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The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the nominees for the Class of 2013:

John Lynch, Michael Strahan, Steve McNair and Morten Andersen are among 13 first-year eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Safety Lynch, defensive end Strahan, quarterback McNair and kicker Andersen join offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, defensive tackle Warren Sapp and 121 other total nominees for induction. The list will be whittled to 25 semifinalists in late November.

Fifteen finalists from the modern era will be announced in early January, with elections taking place Feb. 2, 2013, the day before the Super Bowl.

Between four and seven new members will be selected, with inductions next August.

Other first-time nominees are running back Priest Holmes, wide receiver Keenan McCardell, center Tom Nalen, defensive tackles Sam Adams and Ted Washington and defensive end Bryant Young.

Among the contributors nominated are former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime team owners Bud Adams of the Tennessee Titans and Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots. Former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell, who died this month, also is a nominee.

Other holdover nominees include receivers Cris Carter, Andre Reed and Tim Brown, running back Jerome Bettis, guard Will Shields, defensive end Charles Haley, linebacker Kevin Greene and defensive back Aeneas Williams, all finalists for the 2012 class.

Sapp is shocked to learn that a bronze bust of him is not technically an asset.

As you may recall, the two senior nominees, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson, were announced last month. On the modern era side, I’d be shocked if the Hall’s selectors did not use their maximum allotment and select five players.

This could be a particularly enjoyable class for fans of the trench battles. There have only been two classes with four lineman. In 2001, Mike Munchak, Jackie Slater, Ron Yary and Jack Youngblood were inducted, while this past year, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy and Willie Roaf took center stage.

At first blush, Will Shields seems like a likely selection, as the only explanation I can come up with as to why he wasn’t selected last year was that some didn’t feel he deserved “first-ballot” status. With 12 Pro Bowls, Shields will soon have a bust in Canton. Among the first-time selections, Larry Allen (11 Pro Bowls, 6 first-team All-Pros from the Associated Press) and Jonathan Ogden (11, 4) seem like the safest bets.

On the defensive side, I can see a polarizing player like Warren Sapp having to wait, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Michael Strahan and Sapp inducted in 2013. Or it’s possible that Charles Haley or Kevin Greene finally get over the hump. Add in Curley Culp’s likely induction, and this could be the heaviest HOF class of all-time.

  • Jamie

    Keenan McCardell? Really??

    • Andrew

      What’s wrog with McCardell? The man is 13th all time in receptions and 23rd in yardage, despite playing a good amount of time across the formation from the awesome Jimmy Smith. I’d say he deserves some consideration.

      • Independent George

        Because those numbers don’t account for the receiving inflation that’s been occurring over the last 30 years or so. The proper comparison is with his contemporaries:

        Keenan McCardell (1992-2007)
        883 Rec, 11,373 Yds (12.9 YPC), 76 TD
        2 Pro Bowls

        Joey Galloway (1995-2010)
        701 Rec, 10,950 Yds (15.6 YPC), 77 TD

        Keyshawwn Johnson (1996-2006)
        814 Rec, 10,571 Yds (13.0 YPC), 64 TD
        3 Pro Bowls

        Rod Smith (1995-2006)
        849 Rec, 11,389 Yds (13.4 YPC), 68 TD
        3 Pro Bowls

        Andre Reed (1985-2000)
        951 Rec, 13,198 Yds (13.9 YPC), 87 TD
        7 Pro Bowls

        Tim Brown (1988-2004)
        1,094 Rec, 14,934 Yds (13.7 YPC), 100 TD
        9 Pro Bowls

        Chris Carter (1987-2002)
        1,101 Rec, 13,899 Yds (12.6 YPC), 130 TD
        8 Pro Bowls, 2 First-Team All-Pro

        Marvin Harrison (1996-2008)
        1,102 Rec, 14,580 Yds (13.2 YPC), 128 TD
        8 Pro Bowls, 3 First-Team All Pros

        Terrell Owens (1996-2010)
        1,078 Rec, 15,934 Yds (14.8 YPC), 153 TD
        6 Pro Bowls, 5 First-Team All Pros

        Randy Moss (1998-2012?)
        962 Rec, 14,946 Yds (15.5 YPC), 154 TD
        6 Pro Bowls, 4 First-Team All Pros

        Looking at that list, do you still really think McCardell belongs? Moss/Owens/Harrison are no-brainers. Reed/Brown/Carter come next – guys who seem to have HOF-worthy credentials, but haven’t been enshrined yet for whatever reasons. McCardell pretty clearly falls into the Smith/Johnson/Galloway tier – outstanding receivers all, but nowhere near HOF level.

        • Andrew

          I don’t know about that. I think you have to have to look at the context of those numbers, as well. Every one these other recievers was the focal point of their passing attack, whilst McCardell was clearly the second option for most of his time with the Jaguars. As for the comparison to Rod Smith, McCardell never had John Elway throwing him the ball (not that Mark Brunell was bad, but he’s not John Elway). When one takes into account those factors, I think McCardell ought to be considered, though not inducted (at least not for some time).

          • Richie

            I liked those Jaguar teams, and liked Keenan McCardell. But he really was never one of the 5 best WR’s in the league. He was probably never even a top-10 WR. He only made 2 Pro Bowls.

            He was probably never the best WR on his team. Except maybe in 2003 he was the best on Tampa Bay, and maybe in 2005 he was the best Charger, if you don’t count Antonio Gates.

            He was a very good receiver, who compiled nice stats in a passing-friendly era. He was also one of the few WR to put up a 10+ AV season age 35 or older.

  • Richie

    I hate that induction slots are used for Commissioners.

  • Independent George

    I love all the linemen getting in last year, but Chris Carter really has to go in sooner or later.