NFL

Elway, Barry Sanders highlight finalists for Hall of Fame

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Canton, OH (Sports Network) - Running back Barry Sanders and quarterback John Elway, both first-year eligible candidates, head the list of 15 finalists for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2004. The Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors will meet again in Houston, Texas the day before the Super Bowl -- January 31 -- to elect the 2004 inductees. In order to be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.

Elway played his entire career with the Denver , capturing Super Bowl championships in his final two seasons. Meanwhile, Sanders spent all of his career with the Detroit and currently sits third on the all-time rushing list with 15,269 yards.

The other finalists announced Wednesday were wide receivers Art Monk and Bob Hayes; defensive ends Richard Dent, Carl Eller and Jim Marshall; linebacker Harry Carson; guard Bob Kuechenberg; safety Cliff Harris; cornerback Lester Hayes; tackles Bob Brown and Gary Zimmerman; tackle Rayfield Wright; and general manager/administrator George Young.

Carson, a former New York linebacker, and Young are automatic finalists after finishing in the top six of the voting last year.

A player needs to be retired for at least five years to be eligible for Hall of Fame consideration. Non-players have no mandatory retirement period, but coaches must be done working before becoming eligible.

After a 2003 class of running back Marcus Allen, defensive end Elvin Bethea, guard Joe DeLamielleure, wide receiver James Lofton and coach Hank Stram, there are currently 221 members of the Hall of Fame.

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