The Pro Football Hall of Fame has just released its 17 finalists for its annual induction. The voting won't happen until the day before the Super Bowl early next month. A finalist must receive 80 percent of the vote by the voting members, which includes Star-Telegram football writer Charean Williams.
Listed alphabetically, the 17 finalists with their positions, teams, and years active follow:
Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Fred Dean – Defensive End – 1975-1981 San Diego Chargers, 1981-85 San Francisco 49ers
Richard Dent – Defensive End – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
Marshall Goldberg – Back – 1939-1943, 1946-48 Chicago Cardinals
Randy Gradishar – Linebacker – 1974-1983 Denver Broncos
Darrell Green – Cornerback – 1983-2002 Washington Redskins
Russ Grimm – Guard – 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Ray Guy – Punter – 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Bob Kuechenberg – Guard – 1970-1984 Miami Dolphins
Randall McDaniel – Guard – 1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Art Monk – Wide Receiver – 1980-1993 Washington Redskins, 1994 New York Jets, 1995 Philadelphia Eagles
Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Paul Tagliabue – Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
Derrick Thomas – Linebacker – 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Emmitt Thomas – Cornerback – 1966-1978 Kansas City Chiefs
Andre Tippett – Linebacker – 1982-1993 New England Patriots
Gary Zimmerman – Tackle – 1986-1992 Minnesota Vikings, 1993-97 Denver Broncos
No one asked, but my votes that I don't have would go to the following:
Andre Tippett: He was the lesser-known version of Lawrence Taylor. If he had played on a good team you'd know just how good this guy was.
Randall McDaniel: One of the most athletic guards ever to play the position.
Darrell Green: Arguably one of the best cornerbacks to ever play.
Ray Guy: He should be the only punter ever to be inducted into the HOF. He's earned this.
- Mac Engel