January 9, 2011

Roaf one of 15 finalists for next HOF class

Saints offensive tackle Willie Roaf is one of 15 finalists announced by the NFL for induction into the Hall of Fame.

Those 15 men, including Roaf and New Orleans native Marshall Faulk, will be voted upon and the names announced during Super Bowl week.

Also on the list are Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Dermontti Dawson, Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, Charles Haley, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin, Andre Reed, NFL Films' Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe.

Former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and New Orleans native and Southern University alum Aeneas Williams did not make the cut.  Both were among 26 semifinalists named in November.

Additionally, two more former players were named as finalists from the Senior Committee, which reviews players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago.  Chris Hanburger and Les Richter, whose careers began before the modern era, are also finalists.

Unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame, which sends only those finalists who get enough votes, the Pro Football Hall of Fame sends four to seven players per year.

Roaf would join Rickey Jackson, inducted this past August, as the only players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame based on the merits of a career mostly spent with the Saints organization.

Roaf was the eighth overall pick in the draft by the Saints in 1993 and started for the team for nine seasons. 

The Pine Bluff, Arkansas native and former Louisiana Tech graduate would join fellow Bulldog alums Terry Bradshaw and Fred Dean in the Hall.

The new Hall of Fame class of 2011 will be voted upon the day before Super Bowl XLV, February 5, 2011.

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