Class of 2012 Finalists


Two first-year eligible nominees – coach Bill Parcells and guard Will Shields – are among the 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012.

Joining the first-year eligible, are 12 modern-era players and a contributor. The 15 modern-era finalists, along with the two senior nominees announced in August 2011 (former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Jack Butler and former Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins guard Dick Stanfel) will be the only candidates considered for Hall of Fame election when the 44-member Selection Committee meets. To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.

Although technically a first-year eligible candidate, Parcells has been a finalist twice before (2001, 2002) following his announced retirement as head coach of the New York Jets in 1999. At the time the Hall of Fame By-Laws did not require a coach to be retired the now mandatory five seasons. Parcells returned to coach the Dallas Cowboys in 2003 and the five-year waiting period was in effect when he retired from coaching in 2006.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s 17 finalists (15 modern-era and two senior nominees*) with their positions, teams, and years active follow:

See detailed capsule bios on the 17 Finalists>>>

Jerome Bettis – Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

Tim Brown – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jack Butler* – Cornerback – 1951-59 Pittsburgh Steelers

Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins

Dermontti Dawson – Center – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers

Edward DeBartolo, Jr. – Owner – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers

Chris Doleman – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers

Kevin Greene – Linebacker/Defensive End – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers

Charles Haley – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys

Cortez Kennedy – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks

Curtis Martin – Running Back – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets

Bill Parcells– Coach – 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys

Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins

Willie Roaf – Tackle – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs

Will Shields – Guard – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs

Dick Stanfel* – Guard – 1952-55 Detroit Lions, 1956-58 Washington Redskins

Aeneas Williams– Cornerback/Safety – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams

In addition to Parcells, other finalists who have been eligible in previous years include Bettis, Brown, Carter, Dawson, Doleman, Haley, Kennedy, Martin, Reed, Roaf and Stanfel. Although they were eligible in previous years, this is the first time Butler, DeBartolo, Greene and Williams have been finalists.

From this year’s list, four players – Butler, Dawson, Kennedy, and Shields spent their entire NFL career with just one team.

Butler and Stanfel were selected as senior candidates by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee at their August 2011 meeting. The Seniors Committee reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers took place more than 25 years ago. The remaining 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s 44-member Selection Committee from a list of 105 preliminary nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 26 semifinalists.

To be eligible for election, modern-era players and coaches must be retired at least five consecutive seasons. Contributors need not be retired.

Conversation about the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection process for 2012 can be streamlined on Twitter by using the Hall of Fame’s designated hashtag #PFHOF12. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is found at @ProFootballHOF on Twitter and on Facebook.

Doleman, Greene, and Haley have been eligible for eight years. Dawson, Kennedy, and Reed have each been eligible for election for seven years, Carter five years, and Brown and Williams three years. Bettis, Martin and Roaf are in their second year of eligibility. Since the retirement minimum for a player prior to 1968 was three years, senior nominees Butler and Stanfel have been eligible since 1963 when the Hall of Fame first opened.

The Selection Committee will meet in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, February 4, 2012, to elect the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012. The election results will be announced at 5:30 p.m. ET during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl Media Center. The Class of 2012 will be the 50th class to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

At the 2012 selection meeting, the selectors will thoroughly discuss the careers of each finalist. Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven 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 or seven can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected. Representatives of the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche will tabulate all votes during the meeting.

At the announcement, Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry will be presented with an envelope containing the names of the nominees elected. Each newly elected member will be contacted immediately by the Hall of Fame. Members of the Class of 2012 in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl will be asked to join the live announcement show. Those not able to attend will be asked to join via teleconference.

Individual Enshrinement tickets and Fan Packages for the 2012 Enshrinement Festival are on sale now. Ticket information for the Enshrinement Ceremony, NFL Hall of Fame Game and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival events can be found here>>>

The position roster will change after Class of 2012 election

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Finalists by year

Selection process

Class of 2012 selection process: Preliminary Nominees | Semifinalists

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