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2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame includes four 1st-year finalists

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The 2018 nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced Wednesday and the list of those eligible for the first time includes some big names.

Wide receiver Randy Moss, linebacker Ray Lewis, linebacker Brian Urlacher and guard Steve Hutchinson are the four first-time nominees.

The other 11 finalists have all been nominees in the past, including tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Alan Faneca, tackle Joe Jacoby, running back Edgerrin James, cornerback Ty Law, safety John Lynch, center Kevin Mawae, wide receiver Terrell Owens and cornerback Everson Walls.

That list of 15 finalists will be whittled down to five when the Board of Selectors meets Feb. 3 in Minneapolis, the day before the Super Bowl. Then there’s a final vote, and those who receive at least 80 percent approval will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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Lewis seems to be a lock to get in. He played 17 seasons in the NFL, all with the Baltimore Ravens, and is considered by many to be the best linebacker of all time.

Lewis was named Defensive Player of the Year twice (2000 and 2003), was first-team All-Pro seven times and won two Super Bowls. For the first, the Ravens’ victory over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, he was named the game’s MVP.

Urlacher also appears to be a strong candidate to make it to Canton. He, along with Lewis and Derrick Brooks, were named first-team linebackers on the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s. Urlacher, who played his entire career for the Bears, was a four-time All-Pro and won the 2005 Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Moss has a good shot as well. Moss finished his career fourth all-time in receiving yards (15,292), second all-time in receiving touchdowns (156) and 15th all-time in receptions (982) during his 14-year career with the Vikings, Raiders, Patriots, Titans and 49ers. In 2007, Moss caught a record 23 touchdown passes in one season with the Patriots.

Hutchinson, who played guard with the Seahawks and Vikings, was also first team All-Decade in the 2000s. He was named first team All-Pro six times in his career.

Who will get in? An analysis from NFL.com says it will be Lewis and Urlacher, among the newcomers, along with three holdovers: Dawkins, Faneca and Lynch.

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Moss has a shot, but with numbers similar to those of Owens, who is still looking to get in, he might not be a lock.


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But Moss was first team on the Hall of Fame’s All-Decade team, while Owens was second team, so that could give Moss a leg up.

Who do you think deserves to get in?

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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