An interesting group of first-time eligible candidates are among the 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which was unveiled tonight.
Quarterback Brett Favre and wide receiver Terrell Owens are two of the new names on the list, which will be reduced to 15 before a maximum class of five modern-era candidates is voted on the day before the Super Bowl.
While Favre makes a clear case for induction, Owens will create a complex argument, as his raw numbers have to be balanced by the impact he has had on teams.
Owens is second on the all-time receiving yards list (15,934), third in touchdowns (153) and sixth on the all-time receptions list (1,078). But he also played for five teams, and those moves weren’t always based on football or financial reasons.
They will join a list of candidates who carried over from last year’s finalists and a few newcomers.
That list is topped by the players who were finalists last year, but just missed in the final vote from 10 spots to five: Linebacker Kevin Greene, quarterback Kurt Warner, tackle Orlando Pace, wide receiver Marvin Harrison and coach Tony Dungy.
Last year’s finalist who were cut in the vote from 15 to 10 were coaches Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson, kicker Morten Andersen, running back Terrell Davis and safety John Lynch.
The other semifinalists, in alphabetical order, include: Safety Steve Atwater, tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, running back Roger Craig, guard Alan Faneca, wide receiver Torry Holt, tackle Joe Jacoby, running back Edgerrin James, tackle Mike Kenn, cornerback Ty Law, center Kevin Mawae, linebacker Karl Mecklenburg and linebacker Sam Mills.
That group will be voted upon along with this year’s senior finalists (quarterback Ken Stabler and guard Dick Stanfel and contributor Edward DeBartolo, Jr. Those three are voted upon separately, and need 80 percent of a yes-no vote to be approved.