And then there was one. The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Sunday morning the 17 Hall of Fame finalists. Long-time Raider great wide receiver Tim Brown was among the 15 modern era finalists.
Brown was a finalist in his first year of eligibility in last year’s Hall of Fame class but didn’t make the final cut down. This year, he is joined at the receiver position by former Buffalo Bill Andre Reed, and former Eagle and Viking, Cris Carter.
The Heisman trophy winning receiver was chosen by the Raiders with the 6th overall pick in the 1988 draft out of Notre Dame. He played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders from 1988 to 2003. During those fifteen years he was elected to the Pro Bowl nine times (88, 91, 93-97, 99, 01). In the ten year period from 93-02 he was the picture of consistency, surpassing 80 receptions and 1000 yards nine times each. In 2001, he helped lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl with 91 receptions for 1165 yards and 9 touchdowns. He is the Raiders all-time leader in receptions (1070), receiving yards (14,734), receiving TD’s (99), punt returns (320), punt return yards (3272), and punt return touchdowns (3).
He is currently second in receiving yards among HOF eligible receivers. The only player with more is Jerry Rice, who was inducted last year. Brown was inducted into the college football Hall of Fame last year.
The list of semi-finalists was cut down from 26 to 15, and among the 11 dropped from the list were punter Ray Guy and defensive back Lester Hayes. Both have long been eligible for the Hall of Fame. Other Raider greats that didn’t even make the list of semifinalists were wide receiver Cliff Branch and quarterback Ken Stabler.
Hayes and Guy were bumped in favor of five first-year eligible players – running back Jerome Bettis, running back Marshall Faulk, running back Curtis Martin, offensive lineman Willie Roaf, and defensive back Deion Sanders.
The remaining modern era finalists are C Dermonti Dawson, DE Richard Dent, DE/LB Charles Haley, DT Cortez Kennedy, TE Shannon Sharpe, and contributor Ed Sabol.
The Class of 2011 will be elected and announced on Feb. 5, the eve of Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.