Two first-year eligible players, wide receiver Cris Carter and cornerback Darrell Green are among the 17 finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall's Board of Selectors meets in Phoenix, Ariz. on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Joining the two first-year eligible players are 12 other modern-era players, one contributor and two players nominated earlier by the Hall of Fame's Senior Committee. The contributor finalist is former National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The Senior Committee nominees, announced in August 2007, are Chicago Cardinals back Marshall Goldberg and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Emmitt Thomas. The other modern-era player finalists include defensive ends Fred Dean and Richard Dent, linebackers Randy Gradishar, Derrick Thomas and Andre Tippett, guards Russ Grimm, Bob Kuechenberg and Randall McDaniel, punter Ray Guy, wide receivers Art Monk and Andre Reed, and tackle Gary Zimmerman.
Dean and Dent both spent time with the San Francisco 49ers. After playing for the Chargers, Dean finished out his career with the 49ers, playing for the Bay Area team from 1981 thru 1985. Dent began his NFL career with the Chicago Bears, where he played for ten years. He then spent one year, 1994, in San Francisco before going back to the Bears for another season, followed by a year the Colts and the Eagles.
To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.