Is this the year Canton enshrines Tim Brown?

Is this the year Canton enshrines Tim Brown?
January 11, 2013, 10:00 am
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Tim Brown is ranked fifth all-time with 14,934 receiving yards. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Former Raiders receiver Tim Brown is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was announced Friday morning, making the cut from the 27 semifinalists named in November.

It is the fourth time Brown, who retired following the 2004 season as the third-leading pass catcher in NFL history with 1,094 receptions and the second-leading receiver in NFL history with 14,934 receiving yards, is a finalist for Canton. He also had 100 career touchdown receptions, which was tied for third-most in league history when he retired, in his 255 career games over 17 seasons.

Also named a finalist was first-year-nominee Warren Sapp, the defensive tackle who played in Oakland from 2004 through 2007, after nine seasons with Tampa Bay.

Former Raiders running back Roger Craig and cornerback Albert Lewis were semifinalists for 2013 who did not make the cut.

Per the Hall, "the 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall's Selection Committee from a list of 127 nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 27 semifinalists, during the multi-step, year-long selection process."

Two senior nominees -- defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson -- were announced in August, meaning the 17 finalists will be the only candidates considered for enshrinement when the 46-member Selection Committee meets in New Orleans on Feb. 2, the Day before Super Bowl XLVII.

A candidate must receive a "minimum positive vote of 80 percent" to be enshrined, per the Hall. Also, there must be between four to seven inductees per year, with no more than five modern-era enshrines and a class of six or seven can only be achieved if at least one of the senior finalists are elected.

Brown faces the same uphill climb he did in previous years as fellow wide receivers Cris Carter (1,101 receptions for 13,899 yards with 130 TDs in 234 games over 16 seasons) and Andre Reed (951 receptions for 13,198 yards with 87 TDs in 234 games over 16 seasons) are also finalists. It is the sixth time Carter has been a Hall of Fame finalist, the seventh for Reed.

If elected, Brown would be the 20th Hall of Famer recognized by the Raiders in Canton, along with Marcus Allen, Fred Biletnikoff, George Blanda, Bob Brown, Willie Brown, Dave Casper, Al Davis, Eric Dickerson, Mike Haynes, Ted Hendricks, James Lofton, Howie Long, Ronnie Lott, John Madden, Jim Otto, Jerry Rice, Art Shell, Gene Upshaw and Rod Woodson.

Still, many Raiders observers and fans wonder why the likes of Tom Flores, who has four Super Bowl rings and was the first minority head coach to win an NFL title, Jim Plunkett, whose two Super Bowl rings belie his comeback story, Cliff Branch, who has three rings and whose stats stack up with those of Hall of Famer Lynn Swann, Ray Guy, who revolutionized the game as a punter, and Lester Hayes, a four-time Hall of Fame finalist who had a 13-interception season and is a four-time Hall finalist, let alone Ken Stabler, a former league MVP and three-time finalist, are seemingly forgotten.

The 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalists, then…

Larry Allen, guard, 1994-2005 Dallas Cowboys, 2006-07 San Francisco 49ers
Jerome Bettis, running back, 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tim Brown, wide receiver/returner, 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cris Carter, wide receiver, 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Curley Culp, defensive tackle, 1968-1974 Kansas City Chiefs, 1974-1980 Houston Oilers, 1980-81 Detroit Lions
Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., owner, 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Greene, linebacker/defensive, 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Charles Haley, defensive end/linebacker, 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Art Modell, owner, 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2011 Baltimore Ravens
Jonathan Ogden, tackle, 1996-2007 Baltimore Ravens
Bill Parcells, coach, 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-1996 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
Andre Reed, wide receiver, 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Dave Robinson, linebacker, 1963-1972 Green Bay Packers, 1973-74 Washington Redskins
Warren Sapp, defensive tackle, 1995-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Oakland Raiders
Will Shields, guard, 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
Michael Strahan, defensive end, 1993-2007 New York Giants
Aeneas Williams, cornerback/safety, 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams