Of the 17 finalists eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, wide receiver and cornerback Darrell Green are the only first-year eligible players; the Hall’s Board of Selectors will announce the Class of 2008 Saturday (tomorrow).
An 8-time Pro Bowl participant, Carter had 1,110 receptions for 13,899 and 130 touchdowns during a 16-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins; his touchdown total ranks fifth all-time and in 2000, became only the second player in NFL history to record 1,000 receptions. Green spent his entire 20-year career with the as a member of the Washington Redskins and is widely considered to be one of the best cornerbacks ever to play the game; he registered 54 interceptions during his career – 6 of those returned for touchdowns. Retiring at the age of 42 following the 2002 season, Green also helped the Redskins win a pair of Super Bowls.
The other modern-day finalists are: linebackers Derrick Thomas, Andre Tippett and Randy Gradishar; defensive ends Richard Dent and Fred Dean; guards Bob Kuechenberg and Randall McDaniel and tackle Gary Zimmerman; wide receiver Andre Reed and punter Ray Guy. Also included on the finalist list are former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue – on the ballot as the contributor finalist – while the Senior Committee nominees are Emmitt Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs and halfback Marshall Goldberg of the Chicago Cardinals. A minimum of 4 candidates and a maximum of 7 can be selected for induction.