Per the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
Two first-year eligible players, wide receiver Cris Carter and cornerback Darrell Green are among the 17 finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall's Board of Selectors meets in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, February 2, 2008.
Joining the two first-year eligible players, are 12 other modern-era players, one contributor and two players nominated earlier by the Hall of Fame's Senior Committee. The contributor finalist is former National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The Senior Committee nominees, announced in August 2007, are Chicago Cardinals back Marshall Goldberg and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Emmitt Thomas. The other modern-era player finalists include defensive ends Fred Dean and Richard Dent; linebackers Randy Gradishar, Derrick Thomas and Andre Tippett; guards Russ Grimm, Bob Kuechenberg and Randall McDaniel; punter Ray Guy; wide receivers Art Monk and Andre Reed; and tackle Gary Zimmerman.
Richard Dent's career highlights
Defensive End ... 6-5, 265 ... Tennessee State ... 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles ... 15 seasons, 203 games ... Selected by Chicago in eighth round (203rd player overall) of 1983 NFL Draft ... Played in every game as rookie ... Became full-time starter early in 1984, beginning a 10-year period in which he recorded 10 or more sacks in eight of 10 seasons ... An intimidating player, could speed rush or power rush the quarterback ... Twice, once in 1984 and again in 1987, recorded 4.5 sacks in a game, both vs. Raiders ... One of game's premier pass rushers with 137.5 career sacks, which at time of retirement third all-time best ... Recorded double-digit sacks eight times including streak of five consecutive years (1984-88) ... Led NFC with team record 17.5 sacks, 1984 ... Following year, led NFL with 17 sacks as an integral part of Bears dominating defense ... His three tackles, 1.5 sacks, one pass defensed and two forced fumbles earned him Super Bowl XX MVP honors following Bears lopsided 46-10 win over Patriots ... Career statistics include eight interceptions (one touchdown), a safety, and fumble recovery for a touchdown ... Named first- or second-team All-Pro four times, All-NFC five times ... Selected to play in four Pro Bowls (1985, 1986, 1991, 1994) ... Born December 13, 1960 in Atlanta, Georgia.
To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.
John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.