NEW ORLEANS – Andre Reed and all of his Buffalo Bills followers hope today’s Pro Football Hall of Fame meeting is not another “Groundhog Day” experience.
Reed, the Bills’ all-time greatest receiver, is a finalist for induction into the Hall for a seventh straight year. This is the fourth straight year he is locked in a three-way battle among receivers on the list of 15 modern-era finalists under consideration.
Former Minnesota great Cris Carter is a finalist for a sixth straight year. Former Raiders great Tim Brown is a finalist for a fourth straight year.
Those three have formed a receiver “logjam” in the hall voting. All three have a lot of support, as evidenced by their perennial position among the finalists. None have been able to get elected.
The Hall’s selection meeting will run for about seven hours today. The results will be announced starting at 5:30 p.m. EST on the NFL Network.
During the selection meeting, the modern finalists are whittled down to a group of 10, then a group of five. Then a vote, up or down, is taken on each of the last five.
Reed has advanced to the final 10 each of the past three years. Carter also advanced to the final 10 last year, but both Reed and Carter were eliminated in the cutdown to the final five.
The other finalists are: running back Jerome Bettis; defensive linemen Michael Strahan, Warren Sapp, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley; owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell; coach Bill Parcells; tackle Jonathan Ogden; guards Larry Allen and Will Shields; and cornerback Aeneas Williams.
They are joined by two senior nominees: nose tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson. Senior nominees are players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago.
The vote on the worthiness of the seniors is separate from that of the modern candidates. A maximum of five modern-era finalists can be elected.
Reed, who played from 1985 to 2000, caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards. At the time of his retirement, he was third all-time in catches and fourth in yards. Currently he stands 11th in catches and 12th in yards. Reed’s 87 touchdown catches put him 12th on the all-time list.
Reed also was sensational in the postseason. In 21 playoff games he had 85 catches for 1,229 yards.
Both Carter and Brown are ahead of Reed on the statistical lists. Carter had 1,101 catches for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns. Brown had 1,094 for 14,934 yards and 100 touchdowns.
Reed played in offenses that ran the ball more, and he contributed to more team success than Carter and Brown.