CANTON, OHIO – New Orleans Saints Hall of Famer Morten Andersen is among the 26 Modern-Era semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2015, the Hall announced Tuesday night on NFL Network.
The Hall of Fame's Selection Committee chose the semifinalists from a previously announced list of 113 nominees. Although Hall of Fame bylaws call for the selection of 25 semifinalists they also provide that the semifinalist list include all ties for the twenty-fifth position, as has occurred this year.
The first-year nominees among the semifinalists include quarterback Kurt Warner, wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, running back Edgerrin James, offensive linemen Kevin Mawae and Orlando Pace, linebacker Junior Seau, and cornerback back Ty Law.
Two other players, tackle Mike Kenn and safety Darren Woodson, are semifinalists for the first time. All other individuals on the list have been a semifinalist at least once in previous years.
The selection process is an integral element of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Mission to Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values and Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE.
The complete list of Modern-Era semifinalists is as follows:
* Morten Andersen, K – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
* Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
* Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
* Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
* Isaac Bruce, WR – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
* Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
* Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
* Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
* Tony Dungy, Coach – 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts
* Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
* Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
* Marvin Harrison, WR – 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts
* Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
* Joe Jacoby, T – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
* Edgerrin James, RB – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks
* Jimmy Johnson, Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins
* Mike Kenn, T – 1978-1994 Atlanta Falcons
* Ty Law, CB – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
* John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
* Kevin Mawae, C/G – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
* Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos
* Orlando Pace, T – 1997-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Chicago Bears
* Junior Seau, LB – 1990-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-05 Miami Dolphins, 2006-09 New England Patriots
* Will Shields, G – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
* Kurt Warner, QB – 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals
* Darren Woodson, S – 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys
The list of 26 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 Modern-Era Finalists. That list increases to 18 finalists with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame's Contributors Committee and one finalist as selected by the Seniors Committee.
The Contributor Finalists are former longtime general managers and team executives Bill Polian and Ron Wolf. Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff (1962-1978) is the 2015 Seniors Finalist. Polian, Wolf, and Tingelhoff will be voted on separately and, like all other finalists, must receive 80% positive vote from the full selection committee during the annual selection meeting on January 31, 2015.
The results of the Modern-Era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced during a one-hour special on NFL Network on Thursday, January 8 at 9 p.m. ET.
To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated player or coach must not have participated as an active player or coach for five consecutive seasons.
Although there is no set number of enshrinees for any Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's current ground rules stipulate that between four and eight 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, seven, or eight can only be achieved if one or more of the Contributor and Seniors Finalists are elected.
The Class of 2015 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, January 31, 2015 in Phoenix, Ariz., the day before Super Bowl XLIX. The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 will be announced during "4th Annual NFL Honors," a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally that evening from 9-11 p.m. (ET) on NBC. "NFL Honors" will be taped earlier that evening at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Ariz. from 8-10 p.m. (ET) when the 2015 Hall of Fame class will be introduced for the first time. In addition, the NFL and The Associated Press will announce their annual accolades in this awards show with the winners on hand to accept their awards.
The Class of 2015 will be officially enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio as the main event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Annual Enshrinement Festival Celebration.