

Cortez Kennedy would join Steve Largent as the second longtime Seattle Seahawk elected to the Hall of Fame.

Dick LeBeau would be the 14th Detroit Lions Hall of Fame member.  Other Lions Hall of Famers includes Lem Barney, Jack Christiansen, Dutch Clark, Lou Creekmur, Bill Dudley, Dick “Night Train” Lane, Yale Lary, Bobby Layne, Barry Sanders, Charlie Sanders, Joe Schmidt, Doak Walker, and Alex Wojciechowicz.

Floyd Little and/or Shannon Sharpe would join John Elway and Gary Zimmerman as the third and/or fourth members of the Denver Broncos elected to the Hall of Fame.

Andre Reed would be the ninth Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame member.  He would join Joe DeLamielleure, Jim Kelly, Marv Levy, Billy Shaw, O.J. Simpson, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, and Ralph Wilson, Jr.

THE MODERN-ERA POSITION ROSTER WILL CHANGE AFTER 2010 ELECTION (The Modern-Era is defined as a majority of an enshrinee’s career occurred after 1946)

If elected …

Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Andre Reed and/or Jerry Rice would be the 21st, 22nd and/or 23rd modern-era receivers in the Hall of Fame.  Other Hall of Fame modern-era receivers include Lance Alworth, Raymond Berry, Fred Biletnikoff, Tom Fears, Bob Hayes, Elroy Hirsch (also a halfback), Michael Irvin, Charlie Joiner, Steve Largent, Dante Lavelli, James Lofton, Don Maynard, Tommy McDonald, Bobby Mitchell (also a halfback), Art Monk, Pete Pihos, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, Charley Taylor (also a halfback), and Paul Warfield.

Don Coryell would be the 16th modern-era coach elected to the Hall of Fame.  He would join George Allen, Paul Brown, Weeb Ewbank, Joe Gibbs, Sid Gillman, Bud Grant, George Halas, Tom Landry, Marv Levy, Vince Lombardi, John Madden, Chuck Noll, Don Shula, Hank Stram, and Bill Walsh.

Roger Craig, Floyd Little, and/or Emmitt Smith would be the 26th, 27th and/or 28th modern-era running backs elected to the Hall of Fame.  They would join 25 other modern-era running backs in the Hall of Fame including Marcus Allen, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Larry Csonka, Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, Frank Gifford, Franco Harris, Paul Hornung, John Henry Johnson, Leroy Kelly, Ollie Matson, Hugh McElhenny, Lenny Moore, Marion Motley, Walter Payton, Joe Perry, John Riggins, Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, O.J. Simpson, Jim Taylor, Thurman Thomas, Charley Trippi, and Doak Walker.

Richard Dent and/or Charles Haley (also LB) would become the 16th and/or 17th modern-era defensive ends to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  Other Hall of Fame defensive ends are Doug Atkins, Elvin Bethea, Willie Davis, Fred Dean, Carl Eller, Len Ford, Dan Hampton (DT-DE), Deacon Jones, Howie Long, Gino Marchetti, Andy Robustelli, Lee Roy Selmon, Bruce Smith, Reggie White, and Jack Youngblood.

Dermontti Dawson would become the ninth modern-era center to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  Other Hall of Fame centers include Chuck Bednarik, Frank Gatski, Jim Langer, Bruce Matthews (G-T-C) Jim Otto, Jim Ringo, Dwight Stephenson, and Mike Webster.

Russ Grimm would be the 13th modern-era player who played primarily as a guard to be elected.  The other Hall of Fame guards previously elected are Joe DeLamielleure, John Hannah, Gene Hickerson, Stan Jones (G-T also DT), Larry Little, Tom Mack, Bruce Matthews (also G-T-C), Randall McDaniel, Mike Munchak, Jim Parker (G-T), Billy Shaw, and Gene Upshaw.

Charles Haley (also DE) and/or Rickey Jackson would be the 19th and/or 20th modern-era Hall of Fame linebacker joining Bobby Bell (also DE), Nick Buoniconti, Dick Butkus, Harry Carson, George Connor (also DT-OT), Bill George, Jack Ham, Ted Hendricks, Sam Huff, Jack Lambert, Willie Lanier, Ray Nitschke, Joe Schmidt, Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, Derrick Thomas, Andre Tippett, and Dave Wilcox.

Cortez Kennedy and/or John Randle would be the 13th and or 14th defensive tackles elected to the Hall of Fame, joining Buck Buchanan, Art Donovan, Joe Greene, Dan Hampton (also DE), Henry Jordan, Bob Lilly, Leo Nomellini, Merlin Olsen, Alan Page, Ernie Stautner, Arnie Weinmeister, and Randy White.

Dick LeBeau would become the 21st modern era defensive back elected to the Hall of Fame.  He would join Herb Adderley, Lem Barney, Mel Blount, Willie Brown, Jack Christiansen, Darrell Green, Mike Haynes, Ken Houston, Jimmy Johnson, Paul Krause, Dick “Night Train” Lane, Yale Lary, Ronnie Lott, Mel Renfro, Emmitt Thomas, Emlen Tunnell, Roger Wehrli, Larry Wilson, Willie Wood and Rod Woodson.

Shannon Sharpe would be the 8th tight end elected to the Hall of Fame.  Other Hall of Fame tight ends include Dave Casper, Mike Ditka, John Mackey, Ozzie Newsome, Charlie Sanders, Jackie Smith, and Kellen Winslow.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival, a multi-day celebration of the enshrinement of the newest Hall of Fame Class, is held each year in Canton.  The festival which culminates with the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL Hall of Fame Game includes 19 special events over a 10-day period.  Two major events are the Enshrinees Dinner (Friday, August 6), and the Enshrinees Game Day Roundtable (Sunday, August 8).  It is at the Enshrinees Dinner where each member of the Class of 2010 will be presented his gold Pro Football Hall of Fame Jacket.  At the Enshrinees Game Day Roundtable, the Class of 2010 will be featured center stage as they share memories of the game and their personal feelings about being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ticket information for the Enshrinement Ceremony, NFL Hall of Fame Game and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival events can be found on the Hall of Fame’s website (Profootballhof.com).

  • JoeDoGG

    Way to go Shannon. You were the first beast Eddy Mac the Second and Marshall the third.

  • JoeDoGG

    Way to go Shannon. You were the first beast Eddy Mac the Second and Marshall the third.