Pro Football Hall of Fame clarifies confusing Steve Smith nomination

Sep 14, 2017, 00:15
Pro Football Hall of Fame clarifies confusing Steve Smith nomination

The only players who've started more games for the Bears are Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton (184) and center Olin Kreutz (183).

Steve Smith Sr., who Carolina Panthers fans and Baltimore Ravens fans alike have cherished throughout his 16-year, 1,000-catch and almost 15,000-yard career with both teams, is not actually eligible since he just retired last year (he's now an NFL Network analyst). The receiver was out of the league in 2012, ending his career with 2,641 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. The only actual preliminary requirement is that the player or coach must have been retired for five years. He then spent his final two seasons in Baltimore before retiring at the end of last season, capping his career with 1,031 catches for 14,731 yards and 81 touchdowns. Had the two of them stayed on the field for at least another five years, there is no question that Sharpe would have been a first ballot inductee.

Confusion reigned when the Pro Football Hall of Fame released its list of Class of 2018 nominees and it featured the "wrong" Steve Smith.

Between four and eight of those finalists will be inducted into the hall of fame next August. The semifinalists will be reduced to 15 finalists in early January. McNair is one of five quarterbacks who will be considered this time. He was also selected to the NFL's 1980's All-Decade Team while pave the way for Washington to appear in three Super Bowls.

From the initial list of Modern Era nominees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 semifinalists, who will be announced in late November.

That was certainly the case for Terrell Owens, who is one of 10 finalists returning from the 2017 selection process.

At the suggestion of former college roommate Nate Hobgood-Chittick, then-Colts general manager Bill Polian made a decision to give Saturday a tryout the following year.

During Super Bowl week, 48 voters will discuss the finalists, plus senior nominees Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributors nominee Bobby Beathard.

Like a potential wide receiver 2018 class that could include Moss and Owens, the linebacker class could be just as impressive with Lewis and Urlacher as possible enshrinees.

This is probably one of the many reasons Steve Smith Sr. started putting Smith Sr. on the back of his jersey.

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