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NFL Hall Of Fame 2012 Candidates: Bill Parcells, Will Shields, Jerome Bettis Lead Finalists

Bill Parcells, Will Shields, Jerome Bettis and Cris Carter are among the seventeen finalists for the 50th class to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, announced Sunday.

15 finalists will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in Indianapolis on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Leading the pack is first-year nominee Bill Parcells, who led both the New York and Giants and New England Patriots to Super Bowls, winning two with the Giants and losing one with the Pats. Parcells has technically been a finalist twice before following his retirement as head coach of the New York Jets in 1999. Parcells returned to coach the Dallas Cowboys in 2003, after a five-year waiting period had been put into effect.

Parcells finished his NFL coaching career with a record of 172-130-1, two Super Bowl rings, three Conference championships and two AP Coach of the Year awards.

Kansas City Chiefs guard Will Shields is the other first-year nominee. In 1999, Shields was selected as an offensive guard to the Walter Camp Football Foundation College Football All-Century Team. In his 14 seasons in the NFL, Shields never missed a game and is considered one of the greatest offensive linemen in NFL history.

Other finalists for the Hall include Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jerome Bettis, Oakland Raiders receiver Tim Brown, Minnesota Vikings receiver Cris Carter, defensive end Chris Doleman, linebacker Kevin Greene, 49ers/Cowboys linebacker Charles Haley, Seahawks defenstive tackle Cortez Kennedy, Patriots/Jets running back Curtis Martin, Buffalo Bills WR Andre Reed, Saints/Chiefs tackle Willie Roaf, Cardinals/Rams DB Aeneas Williams, 49ers owner Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Steelers corner Jack Butler and Lions/Redskins guard Dick Stanfel.

Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year.

At the announcement, Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry will be presented with an envelope containing the names of the nominees elected. Each newly elected member will be contacted immediately by the Hall of Fame. The election results will be announced at 5:30 p.m. ET during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl Media Center. The Class of 2012 will be the 50th class to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.