Third time a charm?

There is no questioning Cris Carter's credentials to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But, after two years of not receiving the required 80 percent of votes for induction, Carter, John Randle and 15 other would-be Hall of Famers await the vote today of the selection committee. With both Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith locks for induction, will there be room for Carter this year?

Will this be the year that Cris Carter gets the call to the Hall of Fame or is he going to have to wait another year? For a player whose numbers clearly qualify for induction, there are those wondering if the third time on the ballot will be the charm?

Last year, many believed that Carter had a better shot of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame than longtime teammate Randall McDaniel, but when the ballots were cast, McDaniel got his ticket punched to Canton and Carter was on the outside looking in as former Redskins wide receiver Art Monk had his long wait ended with induction.

At the time, there were questions raised about Carter's potential for induction in 2010 because two near-locks for first-ballot induction – wide receiver Jerry Rice and running back Emmitt Smith – were likely to dominate this year's voting. While younger fans may know them only from highlight films and "Dancing With the Stars," both Rice and Smith have the potential to be unanimous selections.

The Class of 2010 includes three receivers that will eventually all end up in the Hall of Fame – Rice, Carter and former Raider Tim Brown. It is unclear whether the voters will be willing to put in multiple wide receivers in a year when the unquestioned greatest to ever play the game (Rice) is up for induction.

Perhaps the better shot may lie with John Randle. Of the 17 modern-era finalists, only five of them are defensive players and, of those, only two – Randle and former Seahawk Cortez Kennedy – are defensive tackles.

The Hall of Fame announcement will be made later today. VU will pass along the results as soon as they become available.

SATURDAY NOTES

  • In his State of the NFL address Friday in Miami, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he is hopeful that a strike can be avoided in 2011, saying he wants to see more progress in the labor negotiations in the coming weeks and months. On Thursday, NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith said the union is bracing for a lockout, something that Goodell said isn't in the best interests of either side. He said the presumption made by Smith that owners want a work stoppage is "absolutely false," adding, "there are no benefits to that. If it comes to anything like that, we would all have failed."

  • From the Super Bowl Hypothetical Department comes this: Given the injuries to Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield and the condition of Brett Favre, one would have to wonder how Favre would have been able to rebound from his injuries and how the Vikings secondary would have addressed Peyton Manning and the Colts passing game given being so shorthanded at the cornerback position?

  • The photos of Favre that were posted on the website of the Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.) newspaper website have been taken down. It is believed that Favre's agent Bus Cook didn't want the images on the Internet and asked that they be removed. There is no remaining blog entry that was originally published Feb 2. on the paper's website.

  • Dan Le Batard, a columnist for The Miami Herald, was allowed to hang out with Bryant McKinnie when he went on one of his nights of partying prior to the Pro Bowl. McKinnie was apparently in a celebratory mood, according to Le Batard's column, buying 36 bottles of champagne that cost $20,000. Not a bad night of drinking.


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