Four first-year eligible players, including former Raiders WRs Tim Brown and Jerry Rice, are among the 25 semifinalists being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2010. The Hall of Fame's Selection Committee chose the 25 semifinalists from the recently announced list of 131 preliminary nominees.
Other than the four first-year eligible nominees, each of the remaining 21 nominees on the Hall of Fame's Selection Committee's list of nominees has been a semifinalist at least once prior to this year. The list of 25 includes a coach, Don Coryell, and two contributors, Art Modell and Paul Tagliabue.
The complete list of 25 modern-era semifinalists is as follows:
- Cliff Branch, WR – 1972-1985 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cris Carter,*WR – 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, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los AngelesRaiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings Terrell Davis,* RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos Dermontti Dawson, C – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers Richard Dent, DE – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers Russ Grimm, G – 1981-1991 Washington Redskins *Ray Guy, P – 1973-1986 Oakland/Los AngelesRaiders Charles Haley,* DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys *Lester Hayes, CB – 1977-1986 Oakland/Los AngelesRaiders Rickey Jackson, LB – 1981-1993 New Orleans Saints, 1994-95 San Francisco 49ers Cortez Kennedy, DT – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks* *
- Art Modell, Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2003 Baltimore Ravens
- John Randle, DT – 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins Jerry Rice, WR – 1985-2000 San Francisco 49ers, 2001-04 OaklandRaiders, 2004 Seattle Seahawks Shannon Sharpe, TE – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens Emmitt Smith, RB – 1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, 2003-04 Arizona Cardinals Paul Tagliabue,* Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League Steve Tasker, Special Teams/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams *
The list of 25 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era candidates. That list increases to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee. The Seniors Committee nominees, who were announced in August, are Dick LeBeau and Floyd Little. LeBeau played 14 seasons (1959-1972) at cornerback for the Detroit Lions. Little, a running back played nine seasons (1967-1975) for the Denver Broncos.
The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced on January 7, 2010.
To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated player or coach must have been retired at least five years. A contributor, who is a nominee who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing and coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.
Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's current ground rules do stipulate that betweenfour 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 enshrinees can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected.
The Class of 2010 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, February 6, in South Florida the day before Super Bowl XLIV. The election results will be announced at 5 p.m. ET during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl media headquarters.