Former Giants All Pro defensive end Michael Strahan and two-time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Parcells are among the 15 finalists eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The group was announced this morning by the Hall of Fame.
Also on the list is former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell, who died on Sept. 7 at age 87. Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo is another finalist.
This is Strahan’s first year of eligibility, and he has strong credentials for a spot in the Hall of Fame. He had a single-season record of 22 ½ sacks and finished with 141 ½ in his 15-year career. Strahan’s last year was 2007, when he helped the Giants win the Super Bowl over the Patriots.
Parcells was a finalist last year, but was not selected. He won Super Bowls with the Giants after the 1986 and 1990 season and led the Patriots to the Super Bowl after the 1995 season.
Former Buccaneers and Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp made the final list on his first year of eligibility. Other first-year eligible players to become finalists were former Ravens tackle Jonathan Ogden and former Cowboys guard Larry Allen.
The other finalists: running back Jerome Bettis; receivers Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed; LB-DEs Charles Haley and Kevin Greene; guard Will Shields; and defensive back Aeneas Williams.
Modell became a finalist for the second time. He made a controversial move in 1995, abandoning the city of Cleveland after experiencing financial difficulties and relocating the Browns to Baltimore, where they became the Ravens. The team won the Super Bowl after the 2000 season.
The two senior nominees are defensive tackle Curley Culp — who played for the Chiefs, Oilers and Lions — and linebacker Dave Robinson of the Packers and Redskins.
Between four and seven new members will be selected Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl, in New Orleans.
Bettis played for the Rams and Steelers — he won the 2006 Super Bowl in his final game. He's in his third season of eligibility and was beaten out by fellow running backs Marshall Faulk in 2011 and Curtis Martin in 2012 for the Hall of Fame.
Carter, Brown and Reed all were in the top 10 in receptions when they retired. Haley won five Super Bowls, two with San Francisco and three with Dallas. Greene was one of the league’s premier pass rushers, while Shield played 14seasons with the Chiefs. Williams was one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks, finishing his career with 55 interceptions and 23 fumble recoveries.