The NFL announced the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 on Saturday, in advance of the NFL Honors Awards Show. The class includes Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams.
The finalists who didn't make it include Will Shields, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Kevin Greene, Edward DeBartolo, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison, John Lynch and Morten Andersen. We'll talk about the new enshrinees below:
Brooks was arguably the most qualified of all of the 2014 nominees. During his 14 seasons as an NFL linebacker -- all of them with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- he made 11 Pro Bowls, five All-Pro First-Teams, earned the 2002 Defensive Player of the Year Award and was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Brooks was the leader of a fearsome defensive unit -- which included fellow 2014 Hall nominee John Lynch -- that helped bring a title to Tampa during the 2002 season.
For a franchise known for its defensive ends, Michael Strahan perhaps ranks second only to Lawrence Taylor among the New York Giants' all-time greats. In 2001, the gregarious defender set the all-time NFL sacks record by getting the quarterback 22.5 times. In his final season, he helped lead the Giants to a world championship by upsetting the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Hall of Fame defensive lineman Warren Sapp made waves earlier this week when he stated that Strahan didn't deserve to be voted in.
Jones, who anchored the Seattle Seahawks' offensive line for over a decade from his left tackle spot, is considered a pioneer of the position. A rare blend of big body, long arms and quick feet, Jones helped set the standard for a blind-side protector. He earned nine Pro Bowl bids, four First-Team All-Pro selections and inclusion in the 2000s All-Decade Team. In his 12 seasons, he allowed just 23 sacks and was whistled for holding an unbelievably low nine times, according to ESPN.
After eight years of eligibility, the former Bills wide receiver will finally be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 16 seasons, Reed racked up 951 receptions, 13,198 yards receiving and 87 touchdowns, which are all top-15 marks. During one span of his career, Reed made seven consecutive Pro Bowls from 1988-1994. In Reed's eight years as a Hall of Fame finalist, he was passed over while Michael Irvin, Art Monk, Jerry Rice and Cris Carter all earned their places in history.
Williams made a name for himself during his time in the NFL for his ability to score defensive touchdowns. In a 14-year career that featured 10 years with the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, Williams racked up 55 interceptions, the 20th most in NFL history. However, his nine career touchdowns on interception returns rank fourth and his three fumble returns are tied for ninth all-time. Altogether, he racked up 12 defensive touchdowns, just one fewer than the NFL record of 13 held by Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper.
For the first time in history, a punter will be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Guy will be the first at the position to earn the honor over 20 years after he was a finalist for the first time in 1992. A first-round pick by the Raiders in the 1973 NFL Draft, Guy went to seven Pro Bowls and was top-three in the NFL in yards per punt in nine straight seasons. Since 2000, the Ray Guy Award has been awarded to the nation's top collegiate punter.
Humphrey played for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles in his 13 seasons in the NFL from 1968-1981, before the NFL officially tallied sacks. While no official numbers exist for Humphrey, it is estimated that he accumulated 126.5 sacks during his career, which would rank 14th all-time. Humphrey earned six trips to the Pro Bowl during his time with the Falcons.