Kicker Morten Andersen, the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, and linebacker Sam Mills, a four-time Pro Bowler in New Orleans, are the former Saints who are modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
The two are among a list of 126 modern-era nominees.
The list will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November, then 15 in early January. The Class of 2014 then will be picked on Feb. 1 from the list of the 15 modern-era finalists plus the two senior nominees (punter Ray Guy and defensive end Claude Humphrey, who were selected last month by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Selection Committee).
Andersen, who played for the Saints from 1982-94 and is the franchise all-time leading scorer with 1,318 points, finished with 2,544 points. He also is the all-time leading scorer for the Atlanta Falcons, for whom he played eight seasons.
Andersen was a seven-time Pro Bowler, a six-time All-Pro and a member of the NFL All-Decade team in the 1980s and 1990s. He made 565 of 709 career field-goal attempts and kicked 302 field goals as a Saint.
Mills, a Saint from 1986-94, was named to five Pro Bowls and played his final three seasons with Carolina. He holds the NFL record for the oldest player to return a fumble for a touchdown (37 years, 174 days).
He finished with 1,319 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 11 interceptions and four touchdowns. A member of the Saints’ vaunted “Dome Patrol” linebacker corps, Mills was a member of the Saints’ first playoff team, in 1987.
In August 2003 he was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He battled cancer for nearly two years before succumbing in April 2005.