It’s been a good run of late for Raiders inducted into the Hall of Fame, having had an enshrinee each of the past four years. Last year it was Ken Stabler (finally!), 2015 saw Tim Brown and Ron Wolff enshrined, in 2014 Ray Guy got the call, and before that a guy who once padded his career stats in a Raiders uniform.
But that run will end this year.
This week, the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees were pared down from 25 semi-finalists to 15 modern era finalists. Among those who didn’t make it to the list of finalists was the last remaining former Raiders player — Roger Craig.
The list of 15 modern era finalists is as follows:
- Morten Andersen, Kicker – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
- Tony Boselli, Tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Isaac Bruce, Wide Receiver – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
- Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
- Terrell Davis, Running Back – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
- Brian Dawkins, Safety – 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos
- Alan Faneca, Guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
- Joe Jacoby, Tackle – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
- Ty Law, Cornerback – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
- John Lynch, Free Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
- Kevin Mawae, Center/Guard – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
- Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver – 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals
- Jason Taylor, Defensive End – 1997-2007, 2009, 2011 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Washington Redskins, 2010 New York Jets
- LaDainian Tomlinson, Running Back – 2001-09 San Diego Chargers, 2010-11 New York Jets
- Kurt Warner, Quarterback – 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals
One Senior Finalist was announced in August 2016 by the Seniors Committee that reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago.
- Kenny Easley, Safety – 1981-87 Seattle Seahawks
Two Contributor Finalists, also announced in August, were selected by the Hall of Fame’s Contributor Committee that considers persons who made outstanding contributions to professional football other than players and coaches.
- Jerry Jones, Owner, President & General Manager – 1989-present Dallas Cowboys
- Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
The first year eligible nominees are Brian Dawkins, Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 will be announced during “NFL Honors,” a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on the eve of the Super Bowl from 8-10 p.m. (ET and PT) on FOX.
Originally there were six former Raiders among the list of 94 nominees for the 2017 class. Those who didn’t make it past the initial nominees were T Jim Lachey, G Steve Wisniewski, CB Eric Allen, CB Albert Lewis, and HC Tom Flores.
And still there are many other worthy former Raiders who continue to be left off the list of nominees altogether. Here are a few notable ones:
Cliff Branch at one time had the most career postseason receptions in NFL history. He was part of all three Raiders Super Bowl teams. His fellow receiver, Fred Biletnikoff is in the Hall of Fame. Yet Branch is not even getting nominated anymore.
Todd Christensen went to five Pro Bowls, was a two-time All Pro. The only tight end to ever lead the Raiders in receiving four-straight seasons. One of those seasons was the 1983 Super Bowl winning season in which he had 1247 yards. He was part of both Raiders Super Bowl wins in the 80s.
Dave Dalby spent 14 years in the NFL, all with the Raiders. He was the Raiders starting center for all three of their Super Bowl wins. He made one Pro Bowl.
Rich Gannon spent 18 years as an NFL quarterback and was a journeyman backup for most of it. He had a three-year stint as a starter in Minnesota, a stop in Washington, and four years as a part time starter in Kansas City. His career took off in 1998 when Jon Gruden brought him in to run his offense in Oakland and he rose to NFL prominence. He went to four Pro Bowls as a Raider and was twice named first team All Pro. In 2002 he was named league MVP and led the Raiders to the Super Bowl where they would lose to Gruden's Buccaneers.
Lester Hayes was one of the greatest cornerbacks of all time. He and Hall of Famer Michael Haynes made up a lethal tandem in the Raiders' secondary. A five-time Pro Bowler and one-time All Pro, he spent his entire career with the Raiders and was on both Super Bowls in the early 80s. He gets a bad rep for his generous use of Stick-em during games.
Terry McDaniel was a former first round pick by the Raiders. He spent the first ten years of his 11-year NFL career with the Raiders. He went to five straight Pro Bowls from 1992-96. He finished with 35 career interceptions
Matt Millen spent 11 seasons in the NFL. He came to the Raiders in 1980 the season they won Super Bowl XV. He was a part of their Super Bowl XVIII team as well. He went to a Pro Bowl in 1988, his final season with the Raiders. He then joined the 49ers and won his third Super Bowl. After two seasons in San Francisco, he headed to Washington and won a Super Bowl his first season there. After his fourth ring, he retired from the NFL. Millen was a nominee in 2016 and missed the cut this year.
Jim Plunkett was the starting quarterback for both Raiders Super Bowls in the 80s. His career numbers aren't fantastic but he won when it counted. He is the only eligible two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback not to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Jack Tatum was one of the most feared defenders to ever roam the defensive secondary of any team. He embodied the knock-around style of the Raiders teams of the ‘70s. Hall of Fame safeties such as Ronnie Lott and Rod Woodson have said they emulated Tatum in their style of play. And yet the man who set the standard is not even a nominee.
Greg Townsend spent the first 12 of his 13 NFL seasons with the Raiders. He had double digit sacks in seven different seasons, finishing with 109.5 sacks in his career. He made two Pro Bowls.
Ted Washington spent 17 seasons in the NFL with seven different teams, making four Pro Bowls and named All Pro once during that time. He played two seasons for the Raiders in 2004-05.