It took decades for punter Ray Guy to take his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but for many other contributors and specialists, Canton remains a hard mountain to climb.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal reported on Friday that the Pro Football Hall of Fame is looking to add a separate “contributors” category to the voting process to allow special Hall voting on non-players such as coaches, executives and broadcasters.
In an interview with David Baker, the president/executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Baker said the board was “going to take up a very special amendment that we’ve worked through with our Selectors and our Selector’s Committee to work on the Contributors category.”
Currently the Hall of Fame votes on up to five modern-era finalists and up to two Senior finalists (players who played their last game 25 or more years ago at the time of voting) for a maximum class size of seven.
Coach Don Coryell, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., NFL Films icon Steve Sabol and former Browns/Ravens owner Art Modell are among Hall of Fame finalists who lost out to modern-era finalists in recent years.
“…Much like our Senior Committee, we’re going to nominate Contributors separately should the amendment pass this afternoon. And the details about it will be forthcoming afterwards. But it will give a lot of these owners, former commissioners and general managers an opportunity to have a level playing field themselves,” Baker said.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held today at 7:00 PM EST. WR Andre Reed, DE Michael Strahan, LB Derrick Brooks, T Walter Jones, CB Aeneas Williams, P Ray Guy and DE Claude Humphrey will be inducted this year.