Canton, OH - Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin are among the 15 finalists for the 2011 Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sanders, Faulk, Bettis and Martin are eligible for the first time, as is offensive tackle Willie Roaf.
The other 10 finalists are Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Dermontti Dawson, Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, Charles Haley, Cortez Kennedy, Andre Reed, Ed Sabol and Shannon Sharpe. Only Doleman and Sabol have not been finalists in previous years.
Joining the 15 finalists on the ballot for election will be senior nominees Chris Hanburger and Les Richter.
The Class of 2011, which will consist of between four to seven new members, will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, February 5, 2011 in Texas the day before Super Bowl XLV.
Sanders was considered one of the best-ever cover cornerbacks in league history. He played 14 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens from 1988-2005 with a three-year retirement from 2001-03.
An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and nine-time All-Pro, Sanders was a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s as both a cornerback and punt returner. He finished with 53 career interceptions, returning nine for touchdowns, and retired with the second-most interception return yardage in league history (1,331).
Faulk spent 12 seasons as a multi-purpose back with the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams from 1994-2005. He was the NFL's top rookie in 1994 with the Colts after being selected with the second overall pick of that year's draft and was the league's MVP in 2000 with the Rams.
A seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Faulk finished his career with 12,279 rushing yards and 767 receptions for 6,875 yards. He was the first player in NFL history with four straight seasons of 2,000 yards from scrimmage (1998-2001) and was a member of St. Louis' Super Bowl championship team after the 1999 season.
Bettis retired after winning the Super Bowl with Pittsburgh following the 2005 season. He played with the Steelers from 1996-2005 after spending his first three NFL seasons with the Rams.
A six-time Pro Bowl choice and the league's top rookie in 1993 after being selected by the Rams with the 10th overall pick, Bettis ranks fifth all-time in career rushing yards with 13,662. He had eight years of 1,000 yards rushing and his 50 games of 100-plus rushing yards ranks first in Steelers history.
Martin played 11 years with the New England Patriots and New York Jets and retired as the NFL's fourth-leading rusher with 14,101 yards. He ran for 1,000 yards in each of his first 10 years, and only failed to reach the mark his last year because of an injury.
The University of Pittsburgh product was a third-round pick by New England in 1995 after missing most of his senior year with an ankle injury, then went on to capture the Rookie of the Year honor when he tied a rookie record with nine 100-yard rushing games. He was a five-time Pro Bowl choice.
Roaf was an 11-time Pro Bowl pick during his 13 seasons with New Orleans and Kansas City. He was selected by the Saints with the eighth overall choice of the 1993 draft and spent nine years with New Orleans, earning a spot on the 1990s All-Decade Team.
Brown, the 1987 Heisman Trophy winner and a star receiver/kick returner with the Raiders and Buccaneers from 1988-2004, was a finalist last year in his first try. He set Raider franchise records for receptions, receiving yards and punt return yards.
Carter, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection with the Eagles, Vikings and Dolphins from 1987-2002, was a finalist each of the last three years. He compiled 13,899 receiving yards and 130 touchdowns over his 16-year career.
Dawson played 13 seasons with the Steelers from 1988-2000 and was a seven-time Pro Bowl choice.
Dent played 15 years with the Bears, 49ers, Colts and Eagles. He appeared in four Pro Bowls and was the Super Bowl XX MVP in Chicago's 46-10 rout of New England.
Doleman was an eight-time Pro Bowl choice during 15 years in the NFL with Minnesota, Atlanta and San Francisco. His 150 1/2 sacks were the fourth-most at the time of his retirement in 1999.
Haley is the only player in NFL history to play on five Super Bowl title teams during his 12-year career from 1986-99, which included a two-year retirement, with San Francisco and Dallas. The five-time Pro Bowl pick finished with 100 1/2 career sacks.
Kennedy played 11 years with the Seahawks from 1990-2000 and was selected to a team-record eight Pro Bowls. He was the NFL's top defensive player in 1992 for a Seattle team that finished 2-14.
Reed was a member of four AFC Championship teams in Buffalo from 1985-99 and spent his final season in Washington. He played in seven straight Pro Bowls and is Buffalo's all-time leader in receptions.
Sharpe played 14 years with Denver and Baltimore from 1990-2003, winning two Super Bowl titles with the Broncos and another with the Ravens. At the time of his retirement, the eight-time Pro Bowl choice held tight end records with 815 receptions, 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns.
Sabol is on the ballot as a contributor thanks to his role in creating NFL Films.
Hanburger was a linebacker for 14 years with the Redskins from 1965-78 and was a nine-time Pro Bowl choice. He helped the Redskins to their first Super Bowl appearance after the 1972 season.
Richter, a linebacker with the Los Angeles Rams from 1954-62, earned Pro Bowl nods in each of his first eight seasons.
Semifinalists that did not make the cut included former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, long-time Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell and Super Bowl MVP running back Terrell Davis, as well as running back Roger Craig, former coach Don Coryell, defensive lineman Kevin Greene, punter Ray Guy, defensive backs Lester Hayes and Aeneas Williams, and contributor George Young.