The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its 2015 class and eight exceptionally worthy men will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio this year. Linebacker Junior Seau was voted in along with running back Jerome Bettis, defensive end Charles Haley, guard Will Shields, and wide receiver Tim Brown, as Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk writes. Seniors nominee Mick Tingelhoff and contributor candidates Bill Polian and Ron Wolf will also be inducted this year.
The honor has been a long time coming for some such as Brown and Haley, who were in their sixth year as a finalists. Bettis, meanwhile, made the final 15 for five years while Shields was in that group for the fourth year. Seau, however, got in on the first try.
This year marked a tough decision for voters everyone in the final 15 had a strong case for the Hall. Coaches Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson, kicker Morten Andersen, running back Terrell Davis, and safety John Lynch were the first group of five to miss the cut. After that, linebacker Kevin Greene, quarterback Kurt Warner, tackle Orlando Pace, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, and coach Tony Dungy were left on the chopping block. Many of those finalists (especially Pace) figure to get their turn in the not-too-distant future. Warner’s candidacy remains strong, but he could have a tough time getting the necessary votes in 2016 when Brett Favre becomes eligible.