Former New York Jets running back Curtis Martin was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot in which he was eligible in 2011. After surviving the initial cut for modern-era players from 25 semifinalists to 15 finalists, he was again on the right side when the cut to 10 players was made. The Jets' all-time leading rusher was not included when the list was pared down to just five names.
The list of the Class of 2012 Hall of Fame Semifinalists was released today (via Pro Football Hall of Fame). As expected, Martin is on it once again. When Martin was not inducted with the 2011 class, it set up the possibility that now exists: Martin could be inducted with his former coach Bill Parcells, who is also a 2012 semifinalist. Martin has said that he wants Parcells to be his presenter during the induction ceremony (via ESPN New York). Parcells was Martin's coach with both the Jets and New England Patriots
Martin played for the Patriots from 1995-1997 and for the Jets from 1998-2005. With 14,101 rushing yards in 11 seasons, he is the fourth leading rusher in NFL history behind Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders and Walter Peyton.
Parcells coached the New York Giants from 1983-1990, the Patriots from 1993-1996, and then moved to the Jets (1997-1999) before finishing his career with the Dallas Cowboys (2003-2006). Parcells won two Super Bowls with the Giants in 1986 and 1990 and the AFC Championship with the Patriots in 1996. He also took the Jets to the 1998 AFC Championship game.
The complete list of 26 modern-era semifinalists is as follows:
Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Dermontti Dawson, C – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1979-2000 San Francisco 49ers
Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Cortez Kennedy, DT – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Curtis Martin, RB – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets
Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons
Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos
Bill Parcells, Coach – 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Willie Roaf, T – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
Donnie Shell, S – 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers
Will Shields, G – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
Steve Tasker, ST/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
Ron Wolf, Contributor – 1963-1974, 1978-1990 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1975-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1990 New York Jets, 1991 -2001 Green Bay Packers
George Young, Contributor – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football LeagueThe list of 26 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists. The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced in early January, 2012.
The Class of 2012 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, February 4, in Indianapolis, Indiana the day before Super Bowl XLVI. The election results will be announced during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl media headquarters.