Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Saturday, February 6, 2010
Kennedy gracious after making final 10

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Cortez Kennedy made the final 10 for the first time in voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Kennedy
Kennedy
He should feel good about that, and he did. I spoke with him Saturday night and he expressed no complaints with the process, showing respect for what appears to be one of the strongest classes of finalists in recent memory.

Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith were obvious choices. That left only three spots for the remaining 13 modern candidates.

Kennedy and another ex-Seahawk, John Randle, were the only defensive tackles among the 15 finalists. Kennedy commanded enough respect in the room to earn a place among the final 10. If some voters were split on Randle and Kennedy, Randle's enshrinement could conceivably give Kennedy a clearer path next year.

Of course, it's tough to predict the dynamics that will come into play. I was privileged to participate in the process for the first time this year and look forward to participating in the future.