Maybe the eighth time will be the charm for Andre Reed and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Reed, the Buffalo Bills’ all-time greatest receiver, made the list of 15 modern-era finalists for induction into the football shrine, just as he has done every year since 2007. The finalists, culled from a semifinal list of 25, were announced Thursday night.
The Hall’s Class of 2014 will be decided during a selection meeting held in New York City on Feb. 1, the day before the Super Bowl. A maximum of five modern-era candidates can be elected.
Two other receivers also are among the finalists. They are Tim Brown, a finalist for a fifth straight year, and Marvin Harrison, who retired after the 2008 season and is eligible for induction for the first time.
The other 12 finalists named Thursday are: running back Jerome Bettis, guard Will Shields, tackle Walter Jones, defensive ends Michael Strahan and Charles Haley, linebackers Derrick Brooks and Kevin Greene, cornerback Aeneas Williams, safety John Lynch, kicker Morten Andersen, coach Tony Dungy, owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.
During the selection meeting, the 15 modern finalists are whittled to 10 and then five, before a vote up or down on their induction is taken.
Reed has made the cut to 10 each of the past four years.
The modern-era nominees are joined by two senior nominees: punter Ray Guy and defensive end Claude Humphrey. 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.
Reed starred for the Bills from 1985 through 1999. He caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. When he ended his career, he ranked fourth in NFL history in catches and sixth in receiving yards. Despite that, statistics compiled by other receivers have posed a challenge to Reed’s induction. Harrison, for instance, finished with 1,102 receptions for 14,580 yards.
Reed posted his totals in a more balanced offense than many modern-era receivers. The Bills ran the ball 51 percent of the time during Reed’s career. Reed also was durable. He missed just three games in his first 10 seasons. In 21 postseason games, Reed caught 85 passes for 1,229 yards with nine touchdowns.
A panel of 46 media people from around the country vote in the Hall of Fame’s selection process.