NFL Nation: Hall of Fame 2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

This year's Hall of Fame ballot includes four players with NFC North ties, a list headed by former Minnesota receiver Cris Carter. What are the chances of a Black and Blue representative heading to Canton this summer? Let's take a look at each player:

Wide receiver Cris Carter

  • Pros: Retired in 2002 with the second-most receptions (1,101) in NFL history. Only player in NFL history with two seasons of 120-plus receptions.
  • Cons: Not many. His exclusion last year was a surprise and attributed to some voters' desire to protect "first-ballot" designations.
  • Chances in 2009: High.

Defensive end Richard Dent

  • Pros: Retired in 1997 with 137.5 sacks, which at the time ranked third in NFL history. Won two Super Bowls, including the MVP in Super Bowl XX. Was one of the key elements in the "46" defense that dominated the game in the mid 1980's.
  • Cons: Named to the Pro Bowl in only four of 13 seasons, raising the question of the longevity of his dominance. Has been eligible since 2003 and is competing with a shoo-in, all-time sacks leader Bruce Smith.
  • Chances in 2009: Moderate.

Guard Randall McDaniel

  • Pros: Nine-time All-Pro and 12-time Pro Bowler. Technique and athleticism made him one of the best guards of his era.
  • Cons: Quiet demeanor and distaste for campaigning has made him easy to overlook. This year, competing with two other guards on the final ballot: Russ Grimm and Bob Kuechenberg.
  • Chances in 2009: Moderate.

Defensive lineman John Randle

  • Pros: Coincidentally finished career with Dent's exact sack total of 137.5 sacks. Six-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler. Played tackle and end during his career.
  • Cons: Competing with Smith, who finished career with 63 more sacks during the same approximate era. First appearance on ballot.
  • Chances in 2009: Unlikely.

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