Jerome Bettis, Junior Seau part of 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class
The eight members of the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class were announced Saturday night at the NFL Honors show in Phoenix.
The class includes former running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver Tim Brown, defensive end Charles Haley, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields, center Mick Tingelhoff and long-time executives Bill Polian and Ron Wolf.
Seau, Shields, Bettis, Brown and Haley were the five modern-era inductees. The Hall of Fame's board of selectors began Saturday with 15 modern-era finalists, then narrowed the list to 10 before announcing the five inductees. Finalists needed 80 percent of the voting total from the 46 selectors for enshrinement.
A first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 1993, Bettis played three seasons with the Rams -- he won rookie of the year in his first -- before he was traded to the Steelers in April 1996 along with a third-round draft pick in exchange for picks in the second and fourth rounds.
Bettis spent 10 seasons in Pittsburgh before retiring after the 2005 season. He amassed 13,662 rushing yards (sixth-most in NFL history) and 91 touchdowns (10th-most) on 3,479 carries (fourth-most). Bettis also caught 200 passes for 1,449 yards and three touchdowns.
Seau played 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers, plus four with the New England Patriots and three with the Miami Dolphins. He retired in 2009 with eight first-team All-Pro selections and a Defensive Player of the Year award in 1992.
Shields played 14 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, never missing a game and starting all but one game.
Brown retired in 2004 after 17 seasons, including 16 with the Raiders. He finished his career second all-time in receiving yards (14,934), third in receptions (1,094) and tied for third with 100 receiving touchdowns. Brown was in his sixth year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.
Haley, who spent eight seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and five with the Dallas Cowboys, won five Super Bowl rings. He was in his 11th year of eligibility after retiring following the 1999 season.
Tingelhoff was inducted as the seniors committee nominee after playing 240 games with the Vikings from 1962-78.
Polian and Wolf were selected as "contributors." Polian served as general manager for the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts. His Bills teams made four straight Super Bowls, and while with the Colts, he presided over the team that won Super Bowl XLI. Wolf was the Packers' general manager from 1991-2000.
Players and coaches who were not inducted on Saturday include kicker Morten Andersen, coach Don Coryell, running back Terrell Davis, coach Tony Dungy, linebacker/defensive end Kevin Greene, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, coach Jimmy Johnson, safety John Lynch, tackle Orlando Pace and quarterback Kurt Warner.
- Mike Fiammetta