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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its 17 finalists for enshrinement in 2009. The vote will be Jan. 31. Two players who spent a significant part of their careers in the AFC West are among the finalists while four players from the division didn't make the final cut.
Here are the finalists:
Shannon Sharpe, tight end: 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos; 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Will he get in? He is considered one of the best players ever to play his position but because there is a logjam at other positions and tight end is not considered a glamor position by many voters, Sharpe may have to wait a year or two.
Derrick Thomas, linebacker: 1989-99 Kansas City Chiefs
Will he get in? It says here he gets in either in 2009 or 2010.
Here is a list of semifinalists who spent most of their careers in the AFC West but did not make the cut to the finalists list: