In his first year of eligibility, Will Shields is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
The Hall of Fame today announced the 15 modern-era finalists who will be up for election, and Shields is the only first-year eligible player on the list. Former coach Bill Parcells is considered a first-year eligible candidate as well, although he was actually voted down when he was a finalist in 2001 and 2002. He then became ineligible when he returned to coaching in 2003, and the Hall of Fame changed its rules after that to require coaches to be retired at least five years before they could be considered.
Other notable names on the list of 15 modern-era candidates are Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter and Willie Roaf. The selection committee, made up of 44 members of the media, will also consider senior nominees Jack Butler and Dick Stenfel.
The list of 17 finalists will be voted down to between four and seven new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the day before the Super Bowl. The full list of 17 finalists is below.
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