The former players include running back Marcus Allen, defensive ends Elvin Bethea and Claude Humphrey, linebackers Harry Carson and Randy Gradishar, offensive linemen Joe DeLamielleure, Bob Kuechenberg, and Gary Zimmerman, cornerback Lester Hayes, wide receivers James Lofton and Art Monk, and quarterback Ken Stabler. The coach is Hank Stram, the recommended nominee of the Hall's Seniors Committee. And the two administrators joining the list of finalists are Buffalo Bills founder/owner Ralph Wilson and former New York Giants general manager George Young.
Carson, Hayes, Kuechenberg, Lofton, Monk, Stabler, and Wilson have all been finalists in previous years. Although they have been eligible prior to this year, this is the first time that Bethea, DeLamielleure, Gradishar, Humphrey, Stram, and Young have been finalists. Allen and Zimmerman are first-time eligible candidates.
From this year's list, five players - Bethea, Carson, Gradishar, Hayes, and Kuechenberg - spent their entire NFL career with just one team.
The modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall's 39-member Board of Selectors. The board will meet in San Diego, California on Saturday, January 25, 2003, to elect the Hall of Fame Class of 2003.
Enshrinement of the Class of 2003 will take place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, on Sunday, August 3, 2003.