The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Saturday the 15 modern-era finalists eligible for induction in 2011. Former Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe will be among those voters can select. Sharpe was eligible in 2009 and 2010, but he was passed over both times.
Sharpe enjoyed a 14-year career from 1990-2003. With the exception of 2000-2001 with the Baltimore Ravens, Sharpe played the majority of his career with the Broncos. His 815 catches and 10,060 receiving yards were NFL records for tight ends at the time of his retirement, though Tony Gonzalez has since surpassed those numbers. Sharpe also won two Super Bowl championships with the Broncos and one with the Ravens.
Among the first-year eligible players, running backs Jerome Bettis, Marshall Faulk and Curtis Martin made the final group of 15. Offensive tackle Willie Roaf and cornerback Deion Sanders are also in their first-year of eligibility and among the 15 finalists.
Former Broncos running back Terrell Davis, who rushed for 2,008 yards in 1998, missed the cut once again to be a finalist. He has been a semi-finalist since 2007. Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue also failed to gain nomination as a finalist.
The 2011 inductees will be announced the day before the Super Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 5. At least four and up to seven individuals can be inducted each year.